Then-82nd Airborne Commander Major General Chris Donahue renowned as the last US soldier to leave Afghanistan during the military withdrawal of August 2021, almost didn’t make it out and was saved from a car bomb explosion by his friends, thousands of miles away in Tel Aviv, News12 reported last week.
The last convoy of American fighters was on its way to Kabul airport surrounded by the chaos of the Taliban takeover of the Afghani capital. It was a race against time as Taliban fighters were tailing the Americans and shooting at them, trying to exact a final price from America.
Israeli intelligence officers received credible information that a car bomb driven by an ISIS operative was already on its way to meet the convoy. Taliban operatives were about to catch up with the Marines and detonate a charge of hundreds of kilograms of explosives. IDF Intelligence maintains a direct channel to the Central Command of the US Army and told their colleagues there what the convoy had to do to escape a raging inferno.
The American soldiers were able to change their route and escape the attack at the very last minute. Another US unit was not so lucky: an ISIS explosive device killed 13 American soldiers in another part of Kabul, just before they boarded the planes to go home.
The withdrawal from Afghanistan in August 2021 is remembered around the world for its images of crowds of desperate Afghans at the Kabul airport, begging for their lives, chasing US Air Force planes and hanging on their wings as they off, some falling to their deaths. The suicide bomb that killed 13 American servicemen was just one more terrifying event in a day that lives in infamy. Now it appears things could have gone even worse, had the Taliban been able to murder hundreds of American Marines on their last day in Kabul.
President Joe Biden’s approval rating dropped that day and never came back. The chaotic withdrawal was one part of a trifecta that included Covid-19 and an emerging inflation.
On Feb. 17, the US Senate named Maj. Gen. Donahueto command the 18th Airborne Corps.