“America’s credibility as an ally is diminished because of the way the Afghan government was abandoned beginning with the Doha talks,” said Husain Haqqani, Pakistan’s former ambassador to the United States. These words referred to the Trump administration-negotiated deal last year with the Taliban in which the United States set a pullout timeline. These words were rich in irony, as the Haqqani family network has been a major conduit for Pakistan’s enduring clandestine support of the Taliban.
Pakistan and the Haqqani network netted many millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars in the fight against Afghan-based Islamic terror, even as Pakistan provided safe harbor to the Saudi founder of Al Queda, Osama bin Laden, from capture. It was only because of President Obama’s gutsy decision to keep Pakistan in the dark and to violate its sovereignty with a daring 2011 midnight raid in Abbottobad, Pakistan, that Osama bin Laden was brought to justice. Now, President Biden has made the politically courageous decision to call Pakistan’s bluff and simply pull out of this U.S. taxpayer-funded hemorrhage of American blood and treasure. The Afghan war has been the U.S.’s longest war, thanks in part to Pakistan’s clandestine support for the insurgents and the pusillanimous reluctance of Presidents G.W. Bush and Trump to combat the actual source of 9/11 perpetrators: Saudi Arabia. The Taliban-led Afghanistan was the easier target for U.S. anti-Islamic terrorism efforts even though the Taliban were no threat to the U.S. Now that the Taliban have re-taken the reins of government in Afghanistan, Pakistan can no longer give lip service to supporting the U.S.-backed Afghan government while secretly providing arms and other material support to the Taliban insurgents. The charade is over and Pakistan’s profitable leverage over the U.S. has now ended. President Biden is right to invest more in fighting the White Nationalist domestic terrorists actively trying to take down U.S. democracy and defending U.S. vital interests against China’s increasingly aggressive hegemonism (political takeover of Hong Kong, threats against Taiwan, etc.) As was the case twenty years ago, the current Taliban-led government of Afghanistan is no threat to U.S. vital interests.