1 September, 2021 by Erich Dunkelberger

Well, we are officially out of Afghanistan, and ahead of schedule. President Biden’s date certain for withdrawal was 31 August and the last aircraft was wheels up at 0030 (local time) that morning. At yesterday’s press conference, Biden referred to the evacuation mission as an “extraordinary success”. Really?

The mission began with the complete abandonment of the Bagram Air Base in the middle of the night. Afghanis reporting to work at the base the next morning were asking each other the question, “Where are the Americans?”. But, we left a lot of equipment behind, from uniforms, body armor, a weapons cache that makes Fast and Furious look like amateur hour, trucks, helicopters and aircraft.

Now, the Taliban were sitting on their heels just waiting for the withdrawal of forces to assert control over the country. They began eating up the country, one province at a time. At a press conference around early August, Biden told reporters that the intelligence he had said the 300,000 man Afghan Army would be able to maintain control of the region over the 70-80,000 Taliban forces. That proved wildly wrong! In a short time, Taliban had Kabul surrounded to the point we had to send US Marine and Army units back to aid in the evacuation of our US Embassy personnel, American citizens, Afghans who had helped our military and diplomats (thus becoming enemies of the Taliban) and their families.

With Americans in control of the airport in Kabul, the Embassy was evacuated there, then flights took off out of Afghanistan. The evacuation was in full swing. At the same time, Taliban forces were establishing choke points around the airport to keep the people they were looking for from getting away. Men, women and children were being pulled out and escorted away to answer for their crimes of wanting freedom!

Planes were being loaded with Afghans wanting to leave, but little in the way of vetting was taking place. Many of us will remember the pictures of Afghani people trying to hold onto the outside hull of C-17’s at take-off and falling back to the ground. We were told that vetting would take place in neighboring countries, but those countries started balking at the numbers of refugees arriving in their countries. They stopped taking flights. The planes continued to be loaded and flown out. Tens of thousands of Afghans fled their country, but we don’t know with certainty who they are . Many arrived with no ID at all. Where are they?

Press conferences from the White House and the Pentagon asking the Taliban for assistance in allowing people through the check points. It became obvious to many that the Taliban were the ones in control. Joe Biden set the end date as 31 August. He said every American and Afghan SIV holder would get out by that date. As that date approached, the Taliban spokesman said there would be no extension. Basically, we weren’t negotiating; we had surrendered.

Then, the bomb went off, killing 11 Marines, a Navy Corpsman and an Army soldier and wounding many others, both military and civilian. Biden’s first act was to blame Trump, who had left office on 20 January. Biden signed 40 or so executive orders ending programs and plans Trump had made, including the plans for withdrawal to be completed by the end of May!

Biden’s promise to get everyone out failed. There are still Americans in Afghanistan. The Pentagon says it is now the mission of the State Department to get them out. Their estimate is around 250 people, but people on the ground are saying it is many more. There are several groups of US veterans who are still working to get them out. Last night one of the groups said they got a plane out with over 500 people aboard. More remain.

Joe Biden’s approval rating is down to 47% (yeah, right) and he has offended the families of the heroes who died over there. He has demeaned everyone who ever served in Afghanistan. If this was an “extraordinary success”, I’d hate to see this Administration’s idea of a debacle!