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The Fall of Kabul Revisited with Jerry Dunleavy and James Hasson

The Charlie Kirk Show / Charlie Kirk
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August 16, 2023 5:00 am

The Fall of Kabul Revisited with Jerry Dunleavy and James Hasson

The Charlie Kirk Show / Charlie Kirk

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August 16, 2023 5:00 am

It's been two years since the worst American humiliation since the fall of Saigon: The sudden and total collapse of the America government in Afghanistan, the triumph of the Taliban after 20 years in war, and the desperate evacuation of the last U.S. personnel from the Kabul airport. Now, Jerry Dunleavy and James Hasson have a new book, "Kabul," giving the untold story of that disaster, and how the blame for that disaster rest squarely on the shoulders of President Joseph R. Biden.

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The US dollar has lost 85% of its value since the 70s, when the dollar decoupled from gold, and the government seems bent on continuing the tradition.

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Just use promo code KIRK. Go to noblegoldinvestments.com. That's noblegoldinvestments.com, the only gold company I trust. Hey, everybody. Today on The Charlie Kirk Show, a substantive and very important conversation about Afghanistan and Kabul with James Hasen and Jerry Dunley. Their book is called Kabul. Check it out.

Very important book. Email me your thoughts. Freedom at charliekirk.com.

May we never forget what happened in Afghanistan. Subscribe to The Charlie Kirk Show Podcast and get involved with Turning Point USA, tpusa.com. That is tpusa.com.

Start a high school or college chapter today at tpusa.com. Buckle up, everybody. Here we go. Charlie, what you've done is incredible here. Maybe Charlie Kirk is on the college campus. I want you to know we are lucky to have Charlie Kirk. Charlie Kirk's running the White House, folks.

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That's why we are here. Brought to you by the loan experts I trust, Andrew and Todd at Sierra Pacific Mortgage at Andrew and Todd Dotcom. There's a book that tells us about the withdrawal from Afghanistan, the dishonorable, the debacle, you could say, Kabul, the untold story of Biden's fiasco and the American warriors who fought to the end. The media has decided to stop caring about this, but Jerry Dunleavy and James Hassan are here to discuss and talk about their book. Jerry and James, welcome to the program. Thank you for taking time. Thanks for having us.

So, Jerry, let's start with you. You're an investigative reporter, mostly been focused on the Justice Department and the intel community and also the national security space. Tell us about why you decided to write this book and some of your big takeaways as you started the research. Yeah, so up until very recently, I was just an investigative reporter at the Washington Examiner, but I was recently hired to help lead the investigation into Biden's disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan, help lead that investigation being run by the House Foreign Affairs Committee, GOP led House Foreign Affairs Committee.

So I just want a quick disclaimer that I wrote the book before I joined the committee and I'm here just in my personal capacity. But this was a 20 year war. Twenty four hundred Americans were killed during it. We went there after 9-11 because Al Qaeda hit us, killed three thousand people, and the Taliban was protecting and harboring Al Qaeda and protecting and harboring Osama bin Laden. They refused to turn them over. They refused to break their alliance with Al Qaeda.

And for 20 years, they refused to break that alliance. Our book is pretty honest about the state of play in Afghanistan when President Biden took office. But the way that this withdrawal happened, the way that this withdrawal went down, deciding to do an unconditional withdrawal and an unconditional surrender to the Taliban, pulling all U.S. troops out before we had gotten Americans out, before we had gotten our Afghan allies out, before we even come up with a plan to get Americans and Afghan allies out, before we had figured out how to keep the Afghan military on the field to keep the Taliban at bay, at least, while we worked to get Americans and Afghan allies out, closing Bagram, a strategic air base very close to Kabul, where it would have been much smarter and much safer to run an evacuation out of. A base that could have helped us with our air support in stopping the Taliban from taking Kabul. An air base, by the way, that had a prison on it that held thousands of ISIS-K terrorists, dozens of Al Qaeda terrorists, as well as hundreds of Taliban fighters, one of those ISIS-K terrorists was the terrorist who ended up successfully hitting Abigail and killing 13 Americans. If we had simply held on to Bagram as a base before we did all of this, that bomber would have still been in prison and the bombing likely wouldn't have happened, at least not by him. And then, of course, we have the Taliban takeover before we've accomplished any of the things that we need to accomplish. The U.S., all that we are holding onto is a small airport where we now have to try to do an evacuation of tens of thousands of people, over 100,000 people, all while having to rely on the Taliban, the same people we've been fighting for 20 years, who have killed thousands of Americans on the battlefield.

