If there is one thing that illustrates the misplaced or inverted priorities of the Biden-Harris administration in particular – and the Washington, D.C., political elite in general – it is doing things that benefit other countries while simultaneously neglecting our own. A case in point is a decision to secure Tajikistan’s southern border with Afghanistan while America’s southern border remains porous and a massive illegal migration crisis continues to rage in the face of the administration’s nonchalance and complacency.
The recent project by the U.S. embassy in the Central Asian nation to build new facilities for the Tajikistan Border Guard comes in the wake of the Biden-Harris administration’s disastrous withdrawal of U.S. troops and personnel from Afghanistan and the rapid takeover by the radical Islamist Taliban.
In a September 1 press release, the embassy stated that the U.S. will “construct new facilities for a Border Guard Detachment in Ayvoj, along the Tajik-Afghan-Uzbek border. The new Detachment Facility will replace the outdated Shahritus Detachment and allow the Border Guard Service to deploy forces more quickly to border areas in response to threats.” The release added that the embassy “is planning to fund construction of the new facility at Ayvoj beginning in 2022.”
It also pointed out that “[s]ince 2002, the U.S. government has provided over $300 million in security-sector assistance to Tajikistan and renovated or rebuilt 12 border outposts, nine border checkpoint facilities, and three training centers for border guards to help combat security threats.”
In and of itself, there is nothing wrong with helping Tajikistan, an impoverished former Soviet republic that borders Afghanistan, secure its frontiers. The country faces various threats, including Taliban infiltration and narcotics smuggling. It has also pledged to host 100,000 Afghan refugees, which is a common-sense regional resettlement alternative to flying masses of Afghans to the United States – particularly given that many Afghans speak a dialect of the Persian language (Dari) that is closely related to the Tajik dialect of Persian.
The problem is that the same administration that sees the wisdom of secure borders in the context of the Tajik-Afghan frontier has been refusing to do its duty and protect our southwestern border.
As one anonymous senior border official told Fox News, “[w]ith the record setting pace of nearly a million encounters so far at the southern border, it’s heartening to see the Biden administration finally getting serious about border security. It’s just too bad it’s in another country.” A U.S. Border Patrol agent was even more frustrated, telling Fox that “[t]his is a slap in the face to us.” No doubt many more patriots in the border security enterprise feel the same way.
The United States is a rich country and should be able to “walk and chem gum at the same time” by securing our own borders while simultaneously helping strategic allies secure theirs. However, our own interests, borders, and sovereignty should always come first.