Joe Biden's Worst Mistake May Be Unfolding Right Now

Ezra Klein is referring to starving Afghans
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 22, 2022 11:28 AM CST
This Might End Up Being Biden's Worst Mistake
Afghan boys look over a metal barrier at people receiving food supplies during the distribution of humanitarian aid for families in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

(Newser) – The worst mistake of the Biden administration might end up being Afghanistan, writes Ezra Klein in the New York Times. And no, he's not referring to the chaotic withdrawal of US troops. He's talking about what has unfolded since, what's unfolding now, and what will continue to unfold unless the White House changes course. Klein ticks off some jarring stats at the start of his analysis: "Ninety-five percent of Afghans don't have enough to eat. Nearly nine million are at risk of starvation." And he quotes David Miliband of the International Rescue Committee as asserting the "current humanitarian crisis could kill far more Afghans than the past 20 years of war."

Yes, the country is enduring a terrible drought. And yes, to say the ruling Taliban is inept at running a government is an understatement of huge proportions. But "we bear much of the blame," writes Klein. "We have turned a crisis into a catastrophe." The US has imposed crippling sanctions and frozen billions in Afghan assets to punish the Taliban, but it's the general populace suffering. Klein details the complexities of this "Kafka-esque madness" and acknowledges that remedies are not simple. "I make no pretense of knowing how to solve a problem as wicked as Afghanistan," he concludes. "But Joe Biden chose this policy. For his own legacy, and more important, for the tens of millions of human beings suffering in Afghanistan, he needs to figure out how to fix it." Read the full analysis. (Read more Afghanistan stories.)

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