Things will get more hairy, not less

The MarineTimes announced last week something I hadn’t pondered in quite a few years. Namely, that as Army and Marine ground troops begin to exit the Afghan theater, our air support will continue for Afghan forces.

This should have been obvious to me since there is no real Afghan air force, but I hadn’t considered it.  As a ground pounder who likes to roll with full-powered weapons and plenty of friends, there’s nothing that scares me more than imagining a single pilot who’s shot down in enemy territory, hiding out with nothing but a pistol and radio. Remember Capt. Scott O’Grady getting shot down in Bosnia?

I hope our military and civilian leaders are thinking about this as we withdraw our forces. We need a quick react team ready to go, and a much larger ground element ready to insert to reinforce them if things get too nasty.

The last thing I want to see is another American get publicly beheaded on some grainy, amateur home video. Remember Daniel Pearl?  And he didn’t even fly a jet.

Having said all this, I still want us to leave. Sooner, rather than later.

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.

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