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Afghanistan Debacle

Failure of leadership in Afghanistan and at home

U.S. Sherman tank from WWII

The Afghanistan debacle has been sucking the oxygen out of the room since August 16th. This morning’s newspapers moved on with the news cycle, leaving Kabul below the fold. Over the next days and weeks, we will see more articles, leaked memos, and various reports revealing more accurate details: what actually happened, who said what, and exactly what orders were given to whom.

Because I’m too naïve about the inner workings of Washington, and I’m beyond ignorant in how our military executes a war, I’ll leave thoughtful commentary to those with experience and facts. Regardless of my lack of knowledge about military strategy, I feel compelled to ask this question, “Why did we abandon Bagram Airfield before we evacuated all the civilians needing safe harbor?” And just one more, “Did the Taliban need another 5,000 fighters freed from the prison at the airfield?” What was the point in capturing them in the first place?

There is more wrong than failed leadership in exiting Afghanistan.

Right now, I don’t want to talk only about our actions in Afghanistan; I want to talk about the very core of our society, the evisceration of our cultural norms. I want to talk about right and wrong, law and order, and the courage to speak out and act with conviction. Not all of the terrorists are in Kabul. We have terrorists here, foreign and domestic.

Step away from focusing on the unspeakable failures of leadership being exposed in the withdrawal from Afghanistan and take a look at our municipalities wherein city leaders support defunding the police. Streets are lined with posters that say, “Abolish Cops”. Mayors and city councils forbid the police to use appropriate mob management tools like tear gas when facing numbers far beyond their ability to control. Perhaps the officers should approach the thugs and nicely ask, “Could you kindly lay down your club and stop breaking those windows?” Rioters who are arrested are released back to the streets within hours.

Anti-law enforcement attorney nominated for U.S. attorney?

What is unfolding before the world’s eyes in Kabul, and what has been happening here at home demonstrate that we are putting our highly trained soldiers and officers in harm’s way with no intention of prevailing. In Kabul we are negotiating (“deconflicting” per Pentagon spokesman John Kirby) with the Taliban. Here in America, Joe Biden is nominating Sussex County district attorney Rachael Rollins to serve as the U.S. attorney for Massachusetts. Rachael Rollins? Yes. The DA who entered office as the chief prosecuting attorney for Boston (and three other cities) with a list of criminal offenses that she would not prosecute. That’s a crime!

This feckless, feeble posturing toward military engagement and crime prevention is like a corrosive rust eating through the very fiber of our nation. Who will volunteer to fight for a country that no longer wins? Why join a police force where arrestees are slapped on the wrist and set free?

We invest trillions of dollars in our military and our police forces to secure our safety here and abroad. Every day our men and women proudly serve and put their lives on the line for us. But if you play ball to lose, your most talented players will choose another team. We need leadership with integrity and conviction, who love our country with all their heart and with all their soul. If the United States continues to self-immolate on the local and world stage, pretty soon we won’t be on stage at all.

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