There may be a legitimate reason for our troops' inaction in Kabul
Even without military training, I think most people know that when you pull out of a country that will soon have your enemy on the move, you get vulnerable civilians and local allies out first; then you take your machinery and weapons; and lastly, you withdraw your troops. Biden ordered the opposite, with predictable consequences. What's made people really crazy, though, is that, with 5,000 troops returned to Afghanistan, they're not rescuing anybody.
Over at Instapundit, someone with "a lot of military experience" explains that there may be a (sad, pathetic) method to this seeming madness.
One of the most horrific things about the Taliban takeover has been the knowledge that tens of thousands of Americans are trapped in Afghanistan. Those Afghans who aided America or simply bought into more Western values (working women, etc.) are also trapped. Even worse, the military is under strict orders not to recover people for evacuation.
With the military stuck in the airport and the Taliban in control, we know that Americans are being beaten. And God help us, but we also know that the Taliban are hunting down those who worked with the Americans, and when they find them, they're torturing and murdering them, after which they kidnap their daughters and wives as sex slaves. (We can assume, given the sick Afghan habit of Bacha Bazi, or sexual abuse of little boys, that a lot of the boys are vanishing, too.)
What's infuriating is that we're learning that British and French troops are rescuing their own citizens:
As the Defense Department continues to stick to its plans of not reaching out into Kabul to assist U.S. personnel and Afghan helpers evacuate, British and French forces have done so to rescue their citizens, multiple outlets report.
The Daily Mail reported that London deployed an additional 300 troops to Kabul specifically to extract trapped British nationals earlier in the week. Within hours of touching down in Kabul, the British troops retrieved some 200 British nationals from around Kabul, the Telegraph reported. Prompting the mission were reports of Taliban hunting down former Afghan government officials, along with Britons stuck behind a web of Taliban checkpoints lining the route to the airport.
Additionally, France 24 reports that the French military has been conducting similar operations since Monday. French President Emmanuel Macron thanked French security forces on Twitter for executing a 'sensitive operation' which evacuated more than 200 French and Afghans.
We also know that our troops are champing at the bit to be useful, rather than prisoners of the Kabul airport. We've assumed that their orders to stay put represent more administration cowardice and ineptitude. However, Glenn Reynolds heard from a friend "with a lot of military experience," and it turns out that it's more complicated than that:
The British and French go in at the pleasure of the Taliban, who I suspect are not that interested in them at this time. Except to the extent they may serve as bait to draw in US forces.
If US forces did go into Kabul at anything less than brigade strength, it could be Mogadishu. Even at brigade strength, the Taliban will be calling the shots. Shutting off streets. Making use of American hostages and human shields.
That makes a lot of sense. The same person goes on to write that protecting the troops from another Mogadishu doesn't excuse the fact that Biden, the State Department, and the military brass made horrendous errors from one end to another. It just means they are at least trying to avoid this specific error.
If our administration were made up of people who hewed to the Japanese ethos of failure, they would resign in disgrace. Heck, some might think about seppuku (although I believe that's always going too far). As it is, though, Biden has made it plain that he's not firing anyone for these massive failures, nor is he going anywhere.
It must be wonderful to live in a world in which your actions, no matter how poorly conceived or conducted, never have a negative effect on you. Most of us don't get that luxury — and way too many people, both at home and abroad, have suffered mightily because Democrats have no shame and always protect their own.
Image: Troops at Kabul airport. Department of Defense photo.
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