Yesterday, 12 United States Marines and one Navy corpsman were killed, and 18 more wounded, in an attack on Abbey Gate to the Hamid Karzai International Airport (HKIA). This attack was part of simultaneous suicide bomber attacks on the Abbey Gate and the Baron Hotel located just outside the gate. In addition to our troops, as many as 170 Afghan civilians were killed and over 200 wounded.
🔴The suicide bomber struck by Kabul airport's Abbey Gate.
The attack was followed up by gunfire and then another explosion near the Baron hotel pic.twitter.com/NiSjwxuSsf
— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) August 26, 2021
The suicide bomber passed through a Taliban checkpoint and detonated his bomb when searched by Marines at a secondary checkpoint. No one knows if the bomber evaded detection at the Taliban checkpoint or was launched from that checkpoint. As I posted yesterday, I don’t suspect the Biden White House will be very curious about how this came about. They are wedded to the fiction that the Taliban are our friends in this enterprise (see The Kabul Mission Begins to Unravel and We Can Expect to See Much Worse).
To understand what happened yesterday, you have to understand something about the intensity of the war in Afghanistan. Anytime you are getting shot at, it is a very intense and personal experience. Afghanistan was a theater where the primary enemy was improved explosive devices and, to a certain extent, “green on blue” attacks; those were attacks on US forces by the Afghan forces they were embedded with or otherwise supporting.
Since 2001, there have been, up until yesterday, 1,915 members of the Armed Forces killed in action. Depending on how you clock the beginning of the war, that comes to about 8 deaths per month. In 65 of the months of the war, there were zero US KIA. Only in 50 months of our involvement was the casualty list equal to or greater than that inflicted upon us yesterday.
More Americans were killed yesterday than were killed in five of the years of our involvement in Afghanistan. In terms of single-day casualties, yesterday ranks as the third-worst day of the 20-year Afghanistan War for the US military. (For sources on Afghanistan War casualties, I used these two here | here.) This from NBC lists the major single-incident losses for the US military in Afghanistan:
The worst day for American casualties in Afghanistan was on Aug. 6, 2011, when a CH-47 Chinook helicopter carrying Navy SEALs was shot down by a rocket-propelled grenade over eastern Afghanistan. Thirty Americans, including 22 Navy SEALs, were killed in the crash.
On June 28, 2005, 19 Special Operations troops were killed during Operation Red Wings, when three service members were killed in an ambush and 16 others died when their helicopter went down in an effort to help fight off the ambush.
On July 13, 2008, nine Americans and 27 others were wounded in an attack on an American observation post that became known as the Battle of Wanat.
On Oct. 3, 2009, eight Americans and four Afghans were killed at Combat Outpost Keating when an estimated 200 Taliban fighters attacked the remote base in eastern Afghanistan.
On Dec. 30, 2009, a Jordanian double-agent lured seven CIA operatives to their deaths in a suicide attack on Forward Operating Base Chapman.
On Sept. 21, 2010, a Black Hawk helicopter crashed in Qalat, killing five soldiers of the 101st Airborne, three Navy SEALs and one Naval Special Warfare support technician.
On April 27, 2011 eight U.S. Air Force airmen and one American contractor were killed at the Kabul Airport. An Afghan Air Corps pilot became angry during an argument in the operations room at the airfield, then suddenly drew his gun and began shooting. The shooter was fatally wounded at the end of the incident.
On Nov. 1, 2013, two U.S. troops were killed and dozens more were seriously injured in a coordinated Taliban attack on Camp Salerno — the third largest U.S. base in the country at the time.
There had been 17 consecutive months without an American KIA. Until yesterday.
Maybe, just maybe, we will see a bit of humility on the part of Biden and his sycophants in the media and punditocracy. Their shrill claims this was a success have always rung hollow.
Two days ago, Jen Psaki said that she wouldn’t classify the situation in Afghanistan as “anything but a success.” pic.twitter.com/CdXO6LhB2v
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) August 26, 2021
The claims that this goat-rope compares in any way to the Berlin Airlift have always been laughable (see If You Think Afghanistan Is a Disaster You’re Missing the Big Picture. Get Ready to Be Told It Is the New Berlin Airlift). But we’ve seen these claims made by a chorus of idiots that has grown louder by the day.
Joe Biden has presided over one of the bloodiest days of our war in Afghanistan. That day was made possible solely by his incompetence and, sad to say, the spinelessness and/or incompetence of the chain of command of the US military. Young men were put needlessly at risk to do a hazardous mission that did not need to have been done. We didn’t need to operate from a single airfield. We didn’t need to let the Taliban occupy half of that airfield. We didn’t need to put our security in the hands of the Taliban. We didn’t need to evacuate US and allied nationals and our Afghan allies under these circumstances.
This situation didn’t just develop organically. These were all choices made by the Biden White House and its commissars in the Defense and State Departments.
It didn’t have to be this way, but it is, and Joe Biden owns all of this.