When the Taliban assumed control of Afghanistan last month, the group took possession of a U.S.-funded weapons stockpile worth tens of billions of dollars.
The U.S. invested nearly $83 billion in bolstering the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF), more than $24 billion of which went to funding weapons, vehicles and other equipment, according to a Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) report published in July. The amount of funding for weapons, vehicles and equipment is based on a 2017 Government Accountability Office (GAO) estimate that roughly 70% of the investment went towards other budget items like training.
In the aftermath of the shocking collapse of the Western-backed Afghan government last month, U.S. defense officials estimated that Taliban militants took dozens of aircraft including Blackhawk helicopters and thousands of vehicles, communications equipment and weapons. Republican lawmakers demanded the Biden administration provide them with a full accounting of the equipment that was in the Taliban’s possession while GOP members of the House Armed Services Committee introduced a bill requiring the White House to share the information with Congress.
As I’ve watched the events of the past few weeks – and thought about the nature of Joe Biden’s young presidency – I began to ask myself: How much more of this can we take?
In just seven months, President Biden has overseen a remarkable number of complete blunders. To make sense of them all and consider how to overcome them, I decided to make a list of them. Of course, it would take months of time and writing to list all the errors Biden has made in his 48 years in politics, so I decided to start at his inauguration in January. These are roughly in chronological order. It seemed impossible to rank them as so many of them could have lasting, unforeseeable consequences.
1 – Bipartisan Baloney
As I write in my upcoming book, Beyond Biden, which will be released on Nov. 2, the first major mistake Biden made was immediately failing to live up to the pledges he made in his inaugural address. In his inaugural address, Biden said: “Today, on this January day, my whole soul is in this: Bringing America together. Uniting our people. And uniting our nation.”
Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and 14 other Republican Senators issued a letter to the international business community warning against resuming business with Iran.
The opportunity to resume business with Iran comes as President Joe Biden and his administration officials may repeal some sanctions in order to facilitate negotiations to return to a nuclear deal similar to the one implemented by President Obama in 2015.
Media outlets around the world recently reported on leaked audio comments in which Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif admitted that Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps controls all of Iran’s foreign policy decisions. Although President Joe Biden was careful to mention neither Zarif nor Iran in his speech before Congress last month, Zarif’s embarrassingly candid revelations have direct implications for Biden’s entire Iran policy: namely, it underscores that reducing economic sanctions in order to moderate the Iranian regime cannot work.
For decades, U.S. policy toward Iran has produced disappointing results, largely because American administrations have underestimated the entrenched ideology of Iran’s theocratic dictatorship and mistakenly assumed the regime can be tamed by conciliatory diplomacy. Western efforts to placate Tehran have failed consistently since the revolutionaries took power in 1979, yet recent reports indicate President Biden is in the process of repeating this failure.
Just as the Obama administration did with its disastrous 2015 Iran nuclear deal, the Biden administration is now seeking to lift economic sanctions against Iran in exchange for temporary commitments from Tehran to curb its nuclear program. A senior State Department official recently revealed that the Biden administration is reviewing all U.S. terrorism and human rights sanctions on Iran since 2017 to assess whether those sanctions were “legitimately imposed,” and that some sanctions will need to be lifted to ensure Tehran is “benefiting” from the nuclear deal. Like Obama, Biden hopes that relaxing economic pressure can convince the regime to put aside its nuclear ambitions, focus on Iran’s economy and people, stop bankrolling terrorist proxies, and become a normal member of the international community.
Iran’s supreme leader on Saturday demanded the “definitive punishment” of those behind the killing of a scientist who led Tehran’s disbanded military nuclear program, as the Islamic Republic blamed Israel for a slaying that has raised fears of reignited tensions across the Middle East.
After years of being in the shadows, the image of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh suddenly was to be seen everywhere in Iranian media, as his widow spoke on state television and officials publicly demanded revenge on Israel for the scientist’s slaying.
An Iranian scientist named by the West as the leader of the Islamic Republic’s disbanded military nuclear program was killed Friday in an ambush on the outskirts of Tehran, authorities said.
Iran’s foreign minister alleged the killing of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh bore “serious indications” of an Israeli role, but did not elaborate. Israel, long suspected of killing several Iranian nuclear scientists a decade ago, declined to immediately comment. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu once told the public to “remember that name” when talking about Fakhrizadeh.
Joe Biden portrays himself as Israel’s ally and a friend of the Jewish people. Obama did the same when he was running for president and then he played bait and switch. It’s time voters wizen up because Biden vows to repeat the Obama-Biden playbook on Israel and the Middle East. It’s even worse: today’s Democrat party leadership has taken a major turn to the left. They are no friend of the Jewish people here or in Israel.
