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How Biden Pulled Out the Rug From Under the Afghan Military

How Biden Pulled Out the Rug From Under the Afghan Military

Losing “all the goodwill of 20 years”

In President Biden’s appearance yesterday after the horrific terrorist attack in Afghanistan, one of the things he said was this:

The fact is that we’re in a situation, we inherited the situation, particularly since, as we all know, that the Afghan military collapsed before in 11 days…

It was hardly the first time that Biden has blamed the Afghan military. In fact, ten days earlier in the crisis (on August 16) he said the following:

The Afghan military gave up, sometimes without trying to fight…

…How many more generations of America’s daughters and sons would you have me send to fight Afghans – Afghanistan’s civil war, when Afghan troops will not?

The story as Biden tells it is that the Afghan military is made of cowards who run at the hint of a fight, leaving Americans to fight and die in their place. But Biden is leaving out quite a bit, to say the least. This story on the importance of air power to the Afghan military is a month old, and it takes on even greater significance in retrospect:

Airpower is important to military operations in Afghanistan because forces attempting to capture and hold territory will have to mass together to do so, said Seth Jones, director of the International Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies…

Air dominance also provides the Afghan military and national police with rapid transportation. Coalition and Afghan helicopters and transport planes can drop hundreds of troops and tons of supplies in remote locations that are otherwise inaccessible because of difficult terrain or Taliban presence…

So aircraft was key to the entire defense system, as the US was well aware. And civilian contractors were vital to the maintenance of those aircraft:

To keep its aircraft flying, the AAF relies on hundreds of private civilian contractors brought in to train AAF personnel and maintain the aircraft until they are ready to do it themselves…

Those contractors are expected to leave around the same time that the last US troops withdraw, which President Joe Biden has said will be by the end of August.

According to the SIGAR report, the NATO command that oversees the training and build-up of the AAF concluded in January that “without continued contractor support, none of the AAF’s airframes can be sustained as combat effective for more than a few months.”

Under time pressure from the imminent withdrawal, they tried to quickly teach the Afghans how to maintain their own aircraft:

The training still needed and the shrinking timetable has made Zoom training a reasonable alternative despite challenges of such a hands-off instruction method, but the Afghan military also has to make sure that the AAF continues to receive the spare parts, engines, fuel, ammunition, replacement aircraft, and other material it needs…

As it turns out, they didn’t even have till the end of August. You may already know what happened:

As the U.S. withdrawal took hold, the Biden administration refused to allow contractors into the country to service the aircraft, effectively grounding some of the Afghan Air Force at the same time as the U.S. had withdrawn direct air support to Afghan forces.

I assume that the Biden administration would try to claim they did this because the Trump agreement with the Taliban included a plan for “trainers, advisers, and supporting services personnel” to ultimately depart. However, we know that Biden was not irrevocably bound by Trump’s agreement – in fact, one of the most basic principles of his administration seems to have been to cancel or reverse virtually everything Trump ever did. More importantly, Trump’s agreement contained contingencies that the Taliban had to fulfill before the US forces would be leaving. Here’s what Pompeo has said about that:

For his part, Mr. Pompeo has repeatedly suggested that the Trump administration would have thrown the brakes on an American departure from the country as the Taliban pursued military conquest.

“We made abundantly clear if they did not live up to that piece of paper, to the words that they had put on the ground, we weren’t going to allow them to just walk away from any deal that they had struck, we were going to go crush them,” he said on “Fox News Sunday” over the weekend.

But Mr. Pompeo did not offer specifics about how the Taliban had violated the deal. The next day, he told the Fox Business Network that the Trump administration “would have demanded that the Taliban actually deliver on the conditions that we laid out in the agreement,” saying the Taliban had agreed “to engage in a meaningful power-sharing agreement, something that we struggled to get them to do.”

