By Cameron Arcand August 17, 2021 at 4:09pm
Remember the catchphrase “we don’t negotiate with terrorists”?
If so, then you may also remember how former President Barack Obama threw conventional wisdom out the window to free five prisoners from Guantanamo Bay in exchange for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in 2014.
One of the “Gitmo Five” released by Obama reportedly led the charge in the takeover of Afghanistan this weekend.
Khairullah Khairkhwa represented the Taliban in negotiations this year to discuss the American troop withdrawal, the New York Post reported.
“I started jihad to remove foreign forces from my country and establish an Islamic government, and jihad will continue until we reach that goal through a political agreement,” Khairkhwa said at the time, according to The Post.
The outlet went so far as to call him the “mastermind” behind the Taliban’s rise to power.
Khairkhwa and the other freed terrorists got jobs at the Taliban’s office in Qatar in 2018, the Military Times reported.
Khairkhwa’s release was highly controversial; the Pentagon considered him a significant risk.
Foreign policy decisions almost always have unforeseen long-term consequences — but the dots in Afghanistan are disturbingly easy to connect.
Pentagon on Afghanistan:
•Nine C-17s arrived overnight
•Delivered equipment and ≈1000 troops. •Seven C-17s departed Kabul overnight •Evacuated ≈700-800 passengers
•≈165 of passengers were U.S citizens
— Alex Salvi (@alexsalvinews) August 17, 2021
The Obama administration was thinking short-term when it decided to exchange Khairkhwa for Bergdahl, and now Afghan civilians are going to suffer.
President Joe Biden is in bipartisan hot water for his horrendous execution of the troop withdrawal, which instantly left a power vacuum for the Taliban to fill.
The jury is still out on whether we should have left Afghanistan in the first place, but it is clear that the situation has been spiraling for years.
The U.S. now has to take a more active role in the nation than it did just a few months ago, conducting evacuations at the Kabul airport and possibly taking in thousands of refugees.
In addition, there are thousands of Americans still trying to escape the country.
Biden Administration spokesman John Kirby told CNN this morning that the Administration has no plans to help Americans hiding in Afghanistan get to the airport to be evacuated. pic.twitter.com/v652nlTljt
— House Republicans (@HouseGOP) August 17, 2021
Obama and Biden are among the many leaders who contributed to the collapse of the Afghan government. But it’s Biden’s job now to step up and take responsibility.