A quick history lesson is instructive: In 2008, Candidate Obama pledged Israel’s security was “sacrosanct” and “non-negotiable” with “secure recognized defensible borders,” where Jerusalem would “remain” Israel’s capital and “must remain undivided.” Fast forward, months later in 2009, then President Obama wasted no time abandoning his empty words. Embarking on their true agenda, Obama-Biden declared a “serious problem” existed precisely because there was no daylight between the United States and Israel. Obama-Biden was determined to change that and, off to the races, they didn’t look back.
Iran has agreed to allow inspectors in to two sites where the country is suspected of having stored or used undeclared nuclear material, the U.N. atomic watchdog agency said Wednesday.
The International Atomic Energy Agency said Iran was “voluntarily providing the IAEA with access to the two locations specified by the IAEA and facilitating the IAEA verification activities to resolve the issues.”
The Iranian navy boarded and briefly seized a Liberian-flagged oil tanker near the strategic Strait of Hormuz amid heightened tensions between Tehran and the U.S., the American military said Thursday.
The U.S. military’s Central Command published a black-and-white video showing what appeared to be special forces fast-roping down from a helicopter onto the MT Wila, whose last position appeared to be off the eastern coast of the United Arab Emirates near the city of Khorfakkan.
An online video and messages purportedly claiming responsibility for a fire that analysts say damaged a centrifuge assembly plant at Iran’s underground Natanz nuclear site deepened the mystery Friday around the incident — even as Tehran insisted it knew the cause but would not make it public due to “security reasons.”
The multiple, different claims by a self-described group called the “Cheetahs of the Homeland” included language used by several exiled Iranian opposition organizations. They also focused almost entirely on Iran’s nuclear program, viewed by Israel as a danger to its very existence.
U.S. federal prosecutors are seeking to seize four tankers sailing toward Venezuela with gasoline supplied by Iran, the latest attempt to disrupt ever-closer trade ties between the two heavily sanctioned anti-American allies.
The civil-forfeiture complaint filed late Wednesday in the District of Columbia federal court alleges that the sale was arranged by a businessman, Mahmoud Madanipour, with ties to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, a U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organization.
While the establishment media have studiously ignored reporting the story, the social media accounts of Middle East and national security experts have been abuzz with questions and information on the huge explosion or explosions that recently rocked a site believed to house one of Iran’s nuclear weapons facilities – the facilities that Obama and the Iranians claimed do not exist.
Rick Moran writing for our friends at PJ Media reported the explosion happened in the Alborz mountains, just east of Tehran. Satellite photos show the massive extent of the blast. The area of the blast near Iran’s Khojir missile base was identified in 2017 as a nuclear research facility despite Iran’s pledge to reveal all its nuclear infrastructure in the nuclear deal with the West.
As tensions remain high between Iran and the U.S., the Islamic Republic appears to have constructed a new mock-up of an aircraft carrier off its southern coast for potential live-fire drills.
The faux foe, seen in satellite photographs obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press, resembles the Nimitz-class carriers that the U.S. Navy routinely sails into the Persian Gulf from the Strait of Hormuz, its narrow mouth where 20% of all the world’s oil passes through.
President Donald Trump vetoed a bipartisan congressional resolution Wednesday that would have curbed his ability to direct military action against Iran.
“This was a very insulting resolution, introduced by Democrats as part of a strategy to win an election on November 3 by dividing the Republican Party,” Trump said Wednesday as he signed the veto. “The few Republicans who voted for it played right into their hands. Congress should not have passed this resolution.”
China, Russia and Iran are acting in tandem to promote propaganda suggesting coronavirus is an American bioweapon and that the U.S. economy is buckling under the strain of lockdowns, a State Department report shows.
Oil prices dropped Monday as Saudi Arabia and Russia haggle over whether to reduce crude production amid fears that coronavirus will hamper air travel and potentially wreck the global economy.
Prices fell into the $30s as the Saudis push for a cut in output to prop up prices, while Russia went the other way, and decided to infuse the market with hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil, according to The Washington Post. Moscow is worried that the U.S. will use shale oil to take advantage if Saudi Arabia ease off production.
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) admitted Tuesday morning that he and several other Democrats did indeed hold a secret meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif during the Munich Security Conference last week, arguing that it would be dangerous NOT to meet clandestinely with Iranian officials.
