The latest news from Afghanistan is that the U.S. military will evacuate Americans from the Embassy in Kabul. The safety of the remaining U.S. citizens is in great jeopardy, and the prediction that Liberty Nation posited is coming true. Afghanistan is South Vietnam 1975 redux. More than likely, it won’t turn out any better this time. This Associated Press comparison graphic, published by Fox News, says all that can be said.
Now we learn that President Biden is sending what at first was said to be 3,000 but is now 8,000 soldiers to protect U.S. civilians being evacuated. U.S. Army former vice chief of staff, now retired, General Jack Keane in an interview with Fox News, held back no punches when he said:
“It’s a sad, frustrating moment to watch an ill-conceived – and I emphasize ill-conceived – hasty withdrawal turn into what is now an embarrassing retreat. And why is that? Well, the IG from the Pentagon just reported the Taliban offensive began in May of this year, a month after President Biden made the announcement that we were pulling all U.S. troops out by August 31. The Taliban knew full well that the United States, in that short period of time, had to close seven military bases, that the focus of the U.S. leadership and its troops would be on just that. No time and no resources to help the Afghan security forces during a major Taliban offensive.”
Flight Rather Than Fight?
Like the overture to the fall of South Vietnam, the failure of the U.S. to provide the air support for which it is known to be more than capable has emboldened the Taliban. As soon as the terrorist army started its May offensive, the Biden national security team should have halted their withdrawal plans, inserted air support controllers, and started focused airstrikes wherever the Taliban gathered. The message should have been: where two or more Taliban are assembled, the U.S. and its allies will kill them. Instead, the Air Force Times reports that U.S. and allied air operations have been just the opposite:
“Though the United States is still dropping ordnance on the Taliban and Islamic State group, the pace of U.S.-led airstrikes in the Middle East has slowed considerably in 2021. Reconnaissance flights appear to be tapering off as well, according to new figures provided to Air Force Times.”
Yet, as the Taliban advances rapidly toward Kabul, the consequences of the failure of the Biden administration to use air power to act decisively to stop the enemy are playing out for the world to see. Some wondered whether it was even possible to extricate ourselves from the defense relationship with the Afghan government. Reporting for Liberty Nation, Jeff Charles asked that very question in his article “Can America Quit Afghanistan?”
Much of what America tried to do for the Kabul government was noble and admirable. For example, raising the stature of women and girls by enabling them to be educated and encouraging the government and businesses to put women in positions of responsibility and authority in an unsupportive culture was truly important. But it did not address the jihadi terrorist ideology that is the foundation of what the Taliban is all about. That point was made well by Jed Babbin in 2009 writing for the Washington Examiner. He said, “It’s always the jihad. The principal threat to America emanates from the Islamic nations that sponsor terrorism and the ideology that propels them.”
What Did They Expect?
So now U.S. diplomats express concern that the Taliban, jihadi terrorists, are doing what terrorists do. Reports of atrocities committed by Taliban fighters have been circulating since the end of July. ABC News correspondent Conner Finnegan quotes Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressing his concern over reports of inhuman treatment of civilians and beheadings of captured government military forces. As Conner wrote, “noting the Taliban is ‘making advances’ and calling reports that the group has committed atrocities ‘deeply, deeply troubling.'” Not simply “deeply” troubling; Blinken emphasized “deeply, deeply” troubling. What did he expect?
Nonetheless, the Biden administration’s approach is to stay the course for withdrawal; send 8,000 soldiers to defend the rush to beat feet out of town. There appears to be no intention to cover the retreat with intensive and sustained airstrikes. No, that does not seem to be Biden’s plan. Instead, Task and Purpose’s Jeff Schogol reports, the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, representing the Biden Afghan policy, intends to cow the Taliban into seeing things Biden’s way with really, really tough rhetoric. As Scholgol writes, “The U.S. Embassy issued a strongly worded statement on Thursday calling on the Taliban to release Afghan government officials and police officers whom they have captured.” While the Embassy sent another message to U.S. citizens in Afghanistan: it’s time to get the hell out of the country.
The views expressed are those of the author and not of any other affiliation.
Read more from Dave Patterson.
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