The Afghanistan debacle

The situation in Afghanistan is a debacle.

President Biden had wanted to withdraw U.S. troops by September 11. And before we’re even into September, the government of Afghanistan has fallen. In weeks, the Taliban has overtaken the country. The president of Afghanistan has been forced to flee.

I’ve heard that we shouldn’t be nation builders. I’ve heard we shouldn’t have had troops there. I’ve heard that we had accomplished the mission in 2011 when Navy SEALS killed Osama Bin Laden.

This week, we’ve heard comparisons of this war to Vietnam. This wasn’t Vietnam. We had long ago overthrown the government of Afghanistan and there was a certain degree of stability in that country. And all of that has been thrown out the window with our withdraw.

We had heard politicians say that our troops were in harms way and talk about this being a 20 year war.

Things were stable! We had not had an American combat death in Afghanistan since February of 2020. And over the last five years, our deaths in Afghanistan were in the teens (not all of those were even from combat). And people seriously want to compare that to Vietnam?

I hear that we should have gotten out. Because we shouldn’t be “nation building.”

We have troops literally all over the world. We should have gotten them out of Afghanistan when the operations ended? Should we also take our troops out of Japan and Germany, and Italy, whom we beat in World War II? We have over 100,000 service men and women in those countries today.

But we couldn’t keep a few thousand troops in Afghanistan to help maintain stability?

I’ll give a brief aside that if you’re someone who had more of an isolationist view of America in foreign affairs, I can at least appreciate the consistency in thinking we should have been out of Afghanistan.

I would argue that it’s in America’s interest to have a foothold in Afghanistan. We’re likely going to lose logistical advantages of having boots on the ground. Plus we’re turning our backs on women and children who we helped give a greater degree of freedom to than they will have under the iron fist of the Taliban. In America, we like to talk about all of the things we should provide for free to our citizens. We like to talk about all of the things we should have the right to have access to. We were helping provide lives that were just a little bit better for people in a war torn country.

I think about people who worked with us as translators, people who worked with our military over there. Many of them will be slaughtered. They’re in danger. I don’t think it’s right to turn our backs on them. And with all of the platitudes the Biden Administration will say about how they’re working to ensure their security, that will be much harder to achieve in a country that’s ruled by the Taliban. And heaven forbid there be another issue in that country (which is possible), it’s hard not to wonder if the people who had previously helped America will be less likely to help us a second time when we turned our backs on them.

And for what?

Why did we absolutely have to leave a country where we had helped them achieve a certain level of stability? That was surely better than this.

Hindsight is 20/20, but this was an obvious outcome to many who had questioned pulling out of Afghanistan. All you have to do to defeat America is to outlast our attention span.

Twenty years ago next month was the darkest day in modern American history. A generation went to war to avenge those attacks. And a legacy of Joe Biden is that his failures as commander-in-chief rapidly undid so much of what had been accomplished and enabled a hostile group who hates America to easily come back into power.

Thanks for reading! I’d love to hear what you think, and don’t forget to subscribe! 

Let’s connect