Author Topic: Afghanistan  (Read 31976 times)

rightleft22

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Re: Afghanistan
« Reply #50 on: August 17, 2021, 11:09:34 AM »
From my perspective its the generals and intelligence experts that have been wrong time and again across 4 administrations.

Funny sad then that the media in general keep going to them for their perspective on things. Only a few have acknowledge how badly they got things.

Fenring

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Re: Afghanistan
« Reply #51 on: August 17, 2021, 11:18:12 AM »
Until you come up with hard evidence about who the Afghani want in charge, I suggest you stop making grand statements about what they really want.

Not even sure how you could achieve an objective assessment of this. Interview someone there, they'll be afraid of reprisals based on what they say. Tell them no one will hear, they'll assume they can. And even if they knew they were alone, they've been conditioned already. And who's to say they are even aware what they 'want', if you're being technical. Maybe they will repeat what they've been taught to say, and can't process the idea of "if the world could be made how you want, how would that be?"

I'm sure some people are ok just saying what they think, but I think broadly it's going to be tough to get a straight answer that you can accept at face value, to make conclusions like 'they want the Taliban there.'

NobleHunter

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Re: Afghanistan
« Reply #52 on: August 17, 2021, 11:24:14 AM »
Not even sure how you could achieve an objective assessment of this. Interview someone there, they'll be afraid of reprisals based on what they say. Tell them no one will hear, they'll assume they can. And even if they knew they were alone, they've been conditioned already. And who's to say they are even aware what they 'want', if you're being technical. Maybe they will repeat what they've been taught to say, and can't process the idea of "if the world could be made how you want, how would that be?"

I'm sure some people are ok just saying what they think, but I think broadly it's going to be tough to get a straight answer that you can accept at face value, to make conclusions like 'they want the Taliban there.'

Which means people shouldn't make statements about what the people of Afghan want.


Wayward Son

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Re: Afghanistan
« Reply #54 on: August 17, 2021, 02:06:18 PM »

I would have like to think that a 20 year window would have given the civilians the opportunity to setup a structure that would have protected them.

One analysis I read said that they were taught by Americans to fight like Americans.

Which mean with good air support. :(

So that, along with a corrupt government, may not have provided them with as much opportunity as anyone would have liked. :(

Crunch

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Re: Afghanistan
« Reply #55 on: August 17, 2021, 05:03:16 PM »
Fallout:
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Across Europe, officials have reacted with a mix of disbelief and a sense of betrayal. Even those who cheered Biden’s election and believed he could ease the recent tensions in the transatlantic relationship said they regarded the withdrawal from Afghanistan as nothing short of a mistake of historic magnitude.

They're saying it out loud now, the part everyone was supposed to ignore. It was, in fact, the biggest US foreign policy failure since the end of WW2.

Germany:
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“I say this with a heavy heart and with horror over what is happening, but the early withdrawal was a serious and far-reaching miscalculation by the current administration,” said Norbert Röttgen, chairman of the German parliament’s foreign relations committee. “This does fundamental damage to the political and moral credibility of the West.”

Röttgen, a senior member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats, is no flamethrower. He has known Biden for decades and was optimistic about his prospects.

While Merkel has avoided direct criticism of Biden, behind the scenes she has made it clear that she considered the hasty withdrawal a mistake.

UK:
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In the U.K., which like Germany supported the U.S. engagement in Afghanistan from the beginning, the sentiment was similar. “Afghanistan is the biggest foreign policy disaster since Suez. We need to think again about how we handle friends, who matters and how we defend our interests,” tweeted Tom Tugendhat, the Conservative chair of the U.K. parliament’s foreign affairs committee.

The current reports I see are that Biden has yet to contact even one other world leader. He's Hiden' Biden again. A quick teleprompter read and then he scurried from the room to get back to that 2 week vacation while upwards of 10,000 Americans remain trapped, left behind by Biden's failed leadership.

Back to the world, China:

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Chinese fighter jets, anti-submarine aircraft and combat ships conducted assault drills near Taiwan on Tuesday with the People’s Liberation Army saying the exercise was necessary to safeguard China's sovereignty.

China has stepped up military exercises around self-ruled Taiwan, which it considers its own territory.

There will literally never be a better time than right now to take Taiwan. Well, maybe when they 25th Biden for his dementia and Heels Up Harris takes over - her performance as the border czar has been even worse than Biden's Afghanistan policy. There's a calculus there to apply for sure.


rightleft22

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Re: Afghanistan
« Reply #56 on: August 17, 2021, 05:14:09 PM »
Most definitely a major failure of four American administrations and NATO
When it comes to Afghanisatin the Generals have always been proven to be wrong.

Crunch

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Re: Afghanistan
« Reply #57 on: August 17, 2021, 06:17:43 PM »
Most definitely a major failure of four American administrations and NATO
When it comes to Afghanisatin the Generals have always been proven to be wrong.

Still trying to pin it on others. smh Biden is in charge now, he owns the unmitigated disaster of his withdrawal. Nobody else.

