Will Kabul Become America’s Dien Bien Phu?

President Joe Biden’s recent visit to Vietnam bears some resemblance to France’s humiliating loss at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu in 1954. The Viet Minh defeated a seemingly superior Western power due to French political stagnation, military arrogance, and strategic, operational, and tactical ineptitude. The conflict served as an exemplary illustration of history’s lessons for the political intellectuals and top military leaders. However, the primary concern is what would happen if the evacuation operation slows and troops are forced to stay at the airport until September 2?

On the premise that the Viet Minh couldn’t match their firepower, French forces were sent to Dien Bien Phu, a city in modern-day Vietnam, to build up a “porcupine defense.” The French lost the artillery duel and the trench warfare ground combat during the two-month siege. French Brigadier General Christian de Castries surrendered after suffering 7,000 casualties. Indochina was split into North and South Vietnam.

Dean Obeidallah also highlighted that the Biden administration might be in grave jeopardy if something goes wrong during the noncombatant evacuation operation (NEO) of thousands of foreign nationals and Afghans. He claims that even 6,000 or more US soldiers won’t secure the airport and that an opponent might block air travel. There is no simple entry point for logistics supporting the US forces, and the Taliban may cut off all airport access.

Moreover, the French airstrip was destroyed, and the Vietnamese besieged the French garrison for the following 54 days, launching continuous attacks. However, could America face a similar fate in Kabul? The Taliban have complete control of Afghanistan, Kabul, and the airfield’s enlarged perimeter. The president’s and military’s options have been effectively constrained as a result of this. The quantity and cohesiveness of Taliban troops in Kabul are yet unknown. They have access to siege weaponry as well as logistical resupply and sustainment capabilities.

The airport in Kabul is flanked by mountains that the Taliban could easily occupy with artillery and heavy mortars. In their negotiations with US envoys, the Taliban have already utilized this tactical advantage. Therefore, Aside from the one runway at the airstrip, which the Taliban might disable in minutes, the United States and partner forces will have no other options.