Our defeat in Afghanistan came at a steep price that we will be paying for years. While we can take some comfort that fewer than three thousand of our military personnel were killed in action, the families of those Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force casualties know that there is no amount of cash that can heal their grief. Then there are the thousands who suffered debilitating wounds, both physical and mental. They are still paying the price.
But there is another cost to this country that we may never be able to recoup–what would America look like if we spent the Trillion dollars that were poured down the Afghanistan rat hole on infrastructure, education and health care?
Take a look at this video at what transpired in the Russian city of Gelendzhik (a resort town in Krasnodar Krai, Russia, located on the Gelendzhik Bay of the Black Sea, between Novorossiysk and Tuapse.) It shows the dramatic transformation of just one city in Russia, but stands as an example of what a country not fighting a perpetual war can do.
Russia knows something about not being able to fight an eternal war in Afghanistan. They were smart enough to give up the fight after almost ten years of combat.
The final and complete withdrawal of Soviet combatant forces from Afghanistan began on 15 May 1988 and ended on 15 February 1989 under the leadership of Colonel-General Boris Gromov.
The Russian retreat from Afghanistan was a script the United States failed to follow. The Russians left in an orderly manner and left no one behind. The images of the hapless United States under the demented leadership of Alzheimer’s Biden and his feckless national security team will haunt us for more than a generation. Russia is rebuilding. America is in chaos.
The final irony is that Russia’s embassy in Kabul is still open and secure. How many of the people we left behind–Americans and Afghan translators–are going to turn to the Russians for help? I suspect that number will be more than a thousand.