Taliban will disprove Biden’s lie that he’ll end Afghanistan’s war
SAN DIEGO: The truth of Afghanistan is the hunt for an al Qaeda terrorist turned into a 20-year war with the Taliban that no U.S. president since has ended or will likely end. The New York Times (NYT) recently heralded Biden’s plans to bring all troops home from Afghanistan by the 9/11 anniversary. NYT reporting that he had argued for troop removal from Afghanistan for years. Yet, Biden’s declaration “It is time to end the forever war” is a political sham.
Optics look good for the uninformed, not understanding what is at stake in Afghanistan. Remember Iraq after the invasion? The U.S. left the country with no army or accepted leader. It fell to ISIS and a scourge of human rights abuses including burnings, drownings, and beheadings. We had to go back in and retake the same cities we took before and lost more American lives.
Troops in Afghanistan number 3,300 there now. The risk is real of a Taliban Armageddon with no U.S. deterrent in place. Even with that, the Taliban has already started moving back in places once won by our troops.
Gen. Frank McKenzie, the top U.S. commander for the Middle East, has warned that Afghanistan’s military “will certainly collapse” without some continued American support once all U.S. troops are withdrawn,” says Military Times.
Terrorists’ plans unfold with Biden’s decree.
While the Taliban is already gaining ground with eyes on the big prize, Kabul, they are not alone. Al Qaeda is back on the scene.
“In the present day, al-Qaeda appears to be operating clandestinely both alongside and independent of the Taliban. A United Nations report claimed that al-Qaeda and the Taliban had at least six meetings over the last one year at the top level with regard to operations, training, and sanctuary for al-Qaeda by the Taliban in the event of a U.S. withdrawal,” says The Diplomat.
Pulling out U.S. troops will end our involvement militarily…but not end the war. What about Pakistan? Will they make a move?
Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, said last week that “Afghan government forces face an uncertain future and, in a worst-case scenario, some “bad possible outcomes” against Taliban insurgents as the withdrawal of American and coalition troops accelerates in the coming weeks,” says Military Times. Their air force is a key to holding off the Taliban and they need help and funding for that.
Although he adds it’s not a given the Taliban wins and Kabul will fall when we leave. “That’s not a foregone conclusion. There’s a significant military capability in the Afghan government. We have to see how this plays out,” says Milley.
Optics look bad for coming home politically empty-handed after 20 years of war.
Meaning the U.S. failed to democratize Afghanistan. Policy-makers failed to see it as a divided religious tribal culture not suited for Western ways. Neither government established a long-term sustainable path to stability and peace. According to the Costs of War project, over 241,000 have died calculating military, security forces, civilian, and opposition casualties. The cost of war exceeds $2 trillion, including caring for veterans of the conflicts and the interest on loaned money.
An unnamed source overheard an Afghan National Army (ANA) soldier talking to a Taliban person on the radio after U.S. Marines had repelled a viscous attack on their base in 2010. The ANA guy bragged how badly they were going to kill the Taliban. The Taliban guy said over the radio, “leave the base without the Americans and see what happens.”
Unspeakable sacrifices to initially hunt one terrorist leader.
No words suffice for the loss of over 2,400 service members who died horrible deaths in Afghanistan. No apology is good enough for over 20,600 who lost limbs and body parts on its middle east soil. History shows a sobering ratio of risk vs reward for the continued presence there. The initial motivation to avenge 9/11 led to the meltdown of peace that forever changed the lives of our troops called to serve there.
It began when the U.S. first invaded Afghanistan in October 2001 on the hunt for al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, mastermind of the 9/11 attacks. Former President Bush promised to search the ends of the earth for this murderous organizer calling for worldwide jihad. Bin Laden proudly owned the deaths of 2,977 Americans and injuries of more than 6,000 on that terrible day. Both Congress and Senator Biden voted to authorize military force to respond.
The Taliban was accused of harboring Bin Laden and al Qaeda in its rugged mountainous terrain. So we again set down on the soil of Afghanistan, having previously assisted during the Soviet invasion. Operation Cyclone was the code name for the CIA covert program to arm and finance the Jihadi warriors, mujahideen, in Afghanistan from 1979 to 1989.
Then jump to 2001 when Bush promised to stop terror in its tracks, inserting a U.S. footprint in Afghanistan.
It began with the Taliban fighting the Northern Alliance, 2001.
The Northern Alliance was a united military front that came to formation in late 1996 after the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan took over Kabul. The Taliban called for jihad if the U.S. entered Afghanistan. “Al-Qaeda leaders Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri pledged allegiance to Taliban leader Mullah Omar and accepted Omar as Amir al-Mu’minin (Commander of the Faithful) of all Sunni Muslims,” says The Diplomat, adding,
“Afterwards al-Qaeda gained considerable freedom to operate in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan and were even allowed the use of national resources for their activities. In return, al-Qaeda doled out money to the Taliban.”
