Archive for September 22, 2021

Europe Is Shaking

Posted in uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on September 22, 2021 by andelino

The fall of Kabul is a crisis for Europe. Not just because they are watching their soldiers return home in defeat. Not just because it could create a terrorist haven. Not just because it could trigger a new refugee crisis. It is a crisis because it shakes the foundation of European security: the belief that America will protect its allies. Europe right now is in the same position the Afghan government was in six months ago.

The Afghan military had nearly 300,000 soldiers. Behind them stood fewer than 5,000 American soldiers stationed in the country. The presence of these relatively few American soldiers, as we now see, was critical. It was, above all, a promise. America was committed enough to keep its personnel in the country, meaning that if the enemy wanted to overrun the Afghan military, it would inevitably run into America. That promise enabled the Afghans to control most of the country.

Then America pulled its soldiers out, suddenly, precipitously, and even with thousands of Americans still inside. This showed that the promise no longer stood. And the Afghan military collapsed immediately.

European Union countries have 2.4 million soldiers. Behind them stand 55,000 American soldiers stationed within their borders. In a full-scale conventional war with Russia, this would be too few men to defend a continent. But they symbolize a promise. Most of Europe is part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and the agreement is written in black and white: If a NATO member is attacked, America will defend it.

This promise has enabled geopolitical pygmies like Estonia to flourish in Russia’s shadow. It has enabled nations to save vast amounts of money on their militaries and to focus instead on building generous welfare states or, in Germany’s case, to build a world-leading export economy.

After the fall of Kabul, this foundation of European security looks far shakier. If America forsakes its Afghan allies so completely, could it do the same to others? China hopes so. The editorial board of the Global Times, China’s state-run news agency, wrote this threat to Taiwan: “From what happened in Afghanistan, they should perceive that once a war breaks out in the Straits, the island’s defense will collapse in hours and the U.S. military won’t come to help. Government authorities will quickly surrender, while some high-level officials may flee by plane.”

Closer to home, Ukraine is similarly worried. “The nature of the American withdrawal from Afghanistan has set off alarm bells throughout Ukraine and served as a wake-up call for anyone who still believes that continued Western support can be relied upon indefinitely,” wrote Alyona Getmanchuk, director of the New Europe Center.

It’s a question being asked around the world. British commentator Melanie Phillips warned, “America’s allies can now see that the U.S. is a faithless friend, the weak link in the chain of Western defenses and with untold consequences for their own security.”

Gérard Araud, former French ambassador to the U.S., wrote, “Europeans have nothing to expect from the United States in Ukraine, Syria, Libya and the Sahel beyond diplomatic support. Europe is in flames, but the U.S. fireman will not come.”

Those fires could break out more and more often. “If a band of brutal Islamist extremists can defeat the United States, China will have no doubt that with time, resources and good organization, it will also prevail against the United States in its neighborhood,” former U.S. Ambassador to NATO Kurt Volker wrote. “Russia will not take seriously any threat to push back on its military aggression and absorption of territory belonging to its neighbors. ISIS and al Qaeda will use the Taliban victory to renew calls for jihad against the United States.”

It is America’s commitment that keeps Russia out of Europe. And over the last five years, the U.S. has been the main force restraining Iran and radical Islam. The Afghanistan debacle sends a lightning-bolt message: Europe will have to deal with the problems created by these emboldened powers on its own.

That doesn’t mean that this realization will hit Europe with enough force to get it to act right away. Europeans have enjoyed U.S. protection without having to pay for it. It will probably take a crisis or two to shake them from that torpor. “I doubt that Kabul will be the wake-up call they need,” said Araud. But because of Afghanistan, those crises could be just around the corner.

The biggest fear about the Taliban’s return is that it could lead to another 9/11. If it does, there’s every chance that this 9/11 occurs on European soil. In the last decade, about 70 people have been killed in Islamist terrorist attacks in the United States. In Europe, it’s nearly 400.

The Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan has released hundreds of imprisoned al Qaeda fanatics, including some known to have been plotting to attack the West. A United Nations Security Council report warned, “Large numbers of al Qaeda fighters and other foreign extremist elements aligned with the Taliban are located in various parts of Afghanistan.”

Perhaps even more dangerous are Iran’s links to the new regime. Iran sponsors numerous terrorist groups around the world. Working together, what will they accomplish? Compounding this is the threat of a new migrant crisis.

Even before the Taliban took over, 30,000 people fled Afghanistan each week. Sybille Schnehage, an aid worker in Afghanistan, warned, “We can assume that up to 3 million Afghans will make their way to Europe in the foreseeable future.”

Less than half that number of refugees from around the world—1.3 million—arrived in Europe in 2015. The resulting political crisis shook the foundations of governments across the Continent and sparked an outbreak of political extremism not seen since the 1930s. Can European politics as we know it survive the arrival of 3 million Afghans? What if, as has occurred repeatedly in Europe, that mass of refugees harbors even a few terrorists?

