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wishing we
were congress

long story w video at link


Tyler Vargas-Andrews, a sergeant in the United States Marines, was in Kabul as the Biden administration's haphazard withdrawal took place. He was at Hamid Karzai International Airport (HKIA) watching the chaos unfold, and he was one of the hundreds of individual wounded when a suicide bomber attacked one of the airport's gates where hundreds of individuals were waiting to be screened for evacuation.

In an emotional opening statement to the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday, Vargas-Andrews told his story, one that the Biden administration never highlighted and Democrats in Congress apparently didn't want on the record.

On August 26, 2021, Vargas-Andrews was in position at HKIA when he noticed suspicious individuals outside the gate to the airport as thousands of people were attempting to flee Afghanistan as it fell to the Taliban, fearful for the future and what retribution anyone who'd helped American forces over the previous twenty years would face.

"I requested engagement authority when my team leader was ready on the M110 Semi-Automatic Sniper System," Vargas-Andrews said, testifying in his personal capacity. "The response: leadership did not have the engagement authority for us — do not engage."

much much more at link
Posts: 18650 | Registered: July 21, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Step by step walk the thousand mile road
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I watched part of his testimony.

It was an emotional experience.

Nice is overrated

"It's every freedom-loving individual's duty to lie to the government."
Airsoftguy, June 29, 2018
Posts: 30717 | Location: Loudoun County, Virginia | Registered: May 17, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
His Royal Hiney
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Originally posted by Sig2340:
I watched part of his testimony.

It was an emotional experience.

That's going to gnaw at his consciousness till the day he dies. I hope and pray he overcomes.

"It did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us. We needed to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead to think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life – daily and hourly. Our answer must consist not in talk and meditation, but in right action and in right conduct. Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual." Viktor Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning, 1946.
Posts: 18843 | Location: The Free State of Arizona - Ditat Deus | Registered: March 24, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Very powerful testimony.

Posts: 4430 | Registered: December 27, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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But will anything come of it ?
Posts: 3309 | Location: Down in Louisiana . | Registered: February 27, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Legalize the Constitution
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I watched an 8:30 minute long video of his testimony that fleshes out the story better than the shorter versions available (including the C-Span video). One of the many Marines in the Forum will correct me if I get too far out of my lane, but…

I was given a small book several years ago called, Warfighting; The U.S. Marine Corps Book of Strategy, originally published in 1994. When describing USMC tactics in “The Conduct of War,” the Corps’ concept for winning is described as “maneuver warfare.” Maneuvering in both space and time to gain a faster operational tempo than the enemy. Here the Marines credit Air Force Col. John Boyd and his OODA Loop treatise on combat. The USMC’s philosophy of command states that to support combat operations, “in order to generate the tempo of operations we desire to best cope with the uncertainty, disorder, and fluidity of combat, command must be decentralized.”

Sgt. Vargas-Andrews emotional testimony describes in detail how far the Marine Corps, indeed the entire U.S. military has moved from decentralized command. Maybe more are to blame than Joe Biden, but I think it is especially bad under this President. Vargas-Andrews and his teammate called a LtCol to their tower/OP and even that rank of officer couldn’t approve them engaging. I worked through the Obama years and distinctly remember how many decisions that should have been made at the National Forest level had to be run up all the way to Washington.

The Biden Administration withdrawal from Afghanistan was a disgraceful embarrassment for this country; I hope that someday, even if only in the form of very public condemnation, ALL of those responsible will feel some share of the hurt and anger Sgt. Vargas-Andrews feels.

despite them
Posts: 12419 | Location: Wyoming | Registered: January 10, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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There have been literally countless incidents throughout military history in which junior members wanted to do something that seemed obvious to them, but hesitancy by senior commanders resulted in costly outcomes. That doesn’t make such hesitancy due to whatever reason, including just communication problems, right, and in fact the more commonly a problem is not addressed and corrected, the less excusable it is. Unfortunately, problems remain common for reasons, and because those reasons are unlikely to go away by themselves, they will continue to remain common.

As for this specific incident in which a sniper couldn’t get permission to fire when it was obviously appropriate and justified isn’t limited to military situations. There have been many incidents in which law enforcement snipers couldn’t get or were denied permission to take what would have been a righteous shot. In one of the recent mass murders at a school events, an officer reportedly saw the killer approaching the school with a long gun and after having fired shots at other people earlier. But because the officer didn’t get permission that he was evidently required to request, he didn’t shoot and many victims were killed after the murderer disappeared from sight. Other hostages have been killed because of a, “Don’t shoot before I get there,” order from a responding supervisor. There is a widespread belief among LE snipers that they should be able to make their own decisions based on normal deadly force employment rules, but often times snipers are (inexplicably) held to tighter rules of engagement than other LE officers.

As for this one, would a Marine on Guadalcanal have been required to get permission to shoot an armed Japanese soldier approaching his position?

None of that makes what happened in the this incident right, but hopefully the individual concerned will recognize and accept that at some point it’s necessary to let the blame settle where it belongs and move on with one’s own life.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: sigfreund,

Posts: 46662 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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