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Don’t be Fooled Again

            The distressing images coming out of Afghanistan recently show that things aren't progressing as peacefully as the Taliban promised.  We sit here, nearly 7,000 miles away and wonder what we can do to stop the barbaric behavior being brought to bear on the Afghan people.

            Our elected leaders seem too busy pointing fingers at who's to blame.  But that doesn't matter at the moment.  What are we doing now to help those who need help?

            Elected officials release official statements on how we must focus on safely evacuating American citizens and our allies.  That's fine, but what are you doing about it?

            There are plenty of "what ifs" that encompass our last 20 years in that country.  They need to be discussed at another time and I am hopeful that lessons will be learned that will avoid future errors.

            But, something must be done now.

            The recent deployment of thousands of U.S. military personnel back to the region to assist with the evacuation was needed.  Perhaps if they weren't pulled out without notice to the Afghan government, and in the cover of night, it wouldn't be needed now.  That's an example of a lesson that might be learned.

            I wrote a few weeks ago that staying in Afghanistan forever wasn't going to happen.  The decisions were made for the U.S to leave in 2021 in what many thought would be an orderly withdrawal of the troops.

            The Afghan soldiers were caught off guard and the exodus of U.S. troops set off a rush by looters to enter and grab anything they could.  Photos of the stash of items they removed from the empty U.S. buildings was incredible.

            Since then, the Taliban has swept across the country, recently capturing Kabul, barely breaking a sweat.  Taking everything the Afghan military left behind.  That included some 211 aircraft, with about 167 U.S. planes and helicopters in service, provided to the Afghan Air Force.  Who knows how many U.S. Humvees, artillery and other equipment are now in their hands but recent photos show there is plenty.

            What does the future hold for all of that captured hardware?

            The Taliban promised peace and an inclusive Islamic government.  That remains to be seen, but the images and reports coming out of that country tell a different story right now.

            Finger-pointing and blame must be temporarily set aside and our elected officials must show leadership in this hour of need – get the American citizens and our allies out of Afghanistan as soon as possible.

            The intelligence provided to our leaders was flawed when they announced that a Taliban takeover wouldn't occur until fall.  Perhaps that's what led to the decision to remove our troops quickly and clandestinely a couple of weeks ago.

            We were fooled.

            President Biden has vowed to remove all U.S. troops from the country by August 31.  He might want to rethink that.  The safe evacuation must be completed first.

            He should make it clear to the Taliban that we won't be fooled again.






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