The Ugly Legacy of the U.S. Withdrawal from Afghanistan, One Year Later

Last Monday marked the first anniversary of the fall of Kabul to the Taliban in the wake of the chaotic American withdrawal from Afghanistan. Kyle Orton takes stock, and examines the false choice presented to Americans by the Biden administration and its defenders:

[T]he choice was not to withdraw or “escalate” in Afghanistan: President Biden could simply have done nothing and sustained the situation as it had been for nearly a decade. The war, in any serious sense, had been over since 2014, with U.S. troop levels at or below 15,000 since then, and U.S. killed-in-action totals never above 30 annually, fewer fatalities than the U.S. Army suffers in training accidents. The reality is that Biden came into office with an ideological fixation on “ending” the “forever war” in Afghanistan.

The problem is that the enemy gets a vote. If you withdraw while the enemy still has the will to fight, this is called “defeat.”

The Afghan army sacrificed 66,000 lives to defend its country, 5,000 of them in the last few weeks, which is remarkable since, by that time, Biden had sapped its morale with his April confirmation that the U.S. was abandoning the country, and then crippled the Afghan military—withdrawing direct U.S. air support and contractor services so Afghanistan’s own jets and helicopters no longer worked, and ceasing intelligence provision and logistics.

The most disgraceful thing Biden did during last year’s fiasco was to blame the Afghans for what he had done to them, lambasting the Afghan president Ashraf Ghani for refusing to stay to be murdered in his capital city after Biden had opened the gates to the jihadists, and denigrating the Afghan army as “not willing to fight for themselves.”

Read more at Washington Examiner

More about: Afghanistan, Joseph Biden, U.S. Foreign policy

Hizballah Is Learning Israel’s Weak Spots

On Tuesday, a Hizballah drone attack injured three people in northern Israel. The next day, another attack, targeting an IDF base, injured eighteen people, six of them seriously, in Arab al-Amshe, also in the north. This second attack involved the simultaneous use of drones carrying explosives and guided antitank missiles. In both cases, the defensive systems that performed so successfully last weekend failed to stop the drones and missiles. Ron Ben-Yishai has a straightforward explanation as to why: the Lebanon-backed terrorist group is getting better at evading Israel defenses. He explains the three basis systems used to pilot these unmanned aircraft, and their practical effects:

These systems allow drones to act similarly to fighter jets, using “dead zones”—areas not visible to radar or other optical detection—to approach targets. They fly low initially, then ascend just before crashing and detonating on the target. The terrain of southern Lebanon is particularly conducive to such attacks.

But this requires skills that the terror group has honed over months of fighting against Israel. The latest attacks involved a large drone capable of carrying over 50 kg (110 lbs.) of explosives. The terrorists have likely analyzed Israel’s alert and interception systems, recognizing that shooting down their drones requires early detection to allow sufficient time for launching interceptors.

The IDF tries to detect any incoming drones on its radar, as it had done prior to the war. Despite Hizballah’s learning curve, the IDF’s technological edge offers an advantage. However, the military must recognize that any measure it takes is quickly observed and analyzed, and even the most effective defenses can be incomplete. The terrain near the Lebanon-Israel border continues to pose a challenge, necessitating technological solutions and significant financial investment.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Hizballah, Iron Dome, Israeli Security