Time for a quick rewind. It was the ultimate slap in the face to our fallen heroes, which got additional troops needlessly killed in the process. The following was penned by Michael Docherty, former FMF Corpsman and OEF warfighter, on 20 August 2021, in the wake of the intentional planned disaster that was the Afghan exfil. Nine months ago… before “Yay Ukraine,” before 11% inflation, before $6 gas. Those days last August are already forgotten by most. But some of us never will.
Blessed Memorial Day, everyone.
We watched Saigon v2.0 last weekend. Despite all the warning signs and calls to action, we witnessed images of a frantic embassy evacuation that couldn’t look more like 1975 Saigon if it were staged. It is an ongoing complete disaster that the current administration has refused to take an honest look at since its “inauguration.”
I am not an expert in foreign policy, and I do not have connections to a vast intelligence apparatus. But I have a modicum basis of common sense, a twitter feed and the same msm news sources everyone else has, yet somehow many of us were calling out the wild incompetence while Biden was still on stage saying we would not have a Saigon moment in Afghanistan. It’s as laughable as it is treasonous.
An advantage I do have over the average person trying to disseminate the rapid pace of images and information coming from Kabul, I fought in combat on the ground in that country, and saw first hand many of the dynamics, and many of the lies of our generals and politicians. I will attempt to explain the disdain of this outcome from the combat veteran perspective, and why those reasons matter to the U.S. at large.
I have seen a lot of veterans speaking out in the community over the past week: This isn’t our fault, we are proud of the work we put in over there, we put the war on our shoulders and did everything asked of us and more. Our country was brutally attacked, and we went forth and delivered lethal vengeance. It was a just war, and one in which we won every tactical fight. We held up our side of the deal in the ‘diplomacy by other means’ equation. This one isn’t on us.
Similarly, and one stark contrast to Vietnam, I have seen a large amount of civilian support for the troops who fought, sympathizing with the sentiment of the veteran community attempting to prop each other up, that there is no blame laid at the feet of the warriors who went forward to fight our nations battle. They are proud of us, and I can not understate how sincerely I appreciate that. The veteran community does not feel failures in their efforts, this is not what drives the feelings of anger, betrayal and despair during this crisis.
We did not go to war for the benefit of the Afghan people; any benefit they received was a side effect of a political undertaking to attempt to create a survivable, allied government to create regional stability after the removal of the previous rulers. We supported this effort, but we did not enter that country as experts in creating a democratic system. We went there as warfighters, experts in killing the enemies of our country, for OUR country. We went because the end goal of a just war is to defend interests vital to the strength and standing of our country and the people who reside in it. The Islamists that attacked our country on 9/11 did so because we are infidels, we enjoy freedoms of all kinds, the freedom to pursue happiness that isn’t tied to the religious-political system of Islam. And therefore, we must be destroyed. Weakness begets war, and the goal of the warfighter entering Afghanistan was to deploy a level of justice that not only ensured the jihadists would never again attack our nation, but so any competing ideologies and adversaries would fear undermining our country and our way of life.
Those same American ideals we fight for have been under attack for decades within our own country from the Marxist left. Now we have suffered a tremendous defeat at the hands of our own leaders’ incompetence so insane one would find it easier to believe it was done on purpose than to believe they are, in fact, the dumbest people in our country, ever. A couple vets drinking beer in a garage were able to call out the outcomes of this administrations actions months ahead of the intelligence community.
This loss is more, and the pure utter weakness the Biden administration has been operating on the foreign front will have drastic and lasting effects, if not a progression into a global war. Immediately following the fall of Kabul, state media from China and Russia ripped into the US and her foreign policies of failures so great, we can no longer be called anything more than a regional power. These statements are direct sentiments from these authoritarian regimes, and paint a stark picture of the actions they will take in the world, in the absence of any respect or fear of the world’s once-champion of freedom. Pick up the three closest things to you, how many were made in China? Foreign adversaries can now leverage everything from trade, debt, intimidating our allies, subverting US influence in favor of their own, and anything else up to and including war against the Americanism they’ve always hated, but now no longer fear reprisal from.
There are costs to losing wars and destroying your nation’s interests. Have you seen any gas stations out of gas? I’ve seen three this week. We shuttered our energy industry at the beginning of Biden’s term, and now rely on OPEC. Biden begged them to increase production, and after witnessing our defeat all weekend, OPEC laughed at us and said they aren’t producing anything extra. You will feel that. It will have a direct effect on you.