That's what we have to rely on for security. And obviously, we saw how it played out, chaotic, dangerous and ultimately deadly. I have so many questions, but I want to get James in on the conversation here. You're a former Army captain and graduate of the U.S. Army Ranger School and an Afghanistan veteran. James, talk about your role in composing this book. And then I have several specific questions. I want to examine this from all angles.

So, James. At the outset, we really appreciate that because that's one of the reasons why we decided to write the book is that we thought this whole incident had been whitewashed and we thought Americans can know the truth. So we're very grateful for the time to explain in detail everything that we uncovered. And to get back to your original question, I served there and then I had a small role in one of the many veteran led efforts to try and get people out. One of the things that struck Jerry and I when we were talking to so many of these 18, 19, 20 year old soldiers and Marines who were right on the front lines is it is just what they had to witness. Then, you know, try and process afterwards simply because the administration failed to plan, failed to heed any warnings from the military whatsoever. And ultimately just decided to speed up the withdrawal for political reasons and things like watching women throw themselves on razor wire outside of the gates to try and kill themselves. So they wouldn't have to, you know, go back through the Taliban checkpoints or just brutalize themselves. People who couldn't be evacuated grabbing the Marines rifles, grabbing their weapons and, you know, pulling the barrel up to their head and saying, just kill me now. And then watching in full view the Taliban execute American allies, Afghans who had served alongside us for decades in this fight. As a veteran, it was very difficult to see. And then having known people who were on the ground at the time and getting to know a lot of them, a lot of others since then, we just this has had to be a story to tell. The bottom line is this was a political decision.

It wasn't a strategic decision at all. And the results speak for themselves. The book is Kabul.

Everyone should check it out. The untold story of Biden's fiasco and the American warriors who fought to the end. So, James, tell us when the news first came from D.C., OK, we're pulling out. Walk us through on the ground chatter when that news really started to spread. Yeah, absolutely. So if you remember people flooding the airfield and when the Taliban took Kabul, just a frenzied evacuation until 26th, which is when the bombing itself took place.

But, you know, immediately and this is kind of one of just the most unforgivable parts of it. So immediately after we announced a withdrawal, you know, that was terrible for the Afghan military's morale and for their capabilities and all leading to the collapse that happened. But at the same time, and this is what I want to emphasize, the U.S. government was telling American citizens who were in Afghanistan, they're painting this rosy picture that all is going to be OK. You have months and then despite all evidence to the contrary and then and even leaving at the time, close down the embassy. They shut down the embassy for a while for a covid lockdown in the months leading up to the evacuation. Then all of a sudden, Kabul's gone. Our presence in Kabul, as we know it, is is gone. And all of those Americans are stranded. And, you know, as Jared can tell you, many of them are still stranded today.

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Go to preborn.org slash kirk. So, Jerry, let's let's go through some of your reporting. This was obviously political. And those of us that are in media kind of saw this unfolding in real time and we were completely ignored. Walk us through the earliest evidence that you have that Joe Biden and his team made the decision to withdraw from Afghanistan. He's sworn in as president January 2021. Spring, we were getting murmurs and rumblings. So walk us through the timeline. I think it's really important.

Yeah. Well, keep in mind, when when when Biden was running for president, he would often sort of change a little bit what he was saying he would do. But oftentimes he was actually promising that he would make sure to leave a small U.S. true presence there to be able to continue to fight ISIS-K and al Qaeda.

That was just not true. It's actually not something that Biden never intended on doing. In the course of our writing our book, you know, we were able to get some insights from people who were, you know, in some of these decision making rooms and very early on in Biden's presidency, like within the first few days, first week of being in office. One of the questions that he basically asked was how quickly can we get out of Afghanistan? And, you know, the question wasn't like how quickly can we get Americans out? You know, how quickly can get our Afghan allies out?

It was how quickly can we withdraw? And so that was what he was focused on. And he decided it very early on. You know, I like to to point this out. When it comes to President Biden, I think a lot of questions get raised about his age, his fitness for the job, whether he's in charge of everything that's happening at the White House.

