Government Watch / National Security / Politics

No American Military Leader Should Ever Say What Lloyd Austin Said


There are an estimated 10,000–15,000 Americans in Afghanistan now who need to be evacuated as the Taliban seize control of the country. Anyone left behind could find themselves reliving the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis or the hostage crisis in Lebanon shortly thereafter. The Taliban are undoubtedly well aware of the leverage they could obtain by holding Americans hostage. Evacuation is therefore not just a pressing humanitarian matter; it is essential to preventing a bunch of Stone Age barbarians from dictating terms to the United States of America.

The Biden administration has not exactly exuded confidence in the face of this threat. On Tuesday, the State Department sent a cable to thousands of Americans in the country telling them to make their way to Kabul’s soon-to-be-renamed Hamid Karzai Airport (we already abandoned Bagram Airfield) but warning them, “Please Be Advised That The United States Cannot Guarantee Your Security As You Make This Trip.”

Then, in a briefing this morning, Defense Department spokesman John Kirby admitted that the administration not only does not know how many Americans are trapped in Afghanistan, they do not even know how many have been evacuated:

Worst of all, at a Pentagon briefing Wednesday, when Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin was asked about the U.S. military’s capability to get its citizens out of Afghanistan, his answer was jaw-dropping: “We don’t have the capability to go out and collect large numbers of people.” You have to watch Austin deliver this line to grasp its full air of defeatism about a place where our military has moved about with some impunity for two decades, while General Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and a fellow Army lifer, stood by looking as if someone had just shot his dog:

The best Austin could offer was a promise to try, at least for a while: “We’re gonna get everyone that we can possibly evacuate evacuated, and I’ll do that as long as we possibly can, until the clock runs out, or we run out of capability. . . . I don’t have the capability to go out and extend operations currently into Kabul.”

This is unacceptable. This is un-American. This is not what our Army is about. Can you imagine, say, Norman Schwarzkopf — to say nothing of Dwight Eisenhower or Douglas MacArthur — giving that answer? What is wrong with these men? What have they been doing with the $700 billion we spend on national defense? What do they think that money is for, if not to protect Americans in danger, be they at home or abroad, civilians or military?

Hardly anything is more central to the ethos of our Army than the credo, “Leave no man behind.” When we evacuate or retreat — and even the best armies must expect do these things from time to time — no stone is unturned, no risk unrun to make certain that we leave nobody behind. That is drilled into every soldier from the very start of their training. Secretary Austin and General Milley have, between them, nearly 80 years of service in the Army behind them, a good part of that in combat. How can they have become so immersed in the culture of bureaucracy that they have forgotten who they are and where they came from?

Austin and Milley should be sacked immediately and replaced with people who know what their job is. Abraham Lincoln would have demanded their resignations, as he did repeatedly to generals who wouldn’t fight. He sacked his first secretary of war and exiled him to Russia. Joe Biden could take a lesson.

It doesn’t matter how hard the job is, or how strained the military’s capacity is right now. It doesn’t even matter if you expect from experience that the mission will fall short of its goals. You do not say out loud that we cannot guarantee the safe evacuation of Americans from the clutches of the Taliban. You do not even allow yourself to think it so long as you have tools at your disposal to prevent it. The lives of over 10,000 Americans and the credibility of the nation’s promise to protect them are at stake. The only acceptable answers in this situation are twofold, and they should be declared long and loud so that the entire world can hear them:

One, we will move heaven and earth to get every last American home safely.

Two, if even a hair on their heads should be harmed, we will paint the streets with Taliban blood on our way out the door in retribution. Recall the speech that Vito Corleone gives to the heads of the other Mafia families in The Godfather about ensuring Michael’s safety upon his return from Sicily:

In hours of crisis, nations and armies survive on a can-do spirit and a determination to overcome every obstacle. When the British Expeditionary Force was stranded at Dunkirk, Winston Churchill didn’t say, “Well, we don’t have the capability.” When the Royal Navy was short of that capacity, he put out a call for volunteers and sent civilian fishing boats — some of them even with civilian sailors — across the English Channel into a war zone under the threat of bombardment by the Luftwaffe. When the Soviets blockaded West Berlin in 1948, Harry Truman launched the Berlin Airlift; American and British relief planes flew 250,000 missions to keep West Berlin supplied, collectively flying almost the distance from the earth to the Sun. In 1942, when the USS Yorktown returned to Hawaii from the Battle of the Coral Sea needing months’ worth of repair, Admiral Chester Nimitz did not say, “Sorry, we do not have the capability.” He met the ship at the docks with 1,400 workmen who labored around the clock and put the carrier back to sea in less than three days, changing the course of the Battle of Midway. In 1914, when Paris was threatened, General Joseph Gallieni pressed thousands of taxis into service to ensure that every soldier he could find was able to get to the Marne to stop the German advance. In the fall of 1863, when the Union garrison at Chattanooga was nearly surrounded and starving, Secretary of War Edwin Stanton did not say, “We do not have the capability.” He summoned the presidents of all the railroads to his office, worked through the night commandeering and personally rerouting their schedules, and had men on the move within 40 hours. Within less than two weeks, 20,000 men had reached Chattanooga with all their artillery, horses, and baggage.

