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Questions swirl about Bagram airbase withdrawal amid Kabul airport debacle

As the US faces a protracted and fatal wrestle to evacuate its citizens and allies from Afghanistan, inquiries are swirling about why the army deserted the able and secure Bagram airfield — just 40 miles from Kabul’s besieged airport.

Dissent among the rank and file has been simmering. In a viral social media write-up Friday, Marine Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller denounced army brass for the final decision.

“Did any of you toss your rank on the desk and say, ‘Hey, it is a terrible idea to evacuate Bagram Airfield, a strategic airbase, before we evacuate everyone’? Did anyone do that?” he fumed.

Scheller was swiftly relieved of his duties.

“I imagine the Taliban demanded [the closure of Bagram]. I believe that was part of the deal that Biden manufactured. The Taliban threatened to begin fighting all over again and then Biden acquired fearful,” explained Jim Hanson, a previous army specific forces vet and now President of the Security Experiments Group.

Maritime Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller denounced army brass for abandoning Bagram airfield.

“It’s up to the Taliban now who essentially will get out of the country, We have outsourced the TSA functionality of the airport to the Taliban,” Hanson included, expressing the Kabul airport — exposed and with only one particular runway — was a perilously inferior staging foundation for the evacuations currently underway.

Both of those Biden and armed service leaders have approached the Bagram problem gingerly.

“They concluded — the navy — that Bagram was not a great deal price added, that it was much wiser to concentrate on Kabul. And so, I followed that recommendation,” Biden said Thursday.

A general view of vehicles that were left after the US forces left Bagram airfield in the north of Kabul, Afghanistan, on July 5, 2021.
US forces still left Bagram airfield in July 2021.
Anadolu Agency through Getty Pictures

But at a briefing last week Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Employees, provided a diverse edition.

“If we have been to hold both of those Bagram and the embassy going, that would be a significant selection of navy forces,” Milley claimed. “So we experienced to collapse just one or the other, and a decision was made.”

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