At the time of this writing, our government has cowardly admitted it has zero contingency plans to rescue the 10-15k American Citizens trapped behind Taliban lines. The weakest guidance for them to traverse a landscape heavily infiltrated by enemy in order to reach an airport that may or may not still be airlifting anyone who does make it there without being killed, furthermore the guidance is abundantly clear that the most powerful government on earth can not provide any type of security for these Americans, who the majority civilians with no survival or tactical training. They were serving their country in Afghanistan in civilian roles. Are you ready for the potential images of mass executions of your countrymen because your government abandoned them? Are you ready for images that make the hanging of Blackwater operators from bridges in Iraq, bodies of Delta being dragged through the streets of Somalia, look like mild incidents? If you thought the highway of death was a brutal execution of US firepower on an inferior military, wait until you see the same level of carnage perpetrated against US citizens.
Our adversaries watch the same thing we do, but watching is not all they do. They are rapidly advancing with their new emboldened view that their only true enemy is no longer capable of winning wars. Not because we don’t have the most lethal, highly trained and expensively equipped military on the planet, but because our nation is unwilling to deploy it successfully. China and Russia are already engaging in a partnership with the Taliban, who they have all but recognized as the formal true government of Afghanistan. Their embassies are still open, in fact they are being guarded by Taliban fighters, and talks are ongoing to strengthen a new era of alliances, an alliance with a shared hatred of America. China’s Belt and Road Initiative has never had better prospects; new doors to more resources, trade routes and strategic regional movement of military forces anywhere from Pakistan to Iran and beyond, if they negotiate correctly, of course. I’m not betting against it.
When you read the history of warfare, you often find yourself reading about relations and politics, even small events that take place decades before a war. The rise of China and Russia has been ongoing for decades now, their subversive actions against us and our interests have increased drastically in recent years, and exponentially under the current administration. 100 years from now, those attempting to understand the current imminent global war, students will briefly cover the defeat and implications of the US in Afghanistan and how it strengthened our enemies.
Our next war is peer level. I am not going to degrade it to ‘near peer’… they will be an equal match. We now have very little standing with both enemy and ally. Sino-Russian Military, economic, and energy output levels rise to match our own. These countries understand that taking the role of world leadership and dominating the world economies will strengthen the prosperity of their own nations, defeating the US in all arenas is the key to accomplishing this. These countries possess an immense level of nationalism, and their citizens display a level of unified patriotism to advance their causes that is not to be found in America today. Will our current defeat create any type of unified movement to better our country? Do we still possess any type of values, morals, any type of code that guide men to fight to win? Our enemies just learned that even if our fighting men possess such things, our government is willing to abandon them over cheap talking points directing blame for ‘missteps’. Missteps? Try ‘fatal and grave errors’, for the entire 20-year effort, our regional allies and the trapped Americans facing imminent demise. The fatal error of creating a direct steppingstone for our current high-schoolers and college students who will fight the next global peer level war, and take massive casualties in doing so, if our corrupt, dickless politicians and bureaucrats even have the will to not surrender after the opening shots. While our adversaries strengthen their positions, unify their countries behind common goals and nationalism, our politic body sews division between the citizens for the advancement of political demagogues, offshores our industry and energy production in a smoke and mirrors jest at being green while subverting our economy. We continue the game of destroying our currency and burying our great grandchildren in insurmountable debt to our adversaries because we are lazy and entitled. Instead of retraining, reequipping, retooling, restructuring our military for the fight ahead, we are more concerned about training critical race and critical gender theory to our military forces and the kids who are in school that will fight this next war. Will our military be better suited to warfighting with its super woke inclusiveness the next time one Marine division finds itself surrounded by eight Chinese divisions? If we stamp preferred pronouns on dog tags and ensure white Marines have a deduction from their pay that reappears as an entitlement in a minority Marines check, will we crush all eight divisions next time instead of just seven?
The pain we feel from defeat is because deep down, we know this defeat is a culmination of the unwillingness of our government and institutions to adhere to core principles, those principles and the sacrifice of blood and treasure will be abandoned by feckless politicians who cling to authoritarian power from their basements, only seeking personal gain from the conflicts they would never fight themselves, while damning the country they falsely represent. I am proud of everything my brothers and sisters have done through these wars for our country. This administration, its terrible treasonous actions, do not represent the honor, courage, and commitment, the code and individual ruggedness that guides the American men at arms. We fought with incredible tenacity, we killed an unknown number of enemies, the best estimates show for every one American life, the Taliban lost an entire platoon worth of men. We held up our side of the bargain and always will. The American warfighter loves this country, we will go anytime, anywhere when she calls.
However, this painful defeat is a call to action. If we do not change course, if we do not realign our values with our founding documents, and continue the path of divisive corruption, the fighting force of the future will never win another war again. Because of the belief systems of our communist enemies, a large scale conflict may have been inevitable before all of this. After our reckless abandonment and defeat, the slide of foreign relations in the first 7 months of Biden Harris, ask yourself, if you’re in Xi’s or Putin’s shoes, how do you not take the opportunity in the next 41 months?
OEF 2009-’10, ’12