On December 28, 2014, the US and NATO declared an end to the mission and therefore the war in Afghanistan. A Taliban statement from Zabihullah Mujahidon, a Taliban spokesman, left no doubt to how it was interpreted according to Reuters.
“ISAF rolled up its flag in an atmosphere of failure and disappointment without having achieved anything substantial or tangible.”
Washington may not like the statement and downplay it, but it doesn’t change the reality that the statement is accurate. Not so ironically, the US and NATO have been mute over the success of the war. No celebrations, no parades, no victory speeches…the absence of all of this should signal that our leaders know it was a failure. In fact, not only did the combined force of NATO and the US not achieve a decisive victory over the Taliban, they suffered a strategic defeat.
As I predicted from the beginning, no matter how the US and NATO try to spin this, the war was a total disaster and we lost. Disagree? Let’s look at the stats of what our trillion-dollar military bought us. To begin, we economically destroyed our nation racking up over a trillion dollars in war debt. Beyond money, we utterly wasted our most valuable capital…good men and women. To date, 3,485 coalition troops have been killed and tens of thousands wounded horribly. Economically we completely failed to restart Afghanistan’s economy unless you consider poppy production, which hit an all-time high this year…no pun intended. Oh, and then there is that really inconvenient thing that won’t go away and the White House has done so much to try to forget…the enemy. The Taliban are more numerous, better armed, better trained, better organized, and better equipped than they ever were and certainly more so than before September 10, 2001. This is due in no small part to the US and NATO’s futile and foolhardy attempt to “arm and train” the Afghan Army and militias, which was quickly hijacked by the Taliban as a means to arm and train their fighters for free. Further, the Taliban have influence over or outright control more territory today than they did when we invaded in 2001. Anyone willing to debate that point is not only wrong, but completely ignorant of the ground truth in Afghanistan. To illustrate, an American’s life expectancy traveling across much of Afghanistan today is in the neighborhood of two miles, two hours, or two villages…whichever comes first. Oh, and then there is the leadership like Gulbuddin Hekmatyar the leader of Hizb-i-Islami Gulbuddin (HIG) and Maulvi Jalaluddin Haqqani and his son Sirajuddin Haqqani who lead the terrorist Haqqani Network. These leaders of Islamic extremist groups have killed and wounded hundreds if not thousands of coalition troops, yet operate freely inside Pakistan and Afghanistan. In case Obama hasn’t mentioned, Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of Al Qaeda, is also still alive and well in Pakistan. To sum this up, the enemy is stronger now than ever and their leadership is completely intact after more than a decade of war with NATO and the US. If this is a “success” I never want to see a failure.
On the heels of this historic defeat and retreat, President Obama needs to do some serious explaining to America. First, there appears to be a befuddling contradiction of realities respective of the War in Afghanistan. If Al Qaeda and the Taliban were such dangerous threats in 2001 that our nation was led into its longest war ever, how can we retreat from the battlefield leaving both terrorist entities full intact and more operationally capable now than in 2001? Logic dictates there are only two possible answers and President Obama needs to pick one and address it. Either the President Bush lied to the American people about the actual need to fight a war and grossly overstated the threat of Al Qaeda and the Taliban or these groups are still an existential threat that must be destroyed or risk a national security disaster. It can’t be both because we have now surrendered in Afghanistan and packed up leaving the Taliban in charge of all but Kabul. Second, President Obama needs to announce a decimation of his senior civilian defense and military leaders that failed our nation by failing to decisively win the war in Afghanistan. Heads need to roll and accountability must be meted out. In line with this, President Obama needs to address how US military strategy will be overhauled so that the poison lies of counterinsurgency “COIN” doctrine will never lead our military another decisive defeat. Vietnam, Iraq, and now Afghanistan are just too many defeats, which can be directly traced to the weakness in our COIN doctrine. Finally, President Obama would be wise to lean forward and announce a viable strategy on how to at least contain the increasing spread of radical Islam and the residual Taliban.
As we retreat from Afghanistan, we are leaving advisors and intelligence operatives behind just as the Soviets did. Obama claims the Afghans are now ready to take over and we were successful in building this country, but it is a complete lie. Mark my words, the current Afghan regime is doomed and will be overthrown by the Taliban. Think about it…even after a decade the US and NATO were unable to decisively defeat the Taliban, but the Afghans with a few advisors are now going to turn the tide! This is pure unadulterated insanity. The logic is so bad it can’t even be classed as propaganda because it is so patently false. The Taliban are going to completely take over one province after another until Kabul is fully surrounded and all of the US consulates and bases except the American Embassy in Kabul are overrun. Then, as Kabul nears collapse, the US will be forced to evacuate its billion dollar embassy, quite likely with casualties, as the final “Saigon Moment” I coined and have been warning about for years occurs.
At this great culminating point, there will be no more hiding it. The US will have lost Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and then Afghanistan completely to Islamic terrorists. What will be left will be the most radical block of Islamists since the Muslims invaded Europe. The disaster that has been engineered by the US government cannot be understated. For the first time, the US will be forced to face the war it created for what it has become, an Islamic Holy War. The war will also enter a new stage where it will directly impact Americans back home and can no longer be a side-show forgotten in buried media stories. In future posts, I will detail how in the next two years this will play out globally and the impact it will have on the lives of Americans. In the interim, know that 2015 will prove to be a painful year for Americans as they are forced to begin to finally face the dire consequences of decades of bad leadership, corruption, lawlessness, excess, laziness, greed, moral degeneration, debt, and foreign wars.
By Guiles Hendrik
January 6, 2015