What has happened in Afghanistan is not over. It is not permissible, excusable, forgivable. We cannot pivot away. What America just saw is gross betrayal. We continue to see it. Resignations are due.
Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, lifetime Biden staffer, not only failed – as did Secretary of Defense Austin, Chairman Milley, National Security Advisor Sullivan, President Biden, and Vice President Harris – but failed spectacularly when they need not have. Then – like his boss – he ducked his failures.
What did they do? In July 2020, more than a year ago – Congress voted overwhelmingly to prevent an unconditional pullout, language in the National Defense Authorization Act. Nevertheless, in January 2021, Biden gave up, no serious attempt to get the Taliban and Afghan government together, just punt.
Biden said in April; all US troops would be out by the 20th anniversary of 9-11, optics. If things did not come off smoothly, the default was to blame Trump. No forethought went into the obvious. See, e.g., Biden announces withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Afghanistan by 9/11; Biden will withdraw all U.S. forces from Afghanistan by Sept. 11, 2021.
Trump had pursued conditional withdrawal, tick-tock toward peace before the removal of the US military. Congress supported that approach. What would happen if withdrawal was non-conditional –cut and run?
Answer: The Taliban would plan to retake all 34 provinces, converge on Kabul near withdrawal.
What would happen to US civilians if the government collapsed – as even President Biden realized, asking Afghan leadership to push the idea they could hold on, “whether true or not?” How would thousands of Americans safely get out of a Taliban-controlled country?
Answer: Cut and run (no conditions) withdrawal would complicate everything, making it more dangerous and planning vital. State, with statutory responsibility for evacuating American citizens (AMCITs), would need a clear, multi-month extraction. AMCITS would need ample time (several weeks) to get to Bagram AFB, two runways, good force protection, under total US control.
More, State knew how many were in country – from two sources, the embassy’s F77 report, which showed between 15,000 and 40,000 Americans there, and second the embassy’s Mascot system, voluntary but detailed. Both lists were imperfect, but offered a way to find AMCITS, none left behind.
The Obama Administration had set up a bureau at State to manage extractions. Trump elevated it to get 100,000 AMCITS home in 2020 (COVID). This Crisis and Contingency Response Bureau (CCR) was ready.
What else would need to be done? The perimeter around Bagram AFB would reinforcement, Kabul’s perimeter protected if that airport was back up. While State had responsibility, Defense would support.
By way of example, when Assistant Secretary of State under Colin Powell, setting up the police training facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan, my mission included coordinating with Defense. We arranged nine C-130s ferrying roughly 1500 vetted Iraqi police recruits in and out of Jordan monthly. Coordination was vital, White House National Security Council central, State in lead. It worked.
Since the US and NATO had relied on hundreds of thousands of Afghans who had worked directly for the US, NATO, NGOs, and contractors over 20 years, they needed to get safely out. In such situations, State sets up a country-specific Crisis Task Force to assist extraction, giving people time to register.
Once the multi-month operation commenced, all would be safely withdrawn, most allies vetted at the embassy, Bagram ASB, or Kabul Airport, based on documents, contacts, and interviews – mass effort. With an initial pool of 20,000 SIVs filed in 2021, State would need perhaps 200 visa application reviewers, meaning employees of Consular Affairs plus contractors.
While hurdles were high, State would lead, Defense support, Interagency help coordinate concentric circles of travel and SIV refugee placements. NATO allies would be included, assuring none left behind.
So, what happened? The exact opposite. The Secretary of State, hoping to avoid evacuation responsibility, secretly abolished the CCR bureau in July, suggesting Defense manage the mayhem. The state delayed notifying Congress, prepared to say Consular Affairs (underwater) could do it. CCR leadership warned the Secretary, and when ignored, resigned.
More than two dozen seasoned Foreign Service Officers (FSOs) converged – via the dissent channel – to protest the coming disaster, appealing to the Secretary to halt the mayhem. He ignored them.
No methodically staged, multi-month extraction process got planned. AMC and allies were left to fend for themselves. Bagram AFB and Kabul perimeter were given to the Taliban. No effort was made to get Americans or Afghan allies to Kabul.
State’s F77 report, which showed between 15,000 and 40,000 Americans in-country, was hidden. When questioned, State made no mention of it, or its tendency to underestimated – nor of the Mascot system.
The state made no mention that the US military ISAF commander had directly confronted the acting Ambassador in Afghanistan in early summer – and been shown the door. They made no mention that they had put only four embassy consular personnel on 20,000 Afghan SIV visa applications in 2021.
The state made no effort – until crisis – to understand how many NATO personnel, Afghan allies helping NATO allies, Afghans who had helped the US existed. Incredibly – unlike any prior operation – they set up no Crisis Task Force, where those seeking help could register. One never existed.
What else? Having failed at every turn, they began to lie. State and Defense pulled in behind the President, who was also lying. No methodical planning was done, and all know it. Americans still in-country may number thousands, or hundreds, all marked. Same for allied Afghan lives, cheap to Biden.
Ditto for women and girls, who will – without Taliban contrition, apology, or empathy – be subject to unspeakable treatment, on a level and scale not understood by the West. No empathy, no apology.
Finally, continuation of lies should incense every moral American. The sense that officials within this White House, State, and Defense can just pick up and go one, that all is well, pivot to new issues, change the subject, walk away when the opposite is true, is beyond comment. That is all that can be said because Americans deserve better. No amount of spin changes facts. If honor matters, resignations are overdue.
