Biden’s Defense of His Decision to Withdraw From Afghanistan Was Excellent.

Of course, conservatives and the media are still reeling.

Lauren Elizabeth

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Photograph: Elizabeth Frantz/Reuters

It’s certainly no secret that I’m not exactly a fan of Joe Biden, and I’m not one to deliver heaps of undeserving praise to a man who has operated as though even he himself knows he is the last dying breath of the age of neoliberalism. The list of issues I have with his policy decisions and the way he has used or especially failed to use his power as the President of the United States sometimes feels endless, whether it be his refusal to use his education department to end the student debt crisis, or failure to even fight for the passage of a $15 minimum wage. That said, as a matter of principle I am more than happy to give credit where credit is due, and overall Biden definitely earned it in regards to his speech about the United States’ withdrawal from Afghanistan.

In a segment of the speech that really caught my attention, the President said:

“I made a commitment to the American people that I would end this war. Today, I honored that commitment. It was time to be honest with the American people again. We no longer had a clear purpose in an open ended mission in Afghanistan. After 20 years of war in Afghanistan I refuse to send another generation of American sons and daughters to fight a war that should’ve ended long ago. After more than $2 trillion dollars spent in Afghanistan, costs researchers at Brown University estimated would be over $300 million a day for twenty years in Afghanistan. For two decades. Yes, the American people should hear this. $300 million a day for two decades. You take the number $1 trillion. That’s still $150 million a day for two decades. What have we lost is the consequence in terms of opportunities. I refuse to continue a war that was no longer in the service of the vital national interests of our country…”

Joe Biden in this instance is irrefutably correct, not only in these words but in his decision overall.

Obviously, in an idealistic world the withdrawal would have gone smoother, but as I and many others have been saying since the decision to withdraw was announced, the end of this war was never going to be clean and easy. How can it be, when war itself is messy…

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Lauren Elizabeth

Lauren is a writer & leftist with analysis on topics related to politics & policy. She can be reached at LaurenMartinchek@gmail.com or Twitter @xlauren_mx