“The army had 30,000 soldiers and another 30,000 federal police stationed in the city, facing a 1,500-member attacking force. However, after six days of fighting, the city fell...” Kabul, August 2021? Nope. Mosul, June 2014.

But here’s National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan: The fall of Kabul “...unfolded at unexpected speed....” Really? Unexpected by whom? People who don’t know history? People whose memories don’t extend back all of seven years?

But let’s say Sullivan, Biden, et al. had amnesia and didn’t “remember” Mosul, and how the Iraqi army simply threw down their weapons and ran away. Let’s ignore that (as they did). OK. August 6, the Taliban took the first provincial capital. And every day after that, they took more provincial capitals.

Was the Afghan army overwhelmed by the superior firepower and tactics of the Taliban? No. Sometimes there was token resistance, sometimes there was no resistance whatsoever. Some capitals fell without a shot being fired. The Afghan army simply either switched sides or melted away. Presumably Sullivan, Biden et al. read the papers. What made them think, in their wildest optimistic dreams, that Kabul would fare differently than Kandahar? Or any other city? What shred of evidence did they rely on to believe that even though every single provincial capital fell while the Afghan army just melted away, that the same wouldn’t happen in Kabul? It took nine days from the fall of the first provincial capital to the fall of Kabul. Of course Kabul was going to fall as soon as the Taliban arrived. Only an idiot would think otherwise.

But they wasted nine days denying history and reality. And those tens of thousands of Afghans who risked their lives to help us and our allies? Too bad for them the bureaucrats had to dot the i’s and cross the t’s on those visas. Paperwork takes time, you know. Months. Years. But I guarantee it’s not going to take months and years for the Taliban to hunt them down and execute them and their families. We could have flown them out. We didn’t. They are expendable.

And that “wonderful job” of flying people out? Look at the statistics for Washington National: Over 300 flights per day departed last May. Say for the sake of argument only half that many could fly out of Kabul. Although National has restrictions on nighttime flights, Kabul doesn’t. But say 150 flights. We saw some Air Force planes with 640 people on them. But again, for the sake of argument, let’s say each flight could carry half that — 320 people. Do the math: 150 flights per day, each carrying 320 people. That’s 48,000 people a day. They had at least 18 days. 48,000 a day times 18 days equals 864,000 people. We didn’t evacuate anything close to that. Why not? I voted for Biden. I deserve better than this fiasco.

Robert Cavanauagh

Frederick

(19) comments

sevenstones1000

Hmmm.. Everybody knew and yet there were numbers of Americans who went INTO Afghanistan in the months before this expected collapse and were in no hurry to leave, even when told to. Hmm. I guess everybody didn’t know.

How’s that Magic 8 ball you have at picking lottery numbers?

mamlukman

Read the letter again. It never says "everyone knew." It talks about "people who deny history and reality." It talks about idiots. Everyone knew--who was rational and logical. Sadly, those qualities are becoming harder to find.

Awteam2021

I think history shows this exit was actually exceptional. Right? Or maybe it was handled better then in the past. Should I point out similar incidents in history that were total disasters? I’m talking about exits with mass devastation. Of course you already know them... Right? Our military accomplished a herculean humanitarian feet. Evacuating and securely process over a 125,000 people in a landlocked country under hostile conditions. What other country can do that? Please, please let everyone know.

Awteam2021

Following your logic “what everyone knows” is no surprise:

* In light of the sacrifice made by Afghans who assisted U.S. forces, everyone knows Congress created the Special Immigrant Visa Program (SIV) to get them and their families to safety in the U.S.

* Everyone knows in 2019 the Trump Administration drastically dropped the SIV visas for Afghan and Iraq interpreters, down from 10,000 in 2016 to 200 last year. Remember?

* Everyone knew the Trump administration in February 2020 negotiated a withdrawal agreement with the Taliban that excluded the Afghan government,freed 5,000 imprisoned Taliban soldiers and set a date certain of May 1, 2021, for the final withdrawal. Biden extended the exit date to August.

* You claim it was common knowledge that the Afghan government would completely collapse upon the US exit. So that means people that stayed after the military exit knew it was at their own peril.

* After 20 years of building an army with state of the art military equipment, an air force, a the countries’ government completely collapsed in 11 days, Kabul in 1 day. Everyone knows you shouldn’t sacrificed any more American lives for people who won’t fight for themselves. Sending 6,000 troops back, was only a humanitarian effort, not a combat mission.

* And, everyone knows, It’s not possible to successfully secure screening of 846,000 people (of multiple nationalities, families, men, women and children) and not have more suicide bombings, more Americans casualties in a 2 week period. Not to mention the logistical impossibility.

mamlukman

I'm not sure what point(s) you are trying to make. If you want to blame Trump for some of this, be my guest. There's plenty of blame to go around. But also keep in mind that Biden had been president for 7 months when this fiasco took place. Did Trump lower the number of special visas? Sure. Could Biden reverse that? Sure. Did Trump make a bad deal with the Taliban? Sure. Could Biden have ditched the deal on any number of grounds, including the fact that the Taliban hadn't kept their end of the bargain? Sure. He didn't.

