The images are already splashed all over the media: an Air Force C-17 Globemaster III rolling down the taxiway of Kabul’s airport while Afghan civilians run alongside it. Views cut to civilians clinging on to the wheel well doors, then long-distance shots of bodies falling from the ascending jet. Still shots all over the news and social medial show the interior of that jet, packed with people.

Where was the failure of communication that led to those civilians being on that taxiway? The pilot is being hailed as a hero — in the media. He made a decision that (probably) saved hundreds of lives. That decision also cost lives; how many is unknown. That aircraft commander should not have been made to make that call.


Air Force Central Command Is Silent

Air Forces Central Command’s (AFCENT) official news page is silent today regarding this infamous flight. News sources around the world still have the videos and photographs front and center. According to numerous sources, the C-17, callsign Reach 871, made an emergency landing at Al Udeid Air Base, near Doha, Qatar. Those sources also say that human remains were found in the wheel well of that C-17, and an investigation is underway.


White House Briefing

The White House held a press briefing on August 17 with Press Secretary Jen Psaki and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan. Sullivan stated,

“When you conclude 20 years of military action in a civil war in another country with the impacts of 20 years of decisions that have piled up, you have to make a lot of hard calls, none with clean outcomes. What you can do is plan for all contingencies.  We did that.”

Sorry, Jake, but what “contingency planning” led to the scenes on Kabul’s airport on Monday?