After 20 years of American involvement in Afghanistan, with trillions of dollars spent on preparing the Afghan people for self-government under a constitutionally formed government, it was all lost in less than a week.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin called the “lack of resistance” on the part of the Afghan army that America trained for 20 years “extremely disconcerting,” according to CNN. “They had all the advantages, they had 20 years of training by our coalition forces, a modern air force, good equipment and weapons,” he said. “But you can’t buy will and you can’t purchase leadership. And that’s really what was missing in this situation.”
Did our military leaders lie about the number and readiness of the Afghan forces? It wouldn’t surprise me. War is big business. The Military-Industrial Complex has long tentacles and a voracious appetite and there are a lot of members of Congress that like to feed it.
Together, with our NATO Allies and partners, we have trained and equipped … nearly 300,000 current serving members of the military — of the Afghan National Security Force, and many beyond that who are no longer serving. Add to that, hundreds of thousands more Afghan National Defense and Security Forces trained over the last two decades.
We provided our Afghan partners with all the tools — let me emphasize: all the tools, training, and equipment of any modern military. We provided advanced weaponry. And we’re going to continue to provide funding and equipment. And we’ll ensure they have the capacity to maintain their air force.
The Afghan forces suffered many losses during the 20-year occupation, many more casualties than the Americans — a tragedy for everyone. So how did the Taliban gain control so quickly? “The White House acknowledged … that the Taliban had amassed a significant amount of US military equipment after seizing control of Afghanistan following two decades of war with American forces.” Big deal. It’s not their money. C’est la vie. “That’s life.” Twenty years should have been an ample amount of time to demonstrate that we never belonged there. The majority of Afghans want to be Afghans. We should have hunted down Osama Bin Laden and his accomplices after 9–11, taken them out, and returned home. If we had decided to stay, we should have brought in world-and-life-view Christian missionaries and teachers. In 20 years, Afghanistan would have been transformed. If our government can control our schools, why can’t we control the schools in other countries? I’m only half kidding.
There’s a lesson here for the United States and the formerly Christian West. Steve Deace cuts through the mumbo-jumbo of woke ideology and high flying secular intentions to make Frankenstein’s monster live the good life:
They didn’t stand and fight. We gave them a 20-year head start in training and several trillions of dollars. But when the bullets started flying they fled, just as the trillions we invested in the welfare state trained a generation of men to abandon their women and children, too. We willfully nuked our families domestically and called it progress, so we shouldn’t be surprised we couldn’t adequately inspire a foreign culture to defend theirs. Seeing troves of young Afghani men of fighting age trample each other, while trying to reach that final suckling spot on the American nipple, is the climactic scene of two-decades of failure theater.
The point is worldviews matter. Our Constitution does not work everywhere. It can’t work everywhere. It’s beginning not to work in the United States. “We the people…” is not a good foundation for a stable, moral, and just civil government. Americanism is not what it used to be, and even if it was, it would not be enough to fix what’s wrong with much of the world.
At the close of the Constitutional Convention, a woman is said to have asked Benjamin Franklin what type of government the Constitution established. The story goes that Franklin replied, “A republic, if you can keep it.” Whether or not the story is true, Article IV, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution includes the following directive: “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government.” In a republican form of government, authority is derived through the election of two Senators from 50 different states and 435 state-wide districts. These elected representatives are bound contractually by oath to uphold the principles outlined in the Constitution. But bound by whom? They have a duty to protect the inherent rights of the citizenry. There is no divine right of kings or monarchical succession in a republican form of government. The attitude toward the law is the administration of justice in accord with fixed moral principles and established evidence with strict regard to consequences.
A republican form of government avoids the dangerous extremes of either autocracy or pure democracy. The word “democracy” does not appear anywhere in the Constitution.
Many assume that republicanism as a form of government has worked well in America and that it should have equal success elsewhere. The belief is that governmental forms are
considered to be more important than ideology, worldview, and character. This has not proved to be true. Consider Bolivia. An attempt was made to govern this South American nation using our Constitution. Simon Bolivar (1783–1830), who has been described as the “George Washington of South America,” died an “exhausted and disillusioned idealist” because of the character of the ungovernable people. He understood that ideas and character matter as well as governmental forms. The people and elected officials must be willing to be governed by republican principles and follow fixed moral standards. Some months before his death Bolivar wrote:
There is no good faith in [Latin] America, nor among the nations of [Latin] America. Treaties are scraps of paper; constitutions, printed matter; elections, battles; freedom, anarchy; and life a torment.
A republican form of government is not perfect since imperfect people rule and are ruled.
It is considered to be the best form of government because it takes into account the sinful nature of men and women by checking and balancing power and authority which has the effect of diminishing the threat that any one branch of government or the people generally will dominate the nation politically.
Deace agrees that our system of government that was birthed at a time when the consensus, even among those enamored with the Enlightenment, was based on a biblical view of human nature and limited governmental power and authority:
We thought our way of life was a plug-and-play system. We had abandoned things like God-given rights (which means we first have to acknowledge who actually is God) that were our cornerstones and replaced them with democracy as mere process. A process that we could just export, fill in the blanks with native tongue, and the natives would then take it from there. The Judeo-Christian theologies have long wrestled with the extents of free will.
We still have “In God We Trust” as our motto, but the definition of God has changed. Government has become our God.
Restoring the Foundation of Civilization
There are many Christians who will not participate in civilization-building efforts that include economics, journalism, politics, education, and science because they believe (or have been taught to believe) these areas of thought are outside the realm of what constitutes a Christian worldview. Nothing could be further from the truth.