And often I think that these are fair questions to ask when it comes to him. But when it comes to Afghanistan, you know, and you can read our book and see this for yourself, this really was driven by Joe Biden. This was his decision. This is what he wanted. This is what he decided.

He ignored all advice and evidence to the contrary because this is what he wanted to do. His April 14th withdrawal speech makes it very, very clear. When he announced the withdrawal of U.S. troops, rapid withdrawal, without any conditions, without forcing the Taliban to follow the conditions, you know, set forth in the Doha agreements, this April 14th withdrawal speech, Biden sets the withdrawal date for the 20th anniversary of 9-11.

That's clearly political. There's no strategic reason to do that. But he wanted some sort of victory lap for the 20th anniversary.

I'm not sure what sort of victory lap he was hoping for, but that's what he wanted. But the problem with setting a withdrawal date for September 11th or for any time in the summer is that we've been fighting Afghanistan for 20 years. We know that this spring period where he announced the withdrawal through the summer period where he wanted the withdrawal complete, this is the middle of the Taliban fighting season. This is when the Taliban is at its strongest. And at the exact time that the Taliban was at its strongest, that's when we decided to immediately pull all U.S. troops. And along with that, U.S. contractors, U.S. logistics, U.S. intelligence, all the things that the Afghan military had been relying on to keep its planes flying, to keep its people fighting. We kicked all of that out from under them at the exact moment that the Taliban was launching its biggest assault yet. And so, I mean, it had extremely predictable consequences of U.S. pulls out, Taliban moves in, Afghan military falls apart, Americans get trapped behind enemy lines, Afghan allies get trapped behind enemy lines, and the Taliban takes the country before the U.S. has done anything to get the people that we need to get out. The book is Kabul, very important, very timely.

May we never forget what the Biden regime did in Afghanistan. Hey, everybody, Charlie Kirk here. And like many of you, I'm a busy guy balancing Family Show Travel and TPUSA. When I needed a mortgage, I went to my friends Andrew Del Rey and Todd Avakian at Sierra Pacific. They were amazing. And look, I had some complicated stuff.

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Sure thing. I was just going to provide a little bit of extra context to what Jerry was saying when he referenced fighting season. And for those who are unfamiliar and, you know, I'm all too familiar, the Afghan mountain passes fill up with snow in the late fall, basically till early spring, and it makes it nearly impossible for people to pass from Pakistan to Afghanistan and really to traverse any of that terrain. So that's why most of the fighting happens in the spring and the summer and why Joe Biden's decision, again, politically motivated to pick a midsummer date to begin withdrawing all forces from Bagram, which is a whole nother thing we should get into. Just the broader decision to withdraw at that time strategically made no sense. And that's why, again, it just reinforces how political this decision was.

So I want to ask either of you can pick this up. So you guys keep on saying it's I agree it's political, political, political. I'm going to push you guys a little bit. This feels as if Joe Biden had an ideological agenda more than a political one. And what is the what is the normie explanation here, Jerry? What did he think was the best case scenario here? Summer withdrawal, fighting season, arbitrary dates, ignoring advisers. I mean, this is the way that traitors act. That's why I do think he's a traitor for other reasons. And I'm going to push you guys a little bit like what the heck if he's ignoring everybody and we have 13 dead Marines and he's ignoring the fighting season.

What what what what was the calculus here? What is the best possible defense of Joe Biden here? Because according what you're saying, he was the driving force here. He was the one that was defying the institutional expertise.

So help me understand. I'll let Jerry take this one, I think. Yeah. Well, look, I wouldn't I wouldn't use the word treason related this, but I would use the word dereliction of duty. I mean, this this was the commander in chief, not not following through on his his duty as the president, his duty, I think, to the Americans that were there, his duty to our Afghan allies and his duty to the American troops who he put in danger because of this. Let me try to get in Joe Biden's head here.

So. President Biden was elected to the Senate when he was very young, in the 1970s, at the tail end of the Vietnam War. And I promise that this is relevant because he got there, he got to the Senate too late to make a big impact on the, you know, the ending of the war. So how he decided to make his impact, make his mark on the war in Vietnam was he was the biggest, most vociferous voice, political voice in America against helping save South Vietnamese allies and stop to oppose then President Gerald Ford's efforts to help the South Vietnamese who had helped us help some of them escape the, you know, impending North Vietnamese takeover of the country. He had a quote that I dug up from the Senate archives where he basically said, we don't have an obligation to one thousand and one.

