(NewsNation Now) — In 2020, then-President-elect Joe Biden reveled in his victory by saying “America is back.” He pledged to ease strains the Trump administration caused with traditional allies and reassert the U.S.’s position on the world stage.
After the fall of Kabul, the goodwill Biden built in his opening months in office is being tested.
“I have seen no question of our credibility from our allies around the world,” Biden said. “Matter of fact, the exact opposite. The thing is we’re acting with dispatch. We’re acting, committing to what we said we would do.”
NATO allies are working to get their people out of Afghanistan, but their leaders have been candid about the U.S.’s role.
A leading member of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right Union bloc called Thursday for the United States to provide funding and shelter to those fleeing Afghanistan now.
“The United States of America bears the main responsibility for the current situation,” Markus Soeder, the governor of Bavaria, said. “Because of their decision to leave Afghanistan, in parts overly hasty, they have the main responsibility.”
Merkel herself theorized Biden may have been grasping for the symbolism of ending America’s involvement in time for the 20th anniversary of 9/11.
Ret. Lt. Col. Ralph Peters, who spent decades in military intelligence, said on On Balance with Leland Vittert this is a bad look for the U.S.
“Our non-NATO allies stretching around the world are worried that we won’t be dependable,” Peters said.
Biden defended the decision to leave this week by saying there was no path to a clean exit and the U.S. accomplished its mission of removing terror threats from the country.
Peters said the U.S. did drive al-Qaida out of Afghanistan but did not wipe extremist terrorism off the face of the Earth.
“We did hammer al-Qaida severely in Afghanistan and elsewhere,” Peters said. “But the force of Islamic fundamentalist extremism has caught fire. It’s now in Northern Mozambique near the southern tip of Africa. It’s in West Africa.”
He said China may be thinking about forming a relationship with the Taliban, but it would probably end as well as it has for every other major country throughout history.
“Anybody who tries to profit from Afghanistan is going to get burned,” he said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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