Today, President Biden delivered his fourth speech on Afghanistan since April. As the fiasco surrounding his administration’s incompetent withdrawal from the country continues to unfold, the president conceded he could not “guarantee the outcome.” He added that there is a “risk of loss” in the days to come. And he praised the American military for carrying out an “incredibly dangerous and difficult mission.”
That mission was made only more difficult by his administration’s poor decision-making. It’s clear that Biden’s team did not foresee the collapse of Afghan forces over the past several months. If the president and his advisers had, the evacuation of American citizens would have happened sooner and in a more orderly fashion.
President Biden cited the threat posed by ISIS as his chief concern. And it’s true that ISIS has a lingering presence, which could strike Americans on the way. ISIS has claimed a string of attacks in Kabul in recent years.
But the president expressed no concern about al-Qaeda. “What interest do we have in Afghanistan at this point, with al-Qaeda gone?” he asked in response to a question. “We went and did the mission. You’ve known my position for a long, long time.” But he’s wrong: Al-Qaeda is not gone.