Last time around, Europe “solved” the refugee crisis by paying Turkey to prevent immigrants from traveling to Europe. But Turkey already has 3.7 million Syrian refugees and 300,000 Afghan refugees. Refugees are now a political issue in Turkey too. This time, that solution may not be available.

The potential for a new migrant crisis immediately arrests the attention of EU leaders. The day after Kabul fell, French President Emmanuel Macron warned, “We must anticipate and protect ourselves against significant irregular migratory flows that would endanger those who use them and feed trafficking of all kinds.” A foreign-policy spokesman for one of the European Parliament’s largest parties quickly warned “We must now do everything we can to ensure that those fleeing get protection close to home.” In other words: Make sure they don’t come here!

Considering these catastrophic consequences, it’s no wonder Europe is livid about the way America handled its evacuation.

France 24 reported: “European leaders looked on with dismay at the rapid collapse of two decades of a U.S.-led Western campaign in the country.” “Across Europe, officials have reacted with a mix of disbelief and a sense of betrayal,” wrote Politico. “Even those who cheered Biden’s election and believed he could ease the recent tensions in the trans-Atlantic relationship said they regarded the withdrawal from Afghanistan as nothing short of a mistake of historic magnitude.”

Afghanistan was Germany’s longest, most extensive military mission since World War II. The Germans responded to America’s request for help in Afghanistan 20 years ago. Now they feel their sacrifice has been casually tossed aside. Chairman of the Bundeswehr Association André Wüstner called the situation in Afghanistan “shameful” and claimed that veterans would be “enormously furious.”

Armin Laschet, leader of the Christian Democratic Union and a leading candidate to become Germany’s next chancellor, called Afghanistan “the biggest fiasco” since the founding of NATO.

All this means that European countries must do more to defend themselves. Politico wrote: “At a time when some European leaders, including French President Emmanuel Macron, have been pushing for the bloc to pursue a security policy less dependent on America, Afghanistan is bound to be used as evidence for why ‘strategic autonomy’ is necessary.” These leaders reason that if they don’t boost their independent military power right now, they will be forced to when crises worsen and the U.S. declines to step up.

America is allowing itself to be pushed out of the picture. Having once surrounded Iran and much of the Middle East, it has withdrawn from Kyrgyzstan in Central Asia, it has withdrawn from Iraq, and now it has disastrously withdrawn from Afghanistan. Iran is free to push Europe even harder.

But the Europeans won’t respond in the same “weak” way as the Americans. Once finally forced to act, Europe will reclaim its “strategic autonomy” by mobilizing a war machine that sweeps through the Middle East like a flood.

Afghanistan Nightmare

Posted in uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on September 22, 2021 by andelino

The Afghanistan nightmare continues to haunt us all. It has caused many of us to experience new heights of disbelief and anger. But imagine watching events in Afghanistan as a member of America’s military.

For 20 years, the Taliban, a ragtag collection of roughly 75,000 genocidal sand hill terrorists, was the sworn enemy. More than $2 trillion has been spent fighting Islamist terrorists in Afghanistan since 2001. Nearly 2,500 soldiers have been killed in action, and over 20,000 wounded.

Over the past two decades, more than 800,000 military personnel have served in Afghanistan, many experiencing tremendous pain and sacrifice. The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that up to 20 percent of veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Now imagine being a veteran and seeing two decades of blood, toil, tears and sweat unravel in less than two weeks.

Imagine watching video of Taliban barbarians parading through the streets of Kandahar wearing your fatigues, driving your Humvees, flying your Black Hawk helicopters, carrying your M-16 assaults rifles. Imagine watching giddy terrorists in Kabul drape your flag over coffins in mock funerals.

Imagine watching your government simply hand over to the Taliban $85 billion worth of the most powerful and sophisticated military equipment in the world—hardware and weapons created to give you the advantage and confidence on the battlefield.

Imagine learning that Biden officials just directed federal agencies to erase their websites of official reports and audits documenting how much military equipment America gave to Afghanistan that is now in the hands of the Taliban.

Imagine receiving phone calls or texts from friends in Afghanistan, from Afghan translators and interpreters, and hearing their terrified, hopeless pleas as the Taliban moves door-to-door torturing, raping and executing anyone who supported America.

Imagine learning that, on its way out, your government gave the Taliban a kill list of American citizens, green-card holders and Afghan allies still in the country.

Imagine being a soldier and learning about the irrational decision to slip out of the Bagram Air Base in the middle of the night, and the strategically horrendous decision to evacuate tens of thousands from the airport in urban Kabul.

Imagine watching caskets draped in the U.S. flag, holding the disfigured corpses of American soldiers, being carried from the hold of a C-17 Globemaster plane, and seeing America’s droopy president repeatedly check his watch.

