Updated: Aug 18, 2021
We defeated the enemy in Afghanistan. We killed or captured the terrorists who planned, plotted, or aided in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. We killed the ringleader, Usama bin Laden. We disrupted the terrorists’ camps where they plotted and trained. We dislodged the Taliban government that aided and abetted bin Laden.
We just don’t know how to appreciate a good thing. A big part of our foreign policy failures is not knowing when and how to declare victory. So, why not a parade? Bring the troops home and declare the victory that should have been declared years ago.
The only reason victory is elusive in Afghanistan is that presidents continue to have an impossible definition of victory. If victory is creating a nation where no real nation has ever existed, then no victory will ever occur. Sen. Rand Paul (Op-Ed 2018)
Having served in Afghanistan on two different deployments for a total of sixteen months, and another year in Iraq, I have mixed emotions about watching the utterly humiliating collapse of the military/diplomatic/ humanitarian mission there, and our Saigon-2.0 exit from the embassy and airport.
Even on my first tour of duty back in 2008, I personally believed we never should have gone there. Why? My main reason was exactly what the good senator from Kentucky echoed above. We had never defined what victory should look like. We didn’t do the things necessary to actually win the war, therefore, the war was never designed to be won. IF we had been serious about winning the war, we would have:
1) Give a 24-hour notice to evacuate the cities, then begin a non-stop air campaign dropping nothing but GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) bombs all over Afghanistan until we got an unconditional surrender from the Taliban
2) Next, (simultaneous to #1) we should have destroyed the Jihadist's safe havens in the Waziristan Region (north and south) inside Pakistan by the same air campaign (see point#1)
3) Then we should have ensured that all of the poppy fields in Afghanistan were destroyed (i.e., the Taliban’s main source of income)
4) Reconstruction efforts would be contingent upon unconditional surrender, and would thus require a multi-national recovery, but would require the Afghanis to a) rebuild their own country with only limited engineering and architectural oversight from the US b) create new farming and agricultural efforts c) create a government that was representative of all the country's minority ethnic tribes
Alas, we never did any of those things. If we had done those things then, we would never have gone into Afghanistan. What we did instead, was create an unwinnable forever war. Although I don’t pin all of this on The Dementia Kid (TDK) Joe Biden; Obama, and GW Bush also share in the blame for perpetuating the sunk-cost fallacy and the mishandling of operations there and elsewhere.
In hindsight, I suppose most of the blame should lay on the globalist G.W. Bush for this debacle. Shortly after 9/11, we had enough global support and justification to turn most of Afghanistan, and North and South Waziristan, and other key enemy locations into parking lots. Again, we squandered that in favor of two ill-planned, Middle East land wars.
I leave out President Trump primarily because he understood a long time ago what a waste of time and resources our mission in Afghanistan was. You can google quotes by him going back to at least 2011, and he had always been against this ‘forever war’ the military-industrial complex and the war hawk neocons had been propagating. Perhaps now you understand why the senior pentagon brass and the deep state despised Trump as much as they did. He was about to take away their personal slush fund.
Trump understood, from a very pragmatic perspective, how futile it was to attempt to change the culture in Afghanistan without actually changing the things that make that culture the way it is. Had he stayed in office, we would have still seen an American withdrawal from the Afghan theater, however, I’m willing to bet my life savings it would have looked a whole lot different than what we are seeing now. He’s also the only president to walk away with a realistic and comprehensive normalization peace deal (Abraham Accords) involving Israel and numerous Muslim Arab nations.
Key Facts (courtesy Associated Press)
US Afghanistan War
Longest war: 20 years
US Military Deaths: 2,448
US Military Wounded: 20,719
US Contractor Deaths: 3,846
Direct Costs: $2 Trillion
Costs to 2050: $6.5 Trillion
As many prophecy teachers have already alluded to, Afghanistan does have a role to play in last days events. We read in Ezekiel 38-39 of a coalition led by Gog, from the land of Magog. This coalition is made up of both Sunni and Shia fighters and involves a multitude of nations not connected (geographically) to the land of Israel.
