The raid on the Islamic State leader gave Biden a crucial foreign policy victory after a chaotic troop withdrawal in Afghanistan and rising tensions with Russia.
After months of planning, the President of the United States Joe Biden Earlier this week, he ordered raids for Islamic State (IS) jihadist leader Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurahi, who was hiding in northern Syria.
When U.S. special forces approached his hideout in the Syrian town of Atmeh on February 3, al-Qurashi detonated a suicide bomb belt, killing him and his family.
In addition to dealing a heavy blow to IS, the raid came at a favorable time for Biden, observers said, at a time when the U.S. president desperately needed a foreign policy victory amid his embattled woes.
In August 2021, after 20 years of war in Afghanistan, America’s reputation on the international stage was severely damaged. While former President Donald Trump also backed the withdrawal and signed a peace deal with the Taliban, Biden’s decision sent his first-year approval ratings to a record low as Americans witnessed the chaos of a full troop withdrawal.
Biden’s confidence levels in U.S. polls have been falling in recent months, reflecting frustration with the Covid-19 pandemic and inflation. Only 43 percent of U.S. adults are satisfied with Biden’s performance, the lowest level of his tenure, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted Jan. 19-20. The situation worries Democrats ahead of November’s midterm elections.
Additionally, Biden is in a tense strategic confrontation with Russia over Ukraine. The United States and Western countries have accused Russia of moving more than 100,000 troops near the Ukrainian border with the intent of attacking its neighbors.
Moscow has repeatedly denied the allegations, saying it was acting in self-defense. However, the presence of Russian troops near the Ukrainian border has led to growing unease in the Biden administration and its Western allies.
John Bolton, Trump’s former U.S. national security adviser, believes the attack on the al-Qurahi group in northwestern Syria was the right decision and could help Biden demonstrate a tough stance against his Russian counterpart. Vladimir Putin“The raid was a clear win. A lot of people should take note of that,” commented Bolton.
While congressional midterm elections are still months away, and foreign policy is not a top priority for American voters, Biden’s show of power in the attack on Qurahi and in the confrontation with Putin could improve the image of the US president in the eyes of voters. Said David Axelrod, a former adviser to Barack Obama.
“One of the problems with Biden right now is that the world seems to be spinning out of control and everything in everyday life is showing. People want Biden to show leadership, so from a political standpoint any opportunity to do that is Worth it. They help show strength,” explained Axelrod.
Biden, who traveled to New York on Tuesday to meet former police officer Mayor Eric Adams, called for greater investment in local police departments and social services at a time when Republicans accused him of being weak on the political agenda. Some Democrats “disbanded” the police, although the US president rejected the idea.
“I think Biden is trying to be tougher in the public eye,” agrees Axelrod, former official David Gergan, who served as aides to several U.S. presidents.
However, Gergan noted that despite the success against ISIS, the chaotic decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan remains attached to Biden’s foreign policy record. “I think Biden’s problems on the international stage are more difficult than they seem. It’s hard to turn public opinion around,” Gergan said.
He noted that the overarching question remains how to resolve the issue with Russia. “This is a test of Biden’s resilience and ability,” he said.
Mo Ellehi, executive director of Georgetown University’s School of Politics and Public Service, said the raid on ISIS leaders and a visit to New York could help Biden counter some of the Republican criticism.
“After killing one of the world’s top terrorists, it’s hard to blame someone for weakness in counterterrorism. Biden has the potential to deliver significant national security gains. I think people also see him accountable for crime,” he said. Elleithee commented.
Qurahi was destroyed two years after succeeding late leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who was also raided by U.S. special forces in Syria. al-Qurashi’s death could lead to is hidden For a while, but the group is unlikely to collapse. Experts have warned that IS could launch retaliatory attacks to convey the resolve of its members.
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