Imagine learning that the request to read in Congress the names of the 13 U.S. soldiers killed in Kabul was denied by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Imagine watching the viral video of Lt. Col. Stuart P. Scheller Jr. passionately articulate his “growing discontent and contempt” with military leadership and the total “ineptitude at the foreign-policy level,” and then learning that Scheller was subsequently demoted, then driven to retirement.

Imagine having friends and family who were interrogated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, even persecuted and jailed, for attending the January 6 political rally in Washington, D.C., but then seeing America’s president walk away scot-free from America’s greatest military blunder ever.

Imagine hearing the Biden administration call the Taliban a trustworthy ally in Afghanistan specifically against ISIS-K.

For those of us not in the military, it’s probably hard to fully comprehend the fury and despair coursing through America’s armed forces.

Not with the Taliban but with America’s government—with “Fraud-In-Chief” Joe Biden and figures like Mark Milley, Lloyd Austin and Antony Blinken. The steady flow of irrational, self-destructive and deadly decisions and policies coming from the upper echelons must be deeply infuriating and demoralizing.

What do you do with these emotions? What are your options?

The military operates on a chain-of-command system of government. Orders made at the top flow through the chain of command and are carried out by soldiers at the bottom. Orders are executed quickly and exactly, and without questions. This form of government is absolutely crucial, and it works well. But chain of command operates on trust, confidence and obedience.

Afghanistan absolutely demolished the trust and confidence many of America’s soldiers have in their top leaders, especially the commander in chief. It’s not just the fatal decisions, it’s the lies and deception, the double-talk, the blatant refusal to accept responsibility. “Fraud-In-Chief”  Biden called Afghanistan an “extraordinary success.”

Sure, it was—for the Taliban.

It is hard to appreciate how difficult this moment is for America’s veterans. What happens when a soldier’s faith and confidence in his superiors vanishes? When there’s little to no trust and confidence in those above you, it is much harder to obey—to carry out your orders. To do your job.

Afghanistan will thrust some into an existential crisis. This crisis has exposed many of America’s top military leaders, not just as ignorant or weak-willed—but as active members of the radical left. What do you do when you begin to realize that the men at the top are corrupt, that they actively support Barack Obama’s goal to fundamentally transform the America you serve and love?

These are some of the questions U.S. soldiers are wrestling with. In the weeks and months ahead, we’ll see how they answer them. Some will no doubt go along with the radical overhaul of the military. Some will accept, perhaps begrudgingly, the military’s embrace of Communist principles and political correctness, the focus on racial and gender equality.

But many, at least at some point, will begin to resist. For some, resistance will mean departure. Expect retirement figures to skyrocket.

But there is another option. This option will appeal to the patriotic veteran, to the serviceman alarmed about the direction of his government and his country. This option is ideally suited to veterans charged with emotions of frustration, fury and despair.

Some might call it a military uprising or coup. But these terms imply unconstitutional or lawless action or movement. Veterans who would support some sort of military resistance against the radical left would argue that they are defending America. They would say that they are protecting America’s Constitution, protecting its Judeo-Christian heritage, protecting law and order. Would they be wrong?

Veterans and active-duty servicemen are among the most patriotic Americans you will find. Many joined the military because they had a strong sense of duty to their nation. They wanted to protect America. At what point will some veterans consider it their duty to protect America by actively resisting the U.S. government and its war on traditional America?

It takes some imagination to see a modern superpower like America experiencing some sort of military uprising. But think, this time last year it was hard to imagine what happened with the national election. America today is in uncharted territory, politically, economically, socially, culturally and militarily. We need to be ready for anything.

How many veterans have the same view as Ross Schambon, a former sniper who served in Afghanistan? Talking about the Biden administration, he said recently, “They just kind of lay down. They’re laying down for everything. Whereas the previous president, he actually had a backbone.”

More than 90 retired generals, admirals and military officers signed a letter demanding the resignation of Joe Biden’s top military and defense officials, including Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley and Secretary of State Antony Blinken. It’s hard to see Biden firing these men, which raises the question ”how far are these retired military leaders willing to go to see their demands met?”

All across America—in state and local elections, on Twitter, in school board meetings, in TikTok videos—we see evidence of a rising dissatisfaction and resentment for “Fraud-In-Chief” Biden and the radical left. Chase bank—following a nationwide backlash—sent a letter to retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn apologizing for canceling his credit cards and bank accounts.

A spirit of resistance and revolt is swelling across America—and in America’s military.

Just imagine you are part of America’s armed forces right now. Who would you prefer to serve, and who do you think is more interested in your safety and in protecting and preserving your America “Fraud-In-Chief” Joe Biden and the radical left, or Donald Trump?

Your legal vote at the polling places will determine the future of America.

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