The nations include Russia, Turkey, Iran, Libya (Put), Sudan (Cush), and “many peoples with you” (vs. 38:6). It should be noted that the nations of Afghanistan and the other “Stan” countries are also part of this “many peoples.” This includes the former Soviet-bloc satellite nations (who are Muslim-majority) like Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Kyrgyzstan. These will also come with Gog to descend upon tiny Israel. Their supernatural defeat by God almighty will signal the end of Islam, as well as the end of the anti-globalist sentiment.
Watching the heartbreaking video clips of desperate Afghanis storming the tarmac at the Kabul International Airport, and of them clinging to the sides of the US Air Force C17 “Globe Master” cargo planes attempting to take off, reminds me of another coming crisis. They stormed the airport and clung to the sides of the planes because they know what kind of government the Taliban will bring. They desperately want to escape from the homicidal government that is about to come. Would the world be cognizant of the final global government that is to come?
Well, the world is quickly heading toward a governmental system that will make the Taliban look like Carter Administration. Revelation 13 outlines a new global system that will initially begin as either 10 regions or 10 nations, and from them, one arises who takes over the whole thing. This man is the Antichrist, and he, along with his religious henchman, the False Prophet, will quickly take control of the entire world. They will do this through the use of supernatural power, advanced technology, powerful delusions, and some new form of digital currency.
There will be no more Islam or Hinduism. There will be no Roman Catholicism or Buddhism. This new government will demand 100% allegiance to them on the pain of death. They will either erect or take control of giant images around the world and make everyone bow down and worship them. Furthermore, you must take this mark of allegiance to this new system, or you either starve to death or be beheaded. And the only escape from this coming world government will be to leave the earth before it comes to power. Although many people know this time as “the Tribulation,” its actual title is the 70th Week of Daniel (Dan. 9:24-27) and it is the final remaining week of years that must come to pass.
Jesus said that this period was so dreadful that if He didn’t come back and personally intervene, no flesh would survive. In fact, He said it was the worst period of time that has ever, or will ever be (Matt. 24:21-22). This is what is coming upon the earth. And we are, even now, starting to get glimpses of it foreshadowing into our day with the draconian COVID lockdowns and mandatory dictates from the governments around the world. While the vaccines and the vaccine passport isn’t The Mark, it does however prefigure the same mandatory obedience to the state that the Mark of the Beast will one day require (Rev. 13:16-18)
I’ve been writing about the collapse of the United States for many years now. For the record, I’m not a doom-&-gloom / glass is half empty kind of teacher because I want it to happen. I am simply a biblical realist, and because of that, I know it has to happen in order for the end to come. Among the many signs of our impending national demise, this abandonment of Afghanistan (in the manner it has happened) is one of the clearest signs of the end of American global hegemony.
Nonetheless, as our national end begins to happen, I can’t help but wonder how much of it we (the Church) will have to endure before our deliverance? One could argue that for most of the past two thousand years, human suffering and misery were the global norms, and in our collapse, we are just returning back to the normal state of affairs.
Clearly, the United States has been blessed far beyond any nation before her and has brought our standard of living and leisure to unmatched heights. Also clearly, the US has spiritually abrogated this spiritual blessing by committing mass infanticide (legalizing abortion), anti-Israel actions (Clinton, Obama, Biden), and legalized sexual perversity as the new normal.
We were the exception to the norm by almost every measure. Now, we are not only a Genesis 6 generation (wicked only continually, great violence, and tampering with genetics), but we are also a Judges 21:25 culture. Every man is doing what was right in his own eyes.
Be that as it may, Jesus said that these last days would be like that of Noah and Lot. Everyone would be eating, drinking, marrying, and giving in marriage (Luke 17:26-27) up until the point where they were all destroyed. There is a sense in this statement of a Daniel 5/Belshazzar’s Feast in this sentiment in that this judgment will catch everyone unawares. Paul, writing to the church, echoes a similar thought in 1st Thessalonians 5:1-5.
But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. (emphasis mine)
There is a clear distinction between you (the church) and they (not the church) and what befalls them. They shall not escape. Well, if they shall not escape, then what shall we do?
