US reputation is in tatters, it’s time to bring those responsible for Afghanistan disaster to account | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

US reputation is in tatters, it’s time to bring those responsible for Afghanistan disaster to account

Twenty years of US war in Afghanistan draws to a close at the stroke of midnight on August 31. There will be plenty of time to dissect the root causes of failure. What is needed now is accountability for the disastrous endgame.

A video of active duty Marine Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Scheller demanding accountability for the humanitarian disaster that had come to define the US-led evacuation from Kabul, Afghanistan, quickly went viral.

Scheller, who commanded the advanced infantry training battalion at the Marine Corps School of Infantry, at the time the video was made, had spent 17 years as a Marine, with multiple combat deployments. He knowingly placed this distinguished career at risk by publicly demanding that someone be held accountable for the bungled evacuation, which had left at least 14 American servicemen dead, along with hundreds of Afghans, some with dual citizenship in allied nations. Scheller’s commanders immediately relieved him of his command. This was a consequence Scheller anticipated, which makes his decision to sacrifice his career in the name of accountability even more remarkable.

“I’m not saying we need to be in Afghanistan forever,” the combat veteran said, “but I am saying, did any of you throw your rank on the table and say, ‘Hey, it’s a bad idea to evacuate Bagram Airfield, a strategic airbase, before we evacuate everyone?’”

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