No one ever said that Joe Biden was a political genius.
Over the last two weeks, we have been been watching the press (and some of the left) come to grips with the bill of goods they tried to sell the American public on regarding Grandpa Joe. He was supposed to be a foreign policy expert. He was supposed to be kind and empathetic. If you remember, by contrast, Donald Trump was going to launch us into World War III, and was a mean bully who spent all his time on Twitter.
Now, supposedly Joe Biden, not being a foreign policy expert or a empathetic old man, should understand politics after decades in Washington. He should understand that Afghanistan has exposed all of his flaws to the American public – and the poll numbers prove it.
President Biden’s handling of the situation in Afghanistan:
What is the political thing to do when you find yourself in a bad situation? Find someone to blame. Well, Biden already tried blaming Trump for Afghanistan – the poll numbers are pretty clear that no one bought that excuse. So, what would a politically savvy president do? Fire someone. Firing someone places implicit, if not explicit, blame for whatever role they played or piece of advice they gave regarding the current situation. You know who understood that principle? Joe Biden in 2006.
Biden 3/20/2006 "We have to hold people accountable for our failures. Rest of world looks at us & when we don't hold our own people accountable they wonder why they should follow us, our judgment. Everybody says Biden why did you call for Rumsfeld resignation..I've traveled world pic.twitter.com/npDKgLlT0l
There are lots of people who could take the fall for Joe Biden regarding Afghanistan. Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan. Both Blinken and Sullivan have had to face the press lately, and neither sounded confident or in command of any facts.
#Afghanistan Nat Sec Adviser Jake Sullivan says he's "not going to comment on hypotheticals" about what U.S. troops will do if all Americans + Afghan allies aren't out by Biden's August 31 deadline. “So you can't commit to bringing back every American?" pic.twitter.com/vGJql3sVhc
If Biden fired just one of them, or a couple of them, it would make a statement. But that’s not a statement that Biden is willing to make, it seems.
President Biden isn’t inclined to fire any senior national security officials over the chaos in Kabul unless the situation drastically deteriorates or there’s significant loss of American life, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.”
Over 40 years in Washington, Biden has a reputation of being hard and demanding on his staff but also loyal. He raises his voice yet rarely fires anyone.”
Longtime advisers are doubtful any heads will roll but caution the dynamic could change if any Americans are killed by the Taliban or other radical Islamic groups.”
On Capitol Hill, lawmakers announced congressional investigations into the administration’s handling of the withdrawal, as a handful of Democratic lawmakers weighed whether calling for the resignation of Mr. Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, would help the president “reset the narrative,” according to a Democratic House member, speaking on the condition of anonymity.”
As Biden weighed a full exit from the country this spring, top military leaders advocated for keeping a small U.S. presence on the ground made up primarily of special operations forces and paramilitary advisers, arguing that a force of a few thousand troops was needed to keep the Taliban in check and prevent Afghanistan from once again becoming a haven for terrorists, according to nine former and current U.S. officials familiar with the discussions.”
Gen. Mark Milley, chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as well as the four-star commanders of U.S. Forces-Afghanistan, Central Command and Special Operations Command, were emphatic proponents of this strategy, the current and former officials said, some of whom spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive planning.”
But in the end, Biden and his top national security deputies did what no previous president has done successfully — they overrode the brass.”
“President Biden has made a judgment that those are manageable concerns and not as important as drawing American participation to an end, and so everybody shut up and did it,” said Kori Schake, the director of foreign and defense policy at the American Enterprise Institute.”
But behind the scenes, it is Secretary of State Antony Blinken and national security adviser Jake Sullivan who are truly “running the Pentagon,” according to two former officials familiar with the discussions.”
“The Pentagon is not making these decisions,” one of the people said.”
So why didn’t Milley resign if he disagreed with Biden, Blinken, and Sullivan? After all, Mattis did when he disagreed with Trump over Syria. Probably because like all top brass, Milley is more politician now than soldier, and being praised for his reading list was more important to him than securing the peace of Afghanistan.
So of course Biden isn’t going to fire Blinken or Sullivan, or Milley or Austin. They followed HIS orders. HE wanted out of Afghanistan, so he got what he wanted. It is only because the optics are horrible that Biden is now forced to claim that “the buck stops with me,” and get sent out repeatedly for disastrous press conferences. If the buck truly stopped with him, then Biden would resign. But there is no way that Biden willingly leaves the White House before January 2025. And he will not willingly fire anyone who agrees with him, either, no matter how much they deserve it.