The Lessons of Afghanistan: Can It Happen Here?

The Lessons of Afghanistan: Can It Happen Here?
The Lessons of Afghanistan: Can It Happen Here?

Afghanistan represented a major military defeat. The world saw the collapse of a modern, organized military force, which enjoyed a material advantage over its adversary.

In addition, the Afghan Armed Forces were made in the image and likeness of their American counterparts. Its military structures and assets should have been sufficient to hold off the collapse. Everything appeared to be under control.

However, appearances were deceptive. The ground was already undermined by Afghanistan’s abandonment by America, a self-destructing government, widespread corruption and universal morale loss among the troops. Thus, everything was prepared for the debacle that shocked the world. A superior military force collapsed almost without a fight and at lightning speed.

In War, the Most Important Weapon Is an Indomitable Will to Fight

Such an outcome highlights a fundamental truth.

In war, the most critical element is not a military’s material assets. The army’s officers and soldiers that pull the triggers are not its most valuable resource. While these are important and necessary, they are not what matters most.

The thing that makes all the difference is the will to fight. It is not just the troops who need to have this fighting spirit. The nation must possess it as well.

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This fighting spirit was beautifully expressed by Vienna’s burgomaster when receiving Emperor Francis I, whom Napoleon had defeated at Wagram: “No Austrian abandons his prince where our country is concerned. Even though the walls surrounding your palace were to go to ruin, the strongest castle is the hearts of your people.”

Did Afghanistan Have This Will to Fight?

In Afghanistan, government leaders were the first to lose the will to fight. Their bankruptcy of courage spread to officers and soldiers and then to the people.

In addition, the stench of treason was everywhere as high government and other officials saved their skins and abandoned the country. America’s swift withdrawal, especially the night exit of Bagram Airbase, added to the sense of abandonment. The government unraveled.

The fall of Kabul was much more the result of a spiritual crisis in the Afghan people than any stroke of military genius on the part of the Taliban leadership and its ragtag army.

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Politics of Self-Destruction

Throughout the twentieth century, similar scenarios took place when communists and revolutionaries took over in differing instances. A well-organized left orchestrated the events and undermined confidence in institutions to bring about the defeat of vastly superior forces. For example, Czar Nicholas II of Russia succumbed to a considerably smaller group of revolutionaries while having ten million soldiers under his command. Vietnam fell despite huge military assets.

The weakening and crumbling of the will to fight is what prepared the way for the fall of nations.

The collapse of Afghanistan has a lesson for America.

Will America’s leaders and the public reflect on it and take prudent stock of the nation’s situation? Will they move to remedy it? Quickly?

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Does the American Public Have the Will to Fight?

A few questions may help this national reflection.

Is America’s will to fight as deep and enduring as it needs to be?

American public opinion is divided. The healthier part has the will to fight for the nation, even at the cost of great personal sacrifices. However, a large part is unwilling to sacrifice for the country and focuses selfishly on its petty interests. This is a profound moral problem.

What About America’s Crippled Political Leadership?

For a long time, the nation’s political leadership has shown itself increasingly weak. Partisan division cripples and paralyzes it more and more. More recently, many of those in political leadership have surrendered America to the completely unreasonable demands of an insane leftist ideology.

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America’s political leadership is woefully unfit for war. How then can it properly lead the defense of the nation?

What About A Woke Military?

America’s mighty military appears enormously powerful. As the world’s superpower, it reigns supreme. However, this military is undermined by internal forces that sap its strength.  It is vulnerable despite all appearances to the contrary.

The greatest internal threat to the military is the “woke” ideology and political correctness infiltrating its ranks. The invasion of feminism and gender ideology also jeopardizes the armed forces’ ability to make war.

The military was once assumed to be apolitical. Today, however, it is highly politicized leftward. Soldiers report the selective allowance of “Black Lives Matter” flags, shirts and other themed clothing items. Conservative messages such as “all lives matter” have been banned.

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Service members complain about forced participation in race-based seminars, in which America is labeled “racist” and white Americans are all denounced as “privileged.” They claim they are asked to spy upon one another and condemn anyone who displays or reads anything termed “white supremacist.” This vague label can mean almost anything conservative or traditional according to Critical Race Theory criteria.

Others have criticized the introduction of maternity flight suits for pregnant fighter pilots and the acceptance of “transgender” recruits who can also undergo “transitions” to the opposite sex courtesy of the U.S. military.

America’s new “woke” Armed Forces are all about serving the recruit, not the nation.

Will America Follow Afghanistan?

If this erosion of America’s will to fight is not reversed, an Afghanistan moment might occur here.

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Superpower America and its mighty military could very well unravel the next time it is challenged on the world stage.

It could happen at lightning speed.

For a Moral Problem, a Moral Solution

The inadequacy of America’s will to fight is a profound moral problem that can only be remedied with a moral solution.

This solution involves an honest, Prodigal Son assessment of the dire straits the nation is in, a change of heart and a humble return to the Father’s home. The journey home starts with a prayer.

The Mother of God asked for this moral conversion and prayer in Fatima in 1917. She performed the most astounding Miracle of the Sun so that “the world would believe” in the authenticity of her apparition and message.

If America obeys her and converts, its will to fight will be everything it needs to be. It will not be any less than that shown by Spanish and Italian heroes at Lepanto when crushing the Turkish fleet 450 years ago this October. Their intrepid fighting spirit, aided by Divine Providence, saved Christendom then.

America may save the Christian West again today, but only if she returns to God.

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