Patterns for Abandonment—Afghanistan and Vietnam
The radical Islamist Taliban provided an important base of operations in Afghanistan that facilitated the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the U.S. resulting in over 3,000 American deaths. To prevent further such terrorist attacks on Western countries and rid Afghanistan of Taliban radicalism and barbarity, the U.S. and Allied Coalition helped to build and generously equip Afghan National Defense Forces numbering about 182,000, including 7,000 Air Force personnel. Adding the National Police Force of 119,000, brought Afghan forces to 301,000 by July 2021. As of April 2021, at least 66,000 members of the Afghan National Defense Forces and Police Forces had been killed since the war began in 2002. The Afghan National Defense and Police forces were well paid, and their willingness to fight the Taliban is shown by sustaining considerable casualties over almost 20 years. Why did most of the Afghan Defense and Police forces essentially collapse with minimal resistance beginning in March 2021?
The Afghan Defense Force was designed to operate with backup from heavy U.S. airpower and was also dependent on U.S and NATO supplies, fuel, weapons, and ammunition. Afghanistan is a land-locked country surrounded by Muslim nations except for a small border with China. Iran and Pakistan are clearly pro-Taliban, and Iran is already supplying the Taliban. China is ambitious for more influence in Afghanistan and Central Asia. Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan are subject to heavy Russian and Chinese influence. Without the support of U.S. airpower and U.S. and NATO air transport, Afghanistan is isolated and surrounded by enemies, several very powerful enemies—Iran, Pakistan, and China. That is why Bagram Airfield, about an hour’s drive north of Kabul, is so important. President Trump intended to keep Bagram in operation and strike very hard at the Taliban if they violated any treaty provisions or threatened American lives. It was clear that President Biden would give up the huge airfield at Bagram, which cost the U.S. $10 billion to build, and was easy to defend. Biden abruptly had U.S. troops withdraw from it on July 2. This left only the Kabul Airport for final withdrawal, which was extremely difficult to defend, since it was in the city of Kabul.
The collapse of the Afghan Security Forces probably began as early as January 20, 2021, the day Joe Biden was inaugurated President of the United States, and other election results confirmed that the Democrats would have majorities in the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate. The House Democrat majority was narrow, and the Senate Democratic majority was only effective by Vice President Kamala Harris having a tie-breaking vote, but the Democrats would have sufficient power for at least two years to dramatically change the nation’s foreign and national security policies. The implications for the Taliban were glorious, but the implications for Afghanistan and the Afghanistan Security Forces were grim.
Besides isolation from Western logistical support, there were other weaknesses of the Afghanistan Defense Forces. As one might expect from a relatively poor country with 35 percent of its economy based on the production of illicit drugs, corruption and bribery are rampant and a way of life.
Afghanistan is 99 percent Muslim, and 99 percent of those endorse Sharia Law, which is hostile to Western values. Sharia Law endorses Jihad and an Islamic supremacy that plans to replace all other religions and government with Islam and Sharia Law. Sharia Law has a dualistic ethical system rendering different ethical standards for Muslims and non-Muslims. Muhammad taught that Muslims should not make sincere friendships with non-Muslims. Truth is due Muslims, but non-Muslims may be deceived to advance or defend Islam. This doctrine of deception is called Taqiyya. Democracy is not highly regarded by Muslim clerics. War should not be made against other faithful Muslims. The preferred enemy is almost always “infidel” Western culture and civilization. The prevailing American and Western European misinformation regarding Islam is that it is a religion of peace and tolerance. Nothing could be further from the truth. Naively following a false narrative on the nature of Sharia-based Islam is a tremendous military and diplomatic disadvantage.
The Taliban began bribing Afghan Security Force and Police Force officers in March. Knowing that Joe Biden and the Democrats in Congress would almost certainly leave them without airpower and financial and logistical support, the collapse of the supposed 300,000-man Afghan Security and Police forces was easily predictable. The only thing that mattered to the Biden Administration was political and public relations optics.
Liberal and Leftist Democrats have a poor record of predicting primary and secondary consequences of economic, diplomatic, and military decisions. Their decisions are usually emotional or self-promoting and blind even to the most obvious logical and moral analysis.
