[July 19, 2021] Operation Frequent Wind was the final evacuation of the U.S. from South Vietnam before the fall of Saigon. Before the Communist takeover of the country, people were wise to leave in any way they could. Many enduring photographs captured our hurried inglorious departure.
President Joe Biden recently ordered the immediate departure of the U.S. military from Afghanistan. Instead of an orderly departure, taking our equipment and those who want to go with us, we have a wholesale free for all. We just walked away and hastily. Taliban are now driving around in American tanks and HUMMVVs. Is this Afghanistan’s Operation Frequent Wind?
There is little doubt that the withdrawal is sure to hasten a swift Taliban takeover and, like Vietnam, a bloodbath. The Taliban are a resolute lot; they play the long game, which works great against the U.S. We don’t like long wars.
Afghanistan is an ancient land, and the rules of war are as ancient as humankind has been around. Our long-running strategy was to occupy the country, providing a façade of stability so the various tribes and factions would eventually come to the table and give up their arms. This dream was never going to happen, and our military figured this out more than a decade ago. Our political leaders, however, objected.
The only strategy to win in this third-world country is an ancient one. Kill the Taliban along with their allied tribespeople in huge numbers. We call this today genocide. So, we will not do so, not even consider it. That made the alternative to occupy and hope our losing strategy.
Our Secretary of Defense is making sure that we get out and get out quickly. SECDEF Lloyd Austin, not the right man for the job, is more interested in integrating LGBTQ rights into our military than training for war. His priority has nothing to do with Afghanistan or any place that might actually involve preparing for war with enemies of America.
Staying in Afghanistan forever is a crazy idea. Yet, many believe we should, like former President George W. Bush and the editors at the disgraced New York Times. Some believe we should stay to “spread progressive values.” Now that is a truly crazy idea.