We don't have an obligation to one South Vietnamese who helped us. So that's kind of his mentality. And I tend to think that he just sort of had that same mentality for decades now because he had the same mentality when it came to Afghanistan.

I think it was it was flippancy. He didn't really seem to take into account the broader consequences. He felt ignored by the generals and the military brass when he was Obama's vice president. Of course, Obama very famously ignored Joe Biden's advice not to conduct the raid that killed Osama bin Laden because Joe Biden opposed that. So Joe Biden just he doesn't get it. He has the wrong mentality.

And this this is just kind of how he's he's always been kind of my best explanation. And that just kind of resulted in Afghan allies being left behind, Americans getting left behind and American troops getting put in a really dangerous position where ultimately 13 of them lost their lives. And I want to emphasize dozens of them injured, some of them with life altering injuries. Sergeant Tyler Vargas Andrews lost two of his limbs, another service member, female service members paralyzed.

So these are things to keep in mind. I echo what Jerry just just talked about. It's the best way I would describe it as is as a toxic combination of ignorance and self-assurance. Joe Biden never trusted the military leaders advice. In fact, Robert Gates in his biography wrote about how Joe Biden, Secretary Gates's words, subjected Obama to water torture by saying every single day, you can't trust the military leaders.

They're going to screw you. And he famously told a biographer, well, they won't screw me. And I'm paraphrasing that last part a little bit and I forget the exact quote, but that's exactly I think the mentality that he had is I know better and go figure he didn't.

We actually have that tape. I want to play Cut 52. Robert Gates, who I'm not a fan of, but he spoke some truth here.

Play Cut 52. You wrote Joe Biden was a man of integrity. Still, I think he's been wrong in nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades. I think he's done a lot wrong. You're talking all through the years as vice president. He opposed every one of Ronald Reagan's military programs to contest the Soviet Union.

He opposed the first Gulf War. That list goes on. So what bothered me the most about this Afghanistan story and, you know, James or Jerry, you could pick it, is that we saw this thing was falling apart, that it was obvious that the Taliban, they were taking territory.

They were like on a high speed highway. First of all, either of you guys, what the heck happened to the Afghan army? We spent billions of dollars, tens of billions, hundreds of billions of dollars.

This thing was a joke. Right. So where did all that money go?

Because I think that's an important part of the story. They were supposed to be ready to defend themselves and they just vanished. They evaporated.

They fold like a cheap suit. And then number two, what was going on in the Department of Defense and the Pentagon as they were obviously getting reports like, oh, Taliban is 80 miles out, Taliban is 40 miles out. I mean, why was there no adaptation in real time to save Americans from a coming slaughter?

James, then Jerry. OK. So I think taking was one at a time in terms of what happened in the Afghan military. First of all, the the administration kept overstating the capabilities of the Afghan military. They continually would say, oh, we have three hundred thousand.

They're fine. And in reality, there were also they were inflating that number by a significant margin because they were counting local police. They were counting border checkpoints or kind of all kinds of things that we would never say if we were talking about the strength of the U.S. military, we wouldn't be talking about local police forces as well. So as a disingenuous talking point, number one, number two, it was a well-known problem and it was known within the DOD.

It was known within the administration that there were so-called ghost students within the Afghan military where they existed solely just on paper. And, you know, that basically is a way for corrupt Afghan leaders to just pocket extra salaries, extra resources, that kind of thing. That's kind of overarching. That's step one. And step two of that problem was when we pulled out, we just immediately just got rid of any enablers and they become completely reliant on our drone feeds, our ISR to give them intelligence to provide air support, maintenance for their their aircraft.

And that was completely foreseeable. And in fact, the Trump administration commissioned a study into exactly what would happen. The Afghan forces ability and the special forces in particular to withstand and support themselves. And the answer was essentially a resounding no.

So if you're going to withdraw, you need to do it in a way that you take those realities into account. Secondly, what I would say about what was going on inside the Pentagon, General Scotty Miller, who is a just a legendary general who served in the Army's, you know, what's known as Delta Force now, or at least in common use of the term. He was a Delta Force commander.

