Why is the Kabul Evacuation a Chaotic Disaster?

By Mark V. Lonsdale, Director, STTU

Here’s the simple answer — you don’t draw down the military or pull out air power until ALL the civilians are out. The White House and the inept national security team instructed the Pentagon to close Bagram Air Base, just north of Kabul, in June 2021. As a result of this closing, the US troops were pulled out over night without notifying the Afghan Army. The US also pulled out the air assets that were supporting the Afghan ground troops. When the US pulled out, 5,000 NATO troops also had to leave. This left 1,000 troops in Kabul to secure the embassy.

Mark Lonsdale training US military intelligence officers at Bagram in 2008

Weeks before Kabul fell to the Taliban, everyone was seeing major provincial centers falling to the Taliban in quick succession. Spin Boldak, Kandahar, Herat, Shebregan, Mazar-e-Sharif, so it was obvious that the Afghan Army was not putting up any resistance and Kabul would be next. Back in November of 2020 we knew that the Taliban were operating at night in the outer suburbs of Kabul. They were already there.

Before the fall of Mazar in the north, General Dostum was in Mazar where he met with President Ashraf Ghani. The former Northern Alliance Afghan Uzbeks and Tajiks were ready to fight but received no support from the Afghan government. These are the guys that helped our Special Forces and CIA defeat the Taliban and al Qaeda in 2001. Consequently the feckless Ghani deserts Afghanistan with millions in US taxpayer dollars.

Mark Lonsdale with General Dostum in Shebregan in early 2003

The Afghan Army not only didn’t fight in the final weeks, they surrendered billions in US light and heavy weapons, technology, night vision, armored vehicles, helicopters, planes and bases. Afghanistan is now the weapons bazar of choice for every Islamic terrorist in the world, and US troops will now be being killed with weapons surrendered to the Taliban thanks to Biden’s lack of planning and chaotic execution.

Now the Taliban just have to cool their heels until the “great Satan” leaves at the end of August, and the real blood-letting will begin. Kabul and Afghanistan are going back to insane, draconian, 12th century, Islamic theocratic rule. And the girls and women will be the worse for it. The Taliban are brutal thugs, rapists, and pedophiles. Just check out the images and videos from the pre-2001 period.

None of this is the fault of the awesome US troops who have served heroically in Afghanistan or are currently securing Kabul International Airport. The fault lies squarely on the shoulders of a weak Joe Biden, his incompetent national security advisors, his inept Secretary of State, and his Secretary of Defense. But even Defense would have advised against drawing down troops and air power before pulling out all the US passport holders, Afghan military interpreters, and SIV visa holders.

Mark Lonsdale in Spin Boldak, Southern Afghanistan, in 2008

Not the END….

About Mark V

Dedicated shooter, seeker, traveler, teacher, trainer, educator
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