The killings of at least 13 U.S. service members in suicide bombings in Kabul has permanently damaged the "morale" and "prestige" of the U.S. military, retired Army Master Sgt. Jason Beardsley told Newsmax.
"This is catastrophic, and it will go down as a historical defeat for the morale and for the prestige of the United States of America," Beardsley said Thursday on "The Chris Salcedo Show." "And what Americans ought to be thinking is how do we restore the great republic that is America.''
"This has turned from a disaster to a calamity to a tragedy all in the space of 72 hours," Beardsley added. "This is awful."
While President Joe Biden claimed that the swift Taliban takeover of Afghanistan was not inevitable, retired Air Force Maj. Glenn Ignazio added that does not comport with reality — not just now, but for decades, if you ask the rank-and-file veterans who have served in the longest war in U.S. history.
"All we have to do is look backwards to what E-1, E-2, E-3s on the ground have been saying for 20 years," Ignazio said. "Soldiers that deployed to Afghanistan or Iraq were not confused. We were not taken off guard. The fact that the Taliban collapsed the government in 11 days was not an unknown to us.
"We watched our peers buried in the ground, under flags, for years because we knew the capacity was not there, so this should not be a surprise."
And Biden's wry smile and cut microphone Wednesday after a news conference is a shocking, "cavalier" response, and the president needs to be held to account for it, Beardsley added.
"Anybody who is cavalier at this moment in history has to be relooked at for leadership," he said. "Service members are in harm's way today. They're still in harm's way, doing the job. This is not a moment for flippant, cavalier comments, and anyone that let him do that and did not want him to answer the questions of the people should be held up to account by the people.
"That's the people's house. This is the people's business."
The ball is in American voters' court now to stand against this "catastrophic" defeat, he continued.
"If people don't get angry, aren't calling their representatives, aren't putting this administration and everyone else in the senior leadership on the hook to answer these questions, then we have to look at ourselves in the mirror and put the blame on all of our doorsteps," Beardsley said.
"We can't afford to be cavalier when our Americans are still trying to get out of [Afghanistan]."
Beardsley also lamented that the Biden administration putting the evacuation operations in the hands of the State Department instead of keeping it on the Department of Defense, saying "noncombatant operations" should been followed sooner and more strategically.
"They are known, this is a playbook that we've seen driven by optics, and when the State Department is driven by optics, the military operation is subservient to that," Beardsley concluded.
Ignazio also lamented the difficulties laid before U.S. citizens and allies in getting out of the country, while the Biden administration has granted a free pass to migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border.
"It's crazy that we see that we have individuals in Afghanistan that prove their merit, by working with the U.S. military, having difficulty to get out of their country," he concluded. "Yet we have people flooding over the borders just unfettered."
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