Afghanistan: A Retrospective

     We were so sure of ourselves.

     What I originally thought would be a straight-up “justice / vengeance” mission for the 9/11 atrocities:

  1. Invade in force;
  2. Locate, close with, and destroy the al Qaeda / Taliban forces;
  3. Go home;

     …turned into yet another exercise in “nation building.” Whose idea was it? Unknown. But someone had to think the United States could succeed where the British and Soviet Empires had failed. Apparently someone was wrong.

     The reason for the debacle of the past few weeks is that Step #2 above was not prosecuted to completion. We permitted the Taliban to retreat to safe territories, to rebuild and rearm, and to come surging forth as American forces drew down. Clearly, the American effort in Afghanistan destroyed neither the Taliban’s will to fight nor its capacity to fight. Worse, rather than do what we could to repatriate American civilians and rescue cooperative Afghans, the feckless Usurpers currently in control of the federal government decided to drop their pants, bend over, and invite the Taliban to do what they like.

     While the Usurpers deserve full “credit” for the disastrous withdrawal and the loss of lives – present and future – it entails, let’s not be blinded by partisanry. This was a twenty-year debacle that enveloped three previous administrations. Only one – that of President Donald Trump – saw our continuing presence in Afghanistan as the pointless, fruitless exercise it was.

     And so, after twenty years of bloodshed and expenditure, the War in Afghanistan, originally known as Operation Enduring Freedom, has succeeded in replacing the Taliban by…a bigger, better armed Taliban.


     Concerning the withdrawal itself, the most telling of all peripheral phenomena is the unwillingness of the Departments of State and Defense to admit to what’s happened and what’s currently going on. The extent of the disaster, the sheer number of stranded Americans, the immense wealth of weaponry abandoned, and the appalling unwillingness of our remaining forces at HKIA Airport to cooperate with private efforts to rescue the American civilians still there have left their spokesmen unable to speak. Hearken to Nina Bookout:

     The Pentagon really doesn’t want us asking about Americans left in Afghanistan. By 3:30 pm Eastern time tomorrow, there pullout of our troops and diplomats will be complete. That does NOT include Americans nor the Afghan SIV’s. They will be left behind to fend for themselves….

     But please whatever you do, do NOT question our betters at the Pentagon! When asked about the exact number of Americans left behind, Pentagon spot John Kirby told the reporter to ask the folks at the State Department. Guess what? The LAST time the State Department held a briefing was on August 27th.

     We don’t know exact numbers, but by golly we used our plans to do all those fabulous evacuations in the last two weeks, so dammit, Please clap!

     State and Defense are claiming to know nothing and evading questions for a simple tactical reason: Sources on the ground in Kabul and at the HKIA airport are providing near-real-time reports on the situation there. Thus, State and Defense can’t tell us their preferred self-protecting lies. Any lie they could tell us would fall apart when challenged by evidence. The safest course, when you can’t face the truth and can’t lie credibly, is to keep silent.

     Note that Usurper-in-Chief Biden won’t answer questions, either.


     To close, Selwyn Duke at The New American has produced a scathing evaluation of the withdrawal disaster as of today. His gut punch:

     The Afghanistan withdrawal reflects either world-record incompetence or pure, unadulterated evil — or both. In fact, often ignored is that malevolence and incompetence to a degree go hand-in-hand. For bad people will rationalize their actions — bend reality for themselves — and when you do this habitually, year after year, you can lose touch with reality. You often then can’t find it even when you want to.

     Whether Joe Biden has been “in touch with reality” to any detectable degree these past two years is dubious. Nevertheless he is the face of the Usurper Administration. His handlers ought to prop him up well enough to take the odium for Afghanistan…not that he or they would do so willingly. It’s all President Trump’s fault don’t y’know. We say so, and you folks who say otherwise are just racists and terrorists-in-waiting anyway, so sit down and shut up.

     Any decent American, regardless of his political leanings or affiliation, should be deeply ashamed of what has occurred, and volcanically angry at the “leaders” who permitted it. We may rest assured that those “leaders” will never admit to error. Politicians and their “advisors” never do that, as it would be hazardous to their careers. But what about the many figures in the media and punditry that promoted the Usurpers during the 2020 campaign season and have praised and defended them ever since? What are the odds that we’ll ever get a muttered, qualified mea culpa from any of them?

     I know not what course others may take, but as for me, I shan’t hold my breath while I wait.

     Time to pray.


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    • Grumpy Old Timer on August 31, 2021 at 7:54 AM

    “The reason for the debacle of the past few weeks is that Step #2 ( Locate, close with, and destroy the al Qaeda / Taliban forces) was not prosecuted to completion.”

    Question: Do you think that was ever possible? Based on what I have been able to learn about Afghanistan and its tribal people I doubt we ever had a chance of executing step 2. I realize that is just my opinion. However, I would submit that if I believe the US military can defeat a determined well-armed (small arms) tribe without totally destroying EVERYTHING and EVERY PERSON/TRIBE in said country, then the US military can defeat the patriots in THIS country. I realize the details are different from Afganny to the US, but the challenge is identical. I cite the failure of repeated excursions in  Vietnam and Afganny by numerous outsiders. A determined force armed with only small arms can outlast and ultimately defeat any aggressor on their home soil.

