Yeah, I’ve been quiet lately. There’s a reason for that. Because I do not want to spend a ton of words raving about the abject debacle that we are watching unfold in Afghanistan, a place I know well.
However, I will talk about the situation a bit. There could be some readers who are curious what my opinion is. So I’ll give it to you.
First, some background, BLUF.
The end of my career was spent as an infantry advisor to 2nd Rifle Company, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 209th Afghan National Army Corps. They say we were “training” forces, but what we really did was backstopped the ANA during combat operations, both large and small. I guess a couple of times I did hold some formal classes and ranges with those guys, but mostly it was patrols and operations.
By operations I mean sweeps, raids, deliberate attacks, ambushes, etc. We attacked and were attacked by the Taliban and other insurgent groups.
I got to know what I saw as “my men.” I absorbed and breathed in their fierce warrior culture, the ethos of those rugged mountains.
Why did they fold this past week like a house of cards.
I’ll lay it out.
1. Name a modern army that can operate when all logistical support is withdrawn.
2. We made it clear that we would not support the Afghans after a declared date. So no prospect of help.
3. No air support, very limited Afghan air assets.
4. Years of infiltration by the Taliban, who are famously patient versus the US, who (in)famously are not.
5. The common soldier had pay, food, medical support, etc. witheld by corrupt officials.
6. High morale with Taliban, the opposite with the Afghan Army, who often felt abandoned by the central government.
7. Superior planning and execution by the Taliban.
That last point is simply the case. The Taliban rolled up the entire country in less than a week, the morale of the Army completely collapsed and disaster ensued.
I watched the footage of that C-17 taking off from Kabul with my mouth open in shock. The poor bastards mobbing a moving aircraft, people getting run over and falling to their deaths.
The most secure area in a combat zone is supposed to be the airhead. That footage told me that there was zero control or security for a US Air Force aircraft, cargo and crew. Heads should roll.
Heads should roll!
So far, I’m not seeing it. All that I’m seeing is “pass the buck” in Washington, regardless of what the President claims. It’s all mealy-mouthed bullsh*t up to this point, incredible betrayal, unforced errors and obfuscation.
I could b*tch about the waste of years of my life, the ultimate negation of my seemingly misspent youth, and the cavalier dismissal of my family’s sacrifice.
But that’s selfish and stupid compared to the scenes I’m witnessing on TV and the crushing tragedy being experienced right f*cking now by the Afghan people.
It’s like watching a car wreck. You can’t tear away your eyes. I avoid the news and it still finds a way to seep under the door and blow into my eyes.
So yeah. What more can I say?