Military Leadership And The Afghan Withdrawal

The withdrawal from Afghanistan was a disaster:  poorly planned and poorly executed. One need to look no further than the videos of the scene over the last two weeks at the Kabul airport and the pictures of the coffins of the dead and wounded in order bring home the human toll.

The disaster began when the US abandoned Bagram Air Base, just outside of Kabul and decided to use the Kabul municipal airport to get people and equipment out of the country. Rather than using a US military base the President and his military advisors, primarily Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Miley, decided to put the withdrawal in the hand of the Afghan government. As we have seen, that meant in the hands of the Taliban, the very radicals that we went over there to fight because they gave safe haven to the attackers of 9/11.

The other clear mistake was to withdraw the US military before you got out the civilians who you needed to get out. The President and Gen. Miley withdrew the US military down to the point that they could not even make sure that US citizens were safe nor get them safely to the airport to be evacuated.

Both were blunders of significant proportion, causing us to not be able to get everyone out of the country, and costing the lives 13 military members and several others because we had left the safety of our people to others.

Gen. Miley should have not let either one happen.  If the President had insisted, then Miley should have strongly objected.  Yet, if what we are told is true, Biden was told by his military staff that we should move forward as we did.   Maybe if Miley had spent as much time planning an effective military withdrawal as he does talking about diversity training initiatives on Capitol Hill, we would not have had this problem and 13 families would still have their loved ones.

The decision to withdraw was a decision that President Trump made and President Biden did not change.  The decision is not the issue. The execution of that decision was chaotic and it is hard to imagine how it could have been carried out any worse than it was.  Miley has been in his job since 2019 and has had months to plan with withdrawal.

The bottom line is that Gen. Miley needs to resign.

The fatal failure, on what should have been straightforward operation, lays at his feet. The New York Post editorial staff wrote an opinion piece two days ago saying the same thing. Yesterday, 90 retired admirals and generals released a letter calling on Gen. Miley and Sec. of Defense Lloyd Austin (a former general himself) to resign  ‘based on negligence in performing their duties primarily involving events surrounding the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan’.

As other, recent articles here pointed out (unfortunately, almost prescient), this is what happens when you place a greater emphasis within the military on administrative duties and the latest politically correct training rather than on military training. If Gen. Miley has any honor, he will do the right thing and resign.  Events will tell if he does.

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