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Afghanistan – What Can Be Done Now

Posted on Monday, August 23, 2021
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by AMAC, Robert B. Charles
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What do we know right now? The Biden White House and US State Department are in disarray, not clear on what can be done, what order, what chances of success, events spiraling in Kabul.

Biden’s national security team met over the weekend, after issuing contradictory statements, first telling tens of thousands of Americans and Afghans loyal to us to “shelter in place,” then “make their way” to Kabul airport, then “because of potential security threats … we are advising US citizens to avoid travelling to the airport …” In short, chaos reigns – and mixed messages could lead to tragedy.

Here is what could be done immediately.

First, with an estimated 18,000 US citizens in-country, contact should be made with all US citizen points of contact and cell networks. US citizens should be directed to meet in one of three locations, locally at a spontaneously identified provincial pick-up point, where US helicopters meet them; along several primary roads, where the US protected ground transportation will meet and collect them; or in Kabul at a location beyond the airport, to be met.

What is the precedent? In some ways, there is none – but self-identified, spontaneous pick-up points subverts terrorist preplanning, allowing possible shifts as needed. US helicopters would have to conduct constant back-and-forth sweep operations or search and rescue of Americans.

Moreover, air and ground extraction – especially along established routes, at key points, cued by cellphone – mirrors generally COOP-COG, or continuity of operations/continuity of government planning, used in other circumstances. US allies are already conducting like operations.

Second – direct, sit-down conversations by senior military and diplomatic personnel with the Taliban in Kabul, assuming top-down Taliban coordination, should evacuation planning, dates, and expectations. Should that have occurred months ago? Yes, but better late than never. Does it come with non-trivial risks? Yes, but that is the price of miscalculation.

Third, direct, high-level diplomatic missions should be conducted with China, Russia, and America’s NATO allies, without hesitation. Two-fold goal: Update them in person on what is happening, why they have a vested interest in order – not tragedy; enlist them in a joint statement pressing full, peaceful evacuation of all foreign nationals and select Afghans, making any recognition of the country conditional on that outcome.

Fourth, the US should make clear that – if needed – a major military operation to secure all American citizens and key Afghan personnel will be undertaken if an orderly and complete evacuation does not immediately occur – which would significantly complicate Taliban control.

Fifth, a UN resolution should be immediately sought, seeking complete, peaceful evacuation of all foreign nationals and select Afghan nationals to safe third countries, subject to future sanctions and universal condemnation if the incipient Taliban government does not comply.

Sixth, the White House should announce that twice-daily briefings will occur – and be delivered by the Pentagon, which is now managing evacuations. These will update on the process.

Seventh, the Vice President should reprise her travel plans, reverse course, stay in DC, and demonstrate crisis leadership with an “all-hands-on-deck” frame of reference in the loop.

Eighth, as any Taliban order in Afghanistan depends on Pakistan, an emissary should be sent immediately to Pakistan to secure an appeal to the Taliban for full, peaceful evacuations.

Ninth, using the proxy voting process, the US House and Senate should issue a unified statement of appeal to the Taliban, Pakistan, and every interested country to facilitate peaceful evacuations.

This approach will not solve the problem, end Taliban inhumanity, or reverse the error. But given that this is the largest NEO – non-combatant evacuation operation – that the US has conducted in decades, it will morally, legally, and operationally test us. This approach may represent the best possible outcome now, assuring the American people and allies we are leading, not drifting.

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PaulE
PaulE
2 years ago

Here’s an alternative solution:

1) Drop in 1,000 troops to re-take Bagram air base from the Taliban. That airbase was specifically designed for the kind of secure and defensible base of operations for large scale military operations we will need to end this situation quickly with the least lose of American lives.

2) Fly in 10,000 additional troops to Bagram, with the necessary air support to back them up, and tell the Taliban that we expect to be able to escort every single American out safely. Just like the French and British military forces are currently doing with their people right now. Along with all the Afghani personnel we committed to evacuate when we left properly. Change your negotiating position from a position of weakness, where you are begging for the cooperation of terrorists to NOT begin taking hostages or killing Americans outright, to a position where you are negotiating from a position of strength.

