Updates on Afghanistan
Tuesday, we discussed the turning over of Afghanistan to Taliban forces, those, along with Al Qaeda, responsible for 9/11. This happened very quickly and left America and most of the rest of the world stunned. It has been described in a number of news sources as the greatest intelligence failure in our history. Others believe our intelligence sources weren’t wrong, just ignored.
“David Grantham, a national security expert, senior fellow at the Center for a Secure Free Society, and former officer in the Air Force, said the turmoil in Afghanistan is a stain on the U.S. Military, the intelligence community, and the Biden administration.”(1)
“Grantham noted that there was “surprisingly little violence amid the takeover, and the speed at which it was executed tells me the Taliban had plenty of provincial leaders in their pocket or had negotiated their stand down prior to their invasion.
“‘The fact that the intelligence community didn’t know these circumstances, or that the Biden administration ignored those warnings, is the greatest failure I’ve seen in my lifetime,’ he said.
“National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told ABC News on Sunday that Biden ‘did not think it was inevitable that the Taliban were going to take control of Afghanistan.
“‘He thought the Afghan National Security Forces could step up and fight because we spent 20 years, tens of billions of dollars training them, giving them the best equipment, giving them support of U.S. forces for 20 years,’ Sullivan said. ‘And when push came to shove, they decided not to step up and fight for their country.’
“But Schmidt noted that the Pentagon did provide warnings about what could go wrong if the U.S. pulled troops out too quickly.
“‘There are plenty of people who said this thing can go south within a week,’ he said.
“Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., tweeted that the Biden administration ‘was specifically told Afghan forces would surrender faster than our ability to exit.’
“‘They decided to ignore these warnings and smugly tell everyone how smart and brilliant they are.’ Rubio wrote.”(2)
“Rep. Kat Cammack, R-Fla., issued a statement saying White House bureaucrats should be ‘ashamed.’
“While on a Sunday call hosted by Secretary of State Blinken, General Milley, and Secretary of Defense Austin, Cammack said all three officials reiterated ‘more than six times’ that the U.S. was ‘engaging in an orderly and safe withdrawal’ and has ‘planned for all contingencies.’
“She said they noted that the Taliban ‘isn’t in Kabul’ and ‘cut off questions from members, leaving us with few - or no - answers.’”(3)
Though the cost of this unconscionable decision, in terms of human life and America’s ability to lead the world, are incalculable, it will be seen as one of the most foolish and despicable decisions ever made by a world ruler.
Life is precious and to be protected. With the handover of Afghanistan, we have dishonored the immeasurable value of 2448 Americans, over fifty thousand Afghans, and other coalition lives since 2001. The current sweep of the Taliban through the country, taking city after city, has also resulted in a loss of lives. This will now escalate. People are being slaughtered. Christian missionaries and other religious groups know they will not be safe under Taliban rule. Martyrdom is already occurring. In a confidential email I received, a leader shared:
“Pray for the local believers who are now under immense pressure. If the Taliban finds out that they are believers, they will definitely kill them and possibly torture them to get more information about others. Pray also for us for wisdom and how to deal with our local staff and local believers we are in contact with.”
Spiritually speaking, we may be watching the closing of a significant door to a harvest field. Operation World says Afghanistan has the second-fastest-growing “church” in the world, right behind Iran.(4) In fact, The Gospel Coalition says, “Afghans are being reached in large part by Iranians.”(5) Many American missionaries have also been working there to bring Christ to Afghanistan. We must pray that just as occurred in China, the persecution causes even further growth in the number of salvations. A number of Christian media organizations are broadcasting the gospel daily into this desperate country.
