‘It’s an indelible shame.’ US military develops ‘Afghan syndrome’

Andrey Kots

Incompetence, negligence and betrayal of national interests – the US military accuses the Pentagon of absolute unprofessionalism in the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan. The retired generals and admirals appealed in an open letter to the leadership of the Ministry of Defense with a demand to leave their posts. Ordinary soldiers and officers are also dissatisfied. How the US reacted to the flight of the army from Kabul – in the material of RIA Novosti.

Abandoned country

Video footage from the Kabul airport spread all over the world media: terrified civilians clinging to the fuselages of transport workers taking off, Taliban posing in NATO uniforms, abandoned military equipment and weapons worth billions of dollars. This became a vivid illustration of a new page in American history – not the most pleasant one for Washington.

Almost two trillion dollars were spent on the twenty-year war. 2,500 Americans have died in Afghanistan. But the main goal – the victory over the Taliban – was not achieved. On the contrary, this organization came to power. In addition, in the end, international terrorism gave the White House a resounding slap in the face: more than 200 people, including 13 US servicemen, were killed in the terrorist attack near the Kabul airport.

At the same time, President Joe Biden at press conferences and in addresses to the nation continues to assert: the withdrawal operation was successful, the United States defeated international terrorism, which no one else in the world is capable of. For its stubbornness and unwillingness to admit the obvious, the GOP senators first took up arms against the Biden administration, urging him to resign. Then the generals took the floor.

Military riot

The Eighty-Seven Letter to the Pentagon is the first black mark from the veteran community in years. Among those who signed the message are retired generals and admirals of all types and branches of the US Armed Forces, who have commanded troops since Vietnam. They harshly criticize Washington and are confident that losses could have been avoided.

“The consequences for our country are enormous,” the letter says. “This will o-vertake us in the future. The Afghans who have helped us all these years have bec-ome hostages of the Tali-ban. The disaster and the fact that the Taliban seized tens of billions of dollars worth of Western military property. all over the globe saw our weakness and will no longer be able to see us as reliable partners. “

The authors of the appeal emphasize that the evacuation of the military from Kabul was premature: at least 15 thousand US citizens and 25 thousand local specialists who worked for the Americans remained in the country. Veterans are very concerned about their fate: videos of executions are already appearing on the Web – the Taliban are settling scores with the security forces of the former Afghan government.

“The weakness that we have shown to the whole world in Afghanistan gives the advantage to the hands of rivals – China, Russia, Pakistan, North Korea,” the retirees say. Overall. We call on US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Millie to step down. The perpetrators at all levels of command must be held accountable. “

Find and punish

It is not only the generals who are outraged. There are dozens of videos on the Internet criticizing the American command. Former and current military personnel are especially unhappy with the surrender of the Bagram airbase to the Taliban without a fight. After all, its infrastructure was much better suited for mass evacuation than the airport in Kabul. The Pentagon never explained the decision not to use a key transport hub.

One of those who asked uncomfortable questions is US Marine Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller with 17 years of military experience. In a video message, he said that he is retiring because he no longer wants to serve under the command of those who are so negligent about their subordinates. In parting, the officer called for the officials who organized the evacuation to be brought to justice, as well as to find and punish those responsible for the mass casualties among the civilian population in the August 26 terrorist attack.

Command summoned Scheller for a mental health check. When he was released, he spoke on social media about other problems in the United States Army. The Lieutenant Colonel’s greatest concerns are post-traumatic stress disorder in combatants and the lack of initiative on the part of the military leadership, which leads to mass suicides among the military. In his opinion, the moral and psychological situation in the troops after the flight from Afghanistan is deplorable.

“People are furious because our leaders do not admit their guilt and do not say, ‘Yes, we screwed up,” Scheller notes. who assured Congress of the Afghan army’s combat capability. I’m not saying that we were supposed to stay in Afghanistan forever. I’m just wondering if any of you pulled off your shoulder straps after leaving Bagram before the evacuation was completed? “

His Army counterpart, Staff Sergeant Michael Sullivan, agrees with Scheller. He believes that the US left Afghanistan too early. “We tried to create a semblance of us out of the local army,” Sullivan says. “We dressed them in our uniforms, armed them, but we could not teach them how to fight. I think the Afghans cannot be remade, they will never live like people in the West. And they won’t have enough motivation to fight for their land. “

Until the end of August 2021, Sullivan was confident that his son would also go to military service. But now the sergeant will do everything to prevent this.

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