The Corner

Politics & Policy

How Could the Biden Administration Ever Get Along without Jake Sullivan?

White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan addresses the daily press briefing at the White House in Washington, D.C., October 26, 2021. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

Look at the bright side, President Biden. It might seem like bad news for White House national-security adviser Jake Sullivan to be the “foreign policy advisor” referred to in Special Counsel John Durham’s indictment of lawyer Michael Sussmann, as Fox News reports. But at least it’s not a figure in the Biden administration who’s doing such a good job that the administration can’t afford to lose him!

In fact, when you look back at headlines like, “Jake Sullivan becomes public face of Biden’s crisis on Afghanistan” or “Jake Sullivan: the Biden insider at the center of the Afghanistan crisis” or “Biden aide guarantees safe passage for Americans from Afghanistan”. . .

Or you look at the letter to Sullivan from the leaders of 103 nongovernmental organizations in the international development, humanitarian, peacebuilding, refugee, immigration and resettlement, and veterans affairs sectors, expressing “alarm at the estimated tens of thousands of at-risk Afghans who were left behind after the August 31 U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan” and warning, “if the White House does not move to evacuate them with haste, it will leave an indelible stain on this Administration’s stated commitment to a foreign policy centered on human rights and its repeated commitments to support at-risk Afghans” . . .

Or Sullivan’s reluctance to call the Taliban “an enemy,” or his repeated insistence that the U.S. has considerable leverage over the Taliban that never seems to be seen . . .

Or the argument from an Obama administration official that Biden should have fired Sullivan to demonstrate accountability and a reset from past failures . . .

Well, when you look at all that, Jake Sullivan’s departure doesn’t look like that much of a setback, now, does it?

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