And Joe Biden? He went back to his vacation.

Even amidst the collapse and national war-weariness at the end of the Vietnam War, Gerald Ford did not accept that Americans should be left behind and held hostage. When the merchant vessel the SS Mayaguez was captured by the Khmer Rouge and its crew held hostage, Ford sent in the Marines. When some of his Electronic Data Systems employees were taken by the Iranians in 1979, Ross Perot did not throw his hands up and say, “We’re a computer company, not an army.” He hired a private commando force, including military veterans working for EDS, and had his men rescued. Even Jimmy Carter at least attempted the same thing.

It was once a point of pride for great nations, from the Roman Empire to the British Empire, that they would protect their citizens anywhere in the world, and woe betide those who brought them harm. The most famous invocation of this principle came in 1850, after an anti-Semitic mob in Greece had sacked the house of David Pacifico. Don Pacifico, as he was known, was a Spanish Jew doubling as Portuguese consul in Athens, but he had been born in Gibraltar and claimed British citizenship. Lord Palmerston, the British foreign secretary, sent a squadron of the Royal Navy to blockade Greek ports and demand compensation, even risking war with France and Russia on the principle. When called in the House of Commons to defend this, he gave a memorable speech that carried the country with him, saying that what was at stake in the Don Pacifico affair was “whether, as the Roman, in days of old, held himself free from indignity, when he could say Civis Romanus sum [I am a Roman citizen]; so also a British subject, in whatever land he may be, shall feel confident that the watchful eye and the strong arm of England, will protect him against injustice and wrong.” That was the same spirit in which Thomas Jefferson sent the Marines all the way to Tripoli to stop the Barbary Pirates, or that Theodore Roosevelt responded to the kidnapping of an American businessman, Ion Perdicaris, by a Moroccan leader named Raisuli by having his secretary of state declare, “This government wants Perdicaris alive or Raisuli dead.” It was not so long ago that even such a redoubt of liberal opinion as The West Wing still venerated that idea:

What happened to the can-do-what-we-must-do determination of Edwin Stanton or Chester Nimitz? If you know anybody who has served in the ranks of the U.S. military over the past two decades, you know that the problem is not the men and women in uniform. If Joe Biden’s generals have lost that sense of their mission, he should find some generals who remember it.

Reprinted with Permission from - National Review by - Dan McLaughlin

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11 months ago

I agree with so many comments posted, but question where Americans forward go from this disastrous point. Some advocate armed response, to the extreme of launching a civil war/second Revolution – the ultimate divisive choice for this country. That accomplishes the goal of the evil politicians and leaders who have brought about the COVID disaster, the woke culture, gender dysphoria, uneducated but well indoctrinated school children, and so much more.

Yet even these evil leaders are not in control.

God is in control, as He always has been.
Whether or not you believe He exists, He does, and He is bringing judgment on America. Only He can control the drought and wildfires rampant in America’s west and storms and floods in the south and East.
Only He can raise up and take down leaders and decision-makers in our government, or allow the spread of the pernicious disease in waves around America.

Why is he bringing judgment on this country?
Could it be our 50-year devotion to LEGALLY destroying our unborn children (HIS creations) in their own mothers’ wombs? Yes.
Could it be our refusal to honor His creation of Man and Woman as distinct people, and His design of marriage as a necessary physical, mental and emotional support system for His people? Yes. Could it be our increasing refusal to acknowledge Him and His Word (the Bible) as vital to our very existence? Yes.

The solution to the horrific state of our people is to follow God’s own solution, found in the Bible: 2 Chronicles 7:14 :
“If My people who are called by My name (i.e. believers) HUMBLE THEMSELVES and PRAY, and SEEK MY FACE and TURN FROM THEIR WICKED WAYS, then I will HEAR from heaven, will FORGIVE their sin, and will HEAL their land.”

It’s up to us, believers. Only God can save this country from destruction now, and He has told us clearly what we must do.

Let’s be about it -NOW!

