The announcement that President Joe Biden intends to withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan by September 11, 2021 (of all days) marks the final surrender in a war in which
America’s military and political leaders were entirely clueless about who the enemy is and how to defeat him, but they incompetently and cynically sacrificed 2,312 brave Americans killed and 20,066 wounded anyway.
It should have been clear to anyone with a modicum of knowledge about Islam, and its doctrine of Sharia supremacy, that the Taliban in Afghanistan and ISIS in Syria and Iraq, and their offshoots elsewhere around the world, do not desire any kind of “peace” except the peace of the Ummah – the peace of the worldwide reign of Islam.
That is what they are fighting for, not the governance of some piece of Godforsaken territory in Afghanistan or the Near East, and certainly not to join a coalition government with Kafir (non-believers) and those they consider to be apostates.
So, why was it so hard for our leaders, especially our military leaders, to understand the war aims of our Muslim adversaries?
Part of the reason may be that the Obama administration effectively purged from our military doctrine all teaching about the military goals of Islam, its doctrine of worldwide conquest and its teachings about how to accomplish that conquest.
Part of the reason may be that Americans are unfortunately prone to project their own ideas about the primacy of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as societal goals on to other peoples and cultures.
But the main reason we are losing and been forced to surrender is that no American general or political leader (except LTG Mike Flynn in his book Field of Fight) was willing to say that this was a whole of government and culture war that requires a whole of government and culture approach to win it, and that Afghanistan was just one theater in a larger conflict.
And this larger conflict will certainly not be over just because we leave Afghanistan.
Back in 2017 the generals and President Trump’s then-National Security Advisor, the vilely disloyal H.R. McMaster, tried to sell him on another American troop “surge” into Afghanistan.
But it wasn’t intended to defeat the enemy of Islamic or Sharia Supremacism, or even defeat the Afghan Taliban.
According to the New York Times, Washington Post and other establishment media outlets, the purpose of the proposed 2017 surge or re-escalation created by sending several thousand additional American troops to Afghanistan would be to try to break the military deadlock in the then-17-year war there, thus pressuring the Taliban to negotiate with the Afghan government.
Trump tried to use his famous deal-making skills to negotiate a peace deal and was met with an intensified campaign of terrorism that scuttled his plan to bring Taliban leaders to Camp David to sign the deal. That was four years ago, and the Afghan government is still no more capable of fending off the Taliban than it was then.
Indeed, many establishment analysts and pro-war commentators predict the current Afghan government will fall as soon as the United States leaves and into that vacuum will flow the murderous Taliban to reestablish a safe haven and staging area for Islamic Supremacism.
What Biden’s plan to surrender to Islamic Supremacism really means is that our top echelon at the Pentagon, CIA headquarters and the State Department learned nothing from almost 20 years of war in Afghanistan.
Despite the trillions of dollars and thousands of lives poured into geography only the Afghans want, nothing the generals and the best and brightest of the intelligence community proposed worked.
From the failed efforts to implement a new Counterinsurgency (COIN) doctrine in Afghanistan, to the false deadlines Obama established for withdrawal, to Trump’s wishful peace negotiations, nothing American leaders have done has achieved the goal of a stable regime in Afghanistan that is inhospitable to terrorist organizations with transnational aspirations and capabilities.
And the reason for this failure has nothing to do with the bravery and selflessness of the American military personnel deployed to accomplish that goal – it has everything to do with the unwillingness of American political level leaders to recognize what enemy we were fighting and to deploy the correct resources to defeat it.
The war in Afghanistan wasn’t a regional or tribal conflict, it wasn’t a war on “terrorism,” it wasn’t a war on narco-warlords (even though 90% of the worlds illicit opium originates there); it was and is a war between the values of Islam and the values of the Western Enlightenment, and if you refuse to understand it and fight it on those terms the war in Afghanistan will never be over and certainly could never be won.
What America’s generals and political leaders never seem to grasp is that the enemy in Afghanistan wasn’t the Taliban insurgency; it was and is their underlying ideology of Islam and the allegiance of the majority of the Afghan people to a misogynistic 7th Century Sharia-based Muslim culture.
If you understand that the teachings of Islam are fundamental motivators of the people who we have been fighting in Afghanistan, then that informs your entire strategy.
That means instead of sending a few thousand troops to Afghanistan we needed to deploy all the means of our national power against the real enemy – the doctrines of Islam that motivate the Taliban.
It means we should have deployed psyops to attack the enemy’s belief system. It means we should have offered an alternative belief system to replace the one that is motivating the enemy. And it means we should have attacked and undermined the cultural leaders who are the centers and advocates of that belief system.
The United States did none of that in Afghanistan, because, as far as we can tell pretty much everyone in the chain of command believes “Islam is a religion of peace” and not the real enemy.
We never fought the whole war in Afghanistan, and even though our troops performed heroically on the kinetic battlefield, we did not win the war. We sacrificed thousands of lives because American political leaders and generals were too incompetent or timid to name Islamic Supremacism as the real enemy and use all the tools of national power to destroy it. Getting out of a war that we never fought to win may feel like the right thing to do to many conservatives, but be assured that having survived its confrontation with us in Afghanistan, Islamic Supremacism will follow us home.
George Rasley is editor of Richard Viguerie's ConservativeHQ.com. A veteran of over 300 political campaigns, he served on the staff of Vice President Dan Quayle, as Director of Policy and Communication for former Congressman Adam Putnam (FL-12) then Vice Chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee's Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs, and as spokesman for retired Rep. Mac Thornberry formerly a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.
Biden foreign policy
withdraw from Afghanistan
War on Terror
George W. Bush
Peace of Ummah
Obama foreign policy