March 22, 2023

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Zawahiri’s death was a boost for Biden after his tumultuous withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Zawahiri’s death was a boost for Biden after his tumultuous withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Nearly a year after the failed US withdrawal from Afghanistan, Joe Biden is still favorable to Covid and has brushed aside critics to announce the death of the al-Qaeda leader in a US operation at the lowest point in the polls. Kabul and attempt to relaunch themselves on the domestic political scene.

“When I ended our military mission in Afghanistan almost a year ago, I decided that after 20 years of war, America no longer needed thousands of boots on the field,” Biden told the nation Monday night when he announced the death of Ayman Al. -Zawahiri.

“I promised the American people that we would continue our counter-terrorism operations. And that is what we have done,” he added.

Since the September 11, 2001 attacks, announcing the death of jihadist leaders has become a dark and highly political ritual for US presidents.

When Barack Obama, known for his eloquence, revealed the operation that killed Osama bin Laden at his home in Pakistan, Americans took to the streets to chant “America! “.

Donald Trump announced the death of Islamic State group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in Syria in 2019 and used colorful language to portray himself as a strongman. “He died like a dog,” he said.

Mr. Kovid quarantined. Biden delivered his speech from a noisy White House balcony, Washington police sirens in the background.

Nearly a year after the tumultuous withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, the Democratic president is deeply unpopular. The announcement of Zawahiri’s death comes at a timely moment for a head of state who wants to reverse this trend.

Mr. Biden avoided sounding triumphant, noting that the al-Qaeda leader had been on the wanted list “for years under Presidents Bush, Obama and Trump.”

The implication: The country is in good hands under Biden.

“No matter how long it takes, no matter where you’re hiding, if you’re a threat to our people, the United States will find you and eliminate you,” Biden said.

– Too early to be happy? –

On the right, opponents of the withdrawal from Afghanistan saw it as a humiliating display for the United States, which, until September 11, would become a hotbed for anti-American jihadist groups.

Joe Biden said he had the courage to end a losing war and that failure never has a clean end.

Responding to the skeptics, he assured us that the ability to conduct planned and organized operations from the United States without the need for troops on the ground would not require American lives to be put at risk.

With Zawahiri dead, Joe Biden has a golden opportunity to prove himself right.

There has also been praise from conservatives. The Fox News Channel anchor, who is often hostile to the president, described the move as a “huge victory for America.”

However, some experts warn that we should not be too quick to rejoice.

James Jeffrey, the former US ambassador to Iraq and now head of the Wilson Center’s Middle East Program, certainly praised the move as demonstrating “great intelligence, operational strike and decision-making skills”.

But that expertise can’t clean up the “mess” of last year’s withdrawal, which Mr Jeffrey accused of poor coordination and Mr Biden’s refusal to accept him and “inhibit” his staff. There may be drawbacks to opting out. – or prepare for those complications.

Nathan Sales, another former diplomat who works at the Atlantic Council Research Center, called Zawahiri’s presence in Kabul a failure for the United States, suggesting that “as feared, the Taliban are once again harboring leaders of al-Qaeda.”

It was too early to say whether even this spectacular drone attack “could be replicated against other terrorist targets,” he said.

“Until we know more, we must resist the temptation to see the strike as justification for counter-terrorism carried out from abroad,” he pleaded.

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