When USMC Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller first got news that an explosion had rocked one of the gates at the Kabul airport on Aug. 26, killing 13 U.S. service members and 169 Afghan civilians, he decided to post a YouTube video with his reaction — knowing it could kill his 17-year career and current post as a Marine advanced infantry battalion commander.
“I’m making this video because I have a growing disconnect and contempt for perceived ineptitude at the policy level,” said Scheller, donned in his Marine fatigues and looking a bit shell shocked. “The reason people are so upset right now … they are upset that senior leaders let them down and no one is raising their hands and saying we messed this up.”
He pointed to Secretary of Defense Austin and other senior civilian and military leaders who had assured Congress in May that the Afghan Security forces would be able to withstand the Taliban sweep when American and NATO forces withdrew. He questioned the decision to evacuate the fortified Bagram Airfield in early July.
“Clearly they were wrong,” he said, noting he was fielding emails questioning whether fellow Marines had died in vain over the last 20 years. “What I’ll say is, from my position, potentially all those people did die in vain if we do not have senior leaders who own up, who raise their hands to say we did not do well in the end. Without that we are just repeating the same mistakes.”
Read the full article in The American Spectator.