Gordon (my old friend who I have not spoken to since we were classmates in college) gets it right. He’s listening to the right people about this. But there is much more, all pointing in the same direction.
The ISI always viewed the Taliban as a proxy insurgency it created to foster its own power against its enemies, with the primary one being India. The Taliban was one of many fundamentalists, radical groups it has created, groups whose creation India itself has shown a remarkable immunity to within its own boundaries notwithstanding its enormous (over 200, million) Islamic population. All of the radical Islamic attacks within India, Including in Kashmir, have been initiated and fostered by the ISI through other, various, explicitly-radical Islamic proxies for it, exactly like the Taliban. Indeed, from Pakistan/the ISI’s perspective, the Taliban have been simply one among its many such proxy groups, strategically indistinguishable from the other ones notwithstanding the fact that they have different names and different tactical objectives.
Indeed, the unique reason we never successfully exterminated the Taliban, who we invariably devastated in battle, in the first place was their alliance with Pakistan’s operational government (it answers to no one else in Pakistan and is who is in charge, not the politicians) in the ISI, who funded and protected them throughout their existence and, as I said, created them. It was the consistent, strategic refusal of all American administrations, beginning with Bush, to go after Pakistan/The ISI, who we armed with everything other than nuclear weapons which they created for themselves, to force it to discontinue its support of the Taliban, which permitted the Taliban to continue at all. The Taliban was invariably defeated on the battlefield, but it sought and received sanctuary in Pakistan throughout its existence, just as the North Vietnamese army (in the form of the Vietcong) was able to Infiltrate South Vietnam by means of the Ho Chi Minh Trail In Laos and Cambodia because JFK refused to bomb it and them out of existence before they were able to infiltrate the South in the very early 1960s, as he was advised to do correctly (even a stopped watch gets it right twice a day) by the CIA.
Biden’s catastrophic defeat and surrender in Kabul was the greatest catastrophe in US foreign policy, worse than the fall of Iran to the mullahs. It’s devastating to all our allies everywhere, but particularly to India, which is the closest to the disaster, and Taiwan which Communist China has had in its crosshairs since its founding, and has simply been waiting for the opportunity, or what it perceives as the opportunity, to strike.
Whatever China now thinks of America’s resolve to defend any of its allies anywhere (close to zero), Biden’s and the military’s Afghanistan disaster convinced China that America simply has neither the stomach nor the capacity for any successful offensive or defensive warfare anywhere whatsoever, with a completely emasculated and proven-worthless intelligence community and military brass (definitely not the boots), under a deliberately-military-emasculating and military-hating president, something Biden has been his entire career. He is sitting there now declaring victory after giving at least$85 billion worth of State of the art military equipment to our enemy the Taliban for them and our enemies throughout the world to use against us, more weaponry than all we have given the Israelis over decades, combined!
He is doing the Chinese communist’s bidding by forcing CRT down the throats of the boots. By doing so he is literally attacking our military and is using/deploying against our own forces, through forcing CRT down their throats, the same, Anti-American racist propaganda the Communist Chinese ministers threw in the face of our secretary of state in Alaska in a public display of contempt for us and our power. By deploying CRT literally as a suicidal weapon against our own troops, Biden and the brass are literally agreeing, with vastly more energy than they showed on the battlefield against the Taliban, with all of the Chinese communists’ public, contemptuous verbal attacks on us.
And Biden has consistently shown an amazing, cold-blooded contempt for all of our allies, beginning with South Vietnam with his performance in Congress, vetoing both money and air defense which Nixon had explicitly promised them would always be available against North Vietnam, both of which were essential to, and would have been successful in, keeping its independence from the Communists (and preventing our defeat there as well as their’s). Our South Vietnamese defeat followed our victory there under Nixon and was for that reason exactly like the defeat in Afghanistan: Both of those defeats were completely unnecessary and were in fact deliberately affected as a matter of policy choice by Democrats who held the strings of military power at both times, with Joe Biden our defeats’ most vocal and forceful supporter in both cases.
Nixon had guaranteed continued, adequate support of money and air support to South Vietnam as part of the Peace With honor he had indeed achieved, and Biden was eager to both repudiate Nixon’s promises, precisely because they had been made by Nixon, and to stick it in the eye of our anti-communist South Vietnamese ally, to the benefit of Communists who Biden had always perceived as his allies and who he had been opposed to fighting for that reason all along.
Why should the Chinese fear any retaliation by Biden for their conquest of Taiwan when he has Invariably shown contempt for promises of an alliance by Republican presidents and has invariably perceived Communists everywhere as his aspirational allies throughout his career? And why should India expect anything other than incompetence and contempt from America under Biden and our current General staff?