Biden Has No Retreat Strategy from National Security Blunders

by | Aug 23, 2021 |

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There’s little wonder why Joe Biden left his Wilmington, Delaware, home last Friday for the presidential retreat at Camp David with no public events scheduled until August 18 in the middle of his administration’s self-inflicted national security crises at the southern border, along strategic oil and gas supply routes, and in the total collapse of U.S.- supported Afghanistan anti-Taliban defenses.

As White House press secretary Jen Psaki defended Biden’s decision to “take time off “ at the presidential retreat: “He likes Camp David…It’s a place to be outside, spend time with family, and certainly has beautiful, beautiful scenery there.”

Methinks there is a more literal interpretation for Joe’s recent presidential retreat at Camp David and dodging of shouted press corp questions, one involving an escape to contemplate political damage control following disastrous reversals of Trump administration’s domestic and national policies.

‘Unsustainable’ Biden Border Blunders

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas was caught on a leaked audio telling Texas border agents: “A couple of days ago I was down in Mexico, and I said, ‘Look, you know, if, if our borders are the first line of defense, we’re going to lose, and this is unsustainable.”’

Mayorkas added, “We can’t continue like this, our people in the field can’t continue, and our system isn’t built for it.”

More than 200,000 known encountered illegal immigrants crossed that border last month alone, with 2 million projected to walk through by year’s end. These are the highest numbers seen in two decades, including a record 19,000 unaccompanied minors during July and the second-highest number of family unit encounters, at around 80,000.

This deluge is heavily attributable to Biden’s executive order that ended Trump’s nearly 500 miles of new wall construction; reestablished Obama’s “catch-and-release” policy; terminated Trump’s Migrant Protection Protocols, which kept migrants in Mexico as they awaited political asylum hearings; and exempted unaccompanied children from Trump’s Title 42 coronavirus protection policy allowing Border Patrol agents to turn back illegal crossers.

Consequential COVID-19 spread, child education and welfare costs, drug addiction, and crime impacts will be felt far beyond border states, including burdened liberal-leaning northern communities.

Paradoxically, although Biden is against requiring proof of identity to vote, he simultaneously advocates proof of receiving mandated COVID vaccinations for citizens, yet none for millions of illegal aliens from infection-ravaged countries who are given free passes through our southern border along with government transportation to a neighborhood near you.

Internal War on American Energy Independence

At urgings of his party’s influential far-left elements, Joe Biden: shut down the Keystone XL pipeline and drilling in ANWR; suspended oil leases on federal land even after a court ruled the moratorium illegal; increased fuel-mileage standards for cars in favor of pushing electric vehicles that depend on rare earth materials from China; and invoked the Endangered Species Act as part of a strategy to reduce drilling on private land in the West.

Then inexplicably, while capping American oil and gas development and export markets, Biden simultaneously dropped sanctions against Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline under the Baltic that will deliver natural gas to energy-starved Germany; his administration now pleads with OPEC to supply more oil to reduce politically problematic escalating U.S. pump prices.

No less than National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan warned: “Higher gasoline costs if left unchecked, risk harming the ongoing global recovery. The price of crude oil has been higher than it was at the end of 2019, before the onset of the pandemic.”

Sullivan’s pathetic plea added: “While OPEC+ recently agreed to production increases, these increases will not fully offset previous production cuts OPEC+ imposed during the pandemic until well into 2022. At a critical moment in the global recovery, this is simply not enough.”

Yes, let’s recall that prior to the pandemic, thanks to private innovation, the end of a U.S. oil export ban passed by the GOP-controlled Congress in 2015, and President Trump’s deregulation, America had to import less foreign oil with strategic leverage over Russia and OPEC.

Biden’s Tragic and Dangerous Afghanistan Debacle

Seven months after President Joe Biden took office, an estimated 15,000 Americans — potential hostages — are now stranded throughout Afghanistan at the mercy of Taliban forces with no U.S. government plan nor means to get them to the only remaining open airfield in Kabul for evacuation.

Many thousands of native interpreters and others found by the Taliban to have supported American or former Afghan government interests are subject to terrible reprisals … beatings, and worse.

All of this has occurred following 18 months of relative quiet without a single U.S. combat casualty in a country where the Taliban and the U.S-supported Afghan government held a power balance … each controlling their respective territories.

Neither side was mounting major offensives, and America had only 2,500 troops in the country, the smallest military presence since conflicts began two decades ago.

We wanted to get out. But not in this recklessly chaotic cut-and-run manner.

Biden and his handlers made what they imagined would be a politically advantageous decision to return all American troops from the country by September 11 over opposing recommendations of experienced military and intelligence experts who warned that a hasty withdrawal would undermine security in Afghanistan.

