Joe Biden has provided international Islamic terrorist organizations everything they need to perpetrate the next 9/11 billions of dollars in cash, trillions in advanced military equipment, and now an entire nation as a launching pad. Think of an aircraft carrier.
An aircraft carrier is the ultimate tool of warfare. It is basically a mid-sized city. It has everything: Aircraft, munitions, anti-aircraft guns, living quarters, entertainment, kitchens and dining areas, fuel, water, and supplies sufficient for months. And it has troops of all kinds, including the fiercest warriors the world has ever seen, U.S. Marines.
Afghanistan now has billions of dollars worth of equipment abandoned by the U.S. (including multi-million-dollar state-of-the-art military bases and fortified airfields), trillions in the latest combat aircraft and Blackhawk helicopters, ground-based, artillery, troop carriers and Humvees, as well as other secret military equipment that will be used against us. The only thing their aircraft carrier platform lacks is mobility, but that becomes less of a problem now that they have been handed an entire nation that can be used as a terrorist training and platform from which to launch the next 9/11-style attack on the United States and our allies.
Since the shocking takeover of an entire nation by Islamic terrorists, there are serious questions about whether the economy of Afghanistan can survive. Many things have brought us to this place including long-term corruption, constant wars, and the fact that this nation has been more hostile to the Gospel than practically any other for centuries. Afghanistan has been a cancer among the community of nations, for most of its history. But at this point, it is critical to examine what brought it to a tipping point from which it cannot return.
Almost everyone (I am not among them) believed it was time for America's longest war to end. Twenty years was long enough. Unfortunately, this view has three fatal flaws.
First, one party to a war cannot unilaterally decide that a war is over. In the case of Afghanistan, the Taliban and the other hateful Islamic terrorist groups they host are still at war with the U.S. We didn't end a war. We allowed a bunch of filthy illiterate goatherders to defeat us. But the war will go on, whether we like it or not. Just check with the victims of their next attack on America.
Second, Biden lied when he said All my generals told me it was time to get out. In fact, most of them have admitted privately that they strongly advised Bid to leave a small force of 2,500 U.S. Troops in the country. This is certainly not without precedent. We have U.S. Military bases that serve our strategic interests all over the world, including Germany, Japan, and Canada. Why not leave a few troops in Afghanistan to keep an eye on the most serious terrorist threat to our nation?
Third, as much as the war in Afghanistan cost us over the last 20 years, we got good value for the money spent. It has kept us safe from another 9/11. In fact, during the last 18 months, since Trump made the conditional deal for withdrawal with the Taliban, not one U.S. service member has been killed or wounded That's because terrorists respect strength. Since Biden started fumbling everything in Afghanistan, hundreds of people, including 13 U.S. troops, have been murdered by the Taliban or their allies.
To see how this debacle will impact the U.S. economy in the near term and the coming years, we need to ask whether Afghanistan's economy can even survive after our disastrous retreat. When we left so abruptly, we created a power vacuum. And we all know that nature abhors a vacuum. That vacuum is being filed as we speak.
Tens of thousands of terrorists from all over the world are openly pouring into Afghanistan. More covertly, China, Iran, and Russia are moving in to claim their piece of the pie. The terrorists, like in the Mafia, will provide the muscle. China, Iran, and Russia will act as the dons, providing money, technical expertise, and most importantly they will run things behind the scenes. Think Russia and Cuba during the Cold War.
The Big Question: Can Afghanistan's Economy Survive?
If it cannot, what are the implications for the world economy, and more importantly the U.S. economy?
Foreign aid is being replaced with international sanctions.
The previous Afghan government and its core institutions are in disarray, and suffering from a severe brain drain of experienced top managers as well as qualified technical and professional staff, many of whom have fled the country or are trying to do so;
Already dealing with a large displacement crisis, there is risk of widespread dislocation and refugee flight; The disruption to Afghan government revenue and aid means that the coffers are empty, and the Finance Ministry will be facing problems in meeting basic expenses such as salaries of government employees (including teachers who are civil servants);Basic social services a success story over the past two decades are consequently in danger, even before potential Taliban restrictions;
Though the Taliban's rhetoric generally has been pro-private sector, the uncertainty associated with their takeover will further depress already extremely low private investment, and will stall major projects at least for a time;
Such uncertainty extends to the financial sector, including not least what kind of Islamic banking approach the Taliban regime may.
The dissolution of the Afghan national security forces will impose a significant economic shock since hundreds of thousands of army and police personnel are losing their incomes, affecting many more people in their households.
The U.S. Federal Reserve has frozen all of Afghanistan's foreign exchange reserves in its hands, amounting to some $7 billion. While intended to block misuse of these funds by the Taliban, this action also means that Afghanistan's central bank has no ability to manage the exchange rate by trading its dollar and other reserves for the local currency, potentially leading to a collapse of the Afghani, a plunging exchange rate and hyperinflation.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has similarly frozen the Afghan governments access to IMF resources (its so-called Special Drawing Rights, or SDR), which otherwise could have been deployed to help manage both the balance of payments and the government finances. The SDRs include Afghanistan's $450 million share from the global IMF quota increase in response to COVID, which countries are supposed to have access to automatically.
