Thirteen Americans died in the Kabul Bugout. Joe Biden desecrates their sacrifices with his actions in Afghanistan past and present. Mike Pompeo comments.
The Atlanta Braves reserved 13 seats to honor the 13 Servicemembers that we lost in Kabul, Afghanistan. Respect. 🇺🇸🇺🇸pic.twitter.com/2doxu3iScc
— Cloyd Rivers (@CloydRivers) August 31, 2022
Pompeo: On Aug. 30, 2021, Gen. Christopher Donahue stepped onto a U.S. military C-17 aircraft, due to take off from Kabul in just a few minutes. Gen. Donahue was the last member of the U.S. military to leave Afghanistan, and his exit closed the book on a complete debacle that had seen the Taliban, which had previously been driven out into the hilly southern region of the country, take all of Afghanistan within a few days. Tragically, it also saw 13 American service members killed in a terrorist attack at the Kabul airport.
As we approach the one-year anniversary of these events, it is important to remember that none of this was a foregone conclusion. The Trump administration negotiated a conditioned-based withdrawal that would keep our soldiers and civilians safe, as well as our Afghan partners and allies. This agreement was based around an orderly drawdown of our forces, while the Taliban agreed not to threaten America or its interests as we withdrew.
This plan worked – we went from about 15,000 American personnel to just about 2,500 when the Trump administration left office. Throughout the drawdown, we established deterrence with the Taliban by backing up our agreement with action. When the Taliban violated the agreement, we hit them. Hard. We never trusted them or took them at their word. As a result, not one single American service member was killed.
Unfortunately, the Biden administration ripped up our conditions-based withdrawal plan and decided to leave unconditionally, trusting the Taliban not to take advantage of the vacuum. This turned into a chaotic rush for the exit, to nobody’s surprise except for President Biden. His administration stayed the course, compounding its errors with more baffling mistakes and weakness.
It pulled military personnel out before American civilians had been evacuated, leaving Americans stranded and at the mercy of the Taliban. It failed to impose costs on the Taliban, allowing them to rush across the country toward Kabul without resistance. It let billions of dollars of U.S. military materiel and equipment fall into the hands of the Taliban as our troops were commanded to leave them behind. Given China’s staunch support of the Taliban since its takeover, one can guess where that equipment eventually made its way.
Now, after a year, the Taliban’s brutal rule is yielding predictable results. The country is facing a debt and hunger crisis. They have rolled back educational opportunities for girls and forced women to wear veils. All manners of basic human rights are being curtailed.
We must be careful, though, to distinguish between Biden’s failed withdrawal and the legacy our men and women who served in Afghanistan left behind. Many of these veterans today wonder if they failed, or if their service even mattered given how we left. I want to be clear: You did not fail. Your service mattered.