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Afghanistan’s Unraveling May Strike Another Blow to U.S. Credibility

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BRUSSELS — Afghanistan’s rapid unraveling is already raising grumblings about American credibility, compounding the wounds of the Trump years and reinforcing the idea that America’s backing for its allies is not unlimited.

The Taliban’s lightning advance comes at a moment when many in Europe and Asia had hoped that President Biden would reestablish America’s firm presence in international affairs, especially as China and Russia angle to extend their influence. Now, America’s retreat is bound to sow doubts.

“When Biden says ‘America is back,’ many people will say, ‘Yes, America is back home,’” said François Heisbourg, a French defense analyst.

“Few will gang up on the U.S. for finally stopping a failed enterprise,” he said. “Most people would say it should have happened a long time ago,’’ But in the longer term, he added, “the notion that you cannot count on the Americans will strike deeper roots because of…

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