He was just about as accomplished as they come. And he was tracking all of these local provinces falling in real time and just sending up warning signal after warning signal. And the administration refused to listen. And it's not just a refusal to listen. There was a dangerous naivete at play as well when the military was trying to convince the State Department to draw down the footprint of the U.S. embassy in Kabul, which at the time was the largest United States embassy in the world. After the withdrawal, there were four diplomats roughly to every soldier who was there. Then the acting ambassador at the time said, how can we influence democracy after the Taliban takes over if we don't have an embassy?

And that just kind of sums up how little they failed to grasp. Afghanistan is something we should never forget. The media has memory hold it to use an Orwellian term.

Jerry, I want to start with you. Chinese Communist Party. How does our greatest enemy, the CCP, connect to the tragedy of Kabul? Absolutely. Well, one thing I'll point out is that, by the way, we have an entire chapter in the book on the connection between the CCP and Afghanistan.

So I highly recommend people check it out because we dive into this real deep. But, you know, the Chinese Communist Party immediately began using this as a propaganda opportunity. They call it the Kabul moment. That's what they kind of term this. And they immediately began using this to say, look, you can't trust the United States.

Right. And pointing to Taiwan specifically, they're basically saying what happens to Afghanistan, that is going to happen to you. You can't trust the U.S. Basically trying to demoralize Taiwan. And you can almost trace the line, by the way, from there, them ratcheting up their their military pressure on Taiwan to the fall of Kabul. You know, they're also active inside of Afghanistan. You know, we obtained evidence in the book that China has helped the Taliban with some intelligence with helping ID interpreters and just collaborating with the Taliban generally. And I point out that, you know, Iran has also used this as an opportunity to pressure former Afghan commandos who work with the United States. And Russia has attempted to recruit those former Afghan commandos to fight in Ukraine.

But China and these other countries see this as an opportunity to get real granular information about how does the U.S. military operate right from people that worked with us for 20 years. And then, you know, China's going to use that to figure out how to fight us when they need to. Of course, China has also been taking advantage of, you know, attempting to take advantage of Afghanistan's natural resources. They have a lot of things there that you need to build up an economy and a lot of things there that could be useful to their military industrial complex as well. You know, one other thing to keep in mind is that Bagram was a very strategic base, not just for fighting the Taliban and ISIS-K and al Qaeda, but Bagram is actually pretty close to to China as well. And, you know, many people have noted, including former President Trump and plenty of others and national security experts and on and on, that Bagram was very key for the U.S., not just in Afghanistan, but also regionally, including helping keep an eye on the Chinese. And so ultimately, China is seeing this as a win for them. They're trying to fill the void. They're allying with the Taliban.

They're the Taliban's biggest advocates on the world stage for getting the U.S. to send even more money into Afghanistan and even more money into the Taliban's coffers. And so China sees this as a big win. And I think the collapse of Afghanistan and NATO and the United States being in shambles, I think Putin looked at that. And that was what we kind of assessed in our book as kind of the final thing that he needed, the final push he needed to invade Ukraine as well. So China and all of our enemies, I think, benefited from this. And we're obviously now in a more dangerous world than we were in 2021 before this debacle in Afghanistan. OK, final thoughts here.

James? Yeah. To stay on the CCP topic, one of the folks we talked to, as Jerry Bench had helped, spoke about how the CCP was helping the Taliban track down interpreters. And there's a very clear quid pro quo there, because at the same time that was alleged to be happening, the Taliban was also clearing out ethnic Uyghur areas that are right on the border of Afghanistan and China that the CCP has long been concerned about.

Concerned about is the wrong word, but has long targeted. And I just want to thank you also for a very, very substantive discussion. I wish we could sit here for three hours and tell you everything we learned.

I have so many other questions, too, but I'd encourage everyone just to read the book because it lays it all out. The book is Kabul. James and Jerry, thank you for your great scholarship here and research.

The audience will be blessed if they purchase your book. Thanks, guys, so much. Appreciate it. Thank you. Thanks, Charlie. Thanks so much for listening, everybody. Email us your thoughts, as always, freedom at CharlieKirk.com. Thanks so much for listening and God bless. For more on many of these stories and news you can trust, go to CharlieKirk.com. Find truth. Watch 24 seven on SNC TV and on local now channel 525.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-01 01:38:52 / 2023-09-01 01:50:47 / 12

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