In 2002, Newsmax reported Pakistan/Taliban’s ties to terror. Those alliances would directly impact American troops for years to come,
“President Pervez Musharraf’s much-publicized crackdown on Islamist extremists is a dismal failure, according to Western intelligence appraisals. Pakistani national police sources in Islamabad estimate that some 10,000 Afghan Taliban cadres and followers and about 5,000 al-Qaeda fighters are now hiding in Pakistan “with the full support of intelligence authorities, as well as religious and tribal groups,” according to one source.”
Former Defense Secretary James Mattis labeled Pakistan as the most dangerous country in the world.
“We can’t have the fastest-growing nuclear arsenal in the world falling into the hands of the terrorists breeding in their midst,” writes Mattis in his latest book.
President Trump warned Pakistan about providing safe havens for terrorists. He was tough as nails on terror.
The Taliban-al-Qaeda alliance has since then survived almost 20 years of a U.S.-led Global War on Terror.
It’s tough to separate battlefield wins from political wins.
Obama justified sending 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan while speaking at West Point in 2009. He said it is a “vital national interest” to reverse the Taliban’s momentum. This upped the numbers to 98,000 troops in the country.
“I make this decision because I am convinced that our security is at stake in Afghanistan and Pakistan. It is from here that we were attacked on 9/11, and it is from here that new attacks are being plotted as I speak,” said Obama.
U.S. troops led the coalition in the fight against terror during Operation Enduring Freedom. That lead ended when Obama drastically reduced the forces in 2014 to satisfy a campaign promise. The drawdown was handled badly by the government costing lives and assets at Camp Bastion airfield in a surprise Taliban attack that left 2 Marines dead and 6 Harrier jets destroyed.
Obama promised in 2009 he “will not to abandon Afghanistan to the Taliban,” yet after the 2014 drawdown stripped the power to lead the fight from U.S. troops remaining. The U.S. assumed more of a support role.
Biden said he wouldn’t send his own son to war over “women’s rights.” Claiming in a 2020 interview “zero responsibility” for his abysmal policy failure to end the Taliban’s notorious violence in the war in Afghanistan.
Caution blares when Biden says he’ll “end the war” today when in 2014 he once said, “we are leaving.”
Or is Biden waving a political white flag? Certainly our troops in the fray did not. And will come home with ‘we were winning when I left’.
It’s time to rethink counterterrorism.
Former commander of U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, General David Petraeus, said that the U.S. troop’s withdrawal from the country “is not going to end the endless war in Afghanistan.”
Are ‘peace talks’ merely a ruse so the Taliban can regroup and amass in greater force? Talk hasn’t stopped the killing.
“MPs from Ghazni said that three government outposts have fallen to the Taliban in the last few days,” reported Tolo News Saturday.
“Ahmad Massoud, the son of Afghanistan’s National Hero Ahmad Shah Massoud, on Wednesday said that the Afghan mujahideen are ready for a military confrontation with the Taliban if the group does not abide by its commitments to peace.” A bit of an oxymoron.
Alas the condition of our withdrawal is the Taliban must guarantee that Afghanistan “is no longer a safe haven for terrorists to attack the United States.” It’s too late for that. It appears we risk whether we stay or go. And we certainly lose ALOT we’ve invested if we go.
What victories lie in Afghanistan…belong to our troops.
As they come home we must never treat them badly as we did troops returning from Vietnam. Our country needs its heroes. We must publicly thank the noble and courageous efforts of thousands of troops who fought in Afghanistan. Without question, they shouldered the most severe circumstances and trials. Enduring lethal attacks, ambushes, bullets, and explosions we can never imagine. They made progress one dangerous step at a time; they achieved it because of their enemies.
The fight was hard, yet the Taliban came to fear them. Because the only thing the Taliban respects is power, bravery. Our warriors and heroes confiscated their weapons caches, blew up the IEDs and bomb-making labs, and stopped the flow of fighters. They took out Taliban leaders and told the Afghan people they were not the enemy. Our troops trained their Afghan military counterparts to fight and win over the insurgents. To end the cruel treatment of women and children.
A path to freedom in a faraway land came through our men and women in uniform.
That is still a developing path. We were never at war with Afghanistan’s citizens.
Many Afghans live humbly in mud compounds with no furniture or comforts, and barely subsist off what they grow. They don’t know a life without fear and uncertainty. Our troops gave them pockets of security for a long time leading to quality of life.
Biden said recently, “Afghanistan just does not rise to the level of other threats in other parts of the globe at this point.” Say that to a family member who lost a loved one on 9/11. Or the next child saved by the hands of the U.S. military. There is no foreseeable end to the war on terror, yet we did prevent another 9/11 the last 20 years.
About the Author:
Senior Staff Writer for CommDigiNews, Jeanne McKinney is an award-winning writer whose focus and passion is our United States active-duty military members and military news. Her Patriot Profiles offer an inside look at the amazing active-duty men and women in all Armed Services, including U.S. Marine Corps, Navy, Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, and National Guard.
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