There will be consequences from our defeat in Afghanistan
There will be serious consequences from our defeat in Afghanistan
If you tell a lie, it must be plausible; otherwise, you destroy your credibility with all but the most ideologically committed. The president and the members of his administration are either unaware of this or so confident in their power that their credibility means nothing to them. The Biden administration is involved in a historical disaster. It is better to remain silent than to spout an impossible story.
General Mark Milley claims, "There was nothing that I or anyone else saw that indicated a collapse in 11 days." This is undoubtedly a true statement from the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. However, did anyone indicate a collapse in 10 days or 12 days? It did not require a multi-billion-dollar intelligence agency to predict the fall of Afghanistan. From May 1 to June 29, the Taliban more than doubled the number of district centers it controlled. Their momentum was building, and considering the speed and ease of their advance, it was not unreasonable to believe they would be in Kabul by early August.
Perhaps Milley was being advised by Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf, popularly known as Baghdad Bob.
Intelligence reports are frequently used to back up a position and do not necessarily conform to reality. Perhaps he was distracted by his investigation of his own navel. That's navel, not naval. Did the intelligence gurus know that the Afghan army frequently surrendered without a fight? Did they know that the army was frequently not paid or supplied with ammunition? Reporting these facts might have exposed a level of corruption that was inexcusable. Afghan president Ashraf Ghani reportedly fled the country with $169 million.
A Taliban victory may not be as bad as people anticipate. CNN reports that "They're just chanting 'Death to America' but they seem friendly at the same time." This is all part of the Taliban charm offensive that will last at least as long as the U.S. remains at the airport. They have made it clear that they will be governed by sharia law. Sharia law imposes stoning as a punishment for certain crimes. Homosexuals will be sentenced to death as ruled by a Taliban judge last month. There may in fact be moderate Taliban. A party can contain both a Liz Cheney and a Marjorie Taylor Greene. The problem with the Taliban is that the extremists will dominate. The State Department has reports of the Taliban executing surrendering troops. A YouTube video shows 22 Afghan commandos massacred after surrendering.
This defeat will have global consequences. True or not, the U.S. will be perceived as a paper tiger. This will embolden opponents all over the world. Secretary Lloyd Austin and Gen. Milley held a press conference. Does anyone have confidence in the truth of what they said? They do not have a good record. Will our intelligence agencies be able to recruit sources? Who would want to work for the U.S. in any capacity? There will be continuing concerns with Afghanistan. An I.G. report claims that "the Taliban continued to maintain its relationship with al Qaida, providing safe haven for the terrorist group in Afghanistan."
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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