As I write this, all U.S. Citizens are being told to leave Afghanistan anyway they can as the Taliban rapidly approach the capital city of Kabul (LINK). Three days ago the Taliban reportedly controlled more than 60% of the country; today they are poised to fully overrun the place (LINK)
This is happening because the United States decided that occupying Afghanistan is expensive while the need to hobble Russian ambitions in the country have taken a back seat to other global threats which will require U.S. Military resources.
After many lives and billions of dollars lost, American efforts to build up an Afghani military are today being put to the test. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby, at a press conference on Monday, said of the Afghan security forces that "...it's their country to defend now; this is their struggle."
Sadly the United States efforts to train up an Afghan Army seem to be for naught as the Taliban has stunned even some seasoned military and national security officials in the U.S. government with the speed of its conquests over the past week (LINK).
Yet Joe Biden does not seem worried and in fact seems to be anticipating the chaos;
"I do not regret my decision," Biden told reporters Tuesday. "We spent over a trillion dollars, over 20 years. We trained and equipped with modern equipment over 300,000 Afghan forces … they've got to fight for themselves."
Apparently the Biden administration has forgotten the end of the Vietnam War and the infamous 'Fall of Saigon' (LINK) in which thousands of Vietnamese who had openly supported American efforts in the area were put to death by 'communist' forces flooding into previously defended cities.
What is amazing to me, but perhaps not to the planners in the Pentagon, are the similarities between today's retreat from Afghanistan and the retreat from Vietnam. I quote from a history of the Vietnam War (linked in the above paragraph);
"“The rapidity with which the South Vietnamese position collapsed in 1975 was surprising to most American and South Vietnamese observers, and probably to the North Vietnamese and their allies as well. For instance, a memo prepared by the CIA and Army Intelligence and published on 5 March indicated that South Vietnam could hold through the current dry season—i.e. at least until 1976.
These predictions proved to be grievously in error. Even as that memo was being released, General Dung was preparing a major offensive in the Central Highlands of Vietnam, which began on 10 March and led to the capture of Ban Me Thuot. The ARVN began a disorderly and costly retreat, hoping to redeploy its forces and hold the southern part of South Vietnam, perhaps an enclave south of the 13th parallel.
Supported by artillery and armor, the North Vietnamese continued to march towards Saigon, capturing the major cities of northern South Vietnam at the end of March—Huế on the 25th and Da Nang on the 28th. Along the way, disorderly South Vietnamese retreats and the flight of refugees—there were more than 300,000 in Da Nang—damaged South Vietnamese prospects for a turnaround. After the loss of Da Nang, those prospects had already been dismissed as nonexistent by American Central Intelligence Agency officers in Vietnam, who believed nothing short of B-52 strikes against Hanoi could possibly stop the North Vietnamese.""
I suppose that leaving a steaming pile of poo on your neighbours door step (Russia, China) can be just as effective a 'hindrance' as camping out on his front lawn.