3) Drop in or fly in enough additional troops to allow the U.S. to take full control of the Kabul airport both inside and out. Then extend our control of the area to several blocks around the airport (a safety buffer zone), instead of being pinned down to just guarding the runway surrounded by Taliban on all sides.

4) If the Taliban leadership in the Presidential Palace refuses or threatens us or our Americans in country in any way, then reduce the Presidential Palace to a mound of smoking dust with a F22 or F35 air strikes. Take out any large encampments of Taliban or weapons storage areas in the city of Kabul just to put a fine point on the fact we’re serious. This sends a clear message that we are serious and that we’re not going to do this the Biden way of begging for our people back. We’re not dealing with a sophisticated set of world leaders in the Taliban, who care about diplomacy or keeping their word here. We’re dealing largely with tribal savages from the 7th century armed with weapons we left behind or that the Afghani military abandoned when they ran away.

5) Once we have all our people out, then honestly the Taliban can have whatever is left of the country with the understanding that if we will be keeping a close on on them. If we see ANYTHING we might consider as either terrorist training or staging areas, we reserve the right to eliminate them via tactical air or missile strikes. No more “boots on the ground” to solve what can be accomplished by other means. No warnings other than this single message being delivered to them now. The type of ordinance being our choice.

The problem of course with my proposed solution is that the Biden administration neither has the brains nor the guts to execute it properly. We would need a completely different administration in place, with a clean sweep of the feckless DoD and State Department personnel currently in place to get competent players in key positions. That is 1169 days away at best, assuming we still have elections by then. Far too long for the vast majority of Americans and our allies stuck on the ground.

While I admire your desire to go the diplomatic route to end this crisis, the reality is the Taliban, like every other Islamic fundamentalist terrorist organization, really understands only one thing: overwhelming force. If we go your route, we will be negotiating with the Taliban for years to come as they allow a handful of Americans to leave every so often in exchange for billions of dollars in what would be effectively hostage payments. Jimmy Carter 2.0 except on steroids. As for the Afghani people that helped us, the longer this drags out the more likely they will all be rounded up and executed by the Taliban to demonstrate to the people of the Afghanistan that Islamic Law is back in control.

Jean Strickler
Jean Strickler
2 years ago

Yes. These are great talking points and action plans. My son who is in the Air Force, suggests there should be more UN involvement.

Kay Webster
Kay Webster
2 years ago

What positive, deliberate remarks from Charles!! Why are there so many Americans in Afghanistan?? Necessary??

Cpooz
Cpooz
2 years ago

I think we should send Biden, all of his administration and their families over there to trade for our people that have been caught there because of the Administrations incompetence and stupidity!

Rosalee Cavanaugh
Rosalee Cavanaugh
2 years ago

Mr. Charles, Can you run for President?

Wanda
Wanda
2 years ago

And after they pick them up, they need to take those helicopters and start destroying all of the equipment left there by the buffoon in charge.

Elena Tellez
Elena Tellez
2 years ago

I like Robert Charles & the more forceful suggestions by a reader. But when we have all Americans and Taliban helpers out of Kabul, the US should blow Afghanistan off the face of the earth… and get Biden et al out of Washington DC. We need our country back.

Rich
Rich
2 years ago

I’m sure Joe is asking: Is there a problem?

Harv
Harv
2 years ago

I am afraid that we are going to get hit with a double whammy. First, the only solution will be to pay the warlords a huge amount of American dollars in cash in order to bribe our way out of this mess that Biden created. Second, we will end up with a huge number of unvetted immigrants who only tend to vote Democrat and who will need huge amounts of government aid. The American tax payer gets taken advantage of at every turn.

Deploreable Sam
Deploreable Sam
2 years ago

Nice plan, good idea.
Good luck with that!

Susan T Priest
Susan T Priest
2 years ago

Your advice is wise and inspiring. The Biden Administration doesn’t have advisers like you and probably will not see this. I pray that they do and recognize their need to do whatever it takes to turn to sane tactics.

