October 20, 2021
American Prestige Lies Buried in Afghanistan's Graveyard

American Prestige Lies Buried in Afghanistan's Graveyard

By FRC Staff

Administration officials are finally performing an autopsy on America's involvement in Afghanistan. Or at least, some departments are investigating some questions. On Monday, State Department Acting Inspector General Diana Shaw notified Congress of a new investigation into the Special Immigrant Visa Program, by which America admitted, in addition to a handful of legitimately qualified refugees, virtually anyone the Taliban wanted to load into a plane.

The State Department is not the only one to launch an investigation. The inspector general for the Pentagon recently launched three investigations into the U.S. drone strike that killed Afghan children, the screening process for Afghan refugees, and DOD support for Afghan relocation.

Congressman Michael Waltz (R-Fla.) remained skeptical of the administration's motives. "I welcome it -- if it's an actual investigation," he said on "Washington Watch." Contributing to the confusion was the spokesman for the State Department's Office of Inspector General (OIG), Ryan Holden, who insisted the office was conducting "reviews," not "investigations." "Whatever that means," Waltz retorted. What it's called, or who's spinning it how, is less important than whether the OIG will provide any useful conclusions during its closer look. That will become clear in time, but surely the Biden administration knows Americans are watching.

But most important of all are answers to questions the Biden administration isn't asking. "Who decided [to evacuate] on September 11th... and then moved it to the 31st [of August]?" asked Waltz. "Who left the Americans behind? Who decided to get all of our military equipment out before we had gotten our people out?" What about the $82 billion in military equipment left behind for the Afghan military? When they began to crumble, "why didn't we reverse course, apply air power and begin taking that equipment out?" Why did we begin by abandoning Bagram Air Base?

But perhaps this administration has chosen to "plead the Fifth" on those questions. Waltz insisted that "those decisions were made in the White House, that Biden ignored his generals on multiple occasions." If so, Waltz said we will only get answers from a Congressional investigation, if Republicans recapture the House in the 2022 midterm election.

Let's hope that Americans can afford to wait that long. Waltz warned that the Taliban caliphate plans to become a "terror super state" armed with America's latest military equipment. "The intelligence is clear that al-Qaeda fully intends to reconstitute and to hit us again," he said. That would certainly be consistent with the recent announcement by Taliban Interior Minister Sirajuddin Haqqani to award land and cash to the family members of the suicide bombers who killed U.S. servicemembers at the Kabul airport. Waltz, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, said they have yet to receive a classified briefing on the Biden administration's counterterrorism strategy.

The Biden administration seems blissfully unaware of the prospect of foreign actors perpetrating acts of violence on U.S. soil. China recently launched a next-generation missile that can evade all U.S. defenses, amounting to a "first-strike weapon," said Waltz. He called it "a Sputnik moment" because America has fallen behind in weapons technology for the first time in 60 years.

How did the Biden administration react? "We welcome stiff competition," said Press Secretary Jen Psaki. Meanwhile, the administration promoted a health department official to four-star admiral to score maximum intersectional wokeness points. Perhaps in a world without threats, such goofing around would be relatively harmless. After investing billions of dollars and 20 years stabilizing a free and democratic Afghanistan, America's regional interests lie dead nine months into the Biden administration. Let's hope providing for the common defense isn't his next target.