With Afghanistan on fire, the airport in chaos, and uncertainty on how all US personnel will make it out alive, the recriminations for what is still transpiring are in full swing. You’ll be less than shocked to learn that some are blaming Donald Trump, who hasn’t been president for the last seven months.
On the other hand, those living within the confines of our current reality are pointing the finger where it belongs, toward the current President of the United States. While Joe Biden had previously taken credit for his supposedly fabulous withdrawal plan, he’s now desperately trying to pass the buck, be it to Republicans or perhaps his own vice president.
Yet, things look to be even worse than they first appeared. Reports are coming out that the reason the Afghan Air Force couldn’t operate is that the Biden Administration banned foreign maintenance contractors (i.e. the only people with the expertise) from entering Afghanistan.
This per The Daily Beast.
The Afghan Air Force didn’t take flight because — God help us — Joe Biden refused to let outside maintenance crews into Afghanistan, effectively grounding the fleet. pic.twitter.com/0L1wNSqGPa
— BDW (@BryanDeanWright) August 15, 2021
Helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft do not just run into perpetuity. That’s especially true when dealing with military variants, which can often require many hours of maintenance for every actual flight hour flown. By banning foreign contractors from helping the Afghan Air Force maintain its fleet, Biden effectively grounded it and took them out of the fight.
And while they weren’t flying the latest and greatest types, A-29 CAS aircraft and Mi-24 Hinds (along with the other light-attack helicopters the Afghan Air Force had) would have been very useful in trying to hold off the Taliban as they advanced toward Kabul, even if temporarily.
This revelation follows a disturbing pattern that has arisen within Biden’s withdrawal strategy. It appears that no care whatsoever was given to ensuring the Afghanis could — or were even allowed to — maintain the logistics needed to operate after US forces left. A military can have all the men they want, but without proper logistics and leadership, including the ongoing maintenance of equipment, things will always collapse. That’s what appears to have happened here.
The question is why? Why would the Biden administration want to bar foreign contractors from maintaining the Afghan Air Force, thereby keeping them mission ready? None of this makes sense, and there needs to be a major investigation into what went into these terrible decisions. Will there be, though? Who the heck knows.
Regardless, I don’t expect this to be the last, revealed embarrassment for the Biden administration.