Biden should have consulted NATO allies more. He didn't. Biden should have gotten Afghan allies out ASAP. Never mind the paper work, deal with that later. The Taliban aren't sitting around worrying about paper work as they execute them. Biden could have gotten them all to any number of US bases in the Middle East--Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, etc. but he didn't. Once they're safely out of Afghanistan, then deal with vetting etc. This is reminiscent of the ship full of Jews turned away by the US before WW II.

"State of the art military equipment"? Please. Not even close. For one thing, they didn't need state of the art equipment to deal with the Taliban.

As for the two-week period, yes, it's ridiculous to deal with the problem in that length of time. The French began getting their people (and Afghan helpers) out in April. Four months ahead of the US. Didn't any light bulbs go off in the Pentagon or White House?

There's no way to put lipstick on this pig. The whole thing was an unqualified disaster that's going to have long-term consequences. Who in their right mind would volunteer to help US forces in the future? Who in their right mind would trust the US to have their backs? What makes it much, much worse is that no one in the administration is telling the truth. (And yes, I voted for Biden too, and would again since the alternative is fascism. But I will certainly be holding my nose. And if the Republicans come to their senses and run reasonable candidates (are there any left??), I'd be more than happy to vote for them.)

gabrielshorn2013

Well written mamlukman. 👍👍👍

Awteam2021

The military evacuated Afghans to U.S. and NATO bases in Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Spain and Italy that are accommodate evacuees to their maximum capacities.

Military bases in Qatar and Germany housed the most evacuees 11,600 and 15,700 refugees, respectively. There were more than 270 unaccompanied children at Qatar's Camp As Sayliyah and nearby facilities, according to the federal data. At least nine babies have been born to evacuated families in camps.

Several countries, including Canada, the United Kingdom, Albania, South Korea and Colombia, have stepped up to receive Afghans who are currently being housed in over capacity facilities.

Awteam2021

In addition many of the potential American citizens still there were private citizens traveling on their own affairs. Many never checked in with the American Embassy before-hand to announce they were in the country. In a population of 40 million people, the size of Texas, it makes it hard to identity who’s there and where. The state department asked to be contacted if you know of any Americans who are still there and want to leave.

mamlukman

So are you saying no more could possibly have been done? That if given the choice of an uncomfortable few weeks in a camp vs. execution by the Taliban, that Afghans would gladly choose execution? We're not talking about putting up these people in luxury accommodations. We're talking getting them out--to anywhere, in any conditions.

Think for a second. Why didn't the US secure Bagram for its own use? Why didn't the US look at the French and say "Hey, let's get these Afghans out of here ASAP--in April? Why didn't the US abandon all this nonsense about visas and paperwork and deal with all that after they got people to safety? I could go on and on.

A few years ago, before the Russians got involved in Syria, a guy wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post. He ran through some scenarios regarding Asad's gov. vs. ISIS vs. democratic forces. I thought he had overlooked the most obvious scenario, so I wrote him an e-mail. He was nice enough to reply: "I didn't think of that." Who was this guy? An asst. director, and under Bush acting director, of the CIA. "I didn't think of that." Really? A title doesn't give you omniscient powers. If anything, it creates giant blind spots.

Awteam2021

Manlukman, Trump wanted to withdraw from NATO. Do you think Biden’s total disaster will make his wish come true? We’ll get kicked out? Or was your comment, “ Who in their right mind would volunteer to help US forces in the future? Who in their right mind would trust the US to have their backs?” just hyperbole?

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/14/us/politics/nato-president-trump.html

mamlukman

No, not hyperbole. The "helping US forces" refers to Afghans, Kurds, Syrians, democracy advocates throughout the Middle East, etc. Do you really think that if, for example, there is a crisis in Yemen, and the US sends in troops, that Yemenis would come forward and say "Sure, I'd love to be your interpreter" or "Sure, I'd love to work at your base." Again, no RATIONAL person would do that now. Are there some people out there who don't know history, or don't care? Of course. But they're not "in their right mind" as I put it. An amazingly large percentage of Americans think they've been abducted by aliens. There are crazies everywhere.

Does this apply to NATO allies? I'm sure it gives them pause. If I were the defense minister of Latvia or Poland, I'd be pretty nervous. But hey, that's just me, right? But already under Trump various prime ministers and defense ministers have commented that they need to rely more on themselves in a crisis. They're right.

Awteam2021

FNP - PLEASE SEPARATE THESE 2 LETTERS ✍️

stjohn42

It actually looks like 3 letters...

mwjr58

So sorry Mr Cavanaugh. You like millions of Americans are having buyers remorse for voting for Biden- Harris. And the rest of America is regretting it also.

olefool

"And the rest of America is regretting it also" Really/// Prove it, seen the polls lately??? Will 9/18 be the demise of the Trumpeteer party???.

veritas

Yes, fool, we have seen the polls. They paint a dismal picture of your "boy."

Awteam2021

No doubt Biden has gotten unfavorable press over the exit from Afghanistan. Folks haven’t yet realized the historic humanitarian accomplishment to evacuate 125,000 souls by air, in less than 20 days. In spite of that his low poll numbers are better then Trump highest poll numbers. Imagine that.

phydeaux994

Of course, President Biden’s low marks are about the same as your “boy’s” high marks over 4 years, which NEVER reached 50%.

Awteam2021

Mwjr the polls aren’t showing buyers remorse. Just the conclusion of the Afghan war.

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