We Are Out On August 31
The President, after twice delaying his address, went to the microphones and said “no extension” and thus we are out of Afghanistan in six days.
There is nothing to add to what we’ve already blogged here, and you have heard on the airwaves. It is done.
What is left now is to see what happens to citizens left behind, those who assisted us and the lives of those left in the country, especially women.
Military historians will be left to judge how this withdrawal was handled.
Historians in general will be left to judge the leadership of twenty years in this fight.
Those of us here now, know that 20 years ago we were attacked. Over 3,000 of our non combatant citizens were killed. For no reason other than they were Americans and showed up for work that day. I will never forget that many of them thought their best chance in life was to jump from the 100th floor of the World Trade Center; or attack armed hijackers on a plane at 20,000 feet.
We went forward to get those who did that. The leader of that movement against us killed and buried at sea.
Now 20 years later those who allowed that movement to flourish in their country and many of his supporters are going to celebrate their return to power. They will claim victory and be emboldened to do more.
Maybe we’re too emotionally involved to pass historical judgment, but I think time will say this:
The mission on day one was to get Bin Laden and beat back his organization.
The mistake was to try and build a country and government that history says does not want one.
Three Presidents followed and had no idea on what to do.
One got out of a second war in much the same way we are now and ISIS was born. Not good.
The next one wanted to stroke his ego and be the President to get us out of wars. He lost reelection.
Then the fourth one came and had no idea. He voted to go in to all the wars and now wanted out, but had no idea on how to do it and caused this chaos.
So many died twenty years ago. Many more died to rid the world of evil. Then we left. Now many will die as payback in that nation and the question is how many will die because of the rebirth of those who hate enough to do what they did two decades ago.
The lesson? To me it is this. If you are going to enter into a conflict, you must define the mission and what victory is. Once you do that, you must complete the mission. There is no substitute for victory, so if you go, you go all out and win.
We’ll be watching along with you on how this President and his team lead us now.