From the Wall Street Journal edition of August 19, issued by the editorial board. It’s evident both by the source and the harsh tone of the unsigned opinion piece – really, passionate denunciation – that something of major significance is occurring in the so-called Euro-Atlantic community; something that the West’s ongoing debacle in Afghanistan alone doesn’t account for. Since entering the Senate in 1973 Biden has been as aggressive a proponent of NATO, its global expansion and its wars in Europe, Asia and Africa as anyone has ever been.
The accusation leveled by America’s main financial newspaper is echoed by one in Britain’s, The Financial Times, in excerpts following those from the Wall Street Journal.
Insights and speculations are welcome.
How Biden Broke NATO
The chaotic Afghan withdrawal has shocked and angered U.S. allies
Remember when candidate Joe Biden said America “needs a leader the world respects”? Apparently President Biden forgot. Of the many consequences of his misbegotten Afghanistan withdrawal, one of the more serious is the way it has damaged America’s relationships with its allies, especially in Europe.
Afghanistan was an operation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and America’s NATO allies have invested significant blood and treasure in the conflict. That includes tens of thousands of troops over 20 years, more than 1,100 of whom were killed, and billions of dollars spent on the military operation and reconstruction effort.
After the 9/11 attacks on America, Nato’s article 5 – which says an attack on one member is considered an attack on all – was invoked for the only time in its seven-decade history. When US forces began military action against Afghanistan, British and other Nato troops joined them. America’s withdrawal 20 years later, giving Nato allies little option but to pull out, delivers a double blow to the alliance. It has simultaneously laid bare the extent of Nato reliance on the US – and raised doubts about future American willingness to provide support to its allies.
President Joe Biden’s withdrawal announcement presented an uncomfortable fait accompli to other members of the international coalition — many of which saw their presence as a sustainable bulwark against the risks of terrorism and migration from Afghanistan. It also delivered worrying lessons about the new US leader….
European Nato members had hoped Biden would repair the damage inflicted by Donald Trump, who had questioned the alliance’s usefulness and threatened to pull the US out….