Our U.S. military leaders helped create this debacle - at least they are “woke” and teaching our soldiers socialism’s Critical Race Theory. Our honorable soldiers are working hard to get as many of our citizens out of the country now as quickly as they can. “Some 6,000 U.S. troops are expected in Kabul with the objective of keeping the airport open to achieve that goal.”(6) There has been some confusion over how many Americans are still in Afghanistan. Earlier this week, Biden’s spokesperson said 11,000. There are also huge challenges for people trying to get to the main airport in Kabul. Taliban forces and protestors are blocking the way in and some, sadly, have had to turn back. Our government is saying they can fly them out, but can’t help them get to the airport: “Top Pentagon officials said Wednesday that the U.S.military does not ‘have the capability’ to retrieve all Americans who have been unable to reach the U.S.-secured airfield in Kabul.”(7) In a confidential email I received, one Christian humanitarian organization working in the country said, “The Taliban are all over the city and have started to already search through the houses. They have also been at our office and accommodations of our expats. They are checking everybody who wants to go into the airport.”
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin vowed, “We’re going to get everyone that we can possibly evacuate, evacuated. And I’ll do that as long as we possibly can until the clock runs out or we run out of capability.”(8) The U.S. government says they will try to get all citizens out of the country by August 31st. We will not be able to extricate all Afghan citizens who helped us in the war. They are in great peril now under Taliban rule. These are matters for continued prayer.
Military Bases to House Afghan Refugees
Fox News has obtained documents showing the U.S. government is planning to house up to 30,000 Afghan refugees on military bases. “The bases include Fort McCoy in Wisconsin, and Fort Bliss in Texas.”(9) Some churches are already planning how they might support government efforts and assist the refugees when they arrive.
China and Russia See an Opportunity
With Afghanistan being given to the Taliban, they and others in the world see this as a defeat of America. Our geo-political rivals, Russia and China, are looking at how they can take advantage of the situation. The Financial Times quotes Zhu Yongbiao, a Chinese government adviser on central Asia as saying:
“China has benefited from the irresponsible behavior of [the US], which has deeply undermined the international image of the US and the relationship between Washington and its allies.
“Arkady Dubnov, a political analyst and central Asia expert in Moscow had a similar take, ‘We can align our interests [with China] in opposing the US. What is good for us is bad for Americans, what’s bad for us is good for Americans. Today the situation is bad for Americans and so it is good for us.’”(10)
Both countries will now be bolder. Pray for Taiwan, Ukraine, and other places that are now in great danger. China and Russia will also support the Taliban government and look for other ways to benefit from the change in leadership there. Terriorism, curbed somewhat for the last 20 years, is now, once again, unbridled and armed with billions of dollars worth of U.S. weapons, drones, etc. The ultimate victory for them will be using them on us.
Pray with me:
Father, we repent for the sins of our leaders. We ask You to forgive America for broken promises and hardened hearts toward people in Afghanistan. Forgive us for the lies of our leaders. Forgive us for electing ungodly, dishonorable leaders to rule our nation, and for allowing those not truly elected to rule. Corruption abounds in our government. Please forgive us and deliver us.
Father, situations on the earth seem hopeless but this isn’t true. We can ask You for miracles and we can expect them. We pray for our brothers and sisters in Afghanistan. We pray for American citizens, government workers, missionaries, and those who supported our military efforts. Extend Your grace to them, Lord. Hide them from those who would harm them. For the Afghans who come here, give government and civic leaders plans that work well. May all who come, Christian or not, find the love of Christ in America.
And Father, we ask for the great harvest of souls in Afghanistan and Iran to continue. We ask for it to be many millions - a stunning revival. We ask for this in other nations, as well. Push back the evil forces of darkness and open the heavens to the light of Your revelation. May Your angel armies be released to war aggressively against the evil powers! Lord of Angel armies, dispatch them to battle! Show Yourself strong!
Please continue exposing the evil in our government. And please send America the greatest revival in our history. May it be exceeding abundantly beyond what we could even ask or think! We ask these things in the matchless name of Jesus, amen.
The harvest will continue in Afghanistan! The zeal of the Lord of hosts will see to this!
Click on the link below to watch the full prayer.