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Trillion Dollar Bitter End

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Silverfiddle Rant!
When I joined the military, I signed up for whatever they threw at me and I gave it my all.  Millions of my fellow veterans (most of whom gave much more than I did) will tell you the same.  The military on the ground is tactically brilliant.  The uniformed politicians with stars on their shoulders and the bureaucrats and politicians they serve are tragically, terminally, strategically stupid.
America’s overseas failures belong to our politicians, the bureaucratic blob, and the “experts” and corporations who feed them a neverending line of bullshit.

Joe Biden’s failure–which includes DOD, State and Intel Alphabet Panopticon–is a failure to clear out of Kabul in a timely, orderly and dignified fashion. 

“Sh*tshow:”  Biden administration embroiled in internal blame-shifting amid Afghanistan chaos

Washington (CNN) – Factions within the Biden administration are embroiled in a blame game over why the US government didn’t act sooner to withdraw American citizens and Afghans who helped the US over two decades of war, leading to a rushed and dangerous evacuation.

I pray Biden’s bumbling incompetence doesn’t result in American casualties.  I won’t bore you with the complex logistics (and frightening list of what can go wrong) of extracting the last US troops from Kabul Airport. Gen Milley–who along with many other bureaucrats has repeatedly lied to us about Afghanistan–should be fired immediately, along with the Secretary of State, whoever he or she is.  

Bremmer said the United States failed in four major ways in drawing down its military presence in Afghanistan: intelligence, coordination, planning and communication. He said the Biden administration overestimated the Afghan military’s capabilities, failed to work with American allies to formulate an exit strategy, did not seem to have contingency plans in place for a rapid collapse of the Afghan government and failed to communicate effectively with the American people. (Ian Bremmer, Houston Chronical)

We can also blame Trump for brokering the deal with the Taliban, we can blame Obama for eight years of dithering. We can even throw some blame at the Dems for being too cowardly to act on their supposed anti-war convictions, and anyway, Democrats were the ones insisting on nation building and humanitarian projects there, that ended up handing corrupt Afghan politicians and the taliban tens of billions.
Ultimate blame lies with the idiot firebug who started this:  George W. Bush.  
Damn him and his puppet masters Cheney and Rumsfeld.  If there was any justice in this world, they would be put in stocks in the public square and every veteran, friend or family of a vet would line up and take turns kicking those bastards square in the ass.  How tragically and historically stupid they all are. The Russians carpet bombed and horribly brutalized Afghanistan, but they could not conquer it.  Instead, they escaped into Uzbekistan, buttoned down and bleeding, dragging their dead and wounded.  To this day, the Pashtuns remain undefeated.
We need a better government that employs a higher level of thinking.  A few billion in bribes annually and some small-footprint covert ops–dressed up as foreign assistance–would have saved the trillions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of lives destroyed.  
Our federal government is an amoral, intellectually bankrupt House of Lies:  
Gulf of Tonkin, Weapons of Mass Destruction, the CIA isn’t spying on Congress, the US Government doesn’t conduct domestic spying on US citizens, the situation in Afghanistan is improving…
We need a commission to investigate why so many lies were told and so much blood and treasure expended.  We need to hold accountable the liars, the criminals, and even the simply incompetent.  They all must be expelled from the government blob.
We also need a better class of generals.  Ones who will stand up to their political masters and call bullshit on outlandish schemes instead of twisting themselves in knots to justify the unjustifiable and dress it all up in squared-off military speak. 
Ultimately, this is our fault:  We The People continue to elect the venal, the cowardly, the corrupt, the stupid, and we don’t pay attention to what they are doing with our money and our military.  We’ve had bigger freak-outs over avocado shortages than anything that has happened in Afghanistan in the last 10 years.
I’ll close with a few quotes from an essay by Andrew A. Michta of the George C. Marshall Center…
As Afghanistan implodes, such flawed assumptions need to be fully owned by those who constructed and sustained this ideologically laden strategic framework.  We will be paying for their hubris for years to come, for going forward both our allies and partners will factor into their decision-making and their policy choices the lessons of the past twenty years.

As we watch authoritarianism surge worldwide, alongside a growing skepticism about American leadership, what happened in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria should bring us back to the fundamentals of realist foreign and security policy. We need to re-learn the art of power-balancing, of building coalitions not around high-minded ideals but around shared interests and threat perceptions, all the while remembering that America’s military is a precious resource and that it must be the means of last resort, not the first tool in our foreign policy toolbox.


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