I know this isn’t a Navy matter but this is too important to ignore. Here’s a stunning admission of failure from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,
In addition to reaching something of a stalemate, where the Taliban can’t conquer the U.S.-backed Afghan security forces, and the U.S. can’t bring the Taliban to its knees, Army Gen. Mark Milley said Wednesday during a Brookings Institution event, the U.S. has probably done all it can do.
“We believe now that after 20 years, two decades of consistent effort, that we he have achieved a modicum of success,” he said.
Since the first boots hit the ground in October 2001, more than 2,400 American troops have died and nearly 21,000 have been injured, along with close to $1 trillion spent on trying to stabilize Afghanistan enough that it won’t again become a training ground for terrorist groups.
Are you kidding me???? Twenty years of effort and we have achieved a ‘modicum of success’? And you know he’s spinning that in the best possible way. The reality is much less rosy than even that marginal claim.
A ‘modicum of success’?
Let’s consider some of the issues this raises:
- Why are we pursuing high tech when we couldn’t even beat a bunch of goat herders with no technology? How would even more technology produce a better result? What’s going to happen when we go up against China?
- Is this an example of our misguided focus on technology, networks, and data at the expense of actually killing people in the most efficient manner possible – meaning with the greatest degree of overwhelming firepower?
- Is 20 yrs and a ‘modicum of success’ the standard of success for our professional military leaders? Shouldn’t heads be rolling by the dozens?
- Why are we continuing to jump into conflicts that have no possible successful outcome?
- Do we have the will to win these types of conflicts or has our military (and, to be fair, our civilian leadership) become so feminized that we no longer have the stomach to do what has to be done to achieve victory?
- Has avoidance of casualties, both ours and the enemy’s, become so ingrained in our military that we can’t be brutal enough to win? What will happen when we fight China?
- Why are we entering conflicts without clear victory conditions?
This reprehensible abomination of a result would be beyond the comprehension of our WWII military leaders. They would be in total shock over this. They won a world war in a few years and today we can’t even defeat goat herders in 20 yrs.
We’re paying for a standing military that can’t even defeat third world terrorist goat herders. We spend $700B/year to maintain a military that is, by the admission of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, manifestly incompetent and incapable. We could have abolished the military, saved all that money, not gotten involved in Afghanistan at all, and wound up in about the same place. What did our investment in the military get us?
We need to either drastically downsize the military or drastically upsize our standards and clean house of all current flag officers and then start demanding actual performance from the next group of leaders.
If Gen. Milley had an ounce of integrity he’d fire every flag officer and then resign in disgrace and embarrassment. That he doesn’t is symptomatic of what’s wrong with our military. This man disgusts me.
(1)Military Times website, “Military’s top officer says we’ve had a ‘modicum of success’ in Afghanistan”, Meghann Myers, 2-Dec-2020,