I will always remember the men of 2nd Rifle Company, Afghan Army. You can see them above advancing along a goat path into combat. A bare hour later and we were in contact with the enemy, our mutual foe. Hundreds of Afghans were on the scene, only about eight Americans. I was one of them.
Why am I talking about this today.
Well, I’ll tell you.
A whole lot of the fighting (and dying) overseas has been borne by our allies. The President acted like a knave yesterday and betrayed them along with our national interest.
In the past 24 hours the US Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, resigned in protest over the President’s policies. He is the first cabinet level secretary to do so in over forty years. To say that this is a big deal is a slight understatement. General Mattis, USMC (Ret.) is the real deal. And he couldn’t stand to watch as the post-war order was systematically destroyed on his watch, and his brothers in arms were left out to hang.
So he did the honorable thing and resigned, as an officer and gentleman should when he is asked to support the unsupportable.
Unsupportable? Yes. It is unsupportable and morally bankrupt to march out of Northern Syria and leave our steadfast allies, the Kurds, to die by inches at the hands of the Turks in the north or the Syrians in the south. Mr. President, ISIS has not been defeated, and the Russians and Iranians will be the immediate benefactors of your decision.
It is disgusting to leave our Afghan allies in the lurch, another component of yesterday’s barrage of bad decisions. My men, the remaining soldiers of 2nd Company, will inevitably be hunted down and killed by the Taliban. Some will switch sides, but all will retain enduring memories of Uncle Sam’s perfidy. And pissed off Afghans act on their hatreds.
I know EXACTLY the extremely awkward and dangerous situation that the President has just placed our combat advisors in. Months, years, decades of building trust with allies in the region, gone. Your brothers in arms, betrayed.
Their trust has evaporated. Blown away like the dust covering the shallow graves of the fallen.
Way to go. Like a petulant child, the President has chosen to take his ball and go home.
But this isn’t a game. Lives are on the line, not an endless series of pointless real estate deals, hookers, and snorts of blow.
General Mattis understands this deep in his bones. The President does not.
It’s just a shame the former Secretary of Defense didn’t post his resignation on Twitter.