With President Joe Biden intending to stick to the Aug. 31 deadline for U.S. troops to leave Afghanistan, it’s becoming clear that thousands of the Afghans who helped the U.S. won’t be evacuated, a scenario that has engendered deep frustration inside U.S. national security agencies.
“People are furious and disgusted,” said a former U.S. intelligence official who declined to be quoted by name. A defense official said he grew nauseated as he considered how many Afghan allies would be left behind.
At the CIA, “officers feel a real sense of obligation, moral obligation and personal obligation” to the Afghans they supported and trained, said former CIA Director John Brennan, an NBC News national security consultant.
[ Editor’s Note: The coming days and weeks will be ugly. The impact on America’s reputation will be significant, as will be the willingness of foreign nations to partner up in the future. Once America leaves, the entire operation shuts down as no other nation is capable of projecting the firepower and logistical assets necessary to enable an airlift of this size.
Also consider how this shitshow will impact future recruiting for the armed services and intelligence community.
Would you sign up for service seeing how things are playing out? Would you trust the leadership? Would you sign up for service seeing how commitments to foreign partners are being jettisoned due to a political calculus? Would you sign up for service seeing how thousands of American contractors and Afghanis who risked their lives are at serious risk of being left behind? Can you imagine the lousy morale that will permeate the ranks for years to come?