Since our disgraceful pullout from Afghanistan, and its disastrous human and geopolitical consequences, people have been wondering how this could have happened -- who made the decisions, what were the decisions, and why were they made.
Until internal communications become public, or insiders speak frankly and honestly, we won’t be able to answer these questions with any certainty. For now, though, instead of shooting blindly in the dark, we can make our task a little easier by narrowing down the possibilities through process-of-elimination.
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But first, old reliable: cui bono?
The Taliban, of course, are the obvious winners at center-stage. They are openly celebrating retaking the country and driving out the world’s leading superpower -- in disgrace.
The other primary winners are clearly indicated by the only three embassies still operating in Afghanistan: Russia, Pakistan, and China.
Russia’s involvement in Afghanistan goes back centuries. Next-door neighbor Pakistan is where the Taliban were operating and biding their time for 20 years; Pakistan also has had such good relations with the Taliban since the group’s inception, that many specialists hold that the group can’t do anything without the consent of Pakistan. For its part, China has actually been stepping into the breach in Afghanistan for the past few months, to put another notch in its One Belt One Road Initiative across the old Silk Road and around the Indian Ocean littoral.
In addition, Marxists, Third-Worldists, and America-haters around the world are gleeful -- seeing America flee with its tail tucked between its legs is like hitting the super-mega jackpot.
So, now, with the knowledge of who the biggest winners are, let’s rule out some possible lines of inquiry for getting at some answers.
First and foremost, we need to address the central decision-maker here, the president of the United States. We need to put to rest some very strange ideas floating around. Among them, that the president is feeble and suffers from dementia; that he’s not in charge and not making any decisions other than what flavor ice cream to eat and how money is divvied up in the family; that other politicians and handlers are running the show and pulling the strings; and that the puppet only does what he’s told and repeats the lines he’s fed on the teleprompter or into his ear-piece.
How can people say such ludicrous and unfounded things? Our two precedents with such a situation are the presidents in the two world wars, when one had a stroke and the other was nearing death. This president is obviously alive and well, and in full possession of his faculties -- he is clearly able to walk on his own (and there are no strings showing), he can talk, he can read, he can speak, and he can answer questions; he’s sentient, cognizant, capable, and on top of things -- definitely his own man, as he has been throughout half a century of public service, looking out only for what’s best for the country, and nothing else.
So, in the absence of any actual, visible, tangible evidence to the contrary, such notions ought to be completely banished from our minds.
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There are other things we can be sure of, and, therefore, can eliminate from consideration.
We can be sure that there’s nobody in the president’s circle, administration, or party who dislikes America and Western civilization, or who harbors any ill-feelings or ill-will towards them. On the contrary, we can be sure that everybody in or near the administration always wants America to succeed, do well, and win every war -- and if not win a war, to at least see it end with honor.
We can be sure that nobody in or near the administration has a personal or political chip on his shoulder, is out to “stick it to” America, and (like Arabs and 9/11) would like nothing more than to see America get its comeuppance and be humiliated.
We can be sure that nobody in the president’s administration and party has any background, connections, or sympathies with Marxism, China, Third-Worldism, and anti-Americanism, or has ever been involved in any anti-American activities.
We can be sure that nobody in or near the administration favors one of the winners over America.
We can be sure that nobody wanted any of the winners to become stronger, or wanted any harm to come to our ally India.
We can be sure that nobody in or near the administration has ever helped the Taliban or one of its leaders.
We can be sure that we didn’t stop paying the Afghan military, that we didn’t “cut a deal” with the Tabliban, and that we didn’t send or promise to send any money to the Taliban.
We can be sure that nobody wanted the Taliban to get our weapons, facilities, and equipment and make it one of the best-equipped armies in the world.
We can be sure that nobody wanted China to have access to our weapons, technology, bases, facilities, and friends.
We can be sure that nobody close to the president, or in any decision-making or advisory role, has ever had, or will have, any dealings or interests with China -- financial or otherwise.
We can be sure that nobody in or near the administration has any sympathies for China and wants it to benefit and become stronger.
We can be sure that nobody in or near the administration has “put his money on” China as the winner in the global sweepstakes.
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We can be sure that it didn’t cross anybody’s mind -- in the administration, in the military, in intelligence, or in the diplomatic corps -- that the Afghan army might collapse, that the Taliban could quickly take over the country, that the Taliban might make hay with the victory and try to parlay it into something, that the Taliban could be viewed around the world as having defeated America, and that the country could become a terrorist state and a base for international terrorism again.
We can be sure that all options were fully considered and examined when military and non-military plans and strategies were being drawn up, and that nothing was taken lightly; that a complete plan was in place to evacuate Americans and our partners, and to secure safe corridors and extraction points; that topography, the usefulness of bases, defensive positions, and fighting postures were all seriously weighed and considered; that all military and non-military protocols were followed; that all the t’s and i’s were crossed and dotted; that this wasn’t a matter of “Oops! We forgot that there are American citizens in the country,” or “Who forgot the helicopters?!”; that the image, standing, and credibility of the United States were uppermost in people’s minds and that nobody wanted to damage them; that all local, regional and international scenarios were studied in depth for what might happen in the power vacuum we left behind; and that the short- and long-term effects in the region, with our allies, our enemies, and around the world would be weighed and thoroughly examined.
We can be sure that the plans and scenarios for Afghanistan included warnings, red lines, all manner of contingencies, and a range of possible military and non-military options and responses, including plans to secure or destroy our weapons and facilities.
We can be sure that nobody did anything to imperil the lives of Americans and our partners in Afghanistan, that nobody would want any harm to come to any of them or knew of such a possibility and still decided to quickly slip out of the country; and we can be sure that no decisions about American lives and the lives of our partners were made to meet a date on the calendar or for political reasons.
We can be sure that China isn’t in any hurry to advance its fortunes at the expense of anybody else -- that it doesn’t want anybody else’s cookies to crumble.
We can be sure that China has nothing to gain materially or strategically from Afghanistan.
We can be sure that China doesn’t want to see the United States damaged or embarrassed in any way -- let alone, to maximize the damage and embarrassment; and we can be sure that none of our political leaders, diplomats, or anybody in intel or the military had any such thought.
And, finally, we can be sure that China has no incriminating or embarrassing information on any politician, official, or public figure in the United States. Now that we’ve narrowed down the possibilities, we can make some more-clear-eyed deductions.
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