Politics Foreign Affairs Culture Fellows Program

Generals Of The Clown World

UK military chief says Taliban wants to be 'inclusive'. With elite leadership like that, no wonder we lost the war
Screen Shot 2021-08-18 at 2.00.52 PM

I hope you’re sitting down when you watch this:

This is the most senior military officer in the United Kingdom speaking. This is the British equivalent of Gen. Mark Milley, head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. And he’s talking about the Taliban being “inclusive.” I wonder if he thinks they are deep down committed to diversity and equity too?

A friend who is a veteran of the Afghan war and who saw a lot from the inside says that this podcast episode from Tom Joscelyn and Bill Roggio is the thing to listen to for understanding how everything went wrong in Afghanistan. He urged me to have my son, who is considering the military, listen to it. I listened to it myself. The hosts are unsparing in their evisceration of senior military leadership, as well as the Obama and Trump administrations. They both say at the outset that they do not blame our troops for what happened, but rather the commanders who sent them in to do impossible things. They also say that they both know men who have died in Afghanistan, so this is personal to them. Joscelyn and Roggio recount the lies upon lies upon lies that US military and civilian officials have told over the years.

Around the 41 minute mark, as they’re wrapping up, co-host Joscelyn says, “You should be angry about this war for a lot of reasons, but it speaks to a broader incompetence in the American elite. It’s total incompetence across the board.”

I am reminded of something I’ve mentioned here before, but should bring up again. It was back in 2005 or thereabouts when I met up with an old childhood friend who was super-smart, and who had risen high in the US military since we had last seen each other. He was depressed over the war. He told me that he had been part of the innermost ring around Defense Secretary Rumsfeld for a period, and had personally observed Rumsfeld repeatedly lying to the American people about the state of the Iraq War. Things were going very badly there, but Rumsfeld knowingly gave false positive information to the public. It disillusioned my friend about the government he served.

Joscelyn and Roggio say there has to be accountability for these failures. But what if there’s not? And what if we the people don’t care either, and keep voting for leaders who don’t demand accountability? What if we have become servile? Joscelyn and Roggio make it clear that this isn’t just a Democratic or Republican thing. There is plenty of fault to go around.

We have been humiliated as a nation. We have been failed by the leadership class. None of us have been failed more than the soldiers who fought in Afghanistan — soldiers like the Green Beret who wrote this. Excerpts:

Some of you Afghan Veterans out there are hurting, trying to make sense of what this all means. Including some of my peers, who are not immune to the feel bads coming out of this clusterf*ck. So allow me to give you a different perspective, one that will perhaps sooth the pain a bit. I shoot straight, and this isn’t all sunshine and roses. There is going to be some Grim Dark up front. But it does have a silver lining, hear me out.

Was this a foolish mission to start with? Yes. The only way to decisively win in Afghanistan was full scale genocide, which we knew from about 2003 forward. We don’t have the stomach for that, and that is probably a good thing.

Did we lose? Yeah, goddamn right we lost. Let’s just get that out of the way now, like ripping off a band aid. Do not get out the “ We were winning when I left” hats and slap a Ghan flag on them. Face the facts, and then act. If the goal 20 years ago was to remove the Taliban, and now the Taliban is back 100% in control without even requiring a name change, then the objective was not met.

Is it your fault? No. The failure here, while stunning, rests on the political class and the Generals. So like I said, the political class. Who, exactly, do you think lost this war? You, out slogging the mountains, and mowing down Taliban fighters with a machine gun, and surviving on fish sticks and MRE crackers at the firebase, and winning EVERY tactical level engagement for 20 years? Or the spineless General [David Petraeus — ed.] who didn’t hear a gun shot despite 9 tours, who was the architect of the grand strategy, and spent his time quite literally getting his d*ck sucked by his biographer in his office at Bagram instead of trying to win?

We can safely say at this point that the real goal in Afghanistan was a transfer of wealth from the tax payers to the MIC ( Military Industrial Complex) and the politicians they bought with the profits. $88 billion dollars ( for the ANA alone) is a staggering figure. For that much money, you could have paid half of Afghanistan to kill the other half. You could have paid China or India or even Pakistan to do it for you. That money was wasted, and we all knew that well over a decade ago.

Uh oh. The dude has been radicalized. More:

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.

Read it all. 

Go ahead, Ruling Class. Take the sons of these men, and teach them to be daughters, and teach their daughters to be sons. Tell these men (the white ones) that they are bearers of privilege, and that they need to take the knee to their more virtuous social betters. Keep the system going by which your children rise into the heights, but their kids have no future. Your kids will have Italian loafers and Manolo Blahniks on their necks, and will feel good about that, because you will have taught your kids that they are virtuous and deserve it.

You are all going to be very, very sorry. You will find out that these embittered men have no more interest in being “inclusive” than the Taliban do. And we are all going to be in a world of trouble because of what you SOBs have done.

If I were a Ruling Class elite, I would hope that the populist right masses can be bought off with MAGA, which is one big performative grift. If they get wise to it, and start looking for a leader who means business, things might really change.