11 months ago

It’s completely unacceptable that we should leave this country in such a manner, period!
With the same fervor mentioned above that we could paint the streets with Taliban blood if they so much as touch a hair on an American’s head, the same fervor should have been in mind, when we sent troops there in the first place. America is an embarrassment on how we fight wars and have been since WWII. So basically, since my birth in 1958, we have never left a single war or conflict (except for the invasion of Grenada) where America was able to celebrate victory! What a despicable waste of life, time, and money! Questions: If American doesn’t want to win a war, why engage in one? Imagine how many people would be fans of boxing, if the boxer’s goal was only to keep an even score card for 14 rounds, and then instead of him coming out for the final and hopefully knockout round, he just threw in the towel. Fight over! One would ask, why did he even climb in the ring? I would ask, why do we engage in war if we are not going to give it 100% effort. Imagine if Washington DC actually became the professional entity that it was designed to be! Are they lacking intelligence, common sense, wisdom? Do we need to test I.Q.s of those running for federal office. Should they meet certain requirements. Should appointed people be qualified?

11 months ago

Impeach Biden, Harris and Pelosi, then ship them to Afghanistan and leave them there.

11 months ago
Reply to  ReneeM

Court Martial would be more like it. The entire lot of the radical left.

Mary Nauman
11 months ago
Reply to  ReneeM

I like your thought.

11 months ago

Completely unacceptable! We NEVER leave anyone behind! It is completely obvious that this administration is hell bent on creating as much havoc as possible! This sudden withdrawal is but one example. The price of gas has doubled or tripled. The so called pandemic has now come back in a new variant. There are farmers being forced to destroy their crops. The tax and spend policies are going to bankrupt our nation and all of this in the name of liberalism. Even the Chinese have been a toe hold here in our own country!
It is their intention to create as many shortages as possible to gain total control over the American people. The Constitution is the one thing they want to abolish! We had all better prepare for what is to come in the following months. It is beyond time to take steps to protect ourselves. God help us all!

11 months ago

Folks, none of this should surprise you. This administration has put into place people that they can rely on to follow their mission. And that is not to look outward for the enemy, but look inward. They, and everyone else knew exactly what was going to occur with a withdrawal from Afghanistan. But that’s not their concern. Their concern is with you. And although they say it’s Trump voters, it isn’t just Trump voters. It is anyone who loves this country, who still salutes the flag and has the desire to remain free. Once they turn the power and forces inward, even those who voted for this moron and his ilk, will find themselves on the wrong side of the fence as soon as they disagree with what’s going on. I don’t know how anyone either here or anywhere else cannot be just as angry at their Republican nominated clowns who have allowed this to go on without any pushback at all. You had better keep the means that you have to protect yourself close at hand because I’m afraid it may not be long before you will have to use it. These are extremely dangerous people, and these are extremely dangerous times.

11 months ago

None of this makes any sense unless a lot of people are on the take from China. Also, one of my huge problems with all of this is the Southern border. God only knows what kind of people have come over and have been shipped to parts unknown. No one acknowledges that that is going on. I absolutely agree that the Washington swamp needs to be purged – to include FBI, IRS, CIA, DIA and on and on. The big problem with getting rid of Biden is Harris. Dear God help us.
I just heard that the military are starting to leave the airport. So, there is no way for anyone left to get out!! My opinion is that there is a lot more going on here that any of us is aware of. Someone besides Biden is behind this. You only need to follow the money. And please deliver me from Jen Psaki .
I’m afraid that we are witnessing the downfall of America.
My late husband was an Army Ranger and served in Vietnam. I am very aware of how things SHOULD be. This is NOT how it should be

Grant R
11 months ago

America has a politician for a president. He is no leader at all.

11 months ago

It’s like the captain left the sinking ship before the passengers.

11 months ago
Reply to  Joe

TOUCHE !!! Also took all of his officers and special crew.

11 months ago

Our second amendment will be our strongest Allie against the radical lefts. We must defend what our forefathers wrote so many years ago. Don’t let OUR COUNTRY be controlled by these socialists

11 months ago

Impeach Harris and Biden for incompetence.

11 months ago

Shame on every one of those gutless wonders for even thinking of leaving American citizens in islamists hands!! austin should be court-marshaled and biteme’s whole charade of losers should be ousted for incompetence.

