What the Afghanistan Debacle and the Southern Border Crisis Have in Common

By Ronald W. Mortensen on August 27, 2021

The debacle in Afghanistan and the crisis at the southern border have at least three things in common. And none of them bodes well for the United States or its citizens..

First, the Biden administration’s Afghanistan and border policies are being developed and implemented by individuals who, according to a wide variety of media outlets, are adults, as opposed to the individuals who served in the Trump administration:

  • Vogue. November 20, 2020 headline: “Joe Biden’s Cabinet Picks Send a Clear Message: The Adults Are Back in Charge.”
  • CNN. June, 2021, Chris Cillizza, CNN editor-at-large, wrote the following about a Biden-Putin meeting: “While Biden didn't seek to fully explain what it was he came to do, the evidence was everywhere in his answers: Make clear that the traveling circus of the Trump presidency was over — and that the adults were back in charge.”
  • WAMC Northeast Public Radio, Ralph Gardner Jr., July 24, 2021. “All I’m saying is that it’s a relief to have adults in charge of the government. It’s not perfect, you may not even like Joe Biden, but it’s nice to know that people smarter than you, or at least smarter than I am, are running the place.”

Second, these smart adults have no problem putting their personal political preferences ahead of the interests of the United States and the American people, whether it be in making and implementing policy on Afghanistan or on the southern border.

In Afghanistan, the welfare of American citizens was far down the list of the adults’ priorities. The political adults’ top concerns appear to have been to get the troops out by the 20th anniversary of 9/11 and to avoid an influx of Afghan refugees that “would invite [a] partisan political backlash amid a rush of migrants at the southern border.”

Therefore, the military adults focused on getting U.S. military forces out as rapidly as possible without any apparent concern for the tens of thousands of American citizens in Afghanistan. Senior administration foreign policy adults hesitated to rapidly evacuate large numbers of Americans from the country because that could have triggered a lack of confidence in the corrupt and tottering Afghan government and an influx of Afghan refugees.

We now see the results of those adult policies. Tens of thousands of Americans were left hanging out to dry in Afghanistan and were told to find their own way through Taliban checkpoints in order to get to the Kabul airport. And hundreds of thousands of Afghans panicked when they realized what was happening, resulting in a massive humanitarian and refugee crisis. That crisis comes on top of the one on the southern border where, just as in Afghanistan, the adults placed the interests of others — illegal entrants and asylum seekers — ahead of the health and safety of the American people they are sworn to serve and protect, resulting in a massive rush on the border.

However, unlike the Afghanistan crisis, where there is at least a semblance of screening and vetting of evacuees, hundreds of thousands of people from around the world are allowed to cross the southern border without visas, background checks, or medical exams. Those with Covid-19, including one of the variants (Delta, Lambda, etc.), are released in the United States without advising local officials of their Covid status. Consequently, as they spread out across the United States, they risk seeding Covid and its variants into the destination communities and to the American citizens, American hospitals, American schools, and American businesses in those communities. Other individuals with criminal records, possible terrorist affiliations, etc. are also released into American communities without any notice or warning to the communities.

Third, the adults’ Afghan fiasco and the adult-generated open-border crisis have very negative immediate and long-term consequences for the United States and its citizens.

The adults’ failure to evacuate American citizens from Afghanistan before removing U.S. military forces shows that they cannot be trusted to protect Americans or American interests. Likewise, the open-borders policy that allows the spread of Covid and its variants throughout the United States sends the same message — the adults in charge of the United States government cannot be trusted to protect the nation or its people.

Because of the adults’ southern border policy, countries south of the border are able to send larger and larger waves of their poorest people, including criminals, to the United States. Furthermore, terrorists must surely recognize the open southern border for what it is — an easy means of entry into the United States — and the time may come when they routinely contract with Mexican cartels in order to get their people into the United States.

Because of the adults’ policies, America’s enemies will be emboldened and the number of displaced people around the world will continue to balloon. Terrorist organizations will find it easier to garner recruits intent on attacking Americans and American interests whether in the United States or elsewhere in the world. Major world powers may be tempted to take action in Taiwan or the Ukraine. And despotic leaders of other nations may find it easier to suppress the human rights of their people. Regional actors may be more willing to intervene in neighboring countries. All of these will lead to millions and millions more displaced people throughout the world that the United States will be called on to support through billions of dollars in humanitarian aid and high-cost refugee resettlement programs.

The adults’ policies will result in American businesses kowtowing even more to foreign governments’ demands because they know that their own government cannot be counted on to help them or protect them. And what little remaining allegiance America’s largest corporations and tech companies have to their own country and to its citizens will be further diminished as they do whatever is necessary to be able to operate globally. At home, the American Chamber of Commerce, big tech billionaires, and their fellow travelers will double their efforts to keep the southern border open so there will be a never-ending source of cheap, readily exploitable, illegal immigrant labor.

And finally, as more and more Americans recognize that the adults in charge continuously put their own personal and ideological interests ahead of those of the American people, respect for the nation’s leaders and for government in general will continue to decline.