Anti-Imperialism/Foreign Policy

Joe Biden Isn’t Ending the War in Afghanistan

Is a direct occupation merely being replaced with a counterterrorism operation?

By Branco Marcetic, The Jacobin

Read past the headlines, and it turns out Joe Biden’s supposed withdrawal from Afghanistan is nothing of the kind — it delays ending the war while envisioning continued “anti-terrorism” action in the future with no end in sight.

In the earliest days of Joe Biden’s brief time in the White House, the new president signed a flurry of high-profile executive orders rolling back some of Trump’s most outrageous actions, and seeming to take the country in a radical new direction. Staggering the orders over days and weeks for maximum public impact, each new round of measures was greeted with wall-to-wall press coverage, usually recycling the administration’s own talking points about their boldness and transformational nature, neatly slotting into a pre-set media narrative about the country returning to “normal” under a historically, impossibly progressive new leader.

It was only well after this first tidal wave of positive press, when journalists had time to really consider their fine print, talk to experts and industry representatives, or simply observe the real-world impacts that followed, that media outlets would point out the underwhelming reality of many of the praise-chasing orders — and usually in column spaces far less-read than the initial, blaring headlines that broadcast the White House’s preferred message.


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