The scenes splashing all over the news are bad. What it’s doing for our prestige in the eyes of our friends and foes abroad is even worse. But there is an upside that nobody — nobody — can take away from us.
We’ve heard the analysis ripping apart Jo(k)e Biden’s catastrophic leadership failures six ways past Sunday, both in the planning side and his response since the whole clusterf**k went down.
But what you have NOT heard is the positive takeaway in this post from the blog ‘Off The Reservation’.
Yes, he starts by ripping off the band-aid and speaking in blunt terms about this whole enterprise being doomed from the start — not because of the folks shouldering the rifles and coming home broken, or in boxes — but because of the political class and the generals.
He is putting the blame for this failure squarely on the folks in command… and questioning what the real motives behind it were.
It wasn’t our guys with the guns heading out to the mountains to mow down Taliban who lost this war. Every tactical level engagement we entered, we won. The failure happened at the big-picture level, behind mahogany desks.
He talks about the flushing of nearly a hundred Billion dollars through the Military-Industrial Complex since Afghanistan began… which might have been more than enough to pay off some other country to go in there and police it. The money was wasted, and has since gone on to arm the enemy. He says Afghanistan should have never crossed the line beyond being a purely punitive expedition. But Generals and politicians made the call, signing onto a mission without a clear definition of victory, let alone any clear path to achieve it.
That’s the bad news part. He doesn’t pull any punches. He acknowledges the real pain of those who came back with wounds that will never heal, and those who never came back at all. How it was, in so many ways, a predictably futile waste of lives and resources.
despite all of that sober reality, he reminds us about something that experience gave us, in particular, what it gave those who served. Here it is in the author’s own words:
Yeah, it hurts. I feel you. We all lost friends. Had our brothers return home mangled and broken. Was it worth it? No. But those are sunk costs, so we might as well look at what we gained from the experience. They made a generation of us very, very fucking dangerous. We, especially the Enlisted class, learned how to make war in a manner not seen for decades. Perhaps ever. And while we would all trade that to have our boys back walking this Earth, the bargain can’t be reversed. Think of the GWOT as the history’s biggest training exercise. It was said in antiquity that any training that didn’t kill one out of a thousand was insufficient for training warriors. True. Now it wasn’t a deal that shed our weak. We lost some of our absolute best and brightest, which adds to the pain. But it made even the mediocre of us far better than we would have been. Even if you got fucked up yourself, you learned invaluable lessons first hand you can teach the youth. You have value in your brain alone that is beyond price. Bill Gates, with all his fortune, couldn’t buy the experience you carry in you everyday.
Is it arguable, if a little tin foil hat, to think that perhaps the globalist factions set up the war in Afghanistan on purpose purely to break a generation of fighting men from the Vanguard of Freedom, ole Team USA herself? It doesn’t seem as fucking crazy to me as it might’ve even 10 months ago. It is at least plausible. But if that was the idea, they failed. Instead, they forged our generation into War Machines the likes of which have never been seen. Did we lose some once again to PTSD and depression? We did. But it doesn’t have to be you. The question is never how hard you can get hit. It’s how hard you can get hit and stand back up. This is a time for standing back up.
Did we learn anything else? Yes. The Taliban, much as we might hate them, just taught us a valuable lesson about will. As did the North Vietnamese and the North Koreans. No odds, no technological advantage, no amount of money, can beat an iron will. As long as you can take enough punishment, there is absolutely nothing that can’t be overcome.
We lost this war the minute Code Pink was taken seriously. The minute Bradly Manning and Bo Berghdale weren’t hung. The first time we charged one of our warfighters with murder or using excessive force. The first time we denied a element in contact air support. Our people, 49% of them at least, are weak and stupid. The great sifting has just begun, and it will get worse. That is the price you pay for allowing weakness to take root in your society.
All of us, I promise, will be needed once again. And soon. And not in some Bureaucrat, Blue Blood , Skull and Bones created debacle on the edge of the Empire. I mean needed as in needed like the Spartans at Thermopylae. The weakness on display right now by the Government of the United States will not go unnoticed by the world at large. We can expect now to be poked in the chest, because we have shown that we will take it. You can do one of two things right now. You can drown your sorrows in a bottle of Jameson and think about your dead friends. Or you can honor their memory by getting the fuck up, off your ass, and getting your shit together. The best loyalty I can show my boy Mike Duskin today is to “go pick up something heavy and move it over there.” Go mentor some youth. Get back in the gym. Don’t let the sacrifice have been in vain. —OTR
He makes a great point.
If Reagan’s leadership and foreign policy embodied the concept of ‘peace through strength’… Biden is flipping that policy on its head. In telegraphing weakness, he may well be inviting global conflicts that no foreign leader would DARE to provoke us when we had a lethal force, with competent leadership and a decisive Commander-in-Chief ready and willing to take out the trash when push comes to shove.
In the next three and a half years, hostile powers will be taking a measure of the guy behind the (ir)Resolute Desk. If they think he’s a paper tiger, and Democrats in Congress are happy to overfund everything but our military preparedness, that sets up a scenario where we will absolutely need a generation of dangerous men to take charge.
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