    I believe that based on history in other parts of the world, plus my belief that the US military with its Nukes and F15s can never defeat the armed patriots and freedom fighters in this country without destroying EVERYTHING AND EVERYBODY in the US (Nuke it to the ground.) It’s the nature of fighters on their own soil fighting for their freedoms and family and tribe. A man who just wanted to be left alone is a dangerous foe when provoked beyond his patience and conscience and religious beliefs by usurpers/outsiders. Check out the history of such conflicts. We were never going to “defeat” the Taliban on their home turf. Never. It was a fools’ errand from day one.



    PS Note the defenders must have at least small arms. Unlike Australia today.

    PS 2 Thoroughly enjoy your thoughtful posts and insights.

    • bob sykes on August 31, 2021 at 7:55 AM

    Step 1 is the real error. The Taliban had nothing to do with 9/11. Everyone involved is alleged to be Saudi (or even Israeli). Invade Saudi Arabia. Or Pakistan. But, of course, Osama bin Laden’s main gripe was that American troops, infidels, were on Saudi Arabia’s Holy Soil during the first Gulf war.

    The real targets of the invasion were Iran, Russia, and China. The Taliban were an excuse.

    And the real symbol of just how FUBAR our own military is are the dozens of service dogs abandoned in crates at Kabul airport.

    • WarEagle82 on August 31, 2021 at 7:59 AM

    We could not defeat the Taliban because it really represents a significant portion of the Pashtun people.  Unless we were willing to commit genocide against the Pashtun, we could not eliminate the Taliban.

    And al-Qaeda and ISIS can draw limitless replacements from the Muslim “faithful” committed to Jihad from all over the world.

    Radical Islam has been a threat to the world since 630AD.  It would be interesting to figure out what minimized that threat between 1700 and 1978.  Perhaps that would shed some light on the matter.

    • joe tentpeg on August 31, 2021 at 8:43 AM

    Folks shouldn’t be surprised at the ‘normalcy of chaos’.


    For the wizard behind the curtain, obozo… everything is going according to plan.


    What else would you expect from a fool who says his inspiration is Alinsky’s ‘Rules for Radicals’…

    …with a dedication in the intro…to ‘Lucifer’?

    • Butch DuCote on August 31, 2021 at 9:23 AM

    When Kings led men in battle they suffered the carnage with them. They bled with their men and knew of their deeds as well as their sacrifices. Todays leaders know none of this. The Commander-in-Chief and his generals remain safely thousands of miles from the area of conflict. They know nothing of the condition of their men much less of the leadership. There is no empathy for the warriors they lead. They know nothing of the terror nor the suffering combat entails. That is why it is easy to sacrifice men, leave POW’s, and civilians to the savagery of the enemy. That’s why it takes seven to eight years to award a Medal of Honor!

    There was a time when honorable men who failed so badly would resign in disgrace. I see no men of honor in todays military or government except one lone Marine Lieutenant Colonel. A warrior who is sacrificing all for the future of his Marines. That we do not have more like him indicates the condition of our country.

    1. It was an important lesson for Christine D’Alessandro:

      “Combat occurs within an envelope of conditions. A general doesn’t control all those conditions. If he did, he’d never have to fight. Sometimes, those conditions are so stiff that he’s compelled to fight whether he thinks it wise, or not.”
      “What conditions can do that to you?” she said.
      His mouth quirked. “Yes, what conditions indeed?”
      Oops. Here we go again. “Weather could do it.”
      “By cutting off your lines of retreat in the face of an invasion.”
      “Good. Another.”
      “Economics. Once the economy of your country’s been militarized, it runs at a net loss, so you might be forced to fight from an inferior position because you’re running out of resources.”
      “Excellent. One more.”
      She thought hard. “Superior generalship on the other side?”
      He clucked in disapproval. “Does the opponent ever want you to fight?”
      “No, sorry. Let me think.”
      He waited.
      Conditions. Conditions you can’t control. Conditions that…control you.
      “Politics. The political leadership won’t accept retreat or surrender until you’ve been so badly mangled that it’s obvious even to an idiot.”
      The man Louis Redmond had named the greatest warrior in history began to shudder. It took him some time to quell.
      “It’s the general’s worst nightmare,” he whispered. “Kings used to lead their own armies. They used to lead the cavalry’s charge. For a king to send an army to war and remain behind to warm his throne was simply not done. Those that tried it lost their thrones, and some lost their heads–to their own people. It was a useful check on political and military rashness.
      “It hasn’t been that way for a long time. Today armies go into the field exclusively at the orders of politicians who remain at home. And politicians are bred to believe that reality is entirely plastic to their wills.”

      And it’s a lesson We the People should reflect on at length.

    • Weetabix on August 31, 2021 at 9:26 AM

    Abandoning Bagram weeks before pulling out strikes me as a combination of stupid and evil.  Anyone with any sense could tell that was not going to work well, if “well” is defined to include the safety of American citizens (evil).  Anyone with any sense would know the optics of that would be terrible (stupid).

    Grumpy Old Timer – your comparison of the Pashtun to patriots here may not be entirely valid.  The Afghans of whatever tribe are very… tribal.  They’ll protect their own.  The army fell because everyone just went back to their tribes.  Here at home, the leftists and progressives have been working on breaking down societal cohesion and building up an army of snitches for years.  It would be much harder here.

    • Weetabix on August 31, 2021 at 11:25 AM

    “On Broken Wings” is a great book, and everyone should get it.  And read it.  More than once.

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