THOUGHTS ON THE EVACUATION OF AFGHANISTAN

AFGHANISTAN-CONFLICT

Afghan families walk by the aircrafts at the Kabul airport in Kabul on August 16, 2021, after a stunningly swift end to Afghanistan’s 20-year war, as thousands of people mobbed the city’s airport trying to flee the group’s feared hardline brand of Islamist rule. (Photo by Wakil Kohsar / AFP)

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Much criticism is heading President Biden’s way concerning what we, the USA, did or did not do correctly leading up to the fall of Kabul to the Taliban insurgents. I find most of that criticism unfounded.

Such criticism as may be made ought go to the humiliating deal that our former President made. Almost al the evil consequences we have witnessed derive from that sellout of our Afghan friends.

As for the only option left — complete evacuation — it is maybe the hardest military operation. Plenty of momentum for “fubar.”

Yet There is always much “fubar” in war. The crux isn’t avoiding fubar but what one does to counter it. Our military leaders misjudged how quickly Kabul would be taken; they have moved strongly to get the evacuation phase in order. Of course it’s not pretty — evacuations and retreats rarely look trim. But consider where we are right now :

5200 troops on the ground controlling HKAI airport.

More consular officers on the ground to help process people seeking a flight out.

More entry gates to the airport being opened and manned by our soldiers.

US Navy jets flying constant sorties over Kabul city to protect people seeking to leave.

Special ops teams exfiltrating at-risk individuals and families by night.

More troops coming, and there’s the possibility of “widening” the perimeter of the airport under our control.

Will everything go smoothly ? Doubtless not. This is a seat-of-the-pants, ad hoc operation, correcting itself on the run. Yet if the Taliban have any doubts about our resolve to get this evacuation done in full, they’ll soon find out. I especially like that President Biden has taken full responsibility, publicly, upon himself. He has, of course, done so for all his administration’s major initiatives. Is there anyone who would rather see the former guy in charge of this stuff ?

Speaking of the former guy, did you se where Stephen Miller, his chief persecutor of immigrants, spurns our welcoming the Afghan refugees, saying “they won’t fit into our way of life” ? Immediately he said that he was swatted back by an immigrants’ advocate noting that Miller’s “way of life” included separating 5000 migrant-refugee children from their parents.

Several Governors, of both political parties, have offered welcome to such Afghan refugees as are coming here./ I could not be prouder of them for offering this. we are a nation of immigrants and refugees. Welcoming the Afghans who want to join us is as American a thing as it gets.

I’m good with President Biden’s “way of life.” And with his management of the Kabul evacuation.

So far.

—- Mike Freedberg / Here and Sphere

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