WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Defense tweeted out a picture of the solider boarding a plane at the international airport in Kabul, the last to depart the country after 20 years of war. It was Commanding General of Fort Bragg’s 82nd Airborne Division, Maj. Gen. Chris Donahue, who was the commanding general overseeing operations at the airport during the chaotic and controversial withdrawal turned evacuation.
The last American soldier to leave Afghanistan: Maj. Gen. Chris Donahue, commanding general of the @82ndABNDiv, @18airbornecorps boards an @usairforce C-17 on August 30th, 2021, ending the U.S. mission in Kabul. pic.twitter.com/j5fPx4iv6a
— Department of Defense ???????? (@DeptofDefense) August 30, 2021
While many replied to the tweet with praise and appreciation for our men and women in service, and the sacrifices they make, others reacted to the tweet with pointed criticism about the disastrous pull out and a swirl of remaining questions.
Is their truth to reports of military service dogs being left behind? What about the hundreds of Americans and vetted Afghan allies pleading to get out of the country, and being left behind? First hand accounts of the state department and U.S. military turning away American citizens, scores of SIV holders, and persecuted Afghans, denying them clearance to leave. Is this true?
The DoD social media mangers didn’t quite ameliorate the concerns of others.
Way to make shameful retreat look heroic! You guys have really upped your media game.
Pity you can’t accomplish national security objectives, but hey, it’s not like that’s your job, right?
— Kelly Hall (@grumble209) August 31, 2021
In the coming weeks, months, and years, the American people will discover more and more about what actually transpired on the ground in Kabul and in offices in D.C. over these last two weeks.
Being that our soldiers, and the 82nd Airborne in particular, are certainly an exceedingly effective fighting force full of patriots perfectly capable of the heroic acts and wise planning needed to accomplish even the most difficult of tasks; the likelihood that armchair generals and perception-plagued politicians in DC hamstrung the commanding generals and their men on the battlefield of Kabul is high.