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The Colonel – The Afghanistan Issue

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I am a military professional and graduate of the National War College with a Master’s degree in International Affairs. I also did my time in the Pentagon and was executive assistant to a 3-star general for two years. After retiring, I worked in the defense industry for 20 years. So, I have decent credentials concerning national security issues and the cultures of the military and military-industrial complex.

The military power of America exists to “provide for the common defense” at those times that our VITAL national interests are at stake. So, on 7 October 2001, when the United States of America successfully drove the Taliban from power in order to deny Al-Qaeda a safe base of operations in Afghanistan it was the right course of action.

That was 19 years ago?

One must ask: wasn’t that mission accomplished?

I think so.

I believe that for a number of reasons that mission has transmogrified into a peacekeeping mission standing between the Afghan government and Taliban. That change occurred over time and the military operational concept changed with it. BTW, peacekeeping operations are a U.N. mission.

I live in a military community with many, many active-duty personnel and we swap war stories. In my opinion, the situation in Afghanistan has become one of force protection with ridiculous ROEs that add to our military’s risk.

Except for some special operations forays, we are not attacking the Taliban we are avoiding them. It is a principle of war that being on the defense is not a winning strategy. If we are not there to win, why stay?

Another strategy that has NEVER been successful is “winning hearts and minds” which seems to be today’s military mission in Afghanistan. Sounds good but it ain’t a winner and in the process, you suffer casualties.

For brevity, I will not address the implications of the military-industrial complex in all of this, but you tell me which major defense contractor wants us out of this 20-year deployment and tell me which military leaders will say this deployment should end.

So, POTUS is correct. it’s time to “hotel alpha” out of Afghanistan. Great leaders do not listen and then do what all the advisors say to do. Great leaders listen to advisors, decide what must be done, and then lead to getting the mission accomplished.

Leaving Afghanistan is the right thing to do.

I say this with all possible honor and respect to those military and civilian personnel and their families who sacrificed so much in Afghanistan for our security, especially those who suffered disablement and made the supreme sacrifice.

-The Colonel

“Graduated from the National War College and earned his master’s degree from GW University. He worked in the aerospace & defense industries prior to his retirement. He retired from the United States Army as a Colonel after 24 years of service. Vietnam Veteran. More recently he stepped up to serve once again as a 3-time State Senator.”

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