Can you remember a time in American history — at least in the last 75 years or so — when the United States faced a situation similar to what our nation faces today in Afghanistan? There’s no doubt foreign foes have been numerous throughout our history. But the U.S. has always found a way to take whatever measures are necessary to send those foes packing. And, exclusively, we have done so on THEIR turf.
Oh, there certainly have been “drive-by shooters” like Osama bin Laden and Hirohito and Adolph Hitler. Don’t forget, the British, after being sent packing in the 18th, century decided they’d try one more time to take on those rebellious colonialists and came back for one more taste of American musket fire. They almost succeeded and even burned the White House. But they were unsuccessful — twice. The Britts discovered something they never expected from Americans. Hirohito and Hitler saw the same thing. And it whipped them all.
But things change.
After WWII that saw two world tyrannical nations gang up on those upstart Yanks in the U.S. were each sent packing, licking their wounds. WWII was the last war we won.
We’ve since been involved in many skirmishes. We’ve found ourselves in military conflicts all around the globe. Somehow those skirmishes never turned into full-fledged wars. There was Korea, the Cuban conflict, Iraq “One” and Iraq “Two.” The U.S. sent forces to Panama, and to Central America to fight the illegal drug lords and cartels. For reasons that remain unknown, we sent thousands of young men to their deaths in that little nation in southeast Asia, Vietnam.
After World War II, the U.S. rebuilt rapidly. Our leaders came mostly from that war and wore the banners of those victories over foes few thought we could ever defeat. The American people were proud: proud of their country, proud of NOT quitting during what seemed unwinnable battles in the Pacific while at the same time in Europe. Americans were proud of each other.
And then Politics replaced Pride and declared wars against specific foes morphed into “skirmishes” against hard to identify opponents. And what for? Not to protect the Homeland against invasion. Not to stop threats from international despots to keep those evil empires from taking over our nation. Those were in large part to prove to people around the world the glory of wars not lost were justification for refusing to engage in World War “III.”
We became known as the protectors of “lesser” populations in countries that “needed” a Big Brother to intervene for both internal and foreign critical issues. The U.S. literally became the neighborhood bully whose tactics were to simply bluster at these foes, talk louder than did they, and use past history examples of how tough we were to keep everybody else afraid to fight back.
The U.S. even turned the corner against Islamist extremists that attempted to invade our nation with philosophy, terror, and fear. When those twin towers in Manhattan fell killing 3000 Americans, that old love for “flag and country” welled up in the hearts of tens of millions of Americans who said in unison, “You can’t kill us and expect to get away with it.”
We Americans took for granted our government had continued to grow in knowledge, understanding, and military might after World War II. Oh, we learned a lot. We initiated great technological improvements in our military. We built the largest and most powerful military complex on Earth. WE became the Big Bully. But that wasn’t enough. And the REAL bullies stayed in the bushes watching and learning how they could best go after the United States.
But spending money and the accumulation of technological wonders don’t necessarily turn into success in military operations. That takes grit, hard work, effective leadership, and planning. There were no Eisehnhowers or MacArthurs or Pattons left in leadership in the U.S. military. Their replacements liked the idea of power and authority but were not really into leading their minions by example. Real military leaders quickly became rare and even nonexistent.
The rank-and-file in the military that weren’t alive in WWII didn’t understand that and just thought that was normal. The NCOs operated in the ages-long process of following orders and maintaining an atmosphere of discipline. Senior military leadership did NOT fall into that same thought process. And most of those saw politics as a new way to garner all those trappings that come to those who are allowed to step up on the political platform.
All those other smaller and less sophisticated nation’s military leaders saw how the U.S. defeated its foes in our past and began to implement the reasoning and planning that our great generals and admirals had used to win wars. Some of the despots were emboldened. New giants were created. War was changed in structure. The U.S. found itself sucked into skirmishes all over the world that never became wars and were therefore never won.
Our former military-now-political leaders decided it prudent to occupy these new upstart foreign foes’ countries to do “nation-building” under the guise of helping them to build necessary political and military infrastructure sufficient to keep invaders at bay.
Afghanistan was such a nation. It was massive in size, unsophisticated politically, but VERY Muslim. It was a haven for every type of radical Islamist group to locate, train, and launch terrorism worldwide.