U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) threw his lot in with his Democrat colleagues Thursday to try to block President Donald Trump from using his war powers authority to handle attacks by Iran without begging for congressional approval first.
YUMA, Arizona — Chad Wolf, the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), said the U.S. government was well prepared for any threats from Iran because it had prepared months in advance.
The recent drone attack that killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani and a Shiite militia leader in Iraq led predictably to a retaliatory strike by Iran. Twenty or so ballistic missiles were launched at bases in Iraq where U.S. troops were housed. Fortunately, no one was killed.
The outrage was aired first of all on social media forums — before spilling chaotically on to the streets with Saturday’s mass protests catching Iranian authorities off-guard and exposing how many Iranians hold the country’s embattled regime in disdain.
The Iranian military apologized Friday for shooting down a commercial airliner bound for Ukraine, and blamed “human error” for launching the missile that took down the airplane, according to Iranian state media.
The predicted has happened in Iran and more quickly than had been expected. On the evening of the day on which the Iranian authorities managed to bungle the funeral of their late terrorist chief, Qasem Soleimani, at least 50 people were trampled to death in their grief, and the crisis over the supposed escalation of hostilities subsided. (At least, unlike during the funeral of the Iranian theocracy’s founder, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the coffin did not fly open, spilling the corpse on the mourners.)
WASHINGTON – The U.S. placed more sanctions on Iran Friday in response to its missile attack on U.S. military troops in Iraq last week, and it threatened further action to weaken Iran’s economy if Tehran continues to carry out what it considers terrorist actions.
For the Democrats, the killing of Iranian terrorist General Qassem Soleimani offered a great opportunity to tout the risk of having Donald Trump as commander in chief, and they were, as usual, extremely disciplined in maintaining that narrative.
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN-05) said she feels “ill” and “stricken with PTSD” in response to the conflict with Iran before she laughed and joked with her peers while a colleague discussed U.S. casualties in Iraq just moments later.
President Trump made it abundantly clear in his address to the nation Wednesday morning that Iran’s free reign of terror throughout the Middle East was over, but the United States would not be retaliating militarily against the Islamic Republic following their missile strikes on two Iraqi bases housing U.S. troops.
The Democrats have stumbled into yet another beartrap in their unanimous objection to President Trump’s order to kill the world’s leading terrorist, Iranian general Qassem Soleimani. The same misdirected solicitude that caused the Washington Post to describe ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, after he was driven to suicide by U.S. special operators, as an “austere cleric” has elevated Soleimani to the status of an Iranian General MacArthur.
A former CIA analyst and cyber disinformation researcher said people are sharing satirical content suggesting Democrats are calling for the American flag to be at half-mast for Gen. Qasem Soleimani “like it’s legit.”
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said on Monday that U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI) will be leading the bid to restrict President Trump’s power in Iran, several days after an airstrike killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday staunchly defended the drone attack that killed top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani, but refused to publicly offer any evidence supporting the American claim that he posed an imminent threat to U.S. forces and officials in the Mideast.
Does the U.S. armed forces’ killing of Qassem Soleimani, leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ foreign wing, and his subordinate, Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes, outside Baghdad’s airport increase or decrease the chances of war with Iran? Does it mean a continuation of our disastrous endless wars?
During a live recording on Friday’s Battleground State Report with Michael Patrick Leahy and Doug Kellett – a one-hour radio show from Star News Digital Media in the early stages of national weekend syndication rollout – with Kellett out of the studio, Leahy welcomed Tennessee Star Report’s all-star panelist Crom Carmichael to the show.
Gen. Qasem Soleimani, the leader of Iran’s elite Quds Force, was planning “imminent attacks” that could have killed hundreds of Americans prior to being killed in an airstrike near Baghdad’s airport Friday, a senior U.S. official said.
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI-13) attacked President Donald Trump as a “lawless president” after he ordered an airstrike that took out Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force, a designated terrorist organization.
Iranian-backed paramilitary groups protesting U.S. air strikes in Iraq withdrew from the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad on Wednesday after a second day of protests, even as Tehran and Washington traded threats.
WASHINGTON – A senior U.S. official said Thursday Iranian forces may have killed more than 1,000 people in response to protests that were sparked by the government’s sudden and dramatic increase in fuel prices.
Iranian hackers attempted to hack President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign, The New York Times reported Friday afternoon, citing sources who are familiar with the matter but who cannot comment publicly.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the U.S. is working to find a diplomatic outcome to tensions with Iran, which has been blamed for an attack on Saudi oil facilities, but he warned if diplomacy fails President Donald Trump “will make necessary decisions to achieve our objectives.”