Along with other donors such as Germany, the World Bank has stopped all disbursements of its own resources and donor-contributed Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund money to Afghanistan including both direct support to the Afghan budget and high-priority development projects such as basic public health and rural development. The Asian Development Bank also has suspended disbursements.
Heritage Foundation Economic Freedom Index
As we look at the economic state of Afghanistan, remember that these figures are the latest available, mostly at least a year old, when the nation was akin to a protectorate of the United States.
There are no reliable figures to demonstrate the devastation wrought in the last few weeks since the United States retreat. But data from the U.N., aid organizations and other N.G.O.s, and Christian and veterans organizations on the ground indicate the following
Over half the food and medical supplies that are keeping the nation from complete economic collapse are being sent by other nations, with most currently coming from Pakistan.
Hundreds of thousands of Afghan citizens have fled the nation, and 30,000 more escape each week.
In 2019, when the Taliban controlled large parts of the country, 41% of all Afghan citizens and over 50% of women surveyed said they would leave the nation if they could. That number has quadrupled since the Taliban took complete control of the nation and renamed it the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan on August 19, 2021. (This is the same name the Taliban used during their reign of terror from 1996-2001.)
Afghanistan ranks 146th in the world, making it one of the most economically repressed countries in the world.
Other nations on this infamous list include Cuba, Iran, Congo, North Korea, and a dozen other totalitarian dictatorships most have never heard of.
Now Afghanistan, already one of the poorest countries in the world, faces a double threat. Much of the income that it received came from the U.S. and other NATO countries with troops stationed there .
Biden claims that his insane retreat was negotiated by President Trump, and he had to honor it. Since he has torn up every other treaty and agreement negotiated by the Trump Administration, it is hardly credible that he would feel bound by this one.
But the chaos we have seen in Afghanistan is not based on the withdrawal agreement planned and negotiated by President Trump. Under his plan, agreed to by the Taliban and the Afghani government, power would be shared in a coalition government. Biden allowed the Taliban to completely depose the elected government in a matter of days. We will start to see the public beheadings of those who were unable to flee soon.
President Trump would have followed the tried-and-true method of withdrawing civilians and troops safely that every competent leader relies on.
Let the enemy know up front who the boss is. Inform them that any attempt to interfere with your plans will be met with instantaneous deadly force so devastating that no one who opposes us will live.
Get your military equipment out so that the enemy cannot use it to murder your own people.
Get American citizens out first. The primary job of any nation is to protect its own citizens. The great majority of people evacuated by Biden have been foreigners, leaving hundreds (according to the White House), and much more likely - thousands of Americans trapped behind enemy lines. This is according to veterans organizations in the country trying to rescue them). Evacuate allies and foreign nationals of nations friendly to our country.
Last, pull out the guys with the guns, who signed on to be the ones to protect those unable to defend themselves.
Biden did exactly the opposite. For his cowardice he should be impeached and hopefully tried for treason. He did what no competent leader with all his mental faculties intact would have done:
He pulled out the troops first, leaving no one to cover the rear. By doing this he removed all intelligence and air cover, leaving us zero assets to protect those who he had pledged to protect. So, in his own words, he put the enemy in charge of guarding Americans during the evacuation. Insanity.
During the evacuation of well over 80,000 people in the last two weeks of August, less than 5% were Americans.
At first, Biden pledged that No American would be left behind. Then he promised to Get as many as possible out. Finally, he promised to try to Get 90% of our citizens out. Can you imagine Eisenhower or Regan promising to only leave 10% of our citizens to be tortured, raped, beheaded, or held for ransom? They would have been forced from office had they suggested leaving even 1% behind. What if you were one of those 10%? This country has made a sacred vow to its citizens, no matter where they might be, to never abandon them. Biden, to his everlasting shame, has broken that vow. American citizens and our allies will never again have the trust in our government that they deserve to have.
He left the Taliban everything they need to launch the next 9/11 against the United States and our allies. He gave them billions in cash.
(Note that this was not a withdrawal. It may have started that way, but it became a full-on cowardly retreat by Biden the first time the U.S. has been defeated in a war since Viet Nam, and the only time we have been defeated by a vastly inferior enemy without a shot being fired. Our troops served bravely and honorably. The cowardice was on the part of Biden, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Secretary of Defense, and the top military brass left by Obama after her purged the generals and admirals who were not personally loyal to him.
Dr. Tom Barrett is a pastor, teacher, author, conference keynote speaker, professor, certified executive coach, and marketplace minister. His teaching and coaching have blessed both church and business leaders. He has been ordained for over 40 years, and has pastored in seven churches over that time. Today he “pastors pastors” as he oversees ordained and licensed ministers in Florida for his ministerial fellowship.
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