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In The News for Thursday, August 19, 2021
Posted Aug 19 2021 1:12AM

·       Midweek in Pictures: Afghan Bugout Edition. A good one.

·       Wow! Just Wow! Stephanopoulos interviews Biden.

·       I remember the Iran hostage crisis well. As David Sacks said, This is like the Iranian hostage crisis except the Taliban have 10,000 Americans and our helicopters.

·       Correct me if I’m wrong, but this looks to me like an outright admission of incompetence by Gen. Milley. I can’t imagine his resignation hasn’t been demanded along with Sec. of Defense Austin.

·       Are you kidding me? Is there anyone in the Biden administration who isn’t a total clown? The smart ones are keeping their heads down and circulating their resumes. The Taliban is trembling in fear. Meanwhile at the White House they’re getting out the long knives.

·       My favorite Kamala Harris quote: “You’re not going to pin this s**t on me!” LOL

·       A very good piece from a serving General Officer who for obvious reasons prefers to be anonymous. Excerpt:

     Let us not forget the intelligence agencies. They reported that Kabul was at risk of falling in as little as 90 days. That report was from last Thursday! The capital fell in less than 90 hours. Failure must be punished. And punishment in a bureaucracy means mass firings and a smaller budget—not more money so that they might be better the next time. Congress must consolidate and collapse our intelligence agencies. And when its reorganization is done, if the overall size of the nation’s intelligence apparatus is a quarter of what it is now, that still is too large.

     And while we are on the topic of “too large,” DoD must be halved. There are too many flag officers, too many agencies, departments, and directorates. It is the only secretariat with independent but supposedly subordinate secretaries. There are too many Geographic Component Commands—each led by a 4-star virtual proconsul whose budget dwarfs what the Department of State spends in their regions. The result is a foreign policy that is overly military and underly diplomatic, informational, and economic. Congress must revisit the 1947 National Security Act and the 1986 Goldwater-Nichols Act. Both were good for their times, but after decades of experience, there clearly are Parnew reforms necessary.

     Unreformed, DoD is an inscrutable labyrinth which invites fraud, waste, and abuse. The excess attracts unscrupulous camp followers. Amazon did not choose Crystal City to locate its new headquarters because of low rents and ease of transportation access for its 25,000 employees. It chose the Arlington, Virginia neighborhood because it is two blocks from the Pentagon. That building controls the distribution of three-quarters of a trillion dollars every year. Most of it is wasted. The excess is apparent in the scores of class-A high rises housing defense contractors just blocks from the Pentagon. To end that waste, nothing so concentrates the senses as austerity.

     Let me conclude with one last thought: the generals, the intelligence analysts, the defense contractors, and the pundits all leveraged[JW1]  America’s rarest resource: the American serviceman and woman. They are the ones who fought, and sweat, and bled, and died for what is now clearly a failed strategy and a doomed mission. Even after its failure was apparent to their leaders, they continued to enlist and reenlist, largely because their superiors—the experts—assured them that success was possible. It was not. It never was. Absent American support, Afghanistan collapsed over the length of a long weekend. That is proof enough that the last 20 years were in vain, and proof enough that the system is broken from within.

·       Well, this is pretty typical, isn’t it? Clueless students praise Kamala Harris but can’t name a single accomplishment.

·       Is this the “competence” President Biden promised to bring back to government? Competent politicians and bureaucrats are not usually something government is well-known for, anyway. Particularly those who have been there as long as Joe and have never distinguished themselves.