During the four years of his administration – and even prior to that, in his long career as a businessman – Trump was never averse to walking away from deals if the other party didn’t live up to its side of the bargain. And he had no trouble pressuring and using force when necessary.

Not only did Biden fail to negotiate in that manner, but under his direction, the US military also precipitously abandoned Bagram Airfield. This is a description datelined July 6th:

The U.S. left Afghanistan’s Bagram Airfield after nearly 20 years by shutting off the electricity and slipping away in the night without notifying the base’s new Afghan commander, who discovered the Americans’ departure more than two hours after they left, Afghan military officials said…

“We (heard) some rumor that the Americans had left Bagram … and finally by seven o’clock in the morning, we understood that it was confirmed that they had already left Bagram,” Gen. Mir Asadullah Kohistani, Bagram’s new commander said…

“In one night, they lost all the goodwill of 20 years by leaving the way they did, in the night, without telling the Afghan soldiers who were outside patrolling the area,” said Afghan soldier Naematullah, who asked that only his one name be used.

If you want to know at least one of the probable reasons why Afghan forces surrendered so quickly to the Taliban, ponder that statement: In one night, [the Americans] lost all the goodwill of 20 years by leaving the way they did.

But it was even worse than that because Bagram wasn’t just an airfield. It was also the site of Bagram Prison where, as Vijeta Uniyal wrote on August 16:

Around 5,000 top terrorists fled when Afghan government forces surrendered Bagram Air Base, 40 miles from Kabul. The prison at the base housed some of the world’s most notorious jihadis besides the Guantanamo Bay terrorist detention center.

“Afghan forces at Bagram Air Base, home to a prison housing 5,000 inmates, surrendered to the Taliban, according to Bagram district chief Darwaish Raufi,” The Associated Press reported on Monday. “The prison at the former U.S. base held both Taliban and Islamic State group fighters.”

Yesterday we probably saw some the effects of that decision, and unfortunately we may see more of them in the not-too-distant future.
Caroline Glick adds:

This brings us to Biden’s devastating critique of the Afghan military, which he claimed was unwilling to defend the country. Over the past 20 years, 2,448 U.S. servicemen and women were killed in Afghanistan. Over the same period, 69,000 Afghan forces died defending their country from the Taliban. His statement amounted to malicious slander.

One of the main functions of the U.S. forces and contractors Biden removed was to serve as military air traffic controllers for Afghan forces. Their departure meant the Afghan military lost its close air support. And since the U.S. built the Afghan military as its mini-me, like the U.S. forces, Afghan forces were dependent on close air support to conduct land operations.

In other words, Biden is more responsible than anyone else for the Afghans’ post-American collapse. If he expected them to fight, he shouldn’t have left them dependent on U.S. traffic controllers which he withdrew without coordination or warning of any kind.

It is well-known that there were other serious problems with the Afghan military. But if there ever was a chance that they could have successfully defended their country against the Taliban, or even just staved off the inevitable long enough for the US and its allies to get their people out, that chance was taken away by these actions of the Biden administration.

It is as though our exit strategy in Afghanistan was designed to be as bad as possible.

[Neo is a writer with degrees in law and family therapy, who blogs at the new neo.]


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To us Cubans, this situation sounds very familiar.
The Bay Of Pigs plan included aerial support, which Kennedy withdrew at the last minute, leaving Cuban patriots stranded on a beach head at the mercy of a larger enemy.
It’s a democrat thing.

    Milhouse in reply to Exiliado. | August 27, 2021 at 10:40 am

    Yes. A lot of people don’t seem to realize that the Bay of Pigs could have succeeded, had JFK not sabotaged it.

