The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome.
On April 30th, 1975, the American backed South Vietnamese capital of Saigon fell to the advancing invading North Vietnam Communists. The image of American embassy personal fleeing to the rooftop of the American compound to be airlifted by helicopters out of the country is a stark reminder of how a foreign policy fraught with political uncertainty and without a cohesive military end-game can quickly unravel.
History does have a way of repeating itself — Images from Kabul may mirror this imagine of the US Embassy during the fall of Saigon, Vietnam 1975. #Taliban #Afghanistan #Vietnam pic.twitter.com/P8jIAjeNRH— Baktash Ahadi (@baktashahadi) August 12, 2021
Fast forward to the present; the breaking news that Taliban insurgents have taken Kandahar and Heart, the country’s second and third major cities once again reminds us how failed leadership here at home can undercut 20 years of America’s resolve.
Biden, in his haste to pull out of Afghanistan hasn’t allowed for an orderly exit strategy or even a contingency plan if the unthinkable should happen. Instead, he relied on faulty Intel deluding himself into believing that the Afghanistan military was better trained and better equipped than their ragtag counterparts.
President Ashraf Ghani said ‘Afghanistan is in serious danger of instability’ as Taliban rebels pushed closer to Kabul, capturing a key town south of the capital https://t.co/dncroDUGWQ pic.twitter.com/GkawLdVaxJ— Reuters (@Reuters) August 14, 2021
During a resent Q and A news conference in the East Room of the White House the president was finally forced to answer some tough questions concerning troop withdrawal. Biden assured the assembled journalists that the Afghan National Security Forces along with the Federal Police were more than capable of maintaining control over the country.
“We have trained and equipped nearly 300,000 current serving members” of the Afghan military, Biden said, adding that the United States has “provided our Afghan partners with all the tools, training, and equipment of any modern military,” including “advanced weaponry.”
Adding; “I trust the capacity of the Afghan military, which is better trained, better equipped and more competent in terms of conducting war than something like 75,000 Taliban,” the president said, insisting that a takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban is not inevitable.
Biden continued; “After 20 years, a trillion dollars spent training and equipping hundreds of thousands of Afghan National Security and Defense Forces, 2,448 Americans killed, 20,722 more wounded, and untold thousands coming home with unseen trauma to their mental health, I will not send another generation of Americans to war in Afghanistan with no reasonable expectation of achieving a different outcome.”
No doubt a fair and reasonable response. However, keeping a residual contingency force along with sufficient air power would have insured that the Taliban along with other hostile forces like ISIS could not reconstitute in the country, setting up terrorist camps and exporting Jihad around the world.
Taliban taking a break after taking over a US-backed warlord’s palace pic.twitter.com/iMpBqDboKn— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) August 14, 2021
If anything the lesson of 9/11 should have thought us that our enemy is patient, they’ll wait decades for us to grow restless and eventually withdraw. Moreover, their goal of repeating another 9/11 has always been a top priority.
Also the void created by our withdrawal will allow bad actors like China and Russia to come in and fill that space.
The realization by the U.S. military that Kabul may also fall at anytime has officials making contingency plans for a rapid military evacuation of our embassy.
Early Thursday morning and again on Friday Biden was briefed by both Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on evacuation plans. One White House official reiterated to reporters, “The military will evacuate “thousands” of American citizens and Afghan interpreters from Kabul.”
Let’s hope that we at least don’t witness a repeat of 1975, when Americans were forced to run for their lives on the rooftop of our U.S. Embassy.