Part 4 –The Beginning of the End – June 18, 2013 came and went with little coverage by the media on the monumental milestone in the Afghan War. U.S. and NATO/ISAF forces made the transition into a supportive role in Afghanistan, leaving the Afghan Government and its people to carry the weight of maintaining security and civility in their own country. This is a win or loses situations; Afghans future lies in Afghan hands now.
“You are the sons and guardians of this country, and it is your responsibility to protect it,” Afghan President Hamid Karzai told his troops at a handover ceremony in Kabul. “I wish a long-term peace in Afghanistan.”
INFIL Rant: The responsibility has been turned over to Afghan forces now. U.S. and NATO/ISAF forces have cleared, held, established, trained, equipped, sacrificed and mentored all that they can. At some point, you must stand-up and take the future of your country into your own hands. If Afghanistan fails now, that failure rest solely on the Afghan people and their will to want a civilized society, free of the Taliban’s death grip.
If al-Qaeda or some other wannabe extremist group wants to weasel their way into Afghanistan to setup shop, train and export its newest flavor of terrorism, than it will be your responsibility to remove or crush them. If we have to carpet bomb your country again, you are not getting it back; we can sell it to China to be used as a landfill.
In addition, please get a status of forces agreement (SOFA) before leaving. SECDEF Chuck Hagel already fucked that one up in Iraq, let’s not do it again.
EXFIL Rant: 12 years. We have been operating in Afghanistan for almost 12 years; it is really hard for me to wrap my head around that number. Nothing takes 12 years, nothing e.g. Panama Canal (10 years), the English Channel Tunnel (6 years), the Hoover Dam (5 years) and World War 2… 6 years!
This is what happens when politicians get involve tactical and operational matters, 12 years of sacrificing our Patriots to this fight; another military manual of “lessons learned” soaked in their blood. Just tell the military leaders what end result you want and let them figure out the best way to get there. Keep your greasy-fat-Washington-bureaucratic-dickskinners out of things that do not involve you risking your own life.
The withdrawal of U.S. and NATO/ISAF forces has begun; will Afghanistan be able to maintain all that has been achieved up to this point? We will just have to wait and watch. Do not be surprised to see the Afghan government collapse back to the densely populated areas of the major cities, leaving the rural and remote areas of Afghanistan to fall back under Taliban control.
I wish only the best for our Afghan brothers; your future is in your hands. Please do not allow our sacrifices, our fallen to be lost in vain. Make good on your debt owed.
Cleared Hot, Ski (word count 496)
Level Zero Heroes | The Story of U.S. Marine SOF in Bala Murghab, Afghanistan
Dedicated to the loving memory and sacrifice of GySgt. Robert L. Gilbert & SSgt. Patrick R. Dolphin