Magazine September 13, 2021, Issue

Who Will Trust Us after Afghanistan?

(Omar Haidiri/AFP via Getty Images)
Our disaster in brief

Following 9/11, a bit of wreckage from the Twin Towers was buried at the American embassy in Kabul, with the inscription: “Never Again.” Now Again has come. On the 20th anniversary of 9/11, the Taliban flag will fly over the abandoned American embassy and al-Qaeda will be operating inside Afghanistan. Fifty years from now, Americans will stare in sad disbelief at the photo of an American Marine plucking a baby to safety over barbed wire at Kabul airport. What a shameful, wretched way to quit a war.

The root cause was extreme partisanship in Congress. By default, this bequeathed to the

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This article appears as “Who Will Trust Us the Next Time?” in the September 13, 2021, print edition of National Review.

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A former assistant secretary of defense and combat Marine, Bing West embedded with dozens of platoons in Afghanistan and wrote three books about the course of that mismanaged war.

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Afghanistan is a debacle and, more than most acts of the U.S. government, it is the responsibility of one man — Joseph Robinette Biden.

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