Op-Ed | The Taliban Takeover: A Foreign Policy Failure That Will Live in Infamy


(Wakil Kohsar/AFP via Getty Images/TNS)

Afghan people climb atop a plane as they wait at the Kabul airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Aug. 16, 2021.

Natalia Lopez, Contributing Writer

This piece was originally published on Natalia’s political blog, “Shots Fired,” on Aug. 25.

Everything America and the rest of the world has witnessed this past week in Afghanistan will be remembered amongst the worst American foreign policy disasters. A preventable catastrophe, we are seeing the true colors of American political leadership and the cowardice and ineptitude that lies within it. 

On April 14, 2021, after being advised not to by the State Department and Department of Defense, President Biden announced the United States’ withdrawal from Afghanistan by Sept. 11. The Taliban rapidly gained more control over Afghanistan, erasing any progress made within the last twenty years through the bloodshed of our military. Thousands of Americans were left stranded in Afghanistan and millions fled for their lives as tensions escalated and the Taliban began their repossession and victory lap over the U.S. 

While the war in Afghanistan itself is subject to debate, the negligence of the Biden Administration is unacceptable. Not only has Biden enabled one of the most unnecessary security threats to the American public and the unknown number of Americans that still remain in Afghanistan, but he has also just fashioned one of the most unnecessary security threats to the American public since 9/11. The sole reason America still maintained residual military presence in Afghanistan was to uphold counter terrorism operations that kept the Taliban at bay and prevented terrorism from further arising on Afghan soil. As the Taliban have seized our taxpayer dollars in the form of military weapons and resources that we left on the ground, President Biden’s actions have invited a surge of terrorist attacks across the globe. Once again, Afghanistan will become a petri-dish for terrorism.

Map of Taliban occupation in Afghanistan.

Evident from the start, Biden’s plan for withdrawal lacks any form of logic. As Biden continues to divert responsibility, downplay the situation, regurgitate the “endless war” narrative, and send more troops back in to clean up his mess, his promises seem far from true or within reach. If Biden continues to disseminate a false reality of what is occurring on the ground, the Taliban will continue to dictate the constraints of American civilian exit. 

Most recently, on Aug. 26, two suicide bombers claimed the lives of over 90 Afghans and 13 US Marines, in addition to wounding hundreds of people trying to flee Afghanistan. This attack was the “single deadliest enemy strike against U.S. forces in Afghanistan since August 2011.” according to the Washington Post. The last combat-related casualties of American soldiers in Afghanistan were on February 8, 2020

America knows we are free because of our soldiers. America understands that soldiers accept the risk of the ultimate sacrifice. America also needs to know that 13 soldiers who sacrificed their lives for us didn’t need to die this past week. 

Considering the fate of our citizens that are stuck in Afghanistan is still unknown, hopefully they will be rescued safely. Unfortunately, one can only pray for the fate of the Afghans as the Taliban begins the strengthening of their iron fists over the nation and a foreseeable new wave of rising terrorism. The question now remains: has the Biden Administration just invited a repeat of 9/11?

In Rememberance:

Cpl. Rylee McCollum. Cpl. Jared Schmitz. Cpl. David Espinoza. Navy Hospital Corpsman Max Soviak. Cpl. Hunter Lopez. Cpl. Kareem Nikoui. Sgt. Darin Taylor Hoover. Cpl. Daegan William-Tyeler Page. Sgt. Ryan Knauss. Sgt. Johanny Rosario. Cpl. Humberto Sanchez. Sgt. Nicole Gee. Cpl. Dylan R. Merola.