Jesus, speaking in Luke’s version of the Olivet Discourse has this to say to those who will see the “day of the Lord” approaching.
For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man. Luke 21:35-36
But these were not the final words Jesus had to say on the subject. Speaking many years later to John in the Revelation) He said this:
To the Church of Sardis
Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you. Rev. 3:3
Note the warning wasn’t that He wouldn’t deliver them, but that this deliverance would catch them by surprise. This is a violation of what Paul had told the Thessalonians about being “sons of the day” and “sons of the light,” by watching for His return. I am assuming here, but it looks like those who refuse to watch for Christ’s return, will not only suffer some divine "shock and awe" when they are suddenly snatched up but also a great loss of reward when they get to the Bema Judgment.
Lastly, to the Church of Philadelphia
Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. Rev. 3:10
Jesus stated in Luke 21 that this “snare” would come upon all who dwell on the earth. In Revelation 3:10, Jesus reiterates this also by distinguishing those who are being kept from the “hour of trial” and those who still “dwell on the earth” (those not being kept from the hour of trial).
The Bible is crystal clear that the Church will be “caught up” to meet the Lord in the air before the start of the 70th Week of Daniel (the hour of trial). The 70th Week begins with a covenant being confirmed between the Antichrist and the many (Dan. 9:27). What this covenant is exactly, or who the Antichrist is, we don’t know. His identity will not be confirmed until after the Restrainer (the Holy Spirit indwelling the Churches) is removed (2 Thess. 2:7-8). There is then a period of time between the Rapture and the official start of the 70th Week known as "the gap" and however long it ends up being, is anyone's guess. Nevertheless, our deliverance (the Rapture), at a minimum, must come before the 70th Week.
Lastly, the Rapture seems to capture the world unawares. Should the US collapse prior to the Rapture, the old world order will come completely unhinged as China, Iran, and Russia make land grabs by military force to reclaim territories they think belong to them (i.e., Taiwan, Iraq, and Ukraine). This will trigger massive migrations of desperate populations to other nations further stressing those nations. The global economy will begin collapsing as currencies around the world begin to fail. This will trigger a massive spike in crime, violence, and widespread lawlessness. The last thing people will be thinking about doing after an American collapse is eating, drinking, and marrying.
But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. Luke 21:34
In terms of fairness and whether or not American Christians should or shouldn’t go through some unmitigated catastrophe (such as an American collapse) prior to the Rapture just because the rest of the world has had it harder, I don't think it has anything to do with us in that regard. The Rapture will happen regardless of who is at the top of the geopolitical pyramid. And it will catch those Christians who refuse to watch unaware, thus, fulfilling Paul and Jesus’ warnings. Just as the Rapture doesn't trigger the 70th Week, it will, however, trigger the conditions on the ground (global chaos) that get the world moving in that direction.
Jesus is coming back soon. Don't be like those desperate people rushing to the airport tarmac, clinging to the sides of planes trying to escape the chaos. Today is the day of salvation! Get your seat reserved now, today, free of charge, and I promise you will not be left behind.
A – ADMIT (Acknowledge) Admit honestly to God that you have sinned and disobeyed Him.
Romans 3:23 – “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”
Romans 6:23 – “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Isaiah 53:6 – “All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.”
James 2:10 – “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.”
Romans 3:10 – “as it is written, ‘There is none righteous, not even one’”
John 16:8 – "And He (the Spirit), when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment”
II Corinthians 7:10 – “For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.”
B – BELIEVE (Trust) Believe that Jesus died on the cross and rose again. His blood was shed to pay for your sins.
I Corinthians 15:3-4 – “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures”
Romans 5:8 – “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
Ephesians 2:8-9 – “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
C – CHOOSE (CONFESS) Choose to trust Jesus alone for the forgiveness of your sins.
Romans 10:13 – “for ‘Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.’”
John 3:18 – “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God”.
Acts 3:19 – “Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord”
Romans 10:9-10 “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved”
Conclusion: We can count on Him to keep His promises. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:9