I have a modest proposal. First, an analysis of the situation in Afghanistan.
But when Sullivan was pressed on what the U.S. would do if American allies remained on the ground in Afghanistan beyond the Aug. 31, Taliban-agreed evacuation deadline, Sullivan was stuck. He referenced “sanctions, to marshaling international condemnation and isolation,” but had no clear answer beyond that…. This speaks to the overriding point: The Taliban now hold the cards. If the U.S. military, for all its exceptional efforts, is unable to extricate all American allies by Aug. 31, the U.S. will have few options other than to beg the Taliban for an extension.
Representative Adam Kinzinger put it differently.
“How did this get so mismanaged? I don’t understand. Keep in mind… just a few months ago, we shut down Bagram Air Force Base. Bagram was a secure military installation with a gigantic airfield. Can you imagine if we still had that?”
So here’s my modest proposal: take it back. Take Bagram back.
Air drop some Rangers on the field, have them secure it while you fly in an Armored Brigade Combat Team or a Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable), or both. Retake Kabul, linking up with the brigade or so already there, just long enough to perform the orderly evacuation we should have done in the first place. Bring everyone to Bagram, civilians and anyone we want to bring home with us, and then fly them out from there where we control a secure perimeter.
The Taliban can’t stop us. This is all a choice. We can choose differently.