Ken Westenkirchner
11 months ago

No question Biden, kamelatoe, military

Bill on the Hill
11 months ago

America is at a critical moment in her history as the Republic our Founding Fathers put together under not the best of circumstances dealing with an entrenched enemy, the King of England…
What has to occur in today’s environment of what has become a captured Federal Gov’t is very similar to what the Patriots of the American Revolution were up against…
Whether or not we choose to recognize what is happening here, it will only get worse with each passing day moving forward, with more & more individual rights being infringed upon…
There is a clear & definitive reason why our 2nd Amendment rights are our God given right to be in possession of…Our Founding Fathers had the presence of mind to see what a tyrannical government can do to a freedom loving people as they experienced it first hand. Want to lose your right to own & bear arms? Look no further than Communist nations as well liberal countries within Europe, Australia, New Zealand, etc…This is precisely what our current regime is moving towards, confiscation of ALL weapons by the people…Once that end game occurs, it is GAME OVER…
Excellent article by AMAC that should be read over & over so it sinks in DEEP for any of those that still don’t get it…
There is a reason why General Berger told Trump that General Milley couldn’t be trusted with anything classified & based on retired General Lloyd’s behavior, more of the same…Both these Army generals have gone 100% WOKE & have become Marxist driven politician yes men… At a minimum, they BOTH need to go. They are a National Security Risk…
It doesn’t stop there, their removal just scratches the surface in fact…
We as Patriotic Americans are rapidly falling into ( 2 ) camps, we go to war against tyranny with a lot of bloodshed ensuing, throw the whole bunch of them out of office in Washington, DC & all ( 50 ) states socialist’s office holders pushing this madness on all of us…It would be a train wreck beyond most folks imagination or the REAL patriotic military steps in, shutdowns all of DC & arrests close to 90% of the politicians on the take, no less than ( 3 ) dozen in the House are under Chinese influence…We also have mayors & governors in individual states that have fallen under the spell /influence of the nation of China…
Bring on the Arizona forensic audit numbers, that should do the trick for the purpose of optics. Time to shut it all down & put real leadership back in place. DONE…What has occurred in Afghanistan was completely avoidable btw…
Bill on the Hill…:~)

11 months ago

Agree with you.

11 months ago

It’s simply amazing that we, as a great country, cannot rely on the strongest military power on earth to save endangered lives. Why does it take organizations like Glenn Becks Nazarene Fund and our dedicated and compassionate citizens of this great nation who raise $28 million dollars to go and save lives in Afghanistan?

Robert Weidmann
11 months ago

Bring them all home alive.

11 months ago

Incompetent military leaders directed by an incompetent “President” who is surrounded by an incompetent administration are a disaster for our country’s security. We are completely void of any patriotic and intelligent government. The only thing they know is how to spend our tax money on porkbarrel programs. Our government is a complete waste.

11 months ago
Reply to  Harry

It’s a fine line between simply incompetent, and willingly malicious. This administration has so far crossed that line that the line has become a microdot on the far horizon to them. It was an oversight of our founders not to account for the eventual formation of parties, so that our means to legally, and peacefully remove a President and administration that is willingly ruining and destroying the country are circumvented in a time when one party holds all the power. More states need to ratify a Convention of States immediately, or we might as well learn Mandarin.

11 months ago

At the very least they are sending the rainbow squadron get our people out and if you notice they won’t tell you how many people is in Afghanistan because when it’s all over and done with they don’t want us to know the number of the Americans that they left behind to be beheaded. And as far as the 80 years for the generals is in charge right now you can bet your sweet ass even when they’re in battle they’re not really what you call in battle they’re sitting in some big building someplace with the air conditioning and a computer in their Town everybody what’s going on and what they think they should do or somebody you know there’s a difference between officers high ranking officers combat duty and your veterans and your volunteers ones with the boots on the ground big difference I wouldn’t take two four star generals over to Sergeant

11 months ago

In 1970 I ENLISTED. I freely offered no less than my life,took up arms to defend my nation and protect my family.
NOW in this day…. I am looking to again take up arms to PROTECT my family and property from what Our Nation has become!!!
I Pray to God…. help us!

11 months ago
Reply to  John

I feel the same way 68 I joined the Marine corps today I’m locked and later come hell or high water I’ll fight to the end

11 months ago
Reply to  Martin

Martin, do NOT feel alone! There are many veterans that feel this way. I was on River Patrol in Quang Tri Province when it fell to the VC and we had to evacuate. We burned everything Thermite the Boats and fuel/ammo dumps. ARVN fought back and recovered I Corps but we had left and failed to rearm them as promised… F-ing Democrats! then the Chinese moved in and the rest is history. Got treated pretty bad when I came home by Americans and I volunteered for foreign service on a Destroyer and didn’t come home again until 1981.
I am ready, willing and able to fight off the Commies here!

11 months ago

Wait, I’m not done. Austin and Milley should be busted back to butter bars while in Kabul. The only way they get their stars back is to get our people out.

11 months ago
Reply to  Stephan

Butter bars? They wouldn’t have a hold on Private E-1! Court Martial sounds more appropriate, loss of all rank, awards, and dishonorable discharge, after a couple years of free lodgings at am Army facility in Kansas

11 months ago
Reply to  Veteran

Unfortunately, they would not be busted back to “butter bars”, however the rest of your statement can and should be done. It would depend on the Court Martial board’s decision and then, oops, the pardon would come from the present Administration. It’s just fantasy right now.

11 months ago

Put an M4 in the hands of Austin and Milley, then fly them into the Kabul airport and don’t let them leave until ALL our people are out.

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