President Biden’s Time
Historians will not judge Biden kindly. For the decision to exit Afghanistan and ensuing debacle he will rue the day.
But the decision to run for office for a second term has been encouraged by his visit to Ireland, and judged as a success. According to data from the US Census Bureau some 31.5 million Americans claimed Irish ancestry in 2021 – accounting for 9.5 percent of the population.
Biden steered the Northern Ireland leg – an audience with Rishi Sunak, a speech at the University of Ulster in Belfast, one with an international reputation for innovation and regional engagement of Northern Ireland; and marked the Good Friday agreement’s 25th anniversary – aptly. Instead of browbeating the Democratic Unionist party over the demise of power sharing, he said he was there to “listen” and proffered a $6bn (£5bn) stimulus package of US investment if Stormont was restored.
Someday, President Biden will be scored on the key decisions of his first eight months as a world leader, explicitly those involving a continual retreat from the primary rôle of government to protect US citizens.
Long after he has left office will his decision to exit Afghanistan be reassessed. That judgment may come when the Taliban, or their allies (al-Qaida, and Iran, not least) repeat the disastrous, costly beyond imagination, 9/11 attack on the US.
At some point in the future it could be much worse.
Be certain, the Taliban is beyond recall, rather it is galvanised and underpinned by having a country undivided from which to plan and launch the next attack. In the coming months, we may see a terrifying, Biden-caused humanitarian disaster. It could substantiate in time to have been so much better if he had somehow maintained US support for a nexus of inept and unprincipled regime of people who would normally not seek to add another incursion on America soil.
Tellingly, no member of the Biden administration has attempted to assure US citizens otherwise, nor has any credible US leader stood down in protest.