The U.S. didn’t learn about Afghanistan and how resilient its people and leaders are. That was even after watching the Russians flounder there for more than a decade. The Russians withdrew and were happy to leave.
Meanwhile, the U.S. watched in horror as our twin towers fell, Islamic radicals were named as responsible, and Pres. George W. Bush felt it necessary to go to Afghanistan to find the perpetrator Osama bin Laden and to keep him and other Islamist groups from mounting new attacks against all of the Western World.
Just as the Russians learned Afghanistan is not an easy country to occupy we learned the same lesson. But it took us twenty years.
The American-nurtured Afghan military of the last 20 years that had suffered thousands of prior casualties evaporated in a few hours in the encirclement of Kabul. Enlistees apparently calculated that their own meager chances with the premodern Taliban were still better than fighting as a dependency of the postmodern United States — despite its powerful diversity training programs.
Forces more powerful than the Taliban, in places far more strategic, will now leverage an ideologically driven but predictably incompetent administration, a woke Pentagon, and politically weaponized intelligence communities.
- Why not, when President Joe Biden trashes both American frackers and the Saudis — only to beg the Kingdom to rush to export more of its hated oil before the U.S. midterms?
- Why not, when Biden asks Russia’s Vladimir Putin to request that Russian-related hackers be a little less rowdy in their selection of U.S. targets?
- And why not, when our own military jousts with the windmills of “white supremacy” as Afghans fall from U.S. military jets in fatal desperation to reach such a supposedly racist nation?
Biden keeps repeating that he was bound by former President Donald Trump’s planned withdrawal.
A mercurial Trump repeatedly demonstrated that he was willing to use air power to protect U.S. personnel and to bomb an Islamic would-be caliphate. The Taliban knew that and so struck when Trump was gone.
Biden claims he was bound by Trump’s decision to withdraw and thus cannot be blamed for his reckless operation of a predetermined departure. But all Biden has done since entering office is destroy Trump pacts, overturning past agreements on energy leases, protocols with Latin America and Mexico on border security, and pipeline contracts.
No sooner did Biden claim he was straitjacketed by Trump than he reversed course to defend not just his own withdrawal but the disastrous manner of it. Biden claims that he has no free will while insisting he would have done nothing differently if he did.
In a sane world, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the secretary of defense would resign. We have heard for too long their careerist boasts about assigning climate change as their chief challenge. For too long they have virtue-signaled their critical race theory credentials to Congress. For too long they have bragged about rooting out alleged white supremacists from their ranks. For too long they have sparred with journalists while fighting Twitter wars and issuing cartoonish commercials attesting to their woke credentials.
In other words, they sermonized on anything and everything — except their plans to prevent a humiliating military defeat of U.S. forces and their allies.
Our intelligence and investigatory agencies are just as morally suspect. The legacy of John Brennan, James Clapper, James Comey, and Andrew McCabe has been the destruction of the reputations of the CIA, NSA, and FBI. Current and retired intelligence lackeys and careerists all wasted years promulgating Russian “collusion.” They swore Hunter Biden’s laptop was Russian “disinformation.” They surveilled and unmasked officials and hatched adolescent plots against an elected president. All that was more important to their careers than warning of the growing threats in Afghanistan.
In the aftermath of the Afghan debacle, we must de-politicize and de-weaponize these warped agencies and incompetent institutions.
We could get a symbolic start by pulling security clearances from all retired operatives, officers, and diplomats who go on television to offer partisan analysis.
The retired and pensioned top brass should finally be held to account if they violate tenets of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. When four-star generals lecture the nation that an elected president is a Mussolini or Nazi-like but keep mum during the greatest military setback in a half-century, they should forfeit exemptions from existing military codes.
Retired officers who revolve in and out of corporate defense contractor boards and Pentagon billets should have a cooling-off period of five years before leveraging their inside knowledge of the Pentagon procurement labyrinth.
As for Biden, his team in defeat threatens the victorious Taliban with possible ostracism from global diplomacy as the price of their illiberality. We are to assume that in between executing women, the Taliban will fear losing the chance to visit the U.N. in New York.
Biden has defied a Supreme Court ruling and assumed that it was a good thing to have broken the law. Under his watch, the fate of America’s border, equal enforcement of the laws, economy, energy, safety from crime, foreign policy, and racial relations have imploded — and in seven months no less.
If Biden were a Republican, the current Democratic House would have impeached him. It would have been right to have done so.