Editor,

In reference to Michael Oberg’s Oct. 4 letter, “So proud of our President Biden.”

There were 16 years, two Democratic presidents, Obama and Clinton. They were not dummies. They knew that leaving Afghanistan was not going to be easy. The negatives far outweighed the positives.

It’s not only about the what, but the how. The collateral damage will last for decades and may never be overcome.

NATO and other allies were not given sufficient time to discuss, prepare and plan their options for leaving Afghanistan. They were just told what we were going to do and had to rush and expedite their own exit plans. That’s not what allies do.

Current allies, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, NATO with American troops and monetary support. What about the troops and money we are spending there? Why don’t we just pull the troops and our support out of those countries?

Billions of dollars of equipment/technology left to the enemy. Not just the Taliban. I believe that China and Russia have people in Afghanistan reverse engineering our weapons and systems. Setting the United States back decades.

Who will fill the void of the United States not being in Afghanistan? You guessed it, Russia and China.

In business and in the military, you need to have an exit plan. Just get out, is not a plan.

Take off the blinders.

The United States helped changed a culture and left the new culture hanging in midair.

The United States will eventually send money to Afghanistan.

William Affonso

San Mateo

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(16) comments

DavidKristofferson

The local conservative responses in the SMDJ Letters section are tediously repetitious and predictable. Remember that Trump’s “planned” pullout date was even earlier in May. Also please note that, though Trump is relishing bashing Biden on the chaotic pullout, I am virtually certain that in private he is happy that it did not happen on his watch in light of the failure of the Afghan military. Given the poor logistics of his vaccine distribution plan, it is likely that the chaos in Afghanistan would have been even worse had Trump remained in power. All of the complaints in the letter above would have then been directed at Trump by a liberal writer and ignored by the conservatives. Once again - tediously predictable.

When the Afghan military melts away as fast as it did, one can’t help but wonder if the country was just milking American taxpayers’ money for 20 years. As soon as the spigot was turned off, the war ended….

Ray Fowler

Good morning, David

I agree with your description of Biden's withdrawal plan as a "chaotic pullout." Trump wanted to withdraw near the end of his term, but his advisers cautioned against it. He listened. Those same advisers recommended a plan that differed from what Biden wanted to do... he did not listen. The result was predictable chaos.

Then we have the tediously predictable result of Biden policies at the border. Partly as a result of the chaos on the border, a tediously predictable outcome of the border chaos has been disapproval by the American public.

Then there is the 3.5 trillion Biden spending plan... Biden's tediously predictable rationale for his plan? It's already paid for. Wow.

Terence Y

Mr. Kristofferson, you probably notice that the usual rabid left wing letters and responses are trying to sell Biden’s treasonous withdrawal as acceptable. I am glad that you acknowledge it was a chaotic pullout. As for your being virtually certain about Trump being happy about Biden’s abandonment of Americans behind enemy lines, I’m absolute certain that our great President Trump would have done an exemplary job, without leaving anyone behind. As for your last sentence, I would tend to agree more than disagree. Let’s see if we can do the same with many other countries and organizations fleecing American taxpayers.

Wilfred Fernandez Jr

Hello David,

I would like to see the objective material you used referencing ..."poor logistics"... Also I would like to know how you connect Trump's planned withdrawal in May with Biden's decisions to ignore his advisors. Then, if you don't mind, share how you determined what Trump relishes. Thanks in advance.

Ray Fowler

Wifredo! Mi amigo...

David often cites stats and sources as well as including links to pertinent information. However, in today's post, those items are conspicuously absent. You are correct in asking for the information that forms the basis for authoritative sounding comments.

Wilfred Fernandez Jr

Ola mi amigo,

Unlike Rel and and Jorg, David uses his mind to formulate his opinions. I look forward to David's replies to you and me. I hope Tafhdyd joins the conversation as well.

DavidKristofferson

Gentlemen - Each morning I try to read the latest news in The Economist, The New York Times, the SF Chronicle, and the SM Daily Journal. This is extremely time consuming. Consequently, I limit my time writing because each of these replies requires thought and careful editing to be done correctly. This joint response is all that I intend to say, so please don’t expect further comments.

Ray, sorry, but I was only commenting on the Afghanistan withdrawal and am not going to get involved in a wider debate on Biden’s policies. Biden was not my first choice as the Democratic nominee, but almost any choice would have been better than a president who incited the storming of the Capitol. It is sad that our political system is in such chaos.

Terence, your “great president Trump” is one of the worst presidents that has ever been inflicted on our nation. We can agree to disagree as debates on this point are fruitless.

