So who’s really responsible for the Afghanistan fiasco?

Not Joe Biden, for sure. The final evacuation could doubtless have been handled better, but the moment it was clear that the US was going, then a panicked stampede was inevitable.

But Biden wasn’t the author of the policy that got the US into the quagmire in the first place. The blame game for that begins with George W. Bush and (i) his Neocon associates with their state-building fantasies about parachuting flatpack liberal democracies into medieval territories — an adventure that, as Heather Cox Richardson pointed out had cost $300m a day and more than 170,000 lives over twenty years; and (ii) the Bush doctrine which (as Richardson also reminds us) “committed the US to launching preemptive military actions in order to change regimes in countries we perceived as potential sponsors of terrorism — the doctrine that led us into invading Iraq in 2003, which diverted our attention and resources from Afghanistan”.

You could argue, I suppose, that Biden was a member of the Obama administration that could have called an end to the commitment on May 2, 2011, the day Osama bin Laden was killed. So he bears some responsibility.

But he should still get credit for ending it.