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Bruce Bialosky

Afghan Aftermath

Even though we may all be thoroughly sick of discussing the Afghanistan situation, there is a subject worthy of analysis. It doesn’t involve the departure which was a disaster of epic proportions that was executed by our dullard of a President with obvious diminished capacity and rests entirely and completely on his shoulders and the inept team that surrounds him. The discussion that needs to be had is whether we should have left there in the first place.

During the effort over a prolonged period by two separate presidents, I maintained the same position concerning complete withdrawal from the hellhole known as Afghanistan. When someone addressed the issue to me, I asserted there were strong arguments on both sides. That is an unusual position for me to take because on its face it appears wishy-washy. Very occasionally, there are circumstances that have fine arguments on both sides.

My secondary reaction after the departure engineered by our current President, with the appearance he wanted to humiliate and diminish our country, was we would have to wait two to three years to be able to objectively conclude whether it was proper to pull all our troops from the country. I have changed my position on that.

We clearly should have never pulled our troops out. Let me start with the big picture. The United States is a country that has never gone into another country to occupy it and then dominate it. If we have ever taken a military action, our interest was to encounter a wrong that needed to be stopped and then return to our shores. My father, a tank commander for Patton, told me why he thought we won World War II. It wasn’t our superior industrial capability or our military leaders. It was to a man everyone he met wanted to get the job done and go home. That has been the essence of our country since inception.

The world we live in has changed. We are no longer protected from the illnesses that invades man’s psyche by two oceans. We also are part of a world order of civilized countries that needs to band together against the ill forces of the world like China, Iran, Russia, North Korea and Cuba. If we don’t act in a concerted manner against these evil forces and others, they will fill the power void and the negative effects will boomerang against us and our brothers and sisters around the world who treasure freedom.

We were told we could not sustain our efforts with only 2,500 troops. That may be true, but we did not have that level of troops because there were 7,500 troops there from our NATO partners. Certainly, the last President had twisted the arms of our NATO allies to pony up their fair share and agreed commitments and they largely had financially. In this case, they were there shouldering the load from the beginning. It is certain none of them wanted to be there, but they saw the need and stood with us. Ten thousand NATO troops provided a backbone to the Afghan troops and that isn’t chicken feed.

We were holding the evil forces at bay. They are creatures from an era many centuries ago contesting us, but most Afghanis were brought into the modern world especially the women and girls who are treated barbarically by the Taliban.

There is the question whether we were really at war. If we hadn’t lost one soldier in a year and a half (not even from an accident), were we really at war? Are our troops at war in South Korea? That does not mean to say there was not risk involved. It was costing us money to maintain our forces there, but there are always trade-offs. Now how much are the trade-offs going to cost?

Our last President was accused of antagonizing our NATO allies. This one has stuck a knife in their hearts. Our last President would have never left like this and may never have left despite all the talk. This President has made our NATO allies long for the last President. Who would have ever thought that would happen?

Leaving Afghanistan was a tragic mistake. The current man-children advising our President, Blinken and Sullivan and Austin, should have stopped this debacle, but they are too weak. How we left has just crystallized more promptly why we should not have left. The fact that it has been reported that 8-10,000 terrorists moved in once the Taliban took over the country validates the error.

The manner in which we left has stained our country that will have repercussions for many years. The only way we can recover is a change of course in our leadership. That will not happen with our current President who is permanently crippled by this debacle.