Credibility Left Behind
From America's Premier Editorial Cartoonist
By Michael Ramirez, April 9, 2023
We landed at Bagram Airfield-BAF via the former US Transit Center in Manas, Kyrgyzstan in early September 2013. From the air you could see how isolated Bagram was from civilization.
Bagram was 60.8 kilometers from Kabul, almost 38 miles and about an hour and five minutes away by car. Bagram sits at an elevation of 4,895 feet and is in the middle of nowhere. From Bagram, we flew to Forward Operating Bases all over Afghanistan. As we lifted off from Bagram you could see how desolate and isolated the landscape was.
We went to visit the Special Forces Green Berets stationed at Camp Leatherneck in Helmand Province in southern Afghanistan. They were impressive. I asked them if they could tell me of a recent daring operation. Their response was, “I could tell you but I would have to kill you,” except I’m pretty sure they meant it.
One of the officers took me aside and said there is one mission he could tell me about.
He took me into their headquarters and down a long dark corridor into a dark room. He carefully unlocked the door and led me to a locked cabinet. He looked around and slowly unlocked the door only to reveal… a shiny brass expresso machine.
He explained that the base Commander has been waiting months for this expresso machine and it was delivered yesterday… the Special Forces “borrowed” it last night.
American troops are the best in the world. They are smart, well-disciplined, fit, well-trained, and dedicated to cause and country, defending liberty, defending America, and committed to completing their mission… If they are allowed to…
I read in disbelief when Bagram with its defensible positions and two runways was secretly evacuated in the middle of the night by U.S. forces on July 1, 2021, without informing their Afghan counterparts. The Biden administration decided to reject military advice and transferred all forces to the U.S. embassy and Kabul Airport. The Kabul airport is located in the heart of the city. Compared to Bagram, it is indefensible and only has one runway.
In August, the world watched the disastrous Biden withdrawal from Afghanistan in horror. In the chaos that unfolded, 13 American servicemen were killed by a suicide bomber.
The Biden administration has just completed a review of the Afghanistan withdrawal. The administration says, “they were proud” of the botched withdrawal, and then blamed it on the Trump administration. Coordinator for strategic communications at the National Security Council, John Kirby said, “For all this talk of chaos, I just didn’t see it.”
Kirby either needs to get a better television or a seeing-eye dog.
I’m pretty sure that people hanging off Air Force jets and falling to their deaths out of airplane wheel wells, suicide bombers, and leaving 78,000 allies and $7 billion of military equipment behind was not part of the operational plan.
Granted, the withdrawal was part of an ill-conceived Trump administration U.S.-Taliban deal signed in February of 2020 designating the date for complete withdrawal by May 1st.
Trump even impulsively tweeted that he would have the troops home by Christmas in 2020, which caught administration officials by surprise, undermined negotiations and emboldened the Taliban. In January 2021, the Trump administration reduced U.S. troops to 2500.
But the Buck stops with the Biden administration.
He was a new president who had rejected many of Trump’s policies on his first day in office.
Biden wanted the troops out because Biden wanted the troops out. There was no strategy behind the decision.
U.S. Military officials were opposed to a further reduction. Military Commanders said that Bagram could be defended ad infinitum by as few as 2500 troops.
Having a U.S. air base next to a nuclear Pakistan, a nuclear China, soon to be nuclear Iran, in striking distance to terrorists throughout the region, and in close proximity to a nuclear India, a nuclear Russia, and a nuclear North Korea might have strategic value.
The chaos that ensued was all planned, directed, and executed by the Biden administration.
It wasn’t only allies and military equipment left behind… Biden left behind U.S. credibility.
They only have themselves to blame.
What we should have left behind was Biden and his failed policies.
Para mis amigos de habla hispana:
Please join Us! Subscribe for free, or with a paid subscription, enjoy early access to Michael’s editorials each Sunday, along with exclusive sketches, access to the full archive, discounts, and more.
George Santos and Mexico's President Obrador Have a Lot in Common
Visit the T-Shirt Store, Michael P. Ramirez Store (for special requests write to: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Original Website: michaelpramirez.com See cartoons in Spanish HERE
Click on mylvrj.com/ramirez to enjoy two months of the Review-Journal for just 99 cents.