    Another BoP fact: In his famous debates with Nixon, JFK accused the outgoing administration of not doing anything about Castro. Nixon knew about the upcoming Bay of Pigs invasion, but obviously couldn’t say anything about it, so he was left looking like a weak idiot. I don’t know whether JFK knew this and deliberately took advantage of it, or genuinely didn’t know and happened to land this low blow accidentally. But either way it worked for him.

      mark311 in reply to Milhouse. | August 28, 2021 at 11:55 am

      That’s pretty debatable. There a litany of issues with the invasion like the element of surprise being lost for example or the fact that at the time Castro was really rather popular.

    buck61 in reply to Exiliado. | August 27, 2021 at 11:37 am

    This also has the scent of the Mariel Boatlift when Castro opened the prison gates and let the worst of the worst out and free to migrate where ever they pleased with many ending up in Miami.
    How many of those former Afghan prisoners will eventually end up in the USA or other foreign countries?

The democRAT media got us here. They bear all the blame.

    And as VP Dumb Slut advises, during this crisis: buy your holday gifts early.

    Fake doctor Jill should commit hari kari. It’s the only honorable way out for her in her complicity in the Biden disaster. Perhaps she could drive a bus off a cliff, loadex with Milley, Austin, Susan Rice, Jen Pataki and several others.

    A lot of people, myself included, complain that the Democrats have saddled the country with a head of cauliflower as President. They have and the country should never, ever forget who’s responsible for the mess we’re dealing with. We complain loudly about the debacle that is Afghanistan. We complain that Biden is trying to undo everything Trump accomplished for no reason other than Trump did them, without caring about whether Trump’s policies were beneficial or not.

    We forget that somebody is calling the shots at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and it sure as hell ain’t Gropey Joe. I’m not sure he can manage his own bowel movements, much less actually make decisions about anything except what flavor ice cream to have. He can barely manage to read the drivel they load onto the Teleprompter for him to parrot, and there’s a reason his handlers only let him take questions from tame reporters.

    So who is actually making the decisions that govern the United States if it isn’t Presidementia Biden? I doubt it’s Doctor Jill, and Methpipe Biden is too busy banging Russian hookers, misplacing laptops, and pretending to be Rembrandt. All Veep Throat Harris can manage to do is laugh like a hyena and embarrass herself, so it isn’t her, either.

    There’s been speculation that Obama is pulling the strings through Valerie Jarrett, and I’ve seen Susan Rice’s name floated around from time to time. The “National Security Experts” who have been installed at State, Defense, and CIA, are a bunch of fools who should be run out of government service forever. And say what you will about Mitch McConnell, we should be thankful that Merrick Garland did not assume a lifetime position on the SCOTUS.

    I don’t really know who is the puppet master, but I do know that every American citizen has a right to know who is really calling the shots.

      “…somebody is calling the shots at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and it sure as hell ain’t Gropey Joe”.

      He even had to be “instructed” as to which reporter to call on, then the reporter had to read the card she was given in order that Joe could read the answer he was given. It was all so phony. A presentation put on by students in a 2nd grade class would be more professional.

This is usually the time when some sanctimonious Franz von Papen Republican (Cheney, Romneycare, Sasse, etc) says that in this time of crisis we need to stop blaming Biden* and come together as a nation to heal.

Clearly the plan was to create conditions for Afghan forces to fail and then blame Trump.

Dem Party amounts to this –
. . . >> Blame Trump
. . . >> Blame America
. . . >> Support Marxism
. . . >> Support Neo-racism = Hate on White People
. . ..>> Suck up to China
. . . >> Enable US Invasion by Mexico/ Central America
. . . >> Brainwash Americans to accept subjugation by a new ruling class

    But according to the likes of Hugh Hewitt, it’s just incompetence.


    Ben Kent in reply to Ben Kent. | August 27, 2021 at 8:32 am

    The above describes the 7 “Core Principles” of Dem Party. They even actually say much of this out-loud. They can count on their brainwashed followers to accept whatever bullshit they promote with plenty of help from media.

