Live from Music Row Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed The Tennessee Star National Correspondent Neil McCabe to the newsmaker line to address Erik Prince’s plan, whether or not Afghanistan is worth fighting for, and the scar it will leave on America’s soul.
Leahy: On the newsmaker line, the best Washington correspondent in the country, Neil McCabe, Good morning, Neil.
McCabe: Michael, a pleasure, as always.
Leahy: So tell me you had this great exclusive with Erik Prince. He had actually a very good idea that went nowhere in terms of how to basically keep Afghanistan stable. Now we are in a debacle, perhaps the worst military disaster in modern American history.
Afghanistan has fallen to the Taliban. Eleven thousand Americans are stranded in Afghanistan, and Joe Biden is nowhere to be found. Your thoughts?
McCabe: Well, first of all, let me say that this Erik Prince plan real quickly was proposed in 2017 when the Trump administration was doing its fresh look after eight years of the Obama-Biden administration.
It had basically three lines of efforts: one, you would have mentors who are contracted, private security guys, and military veterans.
Each battalion would get one mentor that was contracted for three to four years so that instead of rotating in these guys every nine months, and every nine months you have a new coach, you would instead have one coach who would bond with you and would be with you over the long term, which would give you training and tactical stability.
You would then have air power so that if somebody was in trouble, you would have lethal airpower to give you support from the air and also metafrax, both of which the regular Afghan Army did not have.
The third thing was you would professionalize the back office that would squeeze out the corruption in logistics and the corruption in the army and the ghost soldiers.
According to Erik Prince, there are about 100,000 state soldiers on the payroll, and all of that money was being siphoned off by the generals and the political leaders all the way up to the president.
And then, of course, concurrent with this is the opportunity to develop the natural resources of Afghanistan. The U.S. Geological Survey put out a report in 2011 that said there was something like $3 trillion dollars of minerals.
Not only rare earth but like gold, oil, zinc, chromium, all of which will now be developed by the Chicoms. And the people who dismissed the Prince plan are the same people who gave us where we are now, Michael. Where you have stowaways falling off C17s and falling 10,000 feet to their death.
Leahy: Neil McCabe, what is the solution, given the terrible “leadership” of the Biden administration basically bowing to the Taliban’s strength or weakness? Where do we go from here?
McCabe: Well, I think, first of all, we had to decide, is Afghanistan important or isn’t it? If we’ve decided that Afghanistan is not important, then we have to leave. And so that’s fine.
And I think a lot of people agreed it was time to go after 20 years. It’s just nobody wanted to go out this way. I think we have to play the ball in front of us. And the ball in front of us is securing that airport and getting out the American citizens.
And I listened to National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan yesterday, who basically said, hey, get to the airport and we’ll take you out. Well, these guys can’t go to the airport.
If you’re an American citizen stopped on the street, there are gangs. What are you going to do? Show them your paperwork, show them your U.S. passport?
I wouldn’t be surprised if we very soon didn’t have a hostage situation. And what are we going to do? How are we going to find them? What are we going to do if there are 1,000 U.S. hostages held up in some mountain somewhere?
This is a situation that’s absolutely fraught with danger. Forgetting of course there’s probably another 70,000 to 100,000 people who helped us and their families. If one guy was an interpreter, he’s got a wife and four kids – that’s five people or six people.
And so we’ve got to be able to reach out into these neighborhoods where everybody’s sort of hiding. What did they tell them? Shelter in place? Okay, that’s a plan.
Carmichael: You mentioned. Jake Sullivan. I want to be sure that we’re talking about the same person. Is this the same Jake Sullivan who advised the Obama administration on Syria?
McCabe: Jake Sullivan is associated with sort of Hillary Clinton – her faction. Yes, he worked in the Obama administration. When Hillary Clinton came in as secretary of state, she brought with her Jake Sullivan.
Carmichael: He was involved in the debacle in Syria. That’s that same Jake Sullivan. Was he the same Jake Sullivan that advised on how we should handle Libya, Ukraine, Iran? How is somebody who has a track record that bad still there giving advice?
McCabe: This country is run by the media. The media is more important than the government, and the media has covered for these guys. They have run point for these guys. They run damage control and fire brigade on these guys.
And they foisted them up upon us, and they keep telling us that they’re geniuses. However, I saw for the first time over the weekend, the media is no longer covering for Biden.
And I listened to CNN and I listened to MSNBC. I call it monitoring an enemy broadcast. And for the first time I heard people, whenever they tried to blame Trump, it was the host would say, no, no, no, this is not on Trump. This is Biden.
And I think that you’re seeing in the polls a horrific drop in Biden’s approval ratings. And I think Democrats are even in more trouble.
Like a month ago, Mahoney, who’s the head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, had a private meeting with House Democrats and said if the election was held today, we would lose control of the house. A month ago.
Leahy: Neil McCabe, put on your crystal ball. Look into your crystal ball. One month from today, where is the Afghanistan situation likely to be?
McCabe: I think the mission is declared over. And we will be attempting to negotiate the release of the transfer of whoever is left. But I really believe that they’re going to pull the plug on this thing on August 31st.
Leahy: And so they’re going to leave thousands of Americans behind as potential hostages. Is that right?
McCabe: Well, I think what you heard Jake Sullivan say was we told them to leave a month ago. The reality, Mike, is that you’d have to send in a division. We’re sending in battalions at a time.
Battalions are 800 to 1,000 guys. Brigades are say, three to 5,000 guys. A division is 20,000. You need a division to go in there and literally retake the city. And then what about all the Americans who are stuck in all the provinces?
I mean, it’s a Herculean task. And I don’t know if this administration’s ready to pull it off. I mean, I don’t know what to do.
Leahy: Ten years from today, Neil McCabe, how bad will this have hurt the United States?
McCabe: It’s a scar that will never heal. And this is Biden’s Katrina. There is no way he flips it. He turns it. Flanks it. (Inaudible talk) It is going to leave an indelible mark on our soul. What has happened in Afghanistan is worse than Saigon.
Carmichael: That’s a huge point. This will ultimately be much worse than Saigon.
Leahy: On that cheery note, Neil McCabe, thank you so much for joining us. Come back again next Wednesday.
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