PAUL PILGRIM
PAUL PILGRIM
2 years ago

The US can now join the list of foreign countries who did not learn the lessons taught by history; never, but never get involved in Afghanistan as it will be your worst nightmare. But, you can bet your bottom dollar that at some point in time some other country will invade Afghanistan and history will repeat itself. Humans always have to repeat their mistakes?

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
2 years ago
  1. bomb ammo bunkers & motor pool
  2. aid resistence with arms & ammo ?
  3. track Taliban by drone
  4. bomber strikes from Italy, Germany, Japan
Joe M
Joe M
2 years ago

He forgot Step Ten : If the U.S. is not allowed to remove all her citizens and key Afghan personnel….
all villages of known Taliban will be destroyed. Basically what Trump had stated to the Taliban leadership had he still remained in office. However, that was when we had a leader….not a follower !!

John
John
2 years ago

What would happen IF the USA re-militarized Afghanistan such as the 82ND and possibly others with orders to re-take American weapons and equipment, save all Americans, then, those that helped us, finally removed the military.

Felix
Felix
2 years ago

Sounds good, but the US is not in control, we surrendered any leverage, it all depends on the Taliban’s willingness to cooperate, they hold all the cards by keeping American hostages, and will do what ever is necessary to be in control. Where is Jack Bauer when you need him?

John Bonds
John Bonds
2 years ago

Harris is going to stay as far away from this as she can. She and her handlers want her hands to be as clean as possible when she takes over. I suspect it won’t be long.

J. Farley
J. Farley
2 years ago

Let me tell you what can be done, with Afghanistan, throw Lying Badin out of office on this ear, and put the rightful President Donald J. Trump, in the oval office, it might take him a while (ABOUT A WEEK) , but he will fix this utter mess that Joe Biden and the lying Demonrats have created. Nothing on this Earth can fix Joe Biden, you can’t fix stupid.

PaulE
PaulE
2 years ago

Harris entertained the overseas audience with her signature chackling laugh when asked about Afghanistan. Isn’t that good enough?

FedUp
FedUp
2 years ago

The plan also needs to account for taking back, or destroying all weaponry and technology left behind. But beyond that….

Lets keep in mind who were dealing with here.

Joe Biden’s approach to Soviet hacking was to provide a “pretty please don’t hack these sites” list to the soviets. Apparently everything else in the US is fair game.

Biden’s approach to reduce oil prices (after shutting down US production) has been to ask middle eastern countries to “pretty please” start pumping more oil so US gas prices don’t continue to climb.

And now Biden’s Afghanistan exit policy is to ask the Taliban and ISIS to “pretty please” don’t hurt our citizens that have been abandoned behind Taliban lines.

Maybe we should also add stipulations to all 3 requests indicating that if they don’t comply, they’ll be sent to bed with no supper.

Eddie Van Halen
Eddie Van Halen
2 years ago

Going back to BASICS – why did we get our ‘nose’ stuck in more ‘foreign affaires?’ $10+ Trillion (more like $20T + blood) is total insanity controlled by the military industrial complex. Want a clear analysis ? JBS.org.

Joe from Las Vegas Nevada
Joe from Las Vegas Nevada
2 years ago

The White House is too busy gas lighting the American people into believing that all this is President Trump’s fault. They will repeat this everyday until the mid-terms next November, and then we will be back to Russia-Russia-Russia.

Debbie Jo Mock
Debbie Jo Mock
2 years ago

What should be done if to ask President Trump!!!!!

Jeff Gaynor
Jeff Gaynor
2 years ago

With our departure from Afghanistan a certainty and with the looming consequences of our creation of a well-financed 21st Century Axis of Evil on America’s horizon; it’s time to focus on America’s security and preparedness. For starters: 1) Immediately close our southern border 2) Finish the border wall 3) Reopen our oil pipelines and the entire energy sector 4) Reduce our reliance on China and on an Internet we can’t secure 5) Remove from America all draft-aged illegal immigrants, 6) Reactivate the Military Draft and 7) Engage all democracies in creating a global military alliance. 

