Biden fought for the end of American involvement in Afghanistan for more than a decade. Biden was an outsider who advocated for ending American involvement in Afghanistan. His ultimate power was a single vote on Capitol Hill, or the advice of a vice-president.
Biden was finally given the authority to end America's longest conflict. He insisted that the U.S. pull out from Afghanistan and settled on an August 31 deadline. He was determined, sometimes defiant, even though the Afghan government collapsed quickly, creating a humanitarian crisis that drew harsh criticism from home and from allies. He accepted responsibility and slammed his predecessor.
After months of concentrating on the pandemic and boosting the economy, the chaos of Afghanistan caused the first foreign-policy crisis of Biden's presidency. This temporarily overtook his other priorities. Biden's response gives a better picture of his approach to his job. He relies on the political sensibility that he has developed as a senator veteran who has seen decades of Washington scandal and turmoil.
His nearly 50 years of public service, many of which were spent studying the world, have shaped the way Biden handles the decision to end the war. Biden sold voters on his experiences and this is the first occasion he is giving decisions in a Senate hearing. He will be judged on the outcome -- which is not clear at this stage. Americans see Biden as a more stern, testy man, but he is also known for his compassion.
Biden's position has remained firmer this week in the face of setbacks which would have caused most politicians to retreat and offer some degree of contrition. Although he acknowledged that the Taliban had advanced faster than expected, he also stated, privately to his aides, and in two public addresses to Americans, that the rapid collapse of Afghanistan's government was a corrective to his long-standing doubts about the war effort.
He said Monday that "If anything, these developments have reinforced that ending U.S. Military involvement in Afghanistan now is the right decision", as he tried to shift blame for the disorderly withdrawal.
Biden's decision exposed a cold reality in his understanding of American military power. He believes that American forces should not be used to promote America's ideals overseas.
Biden believes that troops should be more focused on homeland threats. The nation's diplomatic, economic, and military might are the best tools to protect its values abroad. This sentiment is one the White House believes Americans share after almost two decades of endless wars. However, it comes at a painful price for the tens of thousand Afghans who supported the U.S. occupation and thrived under its rule.
Advisors have heard him reiterate that his opposition to President Barack Obama's 2009 invasion of Afghanistan was one his proudest moments as a government official.
Biden's politics and presidency have been defined by this confidence. Some of his allies claim it borders on stubbornness. He believes he is right, according to former aides. There is no way for him to doubt that belief.
Trent Lott, his former Senate colleague, said that his commitment to causes was evident throughout his career. This is evident even in the length of his speeches.
Lott, a Mississippi Republican, stated that Lott was known for making lengthy speeches in the Senate.
Biden's clarity and rigidity helped him overcome his childhood speech impediments. It also sustained his third unsuccessful presidential campaign from the dreary 2019 to an unexpected nomination. The White House's enthusiasm to achieve a bipartisan infrastructure agreement was what drove the legislation through the divided Senate earlier in the month.
It was again displayed Friday when Biden maintained, despite mounting condemnation from international allies, that the American haphazard withdrawal from Afghanistan was improving America's standing overseas.
Biden stated, "The truth of the matter is that I haven't seen that," when Biden was asked about allies from Germany to the United Kingdom that had publicly doubted America's credibility. "Matter-of-fact, the exact opposite. "Matter of fact, I have the exact opposite. We're acting with dispatch. We're acting, committing ourselves to doing what we promised."
Biden spoke out for the first times about the heartbreaking scenes of chaos as Americans, allies, and Afghans tried to flee Taliban. He was insistent that his decision was correct, stating that he had always imagined chaos during the pullout.
Biden stated that there was no way you could leave Afghanistan without seeing some of the things you see now.
Despite Biden's confidence in the administration, the initial public response from them was shaky.
While he was on summer vacation, the president visited Camp David but returned to the White House the next day. Monday was the day that Kabul fell. He made his first public comments about the situation and admitted that he was not responsible for the chaos.
Following briefings at Pentagon, White House and State Department, officials were unable to answer questions about how Americans and their Afghan allies would be evacuated to safety. Officials said that a photo of Biden alone in a Camp David situation room was widely discredited and later regretted by the White House.
Biden flatly said "no" to a Wednesday televised interview when asked if he thought it could have been better handled or if there were any mistakes made by the administration.
He said that he believed there was a way out of chaos without causing it.
This moment has provided Biden's opponents with a political opportunity. They have not been able to strike Biden since his election.
Republicans wanted to use the blundered withdraw to declare Biden ineffective and weak. Some Democrats were skeptical of the evacuation and worried about the party's ability to retain its congressional majorities next election. Both parties' lawmakers promised to investigate the causes of the chaotic exit.
The White House cited public polling which consistently showed that most Americans support ending America's involvement in Afghanistan. According to a poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, roughly two-thirds (or about 2.3%) of Americans stated that they don't believe the war in Afghanistan is worth fighting.
According to aides, even if the evacuation process at an airport improves, this story will disappear from the news and Biden will get credit for ending war, something that his predecessors couldn't do.