To the Editor,

The reality…Biden is president, Trump isn’t.  That’s good for America. Here’s one reason why: Biden took over a mess created by years of conservative resistance to anything remotely aimed at the “common good,” as well as a weakened posture with our allied friends in favor of leaning toward the authoritarian states like Putin’s Russia in particular. Seems the biggest complaint about Biden is his handling of the Afghanistan withdrawal. Let’s review that action.

During the late Trump era, Taliban troops were targeting allied soldiers to collect bounties supplied by Russia. Trump contacted the Taliban effectively bypassing the official government of Afghanistan and arranged a deal that would ensure U.S. troop withdrawal by May 2021. Biden inherited that deal, which severely weakened the Afghan government and military will. Biden extended the date to August 2021 to provide time to evacuate in an orderly manner. Orderly evacuation depended on the Afghan military and government to remain in place. That didn’t happen. Once the U.S. pulled its troops, the Afghan government and military folded, and then simply ran off like scared rabbits. 

Biden and military advisors had to rush in and conduct the evacuation as swiftly and safely as possible with no cover from the Afghan forces. These were forces the U.S. spent 20 years training and supplying armaments (estimated to cost $2 trillion) following the war started under President Bush. Two trillion and all we received was thousands of military and civilians making a good living off American good will and a windfall for our defense systems manufacturers.

Despite criticisms, the evacuation was performed brilliantly by our military, commercial airlines from several countries and a few Afghan patriots. Yet, members of both parties seem to blame it all on Biden, whose mistake was trusting the Afghans to do their part. Yes, he could have let troops remain forever but someone had to let the bleeding stop or have the political courage to tell the American people this war will never end.

The strength of Biden’s presidency is appointing experienced talented people to the cabinet, the courts and advisors, listening to them and including all foreign nations in consultations before taking action. That’s where experience and patience pay off. 

Lee Purrier,

Park Rapids, Minn.