The Global Times anticipated Biden would order a symbolic bombing of suspected Islamic State targets “so as to comfort U.S. opinion,” but argued the U.S. military no longer has the intelligence assets needed to locate and strike ISIS targets in Afghanistan.
“The precision of the retaliation of the U.S. will be questioned. Its effect is expected to be much lower than previous strikes,” the editorial predicted.
The Chinese Communist newspaper made a point of distancing Beijing’s new business partners, the Taliban, from Thursday’s horrific attacks:
The Islamic State (ISIS) has claimed responsibility for the terror attacks. This was also confirmed by the US. The Taliban strongly condemned the ‘gruesome incident’ and said it ‘will take every step to bring the culprits to justice.’ This explicit statement has received a lot of attention.
The Global Times expressed sympathy for the Taliban and bemoaned the terrible mess Biden left it to clean up:
The bloody attacks at Kabul airport leave many uncertainties. Will the US army cooperate with the Taliban in regards to withdrawal and retaliation against ISIS? The Taliban has its own thoughts about how to stabilize the national situation and engage in reconstruction. They have called for domestic reconciliation and demanded intellectuals to stay in the country and participate in the reconstruction. But the fleeing-like withdrawal of the US and the West is destructive – they took no consideration of Afghanistan’s reconstruction at all.
Some Western countries advocated sanctioning the Taliban-led regime, which will open a new frontline with it outside the military sphere. Washington has no clue what path the region will take after its withdrawal. It seems unclear what it wants from an Afghanistan that has no presence of the US military. Apparently, Biden wants his face and fewer losses generated from the shameful withdrawal from Afghanistan in next year’s mid-term election. Nothing else so far. The Taliban may let him go, but not ISIS.