Lessons of Kabul. Let’s Learn Some This Time

I was a young army lieutenant on May 1, 1975. I remember it well. We had just started the day with the usual morning formation after which the sergeants took charge to have the troops clean the barracks and perform other routine duties at our base in West Germany. Satisfied that the normal duties of a normal day were well underway, I stopped by our mess hall to grab a cup of coffee. But upon entering, it was quickly obvious this was not a normal day.

Unusually, seated around one of the mess hall’s large circular tables were about a half dozen or so of…