A U.S. Marine lieutenant colonel has been fired for his criticism of the evacuation mission.
In a viral video on Facebook, Stuart Scheller, a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Marines, called on U.S. political and military leaders to answer for the “disaster” in the evacuation flights. He was subsequently dismissed.
Major Jim Stenger, spokesman for the U.S. Navy, confirmed the dismissal in a statement, saying, “Scheller was discharged for lack of confidence in his command.”
Hundreds of people were killed in a series of attacks at the Kabul airport. Among the fatalities were 13 U.S. soldiers. Stuart Scheller, a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Marines, knew one of them personally.
He was willing to forgo his 17 years of service in the U.S. Marines to call on U.S. leaders to admit their failures in Afghanistan, the lieutenant colonel said in response to his dismissal.
“We don’t have leaders admitting their mistake and explaining that the bottom line is we didn’t do our job right,” Scheller said.
U.S. President Joe Biden has come under increasing criticism for his rapid withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan. As recently as early July, the U.S. president let it be known that it was unlikely “that the Taliban would overrun all of Afghanistan and take over the country.” This misjudgment drew plenty of criticism.
Former U.S. President Donald Trump called the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan the greatest foreign policy humiliation in U.S. history. “This was not a withdrawal. This was a total surrender,” Trump told supporters in Cullman, Alabama state.
U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell called the Biden administration’s actions in Afghanistan “a complete disaster,” saying it was a stain on the U.S. reputation. In his view, there was no reason to end the mission now.
Criticism also came from Democratic ranks. Democratic Rep. Seth Moulton spoke of a disaster: “Worse – it could have been avoided,” he said of the administration’s crisis management.