More fallout:
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Iran has accelerated its uranium enrichment to near weapons-grade, according to the IAEA (Reuters)

Iran began operating a second centrifuge system to enrich uranium to 60% during protracted negotiations on a new nuclear agreement with the Biden admin and others.

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The Saudis, Russians, and other members of the oil cartel have rejected President Joe Biden's request that they produce more oil to lower U.S. gasoline prices.

They are all laughing at the weakness being projected.

TheDeamon

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Re: Afghanistan
« Reply #58 on: August 17, 2021, 08:55:29 PM »
I may be wrong but I am guessing Trump would have also pushed for removal of troops since that would align with his goals to reduce overseas wars.  What we are seeing is a mess. 

It is the result of ignoring the history of foreign powers failures in Afghanistan.  Once committed we were in a no win scenario with almost nothing changing long term from the initial invasion.  We need to do a better job deciding how to engage in these situations.  The best bet is to get rid of our dependence on fossil fuels and opioids and undercutting the money flow into the Middle East.  The area would be much better without the manipulation by outside powers.

Trump had an agreement that everyone but the Democrats in the United States agreed to. The US was to pull out by May of this year.

Biden decided to abrogate that deal and delayed the departure so his team could "review" it. Thus pissing off a LOT of warlords in Afghanistan as well as the Taliban.

So when the US finally did pull out, months later than the promised May timetable, the Warlords did nothing to stop or slow down the Taliban.

And somehow Biden unilaterally breaking Trump's agreement simply because Trump made the deal is being swept under the rug.

TheDeamon

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Re: Afghanistan
« Reply #59 on: August 17, 2021, 09:09:15 PM »
Leaving ground forces in Afghanistan was always going to end in disaster. History is clear, a military solution was never going to work. But this time for sure

Lots of reasons to leave, lost of reasons to stay and you provide none for either. 

I agree that the how of leaving is on Biden, another miscalculation among all the others since 2001... but the stain was always in the beginning as was the inevitability of the end.

Still I doubt it will be remember, no more so and probably less then the other American losses.

I suspect its China turn in Afghanistan. I expect the inevitable end will be the same for them as well.

I think Afghanistan could have been "won" but I doubt it happening was every truly in the cards, and I do agree with others that any chance was gone after Iraq's invasion didn't work out according to plan because they failed to plan for after they removed Saddam's government.

The only way Afghanistan could have been won would have required a large-scale military involvement, and a long-term one at that. "It takes a generation" comes to mind, which means 20 to 30 years in my book, we're coming up on the 20th anniversary now.

We would have needed to be committed to staying there for 20+ years back in 2001. We would have needed to be willing to be "colonial imperialists" as we used our military forces to suppress the tribal warlords and keep the Taliban at bay throughout the country, not just the major urban areas.

Only in a social setting where the population was able to safely to go about their lives with minimal concern about the Taliban turning back up 12 hours after the US military patrol leaves their village, or the Warlord getting his vengeance 6 months from now for some perceived slight do you create the groundwork for a stable and lasting (meta-)society like would be needed in Afghanistan.

But instead, because we were unwilling to say "we're going to stay here, and keep you safe for the next 10, 15, or 20 years" because that'd be imperialism.... Those people had to constantly live in fear and full consideration of "what happens in 6 months when the Americans pull back?"

And honestly, by 2003, it was already moving into possibly too late to properly fix because by then it wasn't just "what happens in 6 months when the Americans pull back?" anymore. It was "what happens in 6 months when the Americans pull back again?"

We did everything imaginable to encourage and foster disloyalty and distrust among the Afghani people when it came to American security guarantees. We were quite literally our own worst enemy over there.

The Taliban didn't defeat us in Afghanistan. The United States of America defeated the United States of America over there, the taliban was simply a proxy.

NobleHunter

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Re: Afghanistan
« Reply #60 on: August 18, 2021, 09:11:54 AM »
And somehow Biden unilaterally breaking Trump's agreement simply because Trump made the deal is being swept under the rug.

Gee. That really sucks. Good thing that's never happened before.

yossarian22c

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Re: Afghanistan
« Reply #61 on: August 18, 2021, 09:27:53 AM »
And somehow Biden unilaterally breaking Trump's agreement simply because Trump made the deal is being swept under the rug.

Gee. That really sucks. Good thing that's never happened before.

Wow a 3 month delay after 20 years. You really think that made the difference in how things went down? The withdrawal already looks rushed and unplanned. You think it would have gone better in May with Trump's deal? This was always how it ended when we left this year.

Wayward Son

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Re: Afghanistan
« Reply #62 on: August 18, 2021, 10:47:27 AM »
On the pull out from Afghanistan.
Quote
I started the process, all the troops are coming back home, they (Biden) couldn’t stop the process. 21 years is enough, don't you think. They (Biden) couldn’t stop the process, they (Biden) wanted to but it was very tough to stop the process. ... Thank you, thank you.

