I had a chance to watch about three hours of the hearings in both houses of Congress, and then watched the highlights over the next couple of days.
- Biden lied, people died. “I was never told we should leave military folks in Afghanistan.” Either he lied, or his memory of such an important piece of advice was forgotten, if forgotten that may be even more scary. All three witnesses verified the advice was passed on.
- Whether we should have been there for 20 years is a good question, but since we were there we have an obligation to protect those before we leave. We were holding the Taliban with our air support. Many leaders, including this one and the past two presidents, put deadlines in writing. Stupid move. Hopefully we have learned something the time around.
- Biden lied, people died. “We will stay until all are out.” Guess not.
- Milley overstepped his license by talking with the authors. My experience in the military, even as a lowly captain in the marines, was never to offer opinions about politics, even within my unit. Secretary of defense Mattis said in his book he would never give opinions about a sitting president. He resigned over a matter of principal, a a disagreement with Trump over Syrian policy. Milley should have resigned; he said resigning is a political move, that is correct, it is. But, if he really felt lives were at risk, as well as the strategic safety of the country, he should have. If he had maybe Biden would have changed his mind. I read a piece in the “Daily Signal” about Milley in which the following deserved requoting.” In December 2018, Trump nominated Milley, previously chief of staff for the Army, for the position of chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff against the advice of his defense secretary at the time, Jim Mattis, and the incumbent chairman, Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford.” Disregarding advice due to arrogance and self absorption is a common ailment.
- HR McMaster wrote a book when he was a colonel, “Dereliction of Duty” that highlights the lack of principle generals during Vietnam were unwilling to challenge the directions from the commander in chief. They knew body counts were wrong. They refused to listen to those in field who told the truth about our strategies. Groundhog Day!
I am disheartened that lessons taught were forgotten. I am ashamed we left so many behind. I am angry that the offer from the Taliban to provide security for all of Kabul was declined. I am bewildered that our airbase just north of Kabul was abandoned, it was so much easier to defend.
I thought at 74 we were passed this. Secretary Gates’ was prescient when he commented on how many times Biden got foreign policy wrong.