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Amen and Amen. Now let’s see some action
The Holocaust and the Nuremberg Trials come to mind. We may soon see the equivalent.
There is no honor in Washington.
Anyway you look at it Biden and his people are traders and murder American citizens. Biden and his people need to be impeached and tried for being a trader and for killing American people.
Resignations and impeachment are in order. Why is it taking so long?
Don’t forget justice for all who lost their lives and the many who will lose their lives in the future.
I can’t even tell you how much I hate “silly Milley.” Fat, bloated, disgusting individual. Like John kerry ( no caps intended ), he put himself in for 3/4 of those phoney medals he wears. Don’t just resign. Suffer and die.
Susan Rice is steering the ship. Why no mention of her?
I wait with bated breath for both Rice & John Brennan to hang from the gallows, followed by HRC & slick Willy himself… I’d love to witness Schiff, i.e. Pencil Neck plead for mercy on National TV…
Bill on the Hill… :~)
Anyone with common sense know th
We(mostly conservative) have had and do discuss all of our countries problems! I (like Churchill did for GB in ww2) am praying Every evening from 8:00p.m. to 8 :01p.m. until God comes back to the U.S. of A! In our homes,schools,workplaces,
This should’ve been the expected outcome when you have unqualified individuals in positions whereby you get the worst possible disaster for each and every challenge! Joe O’Biden, Cackling Chameleon Blindian and the entire administration including puppet-master, Barack Obama need to either face a firing squad for their treasonous actions or be sent to GITMO!
No Gitmo. Someone will get soft and let them out
I am so angry at the Democratic party, all Liberal morons, and anyone who believes in our present Government! Nothing they say or do is right. Nothing! Liars and arrogant Liars at that! Are they ALL blind as well as stupid? History better get recorded correctly because our so called leaders need to be seen for what they are EVIL.
they, ( D ) are the communist party who are on a mission to take out our form of govt.
What a huge mess caused by stupid administration. Might as well show all of them the door.
I agree totally
You should know that there is no such thing as honor in Washington, D.C.. That is a foreign concept unknown within the D.C. beltway. Certainly none of the career bureaucrats that make up the Biden administration are familiar with the concept of honor or integrity.
No one in the Biden administration is going to offer up their resignation or even publicly admit their massively screwed up with respect to Afghanistan. Not unless the Biden administration finds it needs a fall guy in a few months to successfully pivot away from the topic and to divert the public’s attention towards something else. So far, I don’t see that happening as the media has already pulled out all the stops to try and divert the public’s attention elsewhere. News stories related to Afghanistan the the Americans still trapped there, along with the thousands of Afghani SIV holders we promised to safely get out, are already being banned by the mainstream media.
I expect the media and the Democrats will soon pivot to passage of their two spending bills, that will fundamentally solidify a permanently transformed United States. They are already trying to link the two bills to the wake of Hurricane Ida and a renewed push to hype so-called climate change as the default blame of any bad weather event.
On target, the magician’s trick, everyone is watching the show hand as the other hand does the damage.
It’s not even that elaborate Max. There’s no attempt at tricking the public at all. Every single step is being executed in full view of the public. Virtually everything is being done very openly, because they know the American people won’t hold them accountable.
Biden and his administration, along with the mainstream media, just openly lie about everything Afghanistan related, leave hundreds of Americans and thousands of Afghani SIV holders behind to die or be held hostage until they can get even more tribute (money, recognition, etc.) paid by the United States to the Taliban. Then Biden and his team just pretend nothing is wrong and move on to the next thing.
Off with their heads
This is gross dereliction of duty punishable by death due to all the loss of life.
This beyond human understanding. I cannot believe My counties leader would sell out our country.
I am a retired USAF veteran.
What can we do as AMERICANS TO SEE JUSTICE DONE FOR THE DEBACLE?
I agree totally!
Well said !
If you all hold your breath you will turn blue in the face! The COMMIE’S in our elected and appointed government will not step down, nor get fired! Wake up this is how our government is, we have all but lost. We can write all the “O” so nice pie in the sky articles, but the above facts will not change. The American people have been warned about this for 1776, but few have headed, we have worked to support our families, fought wars when needed, and wrongfully trusted the government to do right! Now we and our children and for generations to come PAY the price
Here’s my list of slime-ball losers that should Resign, Be Fired, Be Impeached, Joe the Liar
Biden, Kamala Harris, Defense Secretary, Lloyd Austin, General Milley, Nancy Pelosi, up-Chuck Schumer and all those Idiots that advised Biden that that was the right way to do a pull out.
As for General Milley, I don’t think he could lead a Boy Scout Troop across a dry stream bed without one of them drowning.
85 BILLION DOWN THE CRAP HOLE, DISARM THE AMERICAN CITIZEN BUT GIVE BILLION OF WEAPONS TO THE ENEMY ONLY, THE DEMOCRATS WOULD THINK IT WAS A GOOD IDEA
Unlike Russia before us, we did not leave Afghanistan as being only defeated, we have not completely left Afghanistan at all. We left behind billions in weaponry along with human who will be subjected to torture and murder and who will be used by the Taliban to extract even more money from the U.S. Only if we were to go back into Afghanistan with a full blown invasion to extract American citizens and others who aided us can we ever live with how we handled our presence in Afghanistan.