Muddled, late, and disorganized: Joe Biden sends the Taliban a mixed message

DM

The beasts of the Taliban undoubtedly were paying attention: Joe Biden showed up five hours late to his press conference and, by one report, read his teleprompter with bloodshot eyes, spoke for the first five minutes on his domestic priorities, and declared the August 31 deadline for a U.S. troop pullout was on, just as the Taliban insisted, and then added that maybe it wasn’t. Just a day ago, Pentagon officials were saying that Biden wouldn’t extend the deadline, right after the Taliban had threatened “consequences” if they did. Now there’s contingency talk, given that that didn’t go over very well with Americans. Sound as if this guy knows what he’s doing? It doesn’t sound like a lot of clarity to allies, the Taliban, or most of all to the trapped Americans who are in danger of being left behind. And with Joe showing signs of senility and showing up late, it’s obvious there’s some kind of infighting going on backstage. For the Taliban, one thing is clear: Joe Biden doesn’t know what he’s doing. His messaging is mixed; he’s striving to please all sides. Contingency plans? From the Milley crew?

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