President Joe Biden claimed Thursday that the U.S. was leaving Afghanistan to focus on emerging threats, like the rise of China. Has he looked at a map lately?
Afghanistan shares a land border — albeit a short one — with China, in the Hindu Kush mountains.
Before the withdrawal, the U.S. had a major base in a country that bordered China; now it will not. And China has been playing an increasing role in Afghanistan, meaning that the U.S. is withdrawing as China is advancing.
That does not mean that the U.S. must stay in Afghanistan forever. But it is folly to describe withdrawal as some kind of preparation for a tougher stance against China.
Former President Donald Trump, who had wanted to pull U.S. forces out of Afghanistan even earlier, at least had a much stronger general posture against China. Biden’s approach to China thus far has