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What a difference just one week makes. Last week I wrote about how quickly US Afghanistan policy was collapsing. The Taliban were reported fighting about ten miles from Kabul when I wrote this update last week. Now they are sitting in the Afghan President’s office. In the photograph is one of the terrorists Mr. Obama let out of prison in Guantanamo in trade for the deserter, Mr. Bergdahl. Tens of thousands of Americans, soldiers and civilians, European and NATO allies, and God knows how many Afghans who helped us are now trapped and surrounded at the Kabul airport. This will soon become Mr. Biden’s version of the evacuation of Dunkirk in WWII. The only reason an American is still alive in Kabul right now is because they are worth more alive. Before this is over, pallets of US cash money will be required for the ransom. The international prestige of the United States will not be restored in my lifetime. The President and many in the Pentagon should resign. This is going to get much worse.
Those who believe the army of Afghanistan cut and run need to clean their glasses and read the statistics again. Over 69,000 Afghan soldiers (and about that many civilians) have been killed in combat since the US combat mission ended in December of 2014. I remember seeing reports of hundreds being killed in a single day. I was part of the US assistance mission that trained many of these soldiers. When they graduated from my class they were sent straight into combat. Though many of their senior leaders struggled with corruption, the ordinary soldiers and non-commissioned officers fought with bravery and distinction that made this old Colonel very proud.
We have a one-of-a-kind treasure of knowledge about Afghanistan right here in Nebraska at the University of Nebraska-Omaha’s Center for Afghanistan Studies. There is building full of experts and a library full of many great scholarly works on Afghanistan. Over the years they have provided invaluable advice and assistance to the US mission in Afghanistan, and to me personally. Had anyone in the Pentagon taken five minutes to review their disastrous plan with the professors in this wonderful institution, they would have been thoroughly warned against this insane course of action. This iconic failure of our country’s entire national security team did not happen because we didn’t know any better. I cannot fathom the reckless and willful ignorance required to order a withdraw from Afghanistan the likes of which we are seeing.
I joined the Army in the late 1970’s. I saw first-hand what our humiliating defeat in Vietnam did to the moral and combat readiness of the US Army. Remember that the “all volunteer force” is a forty-seven year-old experiment. We haven’t had to draft people into the military since 1973 because we could recruit and retain an all-volunteer force big enough to defend our country without conscript soldiers. I’m not sure tuition assistance will replenish the ranks after this.