FireFox10
FireFox10
2 years ago

A companion issue: Fully vet any non-Americans being flown to the USA from Afghanistan, especially since most are young males of fighting age (18-25) who are likely to be Taliban plants. If found to be Taliban, either treat as terrorists or offer to exchange for our people. Exchange probably won’t work, however, because their jihad requires them to kill Americans and other “infidels” in order to go to “heaven.” The bottom line is: Don’t turn them loose in American to join up with Obama’s groups that are already here. Remember, the 20th anniversary of 911 is next month. Don’t underestimate the enemy!

FireFox10
FireFox10
2 years ago

Robert B. Charles:
Excellent ideas! Kudos!
Amazing that those in charge (especially the Military “leaders”)) haven’t a clue what to do. If they did, they would have followed President Trump’s guidelines and this would be a non-issue!

CPOBill
CPOBill
2 years ago

The only to get our folks out is by force! He’s too EFFING chicken shit to do anything but run and hide!

Lynn
Lynn
2 years ago

Great suggestions. It’s good WWII was not conducted like this idiot’s fiasco.

Enuf Said
Enuf Said
2 years ago

What to be done– keep the hell out of foreign countries!!

Kyle Buy you some guns,and learn how to shoot
Kyle Buy you some guns,and learn how to shoot
2 years ago

dONT THINK I WILL COMMENT 0N THIS ONE. i WOULD GET CRENSERD FOR SURE.

R.J. from Arizona
R.J. from Arizona
2 years ago

I agree with Jeff Gaynor except the first thing that needs to be done is have impeachment hearings on Biden and his staff.

Leonard
Leonard
2 years ago

No impeachment he needs to be removed for incompetence. ASAP there is nothing between his ears but air. He always was a stupid individual. I hope all the people who voted this Idiot into office are happy with the result.

Karen
Karen
2 years ago

Do they still shoot people for treason?
What a travesty!!!!!

Willie
Willie
2 years ago

I just pray that Iran or Russia don’t decide to attack us Biden would probably call his wife and go into a bomb shelter and hide until everyone is dead in America and then say he did the right thing.

Bruce D Wood
Bruce D Wood
2 years ago

If Biden is not found to be incompetent and is not removed via the 25th amendment then he should be charged with treason, and crimes against Americans, the Constitution and our allies. He is not fit to be in the oval office. He was not even fit to be the VP under Biden and Kamala is worse that that. The Democrat socialist part has put our country in a national security risk of the highest nature and are committing crimes against our military and needlessly putting them in harms way. The Democrat Party Does not have the leadership in the white house or the congress to be able to pull our country out of this mess. President Trump warned of this along with so many more. But some how the Democrats along with the fake media, the big tech and all the corrupt Democrats in Washington and in a number of the States have managed to pull off the biggest heist in American history and it is now telling on them. It is time to remove the illegal president and install the president that actually won and we will get this mess straightened out, make America Great again and our enemies fear us. As it is now under Biden/Harris we are the laughing stock of the world and even our allies or going to leave us if we don’t get a handle on this Imediately.

johnh
johnh
2 years ago

Points sound good, but Taliban is not a country. Afghanistan is a country, but sounds like govt. has collapsed. So Taliban does not belong to any group like UN or NATO or ??? so how you deal with a rogue group to settle this. I hope Biden Admin. does not end up given them a bunch of $$$ like Obama did to Iran at the end of his term.

Steven H
Steven H
2 years ago

I think Joe and his administration along with the House and Senate Democrats need to visit Afghanistan in person, with no military security to see first-hand what they did and leave them there.

johnh
johnh
2 years ago

I have a question , have seen media refer to Afghanistan as a War. Korea has been called a conflict & Viet Nam is not referred to as a War. Irag was an invasion and not a War…..Very confusing term.

Gunny Joe
Gunny Joe
2 years ago

I’m struggling not to put my comments in MARINE speak.

First off good plan but you are not understanding the type of people on the other side of the table. President Trump did. Second there is nobody in this administration, and very few in the House, Senate, State Department, or our Military, that is not tainted with the idea, that President Trump was not a “REAL PRESIDENT”. There fore his policies and actions have no credibility in their view. That was apparent when biden flanked by members of both parties and Houses with the high ranking military leaders standing in attendance, signed all the executive orders after being sworn into office.

