(FreedomBeacon.com)- President Biden’s short-sighted decision to bug out of Afghanistan the way he did has left the United States virtually blind when it comes to counterterrorism capabilities in Central Asia. As the withdrawal was underway, the administration made attempts to secure bases in countries neighboring Afghanistan, but thus far those attempts have not been successful.
During his summit with Russia’s President Putin back in June, President Biden had tried to get Putin’s support for these bases, but Putin refused. Putin also told Biden that China would not permit US bases in the region.
But Biden pressed ahead with the withdrawal despite the fact that no alternate counterterrorism plan was in place.
What’s the President to do?
Well, in addition to the Pentagon acknowledging that they hope to work with the Taliban of all people to maintain a counterterrorism operation in Central Asia, the Wall Street Journal reported that the White House sent General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to meet with his Russian counterpart to see if Russia would help the US in its counterterrorism efforts in Afghanistan.
At the behest of the White House and the National Security Council, General Milley met with Russian General Chief of Staff Valery Gerasimov to discuss the Kremlin’s offer to let the US military use Russian bases in the Middle East to respond to terror threats in Afghanistan.
In other words, the White House is desperate.
With the Taliban now in control of the country, and terrorist groups like ISIS and al Qaeda resurging there, this really should’ve been made a priority before the US left. But, like pretty much everything else about the Afghanistan withdrawal, Biden screwed that up too.
So determined was Joe Biden to get his “Mission Accomplished” moment on the twentieth anniversary of 9/11, that he didn’t make sure the US had a firm plan in place to maintain counterterrorism operations in the region before the US bugged out of Afghanistan.
The Journal points out that such a potential agreement between Russia and the US creates some troubling problems. Several years ago, Congress passed legislation that precludes this kind of close cooperation between the US and Russian militaries so long as Russian troops remain in Ukraine, unless the US Defense Secretary issues a special waiver.
But even if Secretary Austin granted such a waiver, the political ramifications, especially among Democrats who spent the last five years screeching about Russian collusion, would be problematic to say the least.