Surprise, panic and fateful choices: The day America lost its longest war

Had it not been for a few fateful choices that Sunday in mid-August, it all could have gone very differently.

A spur-of-the-moment decision by the president to escape the country, based on apparently incorrect information supplied by his advisers, was the most consequential. Later, the United States had one last chance to challenge Taliban supremacy in Kabul but opted to focus squarely on getting its people out from the airport. …

In a hastily arranged in-person meeting, senior U.S. military leaders in Doha — including McKenzie, the commander of U.S. Central Command — spoke with Abdul Ghani Baradar, head of the Taliban’s political wing.

“We have a problem,” Baradar said, according to the U.S. official. “We have two options to deal with it: You [the United States military] take responsibility for securing Kabul or you have to allow us to do it.”

Throughout the day, Biden had remained resolute in his decision to withdraw all American troops from Afghanistan. The collapse of the Afghan government hadn’t changed his mind.

McKenzie, aware of those orders, told Baradar that the U.S. mission was only to evacuate American citizens, Afghan allies and others at risk. The United States, he told Baradar, needed the airport to do that.

On the spot, an understanding was reached, according to two other U.S. officials: The United States could have the airport until Aug. 31. But the Taliban would control the city.

Fighters were now on the move throughout Kabul, with the group’s spokesman issuing a revision of his earlier guidance: The Taliban hadn’t intended to take Kabul that day. But Ghani’s exit gave the group no choice.

The Biden administration handed Afghanistan over to the Taliban. Why? As Trumpet executive editor Stephen Flurry explained last week, the chaos is deliberate:

America’s retreat from Afghanistan is indeed chaotic. The part that hasn’t yet been admitted out loud is that it is chaotic by design.

Ryan Crocker, a former ambassador to Afghanistan, said, “I’m left with some grave questions in my mind about Biden’s ability to lead our nation as commander in chief, to have read this so wrong or, even worse, to have understood what was likely to happen and not care.”

But it’s even worse than that.

In a recent interview, former war correspondent Lara Logan said the Biden administration wants you to believe “that Afghanistan is complicated,” but, in reality, “the United States wants this outcome.” Those who are pulling strings, she argues, “could do anything they want to change this. And they’re not.”

Logan is correct. The United States is the most powerful nation on Earth. It has been in Afghanistan for 20 years. It has built some of the largest military bases in the world in that country. But suddenly, this great army has rapidly retreated in partial disarray because a group of nomadic tribesmen says it must get out. As Joe Biden says about so many things—and should say about Afghanistan, Come on, man!

On the night of July 6, the U.S. suddenly abandoned its largest base in Afghanistan without even telling the incoming Afghan commander they were leaving. The Biden administration is deliberately trying to humiliate the U.S. and show the world that the age of American power is over!