We must never forget. Thirteen heroes came home in flag-draped containers last week because of the Biden administration's incompetence in Afghanistan. President Joe Biden wants to blame former President Donald Trump, but he is forgetting Trump began the conditions-based withdrawal, brought us to a historic low of 2,500 troops in Afghanistan, and his plan resulted in zero U.S. casualties there for over a year.
The Trump plan was working until Biden thought his political fortunes were more important than American lives. Remember also, Biden and former President Barack Obama had eight years to execute a better Afghanistan strategy — and they blew that, too. Now Biden and his cabal of weak leaders, Vice President Kamala Harris, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken (Sen. John McCain was sure right about him being a problem), Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and General Mark Milley are all hoping you'll forget.
Will you forget?
Retired North Dakota Adjutant General Mike Haugen is not about to forget. Haugen commanded the 119th Fighter Wing on September 11, 2001, when our Happy Hooligans were mobilized to protect the United States Capitol. He was the adjutant general under Govs. Ed Schafer and John Hoeven. He is irate about how the Biden regime bungled our exit from Afghanistan. The chaos at the airport was the result of the United States refusing to lead that effort, instead leaving it to the Taliban and ISIS, resulting in U.S. and Afghan casualties of 13 U.S. troops and at least 170 Afghan civilians. It also resulted in us leaving $87 billion in military assets behind. We handed them sophisticated, sensitive military technology on a silver platter.
Haugen says the situation in Afghanistan is more surrendering than withdrawing. He reminds us “To surrender is to cease resistance to an enemy or opponent and submit to their authority. To withdraw is to leave or cause to leave a place or situation.”
Haugen is disappointed with the military leadership. And he very well should be.
The army ethos is mission first; Two, I will never accept defeat; Three, I will never quit. I will never leave a fallen comrade.
“If the two top leaders in the Defense Department aren't following Army ethos, can you tell me how the rank and file should feel? Do you think this is motivational to the troops in the field to the airman in the field? Sailors,” Haugen told me this week.
The president, in a statement this week, reported that he followed the “unanimous recommendation recommendation of the Joint Chiefs and all of our commanders. Really?
So, if that truly happened, what are the options? Haugen says it's simple.
The Joint Chiefs' job is to advise the president; if he doesn't take their advice, it's their duty to resign, because the president has lost confidence in them.
I want to be more like Mike. My prayer is that all of us will be more like Mike. Let us not forget the cost of weak political leadership.
There's evil in this world. There always has been, there always will be. American weakness fuels evil. That is the Biden legacy that will haunt this country for generations.
Scott Hennen hosts the statewide radio program “What’s On Your Mind?” On AM 1100 “The Flag”, KFYR AM 550, AM 1090 KTGO “The Flag” and AM 1460 KLTC. Email him at ScottH@FlagFamily.com
This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.