Wilfred, I can’t take the time today to look up supporting references, but all indications from my cumulative reading indicated to me that Trump’s vaccine distribution plan was designed to get vaccine vials to the states and then leave the remaining distribution issues in their hands instead of having a more centralized distribution scheme. This is a standard Republican federalist approach that limits the reach of the central government under the idea that local authorities can do better. More competent states might be able to handle the challenge but not all states were up to it unfortunately. This example is only a side allusion however, to my main point in the next paragraph.

My main point in my initial response is simply that the speed at which the Afghan military fell apart surprised most observers from the sources that I have read. True, Biden was advised by some in the military that he should leave a small force of about 2,500 to allow us to have some on-the-ground intel capacity in the country. However, I have also read that the only reason that American casualties had been lower recently was because of Trump’s agreement with the Taliban to pull out. If you want to complain about “selling out Afghanistan,” this is the place to start. Biden realized that, if the 2500 or so troops stayed much beyond the end of Trump’s agreement, fighting would escalate again and calls would then go out for their reinforcement. The endless cycle would continue.

There were ***no good choices in this situation*** and Biden basically said that enough is enough and got out. Terrence will continue his charges of “treason” until the cows come home, but that too starts sounding like a broken record after a while. I firmly believe but clearly can not “prove” that the Afghan military would have given up and collapsed if Trump handled the withdrawal too. I highly doubt that there was any love for America and western ideals in that country. We were paying the bills and when the money stopped, not only was there no longer a reason to continue fighting, but those who were benefiting from the American largesse also decided to flee. The resulting setback for Afghan women is very sad, but the odds of America ever being able to solve that issue were never far from zero to begin with. We are still fighting over human rights in our own country.

Wilfred Fernandez Jr

David,

Thanks for making time to address my questions. Because the media in this country makes fools of us all, I think it pointless to delve any deeper.

That said, there is usually more than one road leading to the same destination. I am sure you are aware the location of our departure might have saved lives and chaos. However, only Biden and his inner circle know the truth of why they abandoned Bagram Air Base. Also, it was known before our departure that the Afghan Army was a paper tiger.

Terence Y

Mr. Kristofferson - if your main news sources are biased left-wing sources, save the Daily Journal local news, then it explains your points-of-view and why you repeat fake news and lies in an attempt to push false narratives. If you’re against America First, it makes sense you don’t think highly of “our” great President Trump. I guess America Last Biden is your preference and it's noticeable you fail to list a single Biden accomplishment, along with many other rabid left-wingers on this site. BTW, it’s been confirmed that a black cop murdered a white woman during your so-called incitement at the Capitol. Where’s the outrage? I guess reverse discrimination, and homicide, are now justified? Take a gander over to Judicial Watch to read all about it and expand your news sources.

Jorg

Thanks, David! Very well put, but almost a waste of your time trying to explain even the most obvious to the other, mal-informed side. They just don’t get it, as we have already seen by the comments you got. When someone can state “The Great President Trump”, we know that something has gone off the cliff. They don’t even grasp the severity of the Jan. 6 insurrection! I don’t know, David, if there is anything that can make Trump supporters see the light. A sorry state of affairs, indeed, and certainly no brains.

edkahl

Excellent letter - thank you. There had been no US causalities in Afghanistan for 18 months under Trump's Afghanistan withdrawal lan which was moving us to an orderly withdrawal until Biden got involved.

Rel

So, Ed, Trump agreed to a release of 5,000 Isis prisoners of which nothing was given in return a few months prior to an agreed May 1 withdrawal. How would you expect an orderly withdrawal then? Under those conditions, Biden got out of there with a nominal amount of casualties. Given how Trump handled the pandemic, it is unlikely Trump would have ever done better.

Wilfred Fernandez Jr

Rel,

In your post to William, you ask ..."what is the value of a human life"... Then you proceed to refer to losses incurred by Biden as nominal, to Ed. Care to clarify?

Rel

So William, what is the value of a human life to you? As a military vet who has lost significant loved ones in both the Viet Nam and Afghanistan wars, these lives were priceless. Ending a war in Afghanistan and preventing further lost lives, especially when they won't sacrifice their own lives for their country, makes ending the war a logical and humanitarian move. Per your subject line: Biden did both a gutsy and brainy call.

Your facts on remaining military equipment are also wrong. A cursory search online will give you many links on the remaining value of equipment left behind to be negligible. Here is one from USA Today: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2021/08/30/what-military-equipment-left-behind-afghanistan-us/5658895001/

Wilfred Fernandez Jr

Rel,

The article you cite is filled with nothing burgers and the reporter used the word "probably" plenty of times. Care to provide a more definitive defense of your biased opinion?

Terence Y

Well written, Mr. Affonso. In addition to the $80 billion worth of equipment, more millions will be sent for humanitarian aid. I guess it’s justified, since Biden is the one who caused the humanitarian disaster in Afghanistan. Another proud treasonous Biden accomplishment we can add to the list.

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