Foreign policy experts with one of the top independent analysis firms in the country slammed Democrat President Joe Biden in a recent report over the rapidly deteriorating situation in the Middle East.
David Adesnik, Senior Fellow and Director of Research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), noted in FDD’s bimonthly Biden administration foreign policy tracker that “even though, as vice president, Joe Biden saw how the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq led to the rise of the Islamic State as well as tremendous suffering for the Iraqi people, he appears not to have prepared for similar risks in Afghanistan.”
The latest analysis from the firm comes as the Taliban has rapidly seized the majority of Afghanistan in a matter of days amid the Biden administration’s disastrous pullout from the country.
Bill Roggio, Senior Fellow and Editor of FDD’s Long War Journal, noted the stunning collapse of the country under the Biden administration:
The Taliban seized control of six provincial capitals in just four days: Aybak, Taloqan, Kunduz City, Sar-i-Pul City, Shibirghan, and Zaranj. Zaranj, the capital of Nimruz province, was the first provincial capital taken by the Taliban since they began their offensive on May 1. The Taliban have launched a string of attacks on other major cities, including Lashkar Gah, which is in danger of falling, as well as Herat City and Kandahar City. In Kabul, the Taliban launched a suicide assault against the acting defense minister’s home and assassinated the director of the Afghan government’s information and media center. Despite the Taliban’s clear implementation of a military strategy to re-establish their Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, the U.S. State Department still clings to the notion that there can be a negotiated settlement.
Another area of significant concern for the administration is Iran, which has repeatedly tested the Biden administration and not faced any kind of significant pushback over its provocations in the region.
Richard Goldberg, Senior Adviser at FDD and former Director for Countering Iranian Weapons of Mass Destruction for the White House National Security Council, highlighted the situation with Iran, which, like with Afghanistan, is listed as trending “very negative.”
Following an Iranian drone strike on an Israeli-operated oil tanker sailing near Oman, which resulted in the deaths of one British and one Romanian citizen, the White House reaffirmed President Biden’s commitment to rejoining the Iran nuclear deal. Once again, the administration responded to hostility and provocation (in this case, the killing of a citizen of America’s closest ally) by offering to lift U.S. sanctions and flood Iran’s economy with more than $100 billion. After Secretary Blinken told reporters he expected a “collective response” to the attack, Iranian forces attempted to hijack another tanker — but were reportedly thwarted by a fast-thinking crew that halted the ship until Western naval patrols could respond. While paying lip service to the aspirations of Iranian demonstrators facing an ongoing crackdown by the regime, the Biden administration has done little else to demonstrate its commitment to the Iranian people over the last two weeks. The administration, meanwhile, has not indicated whether it will pursue a resolution at the September International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors meeting condemning Tehran’s refusal to cooperate with an IAEA investigation into Iran’s undeclared nuclear activities and similar refusal to turn over nuclear surveillance tapes to inspectors.
Another area that is also trending “very negative” for the administration, and which has not received as much publicity in recent weeks, is Lebanon.
Tony Badran, Research Fellow at FDD, writes:
After Hezbollah fired rockets into Israel on August 6, State Department spokesman Ned Price condemned the attack and called on the Lebanese authorities to prevent future ones. However, the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), for which the Biden administration has increased funding, assisted Hezbollah’s operation by returning the rocket launcher and four operatives to the group after they were stopped by Druze villagers while returning from the attack. A few days before the attack, the U.S. military attaché in Beirut lauded the LAF and announced “creative” new ways to support it. According to the attaché, the administration is looking into using presidential drawdown authority to send more aid not just for the LAF “but also their families.” Two days before Hezbollah’s rocket attack, President Biden had committed the United States to supporting any Lebanese government dedicated to economic reform and fighting corruption, even as the administration knows that Hezbollah will participate in a future government and maintain predominant influence over it. As a result of its growing investment in Hezbollah-controlled Lebanon, the Biden administration, a Western diplomat told Asharq al-Awsat, pressured Israel not to disrupt the status quo following Hezbollah’s rocket attack.
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