“This is a bipartisan disaster”: Drury professor explains what has lead to chaos in Afghanistan

World News

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The Afghanistan government has collapsed, and its president has fled the country after the Taliban overthrew the country yesterday.

The speed of the takeover is shocking military experts.

Even though Afghanistan has four times more troops than the Taliban, the Afghan government never had full legitimacy and depended on the United States to function.

As United States troops began to withdraw, the Taliban stepped in and took advantage.

“I was an intelligent officer,” said Dr. Loren Lundstrom, a retired Air Force intelligence officer who now teaches international relations at Ozark Technical Community College. “In the United States, we have a multi-billion dollar intelligence infrastructure with satellites, high altitude aircraft, drones on the battlefield. We’ve built up their military for 20 years, they’ve relied on that and they’ve grown used to that.”

“I stand squarely behind my decision,” said President Joe Biden when he addressed the nation this afternoon for the first time since the takeover. “There was never a good time to withdraw U.S. Forces. I cannot and will not ask our troops to fight on endlessly in another country’s civil war. Taking casualties. Suffering life-shattering injuries.”

And Drury University’s Chair of the Department of Political Science and International Affairs, and the Middle East Studies program director, Jeffrey VanDenBerg, explains why United States citizens should care about what’s happening in Afghanistan. “For many reasons. One is the United States has been in Afghanistan fighting the war for 20 years, has spent several trillion dollars, has sacrificed lives.”

VanDenBerg says now is the time to come together.

“President Biden said it, but I think it’s worth emphasizing, no matter what, we’ve been there for 20 years, we have a responsibility to help and protect those Afghanis who helped us,” VanDenBerg said.

However, he says now is not the time to place partisan blame.

“It is a bipartisan disaster,” said VanDenBerg. “The partisanship through which everything seems to be filtered in American politics is really unhelpful right now. Remember, this policy spans four administrations, two republicans, two democrats. Mistakes were made in every single one of them.”

“I’m now the fourth American president to preside over the war in Afghanistan,” said Biden. “I will not pass this responsibility on to a fifth president.”

“Although it seems to be our national pastime to try to cast partisan blame,” said VanDenBerg. “It’s really missing the point. This is a much bigger, more fundamental issue. This is a really sad day for the Afghani people. They’re now going to be living under a regime that we know from past experience because they governed the country for five years, is brutal, is repressive. Has a horrible human rights record. I hope that this is a moment of reflection. Sad reflection. The next time a politician suggests we need to change the regime of another country, it will be easy, something great will emerge from that, our antenna should be raised all the way up.”

President Biden authorized another 1,000 U.S. troops for deployment to Afghanistan for the safe return of all United States troops.

Dr. Lundstrum also gave an in-depth explanation regarding the history in Afghanistan:

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