September 23, 2021

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Biden advances on infrastructure and defeats Trump and Obama in Afghanistan (analysis)

(CNN) – George W. Bush has said that now is the time for every president to leave Afghanistan and dedicate himself to the task of rebuilding the country.

But only Joe Biden pulls it off.

His biggest gamble of more than $ 4.5 trillion in infrastructure spending and a way out of America’s longest war threatening to unleash a catastrophic US foreign policy could define his presidency in August. Along with these dual historical impulses, the history of the Biden administration is also shaped by the resurgence of the epidemic, and deepened the national political divide he promised to heal.

These simultaneously tense moments reflect extreme times, but they also show the 78-year-old commander burning a bold path and implementing the personal goals he has had for decades in Washington.

Senate approval of the $ 1.2 trillion bilateral infrastructure package was a major victory for Biden on Tuesday, and he confirmed his promise to try to heal bitter divisions and mistrust in a country in a political war.

The $ 3.5 trillion supplementary budget resolution was only passed by a democratic vote in the Senate early Wednesday on “human” infrastructure and could transform the U.S. economy and society by financing housing, community colleges and climate initiatives.

Bills face an even more complicated future in Congress before they become law. But they represent the most important statement of Biden’s hope that the government can use its power to help American workers. Spending, one of the most important government efforts to alleviate poverty and economic suffering for decades, is an attempt to filter out the perception that the country has failed millions of Central Americans – it is a feeling. Donald Trump’s election in 2016.

“I am committed to ensuring our historic economic recovery … this system reaches out to all and reduces the burden on working families, not just this year, but in the years to come,” Biden said Wednesday.

But like his policy in Afghanistan, Fiden faces significant risks. Republicans are already using the cost explosion to portray Democrats as libertarians and are committed to breaking the “socialist-style” deficit in an attempt to weaken their opponents in next year’s congressional election.

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Terrible news in Afghanistan

Is the Taliban’s progress in Afghanistan dangerous to the world? 1:02

At a time when news from Afghanistan is increasingly alarming, Biden’s victory has increased the likelihood of the Taliban taking over, which is seen as a direct result of Biden ‘s decision for all U.S. troops to make their own decision. It can also be seen as a disgrace by foreign powers and a sign of the weakening of American power.

The lightning advance of the Taliban, which was defeated by US forces 20 years ago for harboring Osama bin Laden, has shocked everyone in Washington. It has now captured nine provincial capitals, including Kandahar, the country’s second-largest city. Foreign embassies are discussing improvements and there are signs that the capital, Kabul, may fall, ending a democratic dream bought with the blood of thousands of Americans.

The equivalent image of American helicopters coming out of the roof of the US embassy in Saigon as Vietnam retreats from the war could be a sign of President Biden and a future bilateral signing ceremony with Republicans at the White House. Infrastructure Bill.

The potential shortcomings of the withdrawal from Afghanistan help explain why former President Barack Obama and Trump eventually decided that their ambitions to end that war could not be fulfilled.

In a June 2011 White House speech, Obama announced the withdrawal of 10,000 troops from Afghanistan, saying “the time has come for the United States to focus on building a home here.”

But at the end of his second term, he reduced his last attempt to end the war when he decided he could keep 8,400 soldiers there until the former president left office. He justified his decision by saying that the security situation in the midst of the Taliban’s advance was worrisome and that the Afghan government needed more time to build its forces.

Trump has been less eager to withdraw US troops, using US fatigue from a decade and a half of foreign wars to fuel his 2016 election campaign.

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For many years, he was critical of its use in Afghanistan.

“I agree with President Obama on Afghanistan. We must leave quickly. Why should we waste our money? Rebuild the United States,” Trump tweeted in 2013.

But like Obama, Trump found that voting to end wars created difficult expectations for his presidency. In 2017, the United States counter-terrorism force increased. By the time he left office, he had turned the war sour again and reached an agreement with the Taliban that we would see all U.S. troops withdraw by May 1, which shortened the deadline slightly.

The current president plans to mark the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, ending US involvement in the “Eternal War”. But it looks like he will be welcomed with a split screen of Taliban victories in Afghanistan.

Where Trump and Obama failed in infrastructure

Both Obama and Trump wrestled with the other half of Biden’s double game this week: infrastructure reform.

“We need to rebuild our infrastructure and find new, cleaner energy sources,” Obama said in the same 2011 White House speech, but could not put serious pressure on a bill because Republicans used the power of Congress to suppress your agenda.

After making a fortune as a builder, Trump was seen as the best place to pass his own infrastructure bill, especially as Democrats were eager to find something they could agree on.

But his failed attempts were subject to self-parody, and the successive themed “Infrastructure Weeks” collapsed into his own bad morals and the wild chaos and uprisings of his western part.

Biden was not responsible for the disaster in Afghanistan.

The failure of nation-building and potential armed forces is rooted in four administrations. After all, US forces have won the war against the Taliban and defeated Al Qaeda within months of the 9/11 attacks. Then the United States and its allies lost peace for the next 19 years, including the diversion to Iraq.

CNN reported on Wednesday that the Taliban could isolate Kabul in the next 30 to 60 days. His return will raise the question of whether Afghanistan can be a haven for terrorist groups planning attacks against the United States.

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If the turmoil in Afghanistan escalates, Fiden must respond to the Taliban’s brutal takeover of the fundamentalist group that oppresses the rights of women and girls and enforces a strict form of Sharia.

Biden, who has long doubted the presence of US troops in Afghanistan, is confident that the growing gloom over Central Asia will not change his mind.

“No,” he replied when asked by a reporter on Tuesday, “Will current events change his exit plan?” Instead, the president insisted that the Afghans provide their own security, with air strikes and US funding.

“They have to fight for themselves, they have to fight for their nation … they have to fight,” Biden said.

His response may seem blunt as millions of Afghans face a return to the dark days of Taliban feudal rule. But it also reflects the cold judgment of America’s national security interests, a renewed “America first” for the Biden era.

Biden rejects the idea that the United States should always rely on Afghanistan for the same reason it has always done: to prevent the illegal and war-torn country from once again becoming a terrorist haven.

It is true that an extremist group can choose any number of failed states to build a base. Although the fight against Islamic extremism was the signature of international relations two decades ago, it was replaced by a new era of major power struggles and cyber conflict with national states such as China and Russia.

In the end, Biden came to the conclusion that if the United States did not leave now, it would never leave.

“When is the right time to go?” Biden asked in April.

His “now if not now” approach also seems to prompt him to use the narrow window of the president’s political power, as next year’s midterm elections will fulfill his infrastructure ambitions.

CNN’s Barbara Starr, Kylie Atwood and Jennifer Honsler contributed to the report.