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Dear Editor:

Reference :Opinion : Letter to the Editor: DOD IG report to Congress

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/military/u-s-military-leaves-bagram-airfield-hands-it-afghans-after-n1272958

https://www.axios.com/2021/08/15/taliban-bagram-prisoners-release

To those who do not follow all the threads to opinion pieces.I offer the following.Please read this article.I had the wrong dates to which I am guilty.I regret the error.It is my understanding that Prior to the election of Nov. 2020 Then President Trump with only 2,500 soldiers on station in Afghanistan (and no KIAs in recent months) with the DOD had a plan for withdrawal with an execution date of May 2021.President Biden was declared the winner of that election and was inaugurated January of 2021.His Admin.moved the withdrawal to August of that year.As the above articles point out the Prisoners at Bagram Air Base were released prior to the withdrawal of Aug 15, so the reference to Bill O Reilly's book is correct.I stand by the point that President Biden was responsible for the carnage that followed the surprise withdrawal, which in my opinion was disgraceful.The fact that American contractors provided air support for the AfghaniArmy is not in dispute, and it should not be in dispute that they shed their uniforms and arms and escaped as best they could when the American Contractors withdrew!

As I had referenced in the thread - I attempted to warn the editor that I had the wrong date, but that note got lost in the shuffle.My apologies for the error.

From the New York PostMay 18th2022


I ran Team Trump's Afghan withdrawal - Biden's attempt to blame us is just sad

By Kash Patel

August 19, 2021 6:35pm Updated

More On: afghanistan

President Joe Biden has sought to place blame for the shocking dnouement in Afghanistan on the situation he "inherited" from the Trump administration. What a sad-sack attempt at blame-shifting.Team Trump's withdrawal plan was sound. What proved catastrophic were Biden's changes to that plan.

I'm intimately familiar with former President Donald Trump's Afghanistan strategy. In November 2020, I was named chief of staff at the Pentagon, where one of my primary responsibilities was to wind down the forever war in Afghanistan.

Trump instructed me to arrange a conditions-based, methodical exit plan that would preserve the national interest. The plan ended up being fairly simple: The Afghan government and the Taliban were both told they would face the full force of the US military if they caused any harm to Americans or American interests in Afghanistan.

Next, both parties would negotiate to create an interim-joint government, and both sides had to repudiate al Qaeda. Lastly, a small special-operations force would be stationed in the country to take direct action against any terrorist threats that arose. When all those conditions were met - along with other cascading conditions - then a withdrawal could, and did, begin.

We successfully executed this plan until Jan. 20, 2021. During this interval - when there were no US casualties in Afghanistan- President Ashraf Ghani and the Taliban conducted multiple rounds of negotiations, and al Qaeda was sidelined. The result was a successful drawdown of US forces in Afghanistan to 2,500, the lowest count since the dawn of the War on Terror.

We handed our entire plan to the incoming Biden administration during the lengthy transition. The new team simply wasn't interested.

Everything changed when the new commander in chief declared that US forces would leave Afghanistan by Sept. 11, 2021, pushing back the Trump administration's timetable by four months. Crucially,he didn't condition the withdrawal on continued adherence to the agreed-upon stipulations. It would be an unconditional pullout with an arbitrary date based on pure symbolism - and set in stone.

At that point, the Taliban sat back and waited for the date to draw near, then launched a countrywide offensive, knowing they had no reason to fear any reprisals from this administration. The ongoing chaos - not least the stranding of US personnel and allies - was the natural result of the Biden administration's decision to eschew a conditions-based plan.

With an unmovable withdrawal date in place, Team Biden showed no appreciation for ground-level intelligence reporting, which was largely rendered irrelevant. Just this week, Biden's national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, claimed the security situation in Afghanistan "unfolded at unexpected speed."

That is a shocking statement to hear from one of our nation's most senior national-security officials. No one should have been the slightest bit surprised that when relieved of any conditions or obligations, the Taliban could and would overrun the whole country in the absence of US military power.

Tragically, because of the Biden administration's single-minded focus on the pullout date, hard-nosed intelligence was replaced with wishful thinking and false promises. In April, Secretary of State Antony Blinken vowed, "We will withdraw our troops responsibly, deliberately, safely. . . .We'll pursue a durable and just political settlement between the government of Afghanistan and the Taliban."

None of that happened. Last month Blinken assured us that Biden's withdrawal plan wouldn't endanger the US embassy in Kabul, which is now evacuated. And Biden himself declared last month that it was "highly unlikely" the Taliban would overrun Afghanistan, which they have now done with blinding speed.

Amid this cheap political rhetoric, ignorance of the ground-level security situation and the lack of a conditions-based plan, Afghanistan has fallen. America and the world deserve much better from those privileged to serve in high office. We are witnessing the utter collapse of a government - and not just in Afghanistan.

Kash Patel served as chief of staff for the Department of Defense and as deputy assistant to the president for counterterrorism in the Trump administration.


Regards,

John Stiegelmeyer


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DL May 25, 2022, 5:59 pm Sir, do you have an equal disgust over 19 6-9 year olds, and 2 teachers being gunned down in their classrooms? I totally understand your anger over the botched exit of our military from Afghanistan. But, why don't citizens of your ilk ever get upset when Americans die at the ends of military weapons, on our own soil? Four Americans died in Libya and those with your same ideology, start 11 different investigations, over 5 years, most of which focused on one person's responsibility in the event. But, when an American kills multiple Americans (most often children) with military weapons, NOTHING ever happens, except thoughts and prayers. With all of your favorite states banning abortions, but not blinking an eye when those same fetus' are killed, 5-10 years later, It makes it look like those states just need to make sure they have a good supply of targets for practice. Why does the Trump party refuse to let the CDC study gun violence in our country? The automobile industry has been under constant watch, by different federal agencies, including the CDC, for more than 7 decades now. Those studies have resulted in our automobiles being increasingly more safe. Automobiles aren't produced to kill people, but guns are. Why do have all of these studies on automobile deaths, but NONE for gun deaths? All because the Trump party won't allow it. There are more killing machines in our country, than automobiles. Just a thought.
NG May 26, 2022, 1:35 pm Very well said Darrin Lindsey. Assault weapons need to go. They are designed for killing people, not hunting. No one needs them except in a time of war.

Abbott says its a mental health issue but in April he slashed $211 Million from the department that oversees mental health.

We have more guns in this country than we do people. The old idea of the solution to a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. Now the republicans are talking mental health and again arming teachers. I think it is disgusting to expect that of our teachers.

Having more guns in this country is not working, that is obvious.

Norma Gould
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