    All clear thinking people – regardless of political views – know that the above is the true core principles. Their words are meaningless – they will say they care about American and about Democracy. But actions speck louder than words. Actions reveal truth.

    mark311 in reply to Ben Kent. | August 27, 2021 at 1:24 pm

    Trump was to blame for a lot of things so that’s fair
    Blame america ? Be specific because I’m not clear that’s remotely true
    Support Marxism , I’m pretty sure you’ve no idea what the word means. In context of the right it’s a smear that’s used in broad brush strokes to label any opponent you don’t agree with no matter what the actual political position actual is.
    Suck up to china again going to have to be specific here. Bidens policies thus far suggest the diametrically opposite view

    Enable invasion from Mexico ? Again nonsense just because you don’t like immigrants and the fact they they are part and parcel for the US economy doesn’t make it an invasion
    Subjugation eh again be specific because from where I’m standing it looks like post Trump is making aholes take responsibility for there crimes.


I agree about Bagram. The manner of the exit, like a thief in the night, was demoralizing to the Afghans. It was a gut punch they couldn’t recover from.

The lack of trained Afghan maintenance personnel isn’t solely on the Biden Admin. The DC elites and their military contractor cabal purposely delayed building and developing organic Afghan capabilities such as aircraft maintenance to keep the Afghans dependent. This gave the ‘we can’t leave argument’ legs.

In effect the DoD designed the Afghan forces to remain dependent on the US and contractors. This design perfectly suited the interests of those making these decisions over two decades and successive administrations.

IMO, every bad decision of DoD, State, the IC and others for the past two decades in Afghanistan is going to be swept up under the Biden Admin in a furious effect to avoid accountability. Count on it, it’s already begun.

Biden is 100% responsible for the multiple failures of the Afghanistan withdrawal and the catastrophic consequences which will follow. He isn’t responsible for every purposefully made bad decision of the last 20 years.

    Yeah, if the so=called buck stopped here, there would be some consequences such as impeachment or removal from office for being unable to do the job. But Biden takes no responsibility for his mistakes. And democrats do nothing. So the buck actually stops with those who are being killed due to his negligence—-that’s where the buck stops.

      CommoChief in reply to UserP. | August 27, 2021 at 10:59 am

      True. Having been been sent to execute some fairly fubar mission sets in my military career and receiving injuries to the point of a medical retirement due to disabilities I know that lessen better than most.
      I live it every day.

    buck61 in reply to CommoChief. | August 27, 2021 at 11:42 am

    I have read that the literacy rate in Afghanistan is in the 40-45% range. Probably difficult to recruit and train people who are able to read and follow technical manuals in services those aircraft. Massive failure on the administration in planning and execution.

      CommoChief in reply to buck61. | August 27, 2021 at 12:44 pm

      Literacy rate among adult Afghans is far lower, ten to 15 % on a good day. It’s far higher in the under 25 population. Yes literacy was an impediment in 2002 but after two decades? No. That doesn’t wash for a number of reasons.

      First even at a 10% rate that’s plenty of folks to choose from from across a 2003 population of roughly 24 million. Start with a few hundred literate folks that have a decent mechanical aptitude score. They are in demand so paying them a quality salary in Afghan terms would be required. More advanced work means higher pay.

      Train them in basic wheeled vehicle and basic track vehicle maintenance. Then sort out the most promising students and train as aircraft mechanics at unit level maintenance. Take the more promising of those and train for depot level maintenance.

      Rinse and repeat yearly. Over an 18 year training cycle you will have plenty of maintenance personnel for wheeled and tracked vehicles. You will have enough trained and experienced aircraft maintenance personnel to sustain not only the maintenance but the training pipeline.

      Take this one example and repeat it across the entire spectrum of support tasks necessary to sustain a modern-ish military force. Not a 21st century force more like a mid to late 1970s level. They had very simple aircraft relatively speaking.

      This was a road deliberately not taken because it would have endangered profits to the defense contractor cabal while limiting opportunities for a the US military to justify a larger presence. No large scale presence means less need for Col and GO to have a combat command.

