The curious U.S. military alliance with the Taliban

The U.S. government appears to have a closer relationship with the Taliban than with its Afghan and NATO allies.  The military withdrew from Bagram Airfield in the dead of night “without notifying the base’s new Afghan commander who discovered the Americans’ departure more than two hours after they left.”  

The allies were not consulted when the US withdrew from forward military bases or withdrew from Bagram Airfield.  Apparently, NATO allies were not informed about the closure of the U.S. embassy.  This was only revealed when "German diplomats on their way to work noticed the US had withdrawn the forces to their own embassy." The Asia Times reported that "Lack of US consultation with NATO on its Afghanistan withdrawal plans left its allies in the dark and highly vulnerable."  "U.K. officials told The Guardian that the worry is U.S. forces could leave and the British Army contingent is unable to secure the airport." 

President Biden stated, “I have seen no question of our credibility from our allies around the world.”  Perhaps he has not seen questions about our credibility because he was on vacation or incapacitated.   Armin Laschet, Angel Merkel’s replacement, described the Afghan withdrawal as “the greatest debacle that NATO has seen since its foundation” and called it “an epochal change that we are facing.”  The UK Parliament voted to hold Biden in contempt for the Afghanistan pullout fiasco.  Tony Blair declared,  "America's retreat is imbecilic – and tells our enemies we don't have any interests or values worth defending.

With friends like these....

YouTube screengrab (cropped)

Friends and foes ask: is this a moment when the West is in epoch-changing retreat?" British MP Lord Forsyth of Drumlean stated, “It is very hard to overestimate the scale of the catastrophe following the Biden Administration’s disastrous implementation of the decision to withdraw from Afghanistan. … It was utterly disingenuous for President Biden to present the Afghans as unwilling to fight for their country, after having withdrawn vital US support services without an agreed ceasefire, precipitating the collapse of the Afghan state.”

The Aug. 26, 2021 explosion at the Kabul airport is only the beginning.  The explosives used in the attack were left behind by US forces as they withdrew from Afghanistan.  As much as $83 billion worth of military equipment has been abandoned in Afghanistan.  If the U.S. has to reenter Afghanistan, as former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says, the U.S. will face one of the best-equipped militaries in the world.  Equipped by the United States.  There are several high-security warehouses, so important that only military with Top Secret Security Clearances could enter them.   Inside storage warehouses were things like shoulder-carry Stinger anti-aircraft missiles and a host of other “special” equipment.

John Dietrich is a freelance writer and the author of The Morgenthau Plan: Soviet Influence on American Postwar Policy (Algora Publishing).  He has a Master of Arts Degree in International Relations from St. Mary’s University.  He is retired from the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.  He is featured on the BBC's program "Things We Forgot to Remember:" Morgenthau Plan and Post-War Germany.

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