Posted by Curt on 14 August, 2021 at 8:18 am. 3 comments already!


by Bill Wenger

Within sixty days, perhaps only thirty days, at the current rate of conquest, the Taliban will be totally in control of all of Afghanistan.  The Biden administration has created an unnecessarily destructive and dangerous coda to the end of our twenty-year war in the Graveyard of Empires. It did not have to end this way.
Today the Taliban control 65% of Afghanistan and 13 of the 34 provincial capitals. Three were captured just last Wednesday.   More capitals and provinces fall to Taliban control daily. May 1, 2021, the Taliban controlled 73 of the 400 Afghan Districts.  Today they control 223 districts and more fall into their hands daily.  Since January the march of the Taliban has killed thousands of Afghans and displaced nearly 400,000. Many seek ephemeral safety in the countryside or in parks in Kabul while others leave the country.  This week, as expected, word reached us in the open media that surrendering Afghan Army soldiers are being slaughtered by the Taliban.  This is as expected.  Anyone who supported the cause of the Afghan government and the NATO Coalition are in eminent peril for their lives.
ALJAZERRA (a more reliable source than western media, because the western media of the Democrats is a. Embarrassed by this disaster; b. Ignorant or in denial of the truth of the situation; or c. Could not care less) Thursday reported:

The Taliban is claiming it has captured Kandahar, Afghanistan’s second-largest city. “Kandahar is completely conquered. The Mujahideen reached Martyrs’ Square in the city,” a Taliban spokesman tweeted on an officially recognized account – a claim backed by a resident, who told AFP news agency government forces appeared to have withdrawn en masse to a military facility outside the city (presumably the former Coalition operations base at Kandahar Airfield).

As of today, Taliban forces en mass, according to the media, are within 50 miles or less of Kabul. I will tell you from experience they are already in the capital and gaining control as you read this.   The capital population is panicking and struggling to evacuate to anywhere they can find safety…there is none to be had.  The Taliban control 100% of the Afghanistan border crossings. This control includes any access to Pakistan.
Arriving on station this weekend, the Biden administration is deploying 8,000 troops to Kabul, Qatar and Kuwait to protect the US abandonment of Afghanistan.  Two battalions, one Marine and one Army will go to Kabul and the U.S. Embassy to facilitate and protect the evacuation of that 36-acre, $2.17 Billion edifice, the largest and most expensive of all U.S. embassies.  With an extraordinary lack of embarrassment Biden publicly begged the Taliban to spare the U.S. Embassy and State Department employees as they evacuate. 13 August we were told by the Biden administration the U.S. Embassy in Kabul is closing 100%…Embarrassing and humiliating.
Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby desperately stated this week:

“It doesn’t have to be that way,” Kirby said. “It really depends on the kind of political and military leadership that the Afghans can muster to turn this around.”
Thursday, 12 August 21 President Biden worthlessly and without any comprehension of the limited capabilities of the Afghan Security Forces proclaimed:
“I do not regret my decision; Afghan leaders have to come together… They’ve got to fight for themselves, fight for their nation.”
Our incompetent president began this ignorant and strategically inept withdrawal by announcing last April the date of the US departure from Afghanistan.  He thereby gave the game away to the ever-expanding Taliban control. It is totally deranged to announce publicly the end-date of American forces in Afghanistan particularly at the beginning of the traditional and well-known summer fighting season.  The Taliban pounced and have not looked back.

Supposedly informed and thoroughly prepared Biden Press Secretary Jen Psaki stated with astonishing ignorance that,  ”The Taliban also has to make an assessment about what they want their role to be in the international community.” Psaki displayed astonishing ignorance of the Taliban.  It is obvious to anyone who has fought the Taliban or lived with their terrorism and oppression know the Taliban do not give a Schiff about what the world thinks of them or their “role” in the international community.
This entire deadly fiasco so reminiscence of the defeat of the USA in Vietnam did not have to end this way.  The US government and the vast capability of the Defense Department if harnessed and coherently directed by responsible adult leadership who took cognizance of what they should have learned in our universities, our military academies and as is taught in our military war colleges, the integrated and concerted application of the of the classic Ends, Ways and Means of the application of Diplomatic, Economic and Military power to plan and consistently execute a Grand Strategy. If such a strategy had been properly planned and consistently executed for only a few of the twenty years of the Afghanistan Campaign, a logical end-state for the benefit of Afghanistan and their people as well as our national security could have been achieved.  The key was what was successfully applied by Gen. David Patraeus in Iraq in 2007 with the Al Anbar or Sunni Awakening.
I had also advocated to our State Department in Baghdad with whom I worked daily, similar culturally logical and sensitive strategy and tactics as early as 2005. Despite general agreement by DoS in-country leadership, no action was taken on my ideas as I did not have the horse-power of a four-star general.
The solution is not brute military force, but finesse by understanding the motives, needs and desires of the Iraqi and the Afghan people who are essentially quite tribal in their outlook and societal structure.  Get out of behind the wire in Forward Operating Bases, work and learn from the local leaders and populous, and use both funding (less than the cost of kinetic warfare) for jobs, schools and the welfare of the people with credit going, not to the Coalition, but to the local leaders.  Make them secure in their leadership and in their communities and they will be much more likely to work to maintain the peace and well-being of their people whish, in turn, maintain their power.
Serving from 2004 through 2011 in both Iraq and Afghanistan I saw a gradual but deliberate deterioration of the capability of Coalition and particularly US forces to properly execute Counterinsurgency (COIN) operations.  We were increasingly constrained by unreasonably cautious and risk-averse (hell, general don’t you know there is a war on), senior leaders who would not allow us to operate logically with our indigenous counterparts, live, work and fight along side them.  Gain their confidence so they would be more likely to listen to the “progressive” ideas of we Infidels and move ever so cautiously into the 21st Century with some of their own ideas and practices. You cannot force a foreign force and foreign leaders to adopt western ways, you must learn their ways, their needs, their desires, and gain their trust and friendship before they will listen to new “foreign” ideas.  We were not allowed or resourced by senior leadership to realistically execute effective Counterinsurgency Operations.
Rules of Engagement (ROE) in Afghanistan and Iraq became so onerous and illogical that a soldier could not realistically engage the enemy that needed to be destroyed if a peaceful Iraq and Afghanistan were to be the result. I personally, on a number of occasions during my four years in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, lost fights and combat initiative due to illogical ROE.

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