Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Chief of the General Staff on Afghanistan

FIRENZE-NUOVA ROMA 17 August 2021 (NRom)

The following is the perspective of First Marshal of the Pontifical States HIRH the Prince of Würzburg, Chief of the General Staff of the Pontifical Walsingham Guard on the situation in Afghanistan. 

As a combat veteran I can honestly say that we keep entering countries with good intentions but without full situational cultural and tactical awareness; without intelligent, realistic and achievable exit plans that do not ebb and flow according to the politics of the parties in power. 

We were not officially engaged there in peacekeeping nor nation building, although that was pretty much the defacto status quo.

I am not at all certain why we were still there. But I do know the consequences of not being there.

It certainly is a Vietnam Deja’ Vou all over again, (and again) to bail out as we have done, looking out for #1.

Sure, blame whomever you wish, but understand the cultural/religious and military/political realities. 

Fact is, we’ve never had the WW2 stereotype welcome we’ve expected anywhere we put boots on the ground since the Nazi era “good war”.

Yes, we do make friends, help people, train them and provide jobs and hope…for a while.

Yes, we had minimal troops there and few injuries and no fatalities for more than a year.

However, honorable people do not quietly depart in the dead of night.  Honorable people adequately assess the historical notion of a true orderly and efficient retrograde; they establish, coordinate, and communicate ground rules, protect our friends and support our allies with an eye on the long term goal (?) rather than the very short lived political “victory” claim of bringing troops home.  Honorable people make a positive difference, they hug their friends and wave farewell in the public light.

Fact is, I’m still waiting to see the Peace Dividend promised by President Clinton when we closed so many bases in Europe and the US.  All we seem to have done is to put more funds and faith in firepower than in the people who pull the triggers.

Fact is, we indeed cannot continue to spend trillions of our nation’s treasure—human and intrinsic—on fighting folly.  We should get in and out as soon as possible or not enter, ever, at all.

One simply doesn’t put boots on the ground if you don’t intend to win, because history should have taught us that wars are won by the one who is most willing to wipe the other fellow off the face of the Earth. No matter what it takes, from Napalm to Public Opinion.

There simply is no pacifist way to win a gunfight.

That said, nations are not built by the Peace Corps; it takes a nation of winners, not whining wimps focused on what passes for the de jure flavor of the day’s cancelled culture.

Tell that to the fellow who believed our myths, who lived up to our ideals, and gave his/her/et al’s limbs or life in the process, while Bubba back home complains about his wages,  working in air-conditioned splendor. Meanwhile, waves of immigrants are desperately seeking his low paid job simply to live in relative paradise.

Consider for a moment how much we ask of our soldiers.

Ponder how little we understand.

e have met the enemy—again, and again, it is us.