You can watch Donald Trump taking credit for the withdrawal on video in the attachment if you doubt it.  He even mentions how he expected the government to fall after our troops left.  ::)

So why is it, Crunch, that Biden alone gets all the blame for this debacle, but your Fearless Leader gets all the credit?  ??? ;D

TheDeamon

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Re: Afghanistan
« Reply #63 on: August 18, 2021, 01:44:17 PM »
You can watch Donald Trump taking credit for the withdrawal on video in the attachment if you doubt it.  He even mentions how he expected the government to fall after our troops left.  ::)

I have an associate who was an infantry officer in the Army fairly recently, discharged due to a service connected disability. He had an informal better pool going with a number of officers he'd served with previously on this matter(all of them having served in Afghanistan). None of them would wager on the Afghan government lasting more than 6 months, most of the predictions were far shorter, but it seems even they were being a bit optimistic, most expected it to last at least a couple months.

Quote
So why is it, Crunch, that Biden alone gets all the blame for this debacle, but your Fearless Leader gets all the credit?  ??? ;D

That Afghanistan was going to crumble after the US pulled out was blatantly obvious to everyone with experience on the ground over there. They can argue details as to the expected speed of that collapse(as witnessed by the example I gave above), but Biden and his team should have known this was going to be the end result, and should have had plans in place to deal with the situation accordingly.

Simply declaring "We're not going to see another Saigon airlift" doesn't constitute making plans to prevent seeing it come to pass.

rightleft22

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Re: Afghanistan
« Reply #64 on: August 18, 2021, 01:55:49 PM »
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Biden and his team should have known this was going to be the end result, and should have had plans in place to deal with the situation accordingly.

My understand was the their worse case scenario plans were based on the Afghanistan Government and military at least trying to hold out. I view this as another failure of Military intelligence in a long line of failures post 2003 (after 2003 everything abut Afghanistan was wishful thinking)
Leaders can only make plans on the information at hand so though Biden is responsible (He has taken responsibility) Those providing him with the information hw was to act on failed big time just as they failed for the past 17 years!

Hard to watch some of these experts now talking about what should have happened and what should now happen as if they weren't part of the problem. 

TheDeamon

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Re: Afghanistan
« Reply #65 on: August 18, 2021, 02:00:36 PM »
And somehow Biden unilaterally breaking Trump's agreement simply because Trump made the deal is being swept under the rug.

Gee. That really sucks. Good thing that's never happened before.

Wow a 3 month delay after 20 years. You really think that made the difference in how things went down? The withdrawal already looks rushed and unplanned. You think it would have gone better in May with Trump's deal? This was always how it ended when we left this year.

Keeping the Warlords happy makes it more likely they don't just let the Taliban roll through their territory without a fight. Voiding that agreement like he did all but assured the warlords were "done" with the process, and that was plainly evident in how things fell apart the moment the Americans left. The Warlords were nowhere to be found, although I'm sure they're resurface soon enough, once the Taliban does something to anger them.

Wayward Son

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Re: Afghanistan
« Reply #66 on: August 18, 2021, 02:22:56 PM »
Quote
That Afghanistan was going to crumble after the US pulled out was blatantly obvious to everyone with experience on the ground over there. They can argue details as to the expected speed of that collapse(as witnessed by the example I gave above), but Biden and his team should have known this was going to be the end result, and should have had plans in place to deal with the situation accordingly.

Simply declaring "We're not going to see another Saigon airlift" doesn't constitute making plans to prevent seeing it come to pass.

So what you're saying is that, if the Afghan government had held out for six months before falling, giving us plenty of time to evacuate our Afghan allies and make an orderly withdrawal, that Conservatives and Republican would be heaping praise on Biden for his handling of the situation?  Or that Biden should have had a plan to rush the Marines and the Army right back in to take over again if it looked like the Afghan government was about to fall?

When Trump negotiated the May 1 withdrawal date, we all knew it wasn't going to end well for Afghanistan. :(

Yes, Biden deserves the blame for how badly this withdrawal took place.  But does he deserve the entire blame for not having an exit strategy when we first went in there, or even after that?  Does he deserve the blame for not pulling out sooner?  Does he deserve the blame for negotiating a specific date for the withdrawal, so that the Taliban knew exactly how long they had to wait?  And does he deserve the blame for trying to keep those Afghani who helped us and are facing possible death from getting refuge in the U.S.?

No.  George W. Bush, Barak Obama, Donald J. Trump, and all those damned selfish pundits on Fox News deserve to share the blame on those things.

Joe Biden messed this withdrawal up.  But that was with the help of every single President and administration and military officer and American voter since George W. Bush.  We all own this with Biden. :(

cherrypoptart

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Re: Afghanistan
« Reply #67 on: August 18, 2021, 02:33:19 PM »
https://news.yahoo.com/condoleezza-rice-argues-u-could-214002319.html

Rice makes a good point. I thought along the same lines. People say we can't keep troops in Afghanