October 29, 2014

The No-Fanfare Withdrawal

Investor’s Business Daily sums up one of the problems with the quiet announcement of Marines withdrawing from Afghanistan: “President Obama’s abrupt order to withdraw U.S. Marines from Helmand province with zero fanfare was an ill-fitting exit for U.S. forces after 13 years of sacrifice in the war’s bloodiest theater. Is this the thanks they get? No public acknowledgment from the White House. No official statements. No praise for extraordinary dedication or heroism. No proclamations of valor. And certainly nothing about victory. … Some of the bloodiest battles were waged in Helmand. The U.S. lost more than 350 in combat there and the British about 450, nearly a fifth of the war’s total losses. Meanwhile, the injured returned home to bureaucratic insult, as they sought help from a behemoth Veterans Administration that Obama vowed to reform but didn’t. … But rather than acknowledge the mission and offering at least a few ceremonial words of closure, the president merely ordered that the Marines be "high-tailed out,” as the bitter headline on a Foreign Policy piece put it. As if they’d done something they should be ashamed about. … The next we hear of Leatherneck and Bastion may be with the Taliban running them. And that would be even worse than the commander-in-chief’s indifference to the Marines’ sacrifices: a willingness to throw it all away. Obama’s deafening silence was simply his way of not calling attention to the fact he let our men and women in uniform down. They deserved better.“ More…

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