Biden believes he has shown his strengths in his handling of Afghanistan, others see his flaws

Joe Biden defended the withdrawal on Tuesday as America completed its withdrawal from Afghanistan Credit: AP

The Joe Biden narrative on Joe Biden is one he’s happily shared over the years - fundamentally a family man, a foreign policy man and a man of his word.

Or his Biden word as he so often describes.

Others would add stubborn, short-fused to that narrative with, at times, a loose regard for the truth.

In Afghanistan and in his address to the nation all those things came together.

As he told his fellow Americans, with pride, getting out of Afghanistan was his election pledge and he had delivered on it. He’d stuck to his word.

As the foreign policy man he said as a senator and Vice President he had travelled to "these countries” and those visits had guided his belief that America was a nation at war for too long.

Biden has faced harsh criticism for his handling of the crisis. Credit: AP

As a family man he spoke of his son Beau who served in Iraq for a year and how that informed his respect for those in service.

But then came the rest. He was clearly furious at the ferocious criticism he has faced as chaos fed carnage.

He was adamant that the deadline he set was not some arbitrary date. It was, it was set by him no doubt guided by how well it would sit with forthcoming anniversary of 9/11.

He refused to accept that this could have been done in a more orderly manner or that evacuations could have begun sooner. Without question it could.

He insisted he had planned for every eventuality including this one. If that’s true the plan certainly failed.

The US completed its withdrawal from Afghanistan on Tuesday Credit: AP

And then there was the blame. He’s said it before, he’ll say it again. This mess is down to the capitulation of the Afghan forces, government and in reality people.

No mention of how the US disappeared in the night without even warning those allies they were heading out the door and leaving the keys in the car.

He spoke of the need to learn the lessons of the past. His words suggested the opposite, they were a narrative of American glory and foreign failure.

He may not admit it but this is the biggest self-made crisis of his Presidency so far.

He and the world would do well to hope that when his Presidency ends it is still his biggest self-made crisis and that the catastrophe of Afghanistan is not superseded by another.

Will it harm him in the long term? Probably not.

There’s still a 50 per cent support for getting out of Afghanistan and though his ratings have dipped in the past two weeks they’ll no doubt go up again.

President Biden may not in the end pay a high price for his actions but others will.

When he speaks of learning lessons from the past that is perhaps the age-old lesson that has been learned in many countries about American foreign policy.