Folks the majority of our Nation just don’t get “fighting a war”, till we do this will continue, IF Russia, China, or our people who think and believe as the above mentioned countries do don’t take our Nation first. To set down with the above countries, now would go no where! You must and I stress you must have a position of strength to set at that table with those countries, which we do not have now! As far as our allies, who of them would trust us from this time forward? We have showed we are not to be trusted and that our leaders are weak.

As for the elections good luck, yes I will still vote, but until the system is cleaned up I have little hope of a fair outcome. The blood bath that is and will continue from this lash up should cause major changes but it will be to late to save the people involved. Will we as a Nation learn, I have little hope of that, the 6 pm news will paint a different picture, and the steeple will say all is good!

I will continue to try to do what is right, but till we all have that mind set, with the exception of a few I am but one man.

BT

Al Wunsch
Al Wunsch
2 years ago

It’s been said that along with our 2500 troops on the ground (pre Biden operation) there were/are? 5000 NATO troops. Where are they housed or at least, where were they before we bailed out? Just curious, why is the retaking Bagram Air Base, re-establish control and do what the Trump admin had in mind not also an option? Why do we want to hand over Afghanistan to a group of terrorists?

Tim Jackson
Tim Jackson
2 years ago

What the hell is this fixation with Afghanistan? Who cares??? They’re zero threat to the USA. The number ONE threat to America is the “woke,” Marxist Democrats and their BLM/Antifa henchmen. Communist China is a close second. Forget about Afghanistan. Let’s clean up America’s backyard before worrying about the rest of the world and it’s filthy backyards. Hell … we kill more Americans in abortion mills than ISIS, Al Qaeda, and the Taliban do combined.

Al Wunsch
Al Wunsch
2 years ago

Isn’t it ironic, that we’re spending all kinds of time and processing to vet the people coming out of Afghanistan, yet anyone can come in via our Southern border..

Lawrence Block
Lawrence Block
2 years ago

This article is absurd. Some valid ideas but to kowtow to the Taliban will only contribute to a negative outcome for Americans. The congress should appeal – are you serious. I have enjoyed reading your materials but this one should be lost quickly

David
David
2 years ago

Who ever made this decision knew it was incredibly stupid and would garner an enormous amount of attention. What is going on elsewhere?

James Shedd
James Shedd
2 years ago

Joe Biden is either totally incompetent or conducting a plan to perhaps divert attention from planned actions to destroy the United States as we know it. His actions show the danger of electing (though he was installed through massive cheating which the Democrats and Washington swamp) career politicians, especially Congressional members with no real life experience in leadership. Joe Biden has never done anything which didn’t involve being part of a larger group where no matter the outcome he could not be held accountable and responsible since any rulings are made by majority consensus.

Michael Skok
Michael Skok
2 years ago

First, get rid of Joe Biden.
Second, get rid of Kamala Harris.
Third, get rid of Nancy Pelosi.
Fourth, get rid of Biden’s entire cabinet.
Fifth, sent US troops back into Afghanistan and retake the country.

Donald
Donald
2 years ago

Leave the afganis there to fight for their country; get the Americans out even if it takes military action, preferably using air support rather than boots on the ground. Destroy to the ground any and all known taliban headquarters or billets.

Garye
Garye
2 years ago

Mr Charles, thank you for the very informative article on this biden disaster.
Pretty apparent that he ,his administration , and the democrat party are WAY more focused on fleecing America than protecting Our Citizens,honoring our word to Afghanistan supporters,and promoting Our image to the world.
Sure wish a level headed,intelligent patriot such as yourself was advising these clowns.
Thanks again for your insight!

Nick Patriot
Nick Patriot
2 years ago

This boob Obiden couldn’t lead a cub scout troop through Walmart. The commiecrats are leading the world toward WW3. Weakness causes wars. Will it be nuclear? Does anyone have confidence in this cabal of thieves and incompetents?

john sylvester nunan
john sylvester nunan
2 years ago

what was the pres thinking. that this would automatically happen, where were his advixors, sec of state, sec of defense, etc etc. is he that dumb does he care, does he know what is going on, i dont think so….

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