Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller, the company commander for Advanced Infantry Training Battalion in Camp Lejeune, publicly voiced the frustration many in the military and veteran communities are feeling in the aftermath of the Taliban retaking Afghanistan and the botched evacuations at Hamid Karzai International Airport that has now resulted in the deaths of at least 13 service members.
Scheller noted he started his 17-year career as an infantryman with a unit that is currently conducting security at the airport in Kabul and knows one of the Marines who was killed in action on Thursday.
"I'm making [this video] because I have a growing discontent and contempt for my perceived ineptitude at the foreign policy level and I want to specifically ask some questions for my senior leaders," Scheller said, adding he knows the risk of publicly calling out senior leadership.
Scheller namechecked Commandant of the Marine Corps General David Berger, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, and U.S. Central Command Commander General Kenneth McKenzie.
"The reason people are so upset on social media right now is not because the Marine on the battlefield let someone down...people are upset because their senior leaders let them down and none of them are raising their hands and accepting accountability or saying, 'We messed this up,'" Scheller said.
"I'm not saying we've got to be in Afghanistan forever, but I am saying: Did any of you throw your rank on the table and say 'Hey, it’s a bad idea to evacuate Bagram Airfield, a strategic airbase, before we evacuate everyone,'" Scheller asked. "Did anyone do that? And when you didn’t think to do that, did anyone raise their hand and say 'We completely messed this up.'"
"I want to say this very strongly: I have been fighting for 17 years. I am willing to throw it all away to say to my senior leaders 'I demand accountability,'" Scheller concluded.
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