Feature Image – There was no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow in Afghanistan
[ Editor’s Note: Today ended another chapter in America’s long love affair with forever wars. The Trumpers seem to have moved on from thinking the Biden withdrawal could be played into his undoing somehow.
There is plenty of blame to go around and their names are on the disaster, Presidents, Secretaries of State, Pentagon chiefs and a lot of generals. The Afghanistan Inspector General’s report hit during the chaos of the withdrawal and had a one day shelf life. It was devastating on the macro and micro level.
It painted a picture of a geopolitical turd that was being passed along from one President, one Defense chief, one CIA chief, and one general to the next so the ending failure would not happen on their watch.
Obama tried the ‘shower billions of dollars into Afghan nation building ventures’, setting off an orgy of graft that lasted past his administration. There was an earlier report from the Washington Post that was also devastating that I had missed while in Iran.
Money just disappeared, like turning into ‘currency vapor’ where some would say it was there, but you could never see it. As Gordon can tell you from his war stories, this corruption disaster was not just peculiar to the Afghan war. It’s an endemic problem.
In closing, Americans lose interest in an war quickly that is not costing them anything and no coffins are coming home. But the Afghans are certainly not going to want the US money spigot turned off, with the Taliban playing the various national interest groups off against each other to keep it flowing.
America needs to focus more on its enemies at home, and there are plenty of them, but unfortunately are not the kind you can bomb or shoot. Thus ends my cheery missive for today… Jim W. Dean ]
First published … September 28, 2021
Gen. Mark Milley, chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, described the end of America’s two-decade war in Afghanistan as a “strategic failure” on Tuesday.
…“There’s been four presidents, 20 commanders on the ground, seven or eight chairmen of the Joint Chiefs, dozens of secretaries of Defense, et cetera” throughout the U.S. war in Afghanistan, Milley said. “And outcomes like this are not determined in the last five days, the last 20 days or the last year, for that matter.”
… “Outcomes in a war like this,” he continued, “an outcome that is a strategic failure — the enemy is in charge in Kabul, there’s no way else to describe that — that outcome is a cumulative effect of 20 years, not 20 days. And there are a huge amount of strategic, operational and tactical lessons that need to be learned from this.”
…“The fact that the Afghan army that we and our partners trained simply melted away — in many cases without firing a shot — took us all by surprise,” Sec. of Defense Lloyd Austin said. “And It would be dishonest to claim otherwise.”
…Milley went on to emphasize that the Taliban “was and remains a terrorist organization, and they still have not broken ties with al Qaeda.”