Biden defends withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan

In the US, criticism of Joe Biden is growing following the events in Kabul. Republicans, as well as a number of Democrats, are accusing him of uncoordinated action. However, the withdrawal itself has hardly been called into question, which is also reflected in opinion polls among US citizens. Will the US president's reputation be permanently damaged by the images from Kabul airport?

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Ekho Moskvy (RU) /

Just a dent in Biden's image

Economist Konstantin Sonin, who works in the US and Russia, writes in Ekho Moskvy that he does not believe the Afghanistan debacle will hurt Biden's election chances:

“Foreign policy has little influence on voting behaviour in the US. The death of hundreds of US Marines in Lebanon in 1983 didn't hinder Reagan's triumphant re-election; Clinton was re-elected after the failed operation in Somalia - and Bush Jr. after the Iraq war had become unpopular. Only Biden's image as a person who is sensitive to pain and suffering has been marred.”

La Repubblica (IT) /

A lame duck in the White House

Biden's decision will cost him dearly, La Repubblica rails:

“The ultimate responsibility for this disaster lies with the commander-in-chief, President Joe Biden. ... He risks becoming a 'lame duck' for the rest of his term, based on a decision he made single-handedly and defended tenaciously, even when it turned out to be ill-considered and ill-prepared.”

El País (ES) /

Prime historic humiliation

El País also believes that Biden has lost a lot of credibility in the last few days:

“The images of hundreds of people storming the runway of Kabul airport as military planes try to take off and leave the country will haunt the US military for a long time and define much of Joe Biden's presidency. These are scenes of desperation, moments the world will not soon forget. The chaotic exit from Kabul over the last few days is now firmly planted in the history of US military humiliation.”

De Standaard (BE) /

Will Kabul be Biden's Saigon?

De Standaard is also convinced that tough times lie ahead for Joe Biden:

“The Republicans will not miss an opportunity to compare Kabul 2021 with Saigon 1975, and pointed criticism was voiced yesterday even within Biden's own party. It would be wrong to portray Biden as solely responsible. His predecessor Donald Trump was the one who decided to end the war in Afghanistan quickly. But the political responsibility for the chaos we have seen in recent days does lie with the current US administration. Successful implementation of the domestic agenda is now more critical to Biden than ever. If he can score points there, there is a chance that the electorate will quickly turn the page on Kabul.”

Jyllands-Posten (DK) /

Faith in the US destroyed

As an experienced foreign policy expert, Biden should have known what he was doing when he announced the withdrawal from Afghanistan, analyses Jyllands-Posten:

“Since the beginning of his term in January, Joe Biden has systematically reversed his predecessor's decisions decree by decree. Blaming President Trump for the chaotic retreat from Afghanistan is not only pathetic but an attempt to construct a historical lie. ... What we see now is not just reminiscent of the last days of the Vietnam War - it's the fall of Saigon on steroids. Who will dare trust an American president after this, when the images of Kabul flash before their eyes?”