      Less combat command means less promotion opportunities. Less promotion means they won’t be in a position to award high dollar contracts. No gimme contracts means they can’t retire into a lucrative defense contractor/ lobbyist job.

    dunce1239 in reply to CommoChief. | August 27, 2021 at 6:46 pm

    This is the first i have heard about HOW they left.

Everything that President Puddinghead and his minions have done is an abomination, but sadly he is right that the Afghan Army has been worthless.

See these:

And that isn’t the only videos I’ve seen of their incompetence. Talk to most any combat vet of Afghanistan and they’ll back me up.

Obviously there will be plenty of blame to place. The three candidates –

1) choices made by the President’s own administration,

2) plans developed by State Department,

3) advice given by military.

Choices will blame plans. Plans will blame advice.

See how that works?

As the U.S. withdrawal took hold, the Biden administration refused to allow contractors into the country to service the aircraft, effectively grounding some of the Afghan Air Force at the same time as the U.S. had withdrawn direct air support to Afghan forces.

As of the end of April, there were more U.S. civilian contractors in Afghanistan than there were soldiers. You are suggesting that civilians should have been left behind while even more soldiers were withdrawn. The Afghans had more than enough air power at the time the army disintegrated, but pilots were being assassinated and their families threatened, and often didn’t show up when needed.

While we always attempt to stay on topic, and observe other rules of decorum, if we don’t respond, it may be because our comments are stuck in moderation, apparently to protect the right-wing echo chamber.

“Biden Pulled Out Rug From Under Afghan Army”

Worse than that, he has pulled the rug out from under our country.

“Biden is destroying our national sovereignty, security, and fight against the pandemic by opening the borders, while simultaneously harming our energy independence and economy. He has weaponized the federal law enforcement bureaucracy against political opponents, and turned the military senior officers into political indoctrination and social justice activists. We are only 7 months into the Biden presidency, and the damage is profound and accelerating. It’s hard to imagine what will be in a year or two or three at this pace.”

(from Professor Jacobson’s Article posted Aug 26 2021)

This administration is poisoned by Obama holdovers, what significant foreign policy achievements can they point to over their eight year period?
Blinken- he got 28 senators to vote to confirm him, Austin got 98 votes to confirm him ( only Hawley and Lee voted no).

caseoftheblues | August 27, 2021 at 12:17 pm

The bar was really really low for Slo Joe but….HOLY HELL!@!

Biden took the biggest stick we had to keep the Taliban in line, to make sure they lived up to their agreements, and threw it away.

Saw the following comment on another site:


In 1975, President Ford was left to manage the difficult ending of the Vietnam War. President Ford went to Congress for a relief package to allow American personnel and our allies to evacuate. However, there was ONE US SENATOR who opposed any such support. The result was the embarrassing and hurried evacuation from the roof of the American embassy in Saigon

This senator reveled in the embarrassment and did everything he could to leverage it politically against Ford. Despite the efforts of this U.S. Senator–President Ford managed to rescue 1,500 South Vietnamese allies prior to the country’s fall. Had President Ford not acted quickly, these people would have been targeted and slaughtered for their support for America . When they arrived in America , President Ford asked Congress for a package to assist these refugees to integrate into American society.

That SAME troublesome SENATOR TORPEDOED ANY SUPPORT for these shell shocked, anti-communist, Americans and our helpers, the refugees.

Instead, President Ford had to recruit Christian organizations to offer assistance on a voluntary basis. As he did so, the Senator belittled those efforts. What kind of person would oppose President Ford’s tireless work to do the right and humanitarian thing? Who would want to play politics with the well-being of innocent people who stood by America in the tragic Vietnam War?

From the book – “When the Center Held.” by Donald Rumsfeld in 2018.(biography)

… spread it, far and wide!

There could be no other outcome of the Afghanistan army after their best support American military bails out in middle of the night.
France fell in 7 weeks, if the British all left in the middle of the night it would have been faster