The U.S. is out of Afghanistan, but what an ugly way to leave

Posted By on August 31, 2021

Yesterday, Marine General Frank McKenzie announced the U.S. military’s withdrawal from our 20-year war in Afghanistan complete. We entered Afghanistan shortly after September 11, 2001 with a mission to hunt down al-Qaida, Osama bin Laden and radical Islamic terrorists, WhoWillResign210830but we spent much of the time fighting the Taliban who gave the safe haven to terrorists and controlled opium trade in order to fund their fundamental Sharia law dictatorship.

As often happens, “mission creep” took over. We created alliances, trained fighters who preferred democracy and a better life for the majority (including half the country who were oppressed women), and assisted them with billions of dollars and aid. As Gen McKenzie commented, “It was not a cheap mission. The cost was 2,461 U.S. Service members and civilians with more than 20,000 injured. Sadly, that includes 13 U.S. Service members who were killed last week by an ISIS-K suicide bomber.”

Americans had had enough and have wanted out. President Trump put the wheels in motion for an exit, but criticism has been strong and harsh in recent days for theUSLeftForTaliban_Aug2021 botched exit by President Biden who seemed more interested in a pre-9/11 timeline than getting all Americans, Afghan friendlies and the fewest casualties.

Prior to the debacle last week, the State Department and Biden administration had over six months to begin the evacuation process. We still had Bagram Air Base, close air support and held 5000 fighters in prisons (released when Taliban took it over). Whoever made the decision to close that base and hand the keys, prisoners and equipment over to those left behind in July … obviously did not have contingency plans in place in case the Taliban over ran the country. 

The U.S. still had hundreds of thousands left to evacuate, were only holding a civilian airport in Kabul that eventually was surrounded by the Taliban. The mission for the Marines was nearly impossible, but they heroically spent 17-days evacuating 120,000 who were able to get through the checkpoints and board transport planes. Unfortunately many allies and an estimated 250 American have been left behind — A national disgrace, as one Op-Ed put it.

For all those who fought and sacrificed in Afghanistan, I thank you for 20 years of safety at home. You have kept the U.S. homeland safer and protected our way of life. What will the the future be like? More terror attacks abroad and here at home?



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  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.
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