Joe Biden as US President is proving to be far more decisive in understanding American interests, capabilities and the limits of power than most of his predecessors. early in his tenure, the decision to ‘get the hell out’ of an unwinnable war in Afghanistan has taken many by surprise. the compulsion to launch the war after the tumultuous events of 9/11 cannot be discounted but to recognise the expediency or lack of it to achieve decisive victory seemed to have eluded US strategic leadership for almost two decades. For all their intellectual insights into US interests, the American strategic community and the military failed to converge their thinking. George Bush left behind two raging overseas wars and an economic situation like none before. Barack Obama failed to be convinced by the military leadership that a surge with a pre-announced date of pullback only meant steeling the adversary’s resolve, that too in a region that has seen only a history of defeat for the invader. After achieving the high mark of the elimination of Osama bin Laden in 2011, Obama’s policy went haywire, unclear on what the aim of military presence in Afghanistan was all about. the larger threat to US interests then was the spiralling pan-Islamic extremism. the rise of the iSiS in the Middle East and its efforts to expand into Central Asia kept the Donald Trump administration on the blink; although a full withdrawal was perhaps outlined most clearly by trump before Biden’s current decision.
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