3 years and 2 months; 38 months. That is how long the Soviet trained Afghan Army and government lasted after the withdraw of the Red Army.
There is your benchmark. The Soviets were 38-times more successful in Afghanistan than we were, and they did it in half the time.
Let that soak in. Let the humiliation flow over you like a healing balm. Fear and shame – regardless of what modern minds try to tell you otherwise – are great motivators. Let this motivate you.
Almost exactly two decades after the attacks of 9/11, as a nation we are covered in disgrace. A global humiliation on a national scale. Accept that. Hold it close to you. Feel it. Smell it. Know it, because it will be attached to us for at least the rest of the decade – most likely longer.
Good people can agree or disagree about staying or going from Afghanistan, but no one can defend how we did it.
Everyone here who [was] given responsibility by the American people failed.
The president failed. . . . All our intelligence agencies failed their government and the people.
Our think tanks, the legions of foreign policy and diplomacy PhDs from all the right schools who populate the National Security State who like to tell everyone how smart they are – they all failed.
All our intelligence agencies failed their government and the people.
Our think tanks, the legions of foreign policy and diplomacy PhDs from all the right schools who populate the National Security State who like to tell everyone how smart they are - they all failed.
So, what do we do from here?
"If you withdraw 2,500 troops, and then you have to send 6,000 back, that's not planned. That's on its face an example of failure." - Jake Tapper
Even the most die hard Biden partisan should be demanding the resignation of the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, and the National Security Advisor. In another age, they would have all resigned already - but we don’t live in that age.
All the Joint Chiefs of Staff need to resign as one. Either they own their collective failure because they offered this plan as a good one, or they don’t have the confidence of the President and their recommendations not to do this were ignored. Either are sufficient for resignation as honor demands.
They are imminently replaceable. We are bloated and thick with excessively credentialed General and Flag Officers who can take their place.
We can do nothing about the past, it is done.
The present is already written.
What we can do is set the condition for the future. We can try to contain the compounding damage to our national credibility.
A first step is to tell our remaining friends that the United States knows failure and rot when it sees it, and is confident enough to excise it and move forward.
We need accountability. The honorable thing to do is to resign. If not, the proper thing is for the President to fire those who advised him so horribly. If not the President, then Congress should have hearings with a pair of pliers in one hand and a blow torch in another and humiliate people in to resigning.
If neither happens, then bad on the American people for allowing a political system to function in such a way that people such as these are the ones who rise to the top of both parties.
Look again at that migraine inducing chart above. Failures such as this take more than one part of government to fail.
Let me end with what I know best, the US military. We like to tell ourselves that we are in some way apart, perhaps a bit more honorable, than the politicians we serve. We served the Constitution and the nation, not individuals.
We can make that point...unless we were just telling each other another of those little white lies that we do now and then.