The United States had essentially won the Vietnam War in December 1972, when Richard Nixon finally decided to use Air Force and Navy airpower to bomb strategic targets in North Vietnam and mine key North Vietnamese harbors. North Vietnam’s railroad transportation, ports, airfields, major petroleum, and munitions storage were devastated. Electrical power resources were in shambles. Their formerly formidable air defense system was obliterated and in a state of confusion. Only a trickle of truck traffic continued. Supplies from the Soviet Union and China were cut off. The North Vietnamese Army had lost 190,000 dead in 1972 alone. The North Vietnamese economy was reeling, and all of North Vietnam was at the mercy of American airpower. The Joint Chiefs of Staff had recommended this strategic airpower strike four times from 1965 to 1969, but President Johnson and Defense Secretary Robert McNamara refused them.
The U.S. was in position to demand unconditional surrender, but a Congress eager for the optics of peace forced Nixon and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger to settle for a peace treaty January 15, 1973. North Vietnam pledged a cease fire and to end its invasion of South Vietnam. Our 591 prisoners of war would be returned. It was not a perfect agreement in the eyes of President Nixon and South Vietnamese President Thieu, but it would have worked, if Congress had been willing to enforce the treaty.
As soon as American troops were gone, the North Vietnamese began to violate the cease fire and infiltrated thousands of North Vietnamese troops into South Vietnam. The peace agreement committed the United States to sustain the South Vietnamese Armed Forces at the same level of equipment, weapons, ammunition, and supplies that existed in January 1973. But Congress reduced its support from $2.27 billion in fiscal year 1973 to $1.07 billion in 1974 and less than $700 million in 1975. Meanwhile the Soviets and Chinese increased their support for North Vietnam by 50 percent over the peak year of 1972 to prepare for a final invasion off South Vietnam. The Communists correctly read U.S. Congressional signals that a future Communist invasion of South Vietnam would be unopposed by the United States. [Inflation has increased 407 percent since 1975, so these figures can be multiplied by 5 to approximate now highly inflated 2021 dollars.]
The Watergate Scandal in 1973—which now seems trivial to the outrageous corruption and dishonesty of the Biden Administration— had tremendous implications for American Foreign Policy in Southeast Asia. President Nixon was forced to resign on August 9, 1974. In the November 1974 elections, the Democrats gained 43 seats in the House and three in the Senate, making the 94th Congress 291 Democrats to 144 Republicans in the House and 61 Democrats (including Joe Biden) to 39 Republicans in the Senate.
On December 13, 1974, the North Vietnamese launched a 185,000-man invasion of South Vietnam, equipped with the latest Soviet tanks, heavy artillery, and infantry weapons, supplies, and equipment. They also invaded Cambodia with the help the barbarous Khmer Rouge Cambodian Communists. On bare minimum supplies and ammunition, both the South Vietnamese and Cambodian armies ran out of almost everything—ammunition, fuel, and spare parts. President Ford requested $700 million in emergency funds and $300 million in emergency humanitarian funds, but the Democrats smacked then down in committee. It was reduced to $700 in humanitarian aid only, but it never got out of committee.
The end of the Vietnam War did not bring peace. Approximately 3.5 million South Vietnamese and Cambodians were executed, starved to death, died of disease in concentration camps, or drowned at sea trying to escape. I do not have data for Laos.
So, do you understand why the Afghan Defense and Police forces melted way as the Taliban advanced rapidly to Kabul? Joe Biden, his controllers, and an even more leftist Democratic Party cannot be trusted to keep their promises. Optics matter, but promises, facts, common sense, and human empathy do not matter to them. A corrupt media and educational establishment will erase their stupidity and moral depravity.
According to President Trump, Biden’s shameful and brainless handing of Afghanistan withdrawal left $83 billion of the latest military equipment to the Taliban, making perhaps 75,000 Taliban radicals and their ISIS and al-Qaeda allies one of the best armed forces for evil in the world. $83 billion is 14 percent of the entire U.S. Defense Budget for 2021. According to a list sent by Congressman Jeff Duncan (R-SC), this new Taliban capture includes 23,132 armored vehicles, 50,000 trucks, 64,363 machine guns, 358,530 assault rifles, 126,295 pistols, and 176 artillery pieces. Only a few of these were “de-militarized” before falling into the hands of the very happy Taliban. Some of these weapons have already been spotted in Iran and may also be of great technological help to the Russians and Chinese. This may be the greatest arms capture and technological give-away in human history.
The debacle of abandoning hundreds of Americans and thousands of American employed Afghan assistants and their families to the mercy of the Taliban may be one of the greatest hostage crises in history.
Joe Biden and his puppet masters seem to be deliberately ruining our country. He has certainly given a green light to whoever wants to destroy us.