Senior administration advisers expressed concerns about the Afghan military’s capabilities and the Taliban’s likely ability to take over major Afghan cities.

The administration’s top generals, including Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Mark Milley and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, a former military commander in the region, agreed that full withdrawal would create a regional instability risk.

Other advisers, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken and national security adviser Jake Sullivan, warned Biden about Taliban reprisals against Afghan government diplomats, military interpreters, and others who had loyally worked alongside Americans over the past two decades.

Nevertheless, knowing where Biden stood on these matters, they chose political expediency over principles.

Despite better advice, the Biden team allowed themselves to be blindsided by the pace at which Taliban forces marched across the country. Triumphantly, they rolled and strolled into the capital city of Kabul within less than two weeks, having barely fired a shot other than in self-celebration.

As Gen. Milley impotently admitted at last Wednesday’s press conference, the lack of military resources and political mandate to ensure that every American is evacuated amid the Taliban control of Kabul.

Americans are on their own in attempts to make it past multiple Taliban checkpoints in the city and surrounding the Kabul airport perimeter. Secretary Austin said America is powerless to create a safe passage corridor, which essentially means depending on the goodwill of the Taliban to let our people leave.

The situation is direr for unknown tens of thousands of Taliban-targeted American and Afghan government-aligned individuals and families who are desperately attempting to escape brutal reprisals.

Taliban checkpoint agents inspect residents’ smartphones for “illicit content,” including communications in English. Others search offices and homes of Afghans suspected of affiliations with Western governments and organizations.

Those residents who somehow manage to reach the airport gates are unlikely to be allowed in, much less access a flight to safety outside the country.

Although as many as 50,000 Afghans were promised “Special Immigrant Visas,” making them and their families eligible for U.S. residency for translation and other services to our nation, SIV processing is badly backlogged.

Here again, the Biden administration has ignored warnings for months about moving faster to process SIV applications.

Gen. McMaster’s prediction regarding the consequences of America’s precipitous pullout on the tragic plight of Afghan women and girls is also a disaster-in-waiting.

Historically, the Taliban have prohibited girls from being educated, imprisoned women in their homes, and often subjected them to violence, humiliation, torture, and gruesome executions.

Incredibly, there was little or no apparent thought or contingency planning regarding what has resulted in a spectacularly humiliating fiasco.

The only explanation offered for abandoning the large Bagram Air Base, a central U.S. nerve center that could have provided substantial American and allied refugee evacuation capabilities, is that the rapid troop drawdown left no American troops to protect it from a Taliban takeover.

That Bagram and friendly Afghan resident support abandonment has also left America and Western allies with no local intel capability to monitor assured reemerging buildups of al Qaeda and ISIS groups that pose very real 9/11-type threats to our mainland. “Over-the-horizon” methods offer no comparable alternatives.

There was obviously no advance plan to secure and recover billions of dollars of costly and technology-sensitive equipment and weaponry, including Black Hawk helicopters, tanks, and thousands of armored Humvees from falling into the hands of the Taliban …technologies destined to wind up being sold and copied in China.

Perhaps most incomprehensible is a reckless lack of prior arrangements to remove people and equipment when there was time before that arbitrarily hurried and excessive troop withdrawal.

The Biden administration has gifted China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea — along with Islamic Afghan-Pakistan and northern Africa terror groups — with a new recruiting trophy; a sovereign Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan to join their ranks.

Even some in the Democratic media have picked up the Vietnam metaphor — “Biden’s Saigon” — harking back to tragic and humiliating images of the evacuation of American diplomatic staff and South Vietnamese people via helicopters from the rooftop of the U.S. Embassy in Saigon on 29 April 1975.

Now, with the Taliban having seized control of Afghanistan using U.S. weapons, escalating waves of COVID-infected illegal aliens and drug cartels crashing our open border, and OPEC in charge of filling our gas tanks, it’s long past time for Joe Biden and his hunkering handlers to leave their self-protective bunkers and finally defend American interests.

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Larry Bell is an endowed professor of space architecture at the University of Houston. He founded the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture (SICSA) and the space architecture graduate program. He is the author of several books, including "Reinventing Ourselves: How Technology is Rapidly and Radically Transforming Humanity" (2019), "Thinking Whole: Rejecting Half-Witted Left & Right Brain Limitations" (2018), "Reflections on Oceans and Puddles: One Hundred Reasons to be Enthusiastic, Grateful and Hopeful” (2017), "Cosmic Musings: Contemplating Life Beyond Self" (2016), and "Scared Witless: Prophets and Profits of Climate Doom" (2015). He is currently working on a new book with Buzz Aldrin, "Beyond Footprints and Flagpoles."

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