It has taken me a day to process the terrorist attack that killed 13 Americans and numerous others in Afghanistan yesterday.
The decision to withdraw at this time from Afghanistan was made by President Trump. President Biden did not change that decision, so whatever the issue, the question about withdrawal was a bipartisan one. But running a country is not simply about policy, and often we overlook that. You have to be able to be effective, to be able to do the job at hand and to carry out the policies that you espouse.
What we are seeing in Afghanistan is a plan, policy and military that is not being effective-to the point of incompetence, and now American lives have been lost as a result.
I still have a hard time putting into words my thoughts because they are clouded by emotions over a totally needless loss of life that, as a veteran, I probably feel slightly more than other members of the public. Until such time as I can articulate what should be said, I am only left to ask questions…mostly “Why?”
A private organization has rescued and flown out several hundred Christians in the last two weeks. Under the Taliban, people who are openly Christian would be in grave danger and a group of private citizens organized flights to get them out.
A group of military veterans made headlines when they organized their own effort to get out Afghan allies and their families who had helped the US and its military and so had become targeted by the Taliban. Unfortunately, some of the people they were working to get out are unaccounted for at the Kabul airport after yesterday’s bombing but the group had been able to get out a few hundred people prior to that.
Those are just two examples. So the question is simply this: Why is it that private groups can organize, take action and can get people out of the country but the US military is having a hard time doing the same thing, and the US State Department has told Americans not to come to the airport because they can’t make sure they are safe? Why can people with compassion do something that the whole of the US government and our military cannot seem to do?
And while we are asking questions, why is it that many of our allies, such as Britain and France, our going out and getting their citizens and escorting them to flights out of Afghanistan but yet the United States has told our citizens they are on their own to get to the airports and that the US military will not help them?