The Blame for Afghanistan
We saw a revolving door of officials yoke an entire generation to an ever-changing mission creep redefined by each new politician’s politics.
Brian Williams expected people to hand Biden a participation trophy because Biden wandered away from Camp David to not really accept responsibility:
“I hope he gets to own their deaths, too.”
Biden didn’t accept responsibility, he tried to blame it on everyone else from the Afghan military to Trump and the Doha agreement. The question was never whether or not we were going to withdraw — that was a necessity — the question pertained to how we were going to do it. The Doha agreement was about stopping the Taliban from AirBnB’ing Afghanistan as a terror base for other jihadi groups like they did with Al Qaeda before 9/11. Trump withdrew all but 2500 troops as a residual force. Taliban refused to end the association so a full withdrawal seemed unlikely, but possible. Biden was no more bound to the Doha agreement than Trump was to Obama’s Iran agreement or Paris Accord. Biden already extended the May deadline to September but then ignored all counsel of his military advisers who wanted to leave 2500 troops in Kabul as a precaution while increasing diplomacy. Biden had no problem ending Trump’s “remain in Mexico” policy or reversing Trump’s position on the Paris accord, so why now is he acting as though the Doha agreement is suddenly and somehow binding? It’s a dodge of responsibility, plain and simple.
Biden partly blamed the Afghan military; the Afghan military was patterned after our own U.S. forces — but our practice of uniting around the principle of liberty rather than ethnicities or sects isn’t how Afghans operate. Afghanistan is comprised of various tribal affiliations and getting everyone to work for the common goal is a different approach. Also unsuccessful: cutting off air support leaving them exponentially less effective.
Here’s the issue: There are no good options for leaving, just options that would have prevented the fecal storm we saw all over the news the past 24 hours. We were in Afghanistan to rout out Al Qaeda from the country after they used it not just as their HQ but for their terror training camps. Afterwards we saw a revolving door of officials yoke an entire generation to an ever-changing mission creep redefined by each new politician’s politics.
We could not have closed Bagram AFB before evacuating American personnel and allies like interpreters and informants before announcing our full withdrawal. We could not have left behind our military equipment that we taxpayers bought for the Taliban to take and potentially sell, like our drones, to their financial backers in China’s communist party for them to reverse engineer. We could not have kept terrorist prisoners alive in the prisons that the Taliban freed and added to their armies on the way.
There was a way to do this smoothly and it required time to plan, time Biden did not want to give. Biden and his apologists were too busy trying to manufacture the outrage that none of this would have happened had we not, under Trump, begun negotiations with the Taliban. That is stupid thinking, argues my friend, Gulf War veteran, and retired Lt. Col. Kurt Schlichter, whose full thread you need to read, as these are just excerpts:
Meanwhile, our State Department put this pencil neck out there to nicely ask the people raping and beheading Afghans to please take a break and form “an inclusive and representative government:”
We have no idea what equipment we’re losing:
China, who pays the Taliban, is saber-rattling:
Oh, and also the American-made, Facebook-owned WhatsApp apparently helped the Taliban take control as fast as it did, even while people like me and you are throttled on WhatsApp’s sister platform:
It appears the Taliban tried something different this time around. Open source reporting shows that rather than rocking up and going toe to toe with the Afghan national army, they appear to have simply called everyone in the entire country, instead, told them they were in control, and began assuming the functions of government as they went …
The Taliban are thus free, and have been free for a number of years, to take their fight not to American soldiers (where they always lose) but directly to the hearts and minds of the Afghan people, all using free-to-use American internet infrastructure like Facebook and Twitter (where they have now won).
WhatsApp is an American product. It can be switched off by its parent, Facebook, Inc, at any time and for any reason. The fact that the Taliban were able to use it at all, quite apart from the fact that they continue to use it to coordinate their activities even now as American citizens’ lives are imperiled by the Taliban advance which is being coordinated on that app, suggests that U.S. military intelligence never bothered to monitor Taliban numbers and never bothered to ask Facebook to ban them.
They probably still haven’t even asked Facebook to do this, judging from the fact that the Taliban continues to use the app with impunity.
This might explain why Afghanistan collapsed as quickly as it did.
What an utter failure.
The war that began when my son was six months old continues now, 20 years later, except the Taliban is better positioned now more than ever.
The blame for Afghanistan has many authors, but this disaster brought on by Biden’s decision, in defiance of his advisers, is chief among them.