[ Editor’s Note: Drawing the duty to ‘pat down’ Afghans entering the gates to be processed for flights was a modern game of Russian roulette. The Marines were not so stupid as to not know that. The only question I would have on it now is were teams rotated through what was obviously the most dangerous duty vs one team getting stuck with it.
And my second question is why did not the officer corp assign at least one officer to be with the pat down group to die with them in a show of leadership by sharing the risks. Have we now an officer corps that prefers leading from the rear?
As for the Republicans trying to exploit this tragedy to their fullest, shame on them. No one with half a brain expected the pullout to go on without some suicide bombing in the midst of all the chaos and the rush to get everybody out, as to go slower allowed the bombers more time to make attacks.
We had Kabul with no real functioning government, much less security, but nevertheless wanted the US and NATO out ASAP, and without any disasters, as they are smart enough to know that doing anything to become a pariah state will nix their odds of getting international recognition and access to the funding they want.
Thirteen dead Marines does not get them closer to that goal. That said, they did benefit by have the US hunting ISIS-K for them now, and it would be rational for the new government to work closely with the US doing that as the Taliban now gets to enjoy being the government that some want to destabilize. The shoe is on the other foot.
My one question is, did anyone at NATO discuss with the Taliban, when it came to security matters, that they should be patting down everyone being cleared to approach the airport gates since they had the language ability?
Anyone proffering that there was theoretically some magical way to extract everybody out through Kabul without some mishaps should have saved that effort for their prayers.
You cannot impose non chaotic methods on a chaotic withdrawal, one brought on by a collapse that happened so fast as to be a surprise to the Taliban… Jim W. Dean ]
First published … August 29, 2021
Speaking to Martha Raddatz on ABC’s “This Week,” Blinken said, “114 countries have made very clear that it is their expectation that the Taliban will permit freedom of travel going past Aug. 31. So, that is a clear expectation across the entire world, across the entire international community.“
Discussing fears that the Taliban will essentially seal off the country, Blinken said the U.S. is “making sure that we have in place all of the necessary tools and means to facilitate the travel for those who seek to leave Afghanistan after Aug. 31.“
“We’ve been very actively planning,” Blinken said, “for what would be necessary to keep the airport functioning, either to have it function right — immediately after the 31st or if necessary to take the steps required to reopen in a timely fashion, working with countries in the region who are very interested in helping.
“The Taliban have a strong interest in having an airport that functions, the Afghan people have a strong interest in an airport that functions, the entire international community has that interest.
“We couldn’t do our jobs as diplomats in any place around the world without the Marines and, of course, we certainly could not have done the job that’s been done in Kabul without these extraordinary men and women.”