Stupefying Incompetence in Afghanistan - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Stupefying Incompetence in Afghanistan
with Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Mark A. Milley, at the conclusion of a visit to the Pentagon, Washington, D.C., Feb. 10, 2021. (DoD photo by Lisa Ferdinando)

President Biden, his cabinet, and his advisers all continue to display a stupefying level of incompetence in Afghanistan that clearly flows down from the president.

On Wednesday, Biden said, “The idea that somehow there’s a way to have gotten out without chaos ensuing, I don’t know how that happens.” That’s obvious from the way he has handled Afghanistan since his inauguration. He also said the withdrawal from Afghanistan couldn’t have been handled better.

I can only assume from Biden’s conduct and Wednesday statements that Pentagon leaders such as Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley didn’t insist on doing it the way any sensible person would.

Any competent plan, which obviously excludes anything coming out of this clown car, would require that you’d evacuate the civilians first. Then you’d ship out as much of our weapons and equipment as you could and then — only then — would you withdraw the troops after they’d blown up the embassy (about which more in a minute).

Biden did it in precisely the opposite order. And Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, also not the sharpest knife in the drawer, apparently thinks this is just fine. And so does Gen. Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The situation is grave. Americans and our Afghani allies can’t get to the airport because the Taliban are blocking their way. Military commanders at the Hamid Karzai Airport are talking to the Taliban in the hope of keeping the airport secure. In truth, we’re making ourselves captive of the Taliban.

Austin is another study in stupidity. According to Biden, we have about 15,000 civilians in Kabul. Even Austin must understand that we can’t leave them to the Taliban’s tender mercies. But, as he said, “I don’t have the capability to go out and extend operations currently into Kabul.… We don’t have the capability to go out and collect up large numbers of people.”

(That is reportedly what the Brits, French, and Aussies are trying to do for their people right now. Why aren’t we? Because Biden and Austin and Milley are in charge.)

At that same time, Gen. Milley said they’d received no orders to gather the people up. C’mon, Mark. Aren’t you asking for — or demanding — orders to do so? Lloyd Austin and Joe Biden are just a phone call or two away.

Let me tell ya something, Lloyd baby. You are the Secretary of Defense. You have the ability to deploy that precise capability in 24-48 hours. Maybe less. All you need to do is ask Biden for authorization to do it. And it’s your duty, dammit. If the president doesn’t allow you to do that, you have the duty to resign — loudly.

How hard could it be? Just dial 1-800-Camp-Lejeune. I’d think you’d have no problem getting a few (thousand) Marines to volunteer to help evacuate American civilians. Part of the 82nd Airborne is already in Afghanistan. If ya come up short — which you won’t — call Fort Bragg. The Army Special Forces guys and the 101st Airborne will be glad to help and they know how to get places very quickly.

Are you worried that the Taliban would object? YGBSM. That’s why some smart guys invented the AC-130 and the A-10. Flying a couple of F-18’s at ten or twenty thousand feet over Kabul — as Pentagon spokesman John Kirby described what we’re doing on Thursday — is a waste of jet fuel. Having those aircraft make high-speed low-level passes over the Taliban would be a more valuable exercise.

We should establish communications — by word of mouth or anything else that is reasonably secure — with all 15,000 US citizens in the Kabul area. They should be instructed to meet in small groups at certain locations (which would vary greatly) and be picked up by US troops in buses, cars, trucks or whatever else we have or can steal. They would be formed into convoys of vehicles that go to the airport by routes that would vary by the day or hour.

Those convoys would be protected by those AC-130s and A-10s and by the troops riding with the civilians. Whoever — Taliban or otherwise — tries to ambush or otherwise interfere with the convoys should be killed immediately. This will take weeks to accomplish, but it’s the best we can do in the mess Biden & Co. have created.

Wouldn’t it be a lot better to get all the Americans out without having a bunch taken hostage or just killed by the Taliban? It might require sending another five or ten thousand troops in, and they may have to stay a bit beyond Biden’s August 31 deadline, but so what? And if the aforementioned AC-130s and A-10s have to kill a lot of Taliban to clear the way for our people to get out, so much the better.

A friend of mine sent me a message yesterday about the photos of the Taliban leaders gathered in our embassy or the presidential palace, or some such place. One or two thousand-pound warheads delivered by Tomahawk cruise missiles should be enough to interrupt their meetings.

And that returns us to the issue of our multi-billion-dollar embassy. Turning that over to the Taliban guarantees that the Chinese, Russians, Pakistanis, and probably the Iranians will each get a shot at reverse-engineering everything from our security systems to the fiber-optic networks and anti-cyber-surveillance systems we had there.

Nobody — evidently including Tony Blinken, Austin, and Milley — thought about blowing stuff up before we left. It’s amateur hour in the State Department, Pentagon, and White House.

The other night, Biden told a friendly ABC interviewer, among other things, that he was grateful that nobody was being killed while our slow evacuation was going on. Evidently, he doesn’t count the dozen or so who have died in and around the Kabul airport. Maybe no one told him about their deaths.

In addition to the 15,000 Americans Lloyd Austin says he can’t reach, there are reportedly some 80,000 Afghanis — people who helped us and their families — who also need to be evacuated. That’s about 95,000 people. And we’re moving about five or six thousand out per day.

That means — if Biden is serious about getting Americans and the faithful Afghanis out and the aircraft aren’t packed with people — our airlift is going to go on until at least the end of the year. Which means we have to have security and sustainment for all our people and forces for a very long time.

How long? According to Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper, our massive C-17 cargo aircraft — never mind the photo you saw of more than 600 crowded in for one flight — are carrying only about one hundred souls on each evacuation flight. The Pentagon briefers assure us that thousands are being evacuated each day. How much truth is in their claim remains to be seen.

Is anybody in the White House or Pentagon planning for this? Are you kidding? Team Biden is playing it as if it were a pickup basketball game.

This isn’t rocket science. It’s basic contingency planning, which apparently isn’t being done in our woke Pentagon and White House. Their consistently incompetent performance is the equivalent of the United States of America saying, “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.”

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