It’s hard for me to put into words the unfathomable disaster unfolding in Afghanistan.
To me, this isn’t just about policy. It’s personal. I nearly lost my life in Afghanistan after my vehicle was struck by an IED, putting me on a three-year path of rehabilitation and recovery.
Though many others and I have sacrificed so much for this war, I believe ending it now is the right decision and long overdue. But President Biden’s botched withdrawal, and the resulting abandonment of Americans and our allies in Afghanistan, has already created real consequences for the United States that dishonor those sacrifices. If we had a competent President who wasn’t afraid to project American strength – like Donald Trump and his administration – these consequences would be entirely preventable.
We’ve needlessly left behind billions of dollars in advanced U.S. military equipment that is now being used by the Taliban to cement control over the Afghan people and hold Americans hostage in hideouts around the country.
We’ve recklessly abandoned thousands of Americans and tens of thousands of our Afghan civilian allies who worked with and supported our mission for years, leaving them shocked and confused and facing near-certain death on airport tarmacs.
We’ve tragically sowed doubt in the minds of millions of U.S. veterans – myself included – about our military’s ability to follow through on its commitments and endangered recruitment efforts for the future.
But perhaps most terrifyingly, we’ve ceded a power vacuum in Afghanistan that will be taken advantage of by our most serious enemy: China. You will note that the Chinese Embassy is not under siege by the Taliban.
It’s terrifying, but not surprising, that President Biden would allow this to happen. His Administration is already doing very little to confront China for its role in the coronavirus and refuses to hold the World Health Organization accountable for allowing the Chinese Communist Party to orchestrate a coverup. Earlier this year, when a Chinese diplomat denigrated the United States on camera directly to the Secretary of State’s face, our response was tepid.
The past eight months have been a jarring abandonment of President Trump’s smart, strategic, get-tough approach to China. In fact, it’s clear the Biden Administration has no coherent strategic approach to China whatsoever. If they had one, we wouldn’t be departing in disgrace while equipping China’s new partner, the Taliban, with military equipment that surpasses many regional neighbors.
This isn’t hyperbole. China is already holding high-level meetings with Taliban officials, legitimizing their power and offering them a “warm welcome.”
At a time when China is already looking to expand its political and economic “Belt and Road Initiative” across Asia and into Europe and Africa, we’re allowing China to leverage the strategic location and natural resources of Afghanistan to its own national interest and advantage.
Our abandonment of Americans and our allies in Afghanistan has already created propaganda for the Chinese to sow doubt into the Taiwanese about the legitimacy of our alliance and the strength of our support for their independence.
And I can’t even begin to fathom what would happen if the Taliban government yet again begins fostering support for Islamic terrorism against the United States with the backing of the Chinese Communist Party.
President Trump was exactly right when he said China is a serious threat to the world. The White House should be taking direct action to counter China’s build out of its military and geopolitical influence — or we will face unprecedented challenges in the years ahead.
It’s important for our leaders to remember that what is happening in Afghanistan has implications beyond the country’s borders. China is a clear, strategic threat to our country, our freedoms, and everything I and others have sacrificed so much to defend. That’s one of the reasons I am running for Senate: we need leaders outside of the failed political class with a sense of duty and service who understand the unique threats facing our country’s future.
Instead of running away from President Trump’s approach to China, President Biden should take a page from his playbook. He has already projected weakness in his approach to the Chinese Communist Party. I fear his failures in Afghanistan will embolden China and, while ending one conflict, create another.
Captain Sam Brown is an Afghanistan War Veteran, Purple Heart recipient, and a Republican candidate for Senate in Nevada.
The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
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