Post # 183, Bob McKnight's Florida Commentary
For the United States, Afghanistan is a debacle. That is indisputable. The Country is now controlled again by terrorists, this time led the Taliban. In the past, our enemies among the terrorists were also led by Al Qaeda and ISIS troops. Our current President made the decision to remove all American troops by the end of this month. It would appear, without fanfare, that a small residual force will be retained in country for a short period of time to aid in the exodus of all American personnel. Video of the exodus is reminiscent of the pathetic surrender of Vietnam in the '70's.
We basically are right back where we started 20 years ago when Al Qaeda threatened to take over the country in the hysteria of the 9/11 Bin Laden attack on America. For those of us having served in the military, it is especially painful.
So, although it is early in the history of this ancient country, who is to blame? A chronology;
2001 Afghanistan harbored terrorists like Bin Laden and was about to be under the rule of the Taliban and Al Qaeda when President George W. Bush authorized American troops enter the fight for freedom. The authorization was passed by Congress and signed in September of 2001.
2001 The attack by American ended in 3 months, and American turned almost all of its' attention to a similar war in Iraq. The Afghan's were left to protect the country with small troops of America and the United Nations helping them.
2008-2016 The Obama Administration concentrated on finding and killing Bin Laden, and attempted to negotiate for removal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan. President Obama was crippled by the lack of support in the Congress among the Republicans. Although the actual date is uncertain, it is said that during this time frame the United States made the decision to substitute contract mercenaries to replace some American troops in combat. But the really explosive disclosure was the rumor that American began paying the Afghan Army to fight the Taliban and Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. It became a steady employment for many of the Afghans.
2011 After the killing of Bin Laden in Pakistan, the Taliban secretly began moving back into Afghanistan to start their planned takeover of the Country. Other than bombing, the U.S. had little appetite for sending more troops into a war that was over 10 years old.
2018 Although Donald Trump supported Bush's decisions on attacking Iraq and Afghanistan at the time, as President he began reversing course, sensing a complete troop removal would aid his election.
2020 Trump signed the Doha Agreement in Qatar, committing the removal of all U.S. troops from Afghanistan in exchange for Taliban rule. The Taliban breached the Agreement and a small contingent of U.S. Troops were retained to avoid negative publicity for Trump.
2021 Biden, pursuant to the Doha Agreement, committed to the immediate removal of all U.S. Troops from Afghanistan. The decision was made without Congressional support and the Taliban saw the chance to take over the country, which was accomplished exactly 20 years from the start. When the paychecks stopped, the Afghan Army quit fighting and surrendered. In less than a month the country was in Taliban control.
So, clearly the management of terrorist threat from Afghanistan was done badly by Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama, Donald Trump and Joe Biden. But in fairness, the lack of unity among our leaders in Washington pulled down any kind of patriotic support for our troops. Perhaps it is no surprise that among these leaders and most members of Congress, other than Bush's National Guard duty (arranged by his Dad, the President), NONE of our Presidents responsible ever served our country in the military.
Duty, Honor, Country. Gone.