Being a general is a pretty good gig. You stump for war to increase your power and prestige, and when you retire, you join the defense firms your war advocacy enriched as an executive, a member of the board, or both. The only thing that can screw it up is peace. From Ryan McMaken at mises.org:
In early July, Ron Paul penned a column titled “It’s Saigon In Afghanistan,” invoking the imagery of the fall of Saigon in 1975, when US military helicopters scrambled to evacuate personnel from the roof of the US embassy. But Paul suggested that maybe the situation in Afghanistan was “perhaps not as dramatic” as the situation in Saigon forty-six years ago.
But that was six weeks ago.
Now, it looks like the end of the US’s war in Afghanistan may be in many ways every bit as chaotic as the US regime’s final defeat in Vietnam.
When Paul was writing his article in early July, we were already getting hints of the direction things were going. US forces abandoned Bagram Airfield in the middle of the night, and the US didn’t even tell its allies what was going on. Afghan officials discovered the US was gone hours later. Shortly thereafter, looters ransacked the base.
But that, it seems, was just the beginning. Over a period of a mere ten days, provincial capitals in Afghanistan have fallen one after the other. On Sunday, the Taliban entered the strategically key capital Kabul. The Taliban’s reconquest of the country was so fast that even the US regime’s spokesman admitted “the militants’ progress came much more quickly than the U.S. had anticipated.”
Now, after spending twenty years implementing “regime change” in Afghanistan, and after spending more than $800 billion—an official figure that’s likely far smaller than the real monetary cost—the US’s strategy in Afghanistan has completely collapsed.
Indeed, for the US’s local allies, the situation is far worse now than what it was in 2001. Those who were unwise enough to ally themselves with the Americans over the past twenty years now face reprisals from the Taliban. Death will likely be the result for many.
Not surprisingly, then, Afghanis in recent days have flocked to Kabul International Airport, desperate to find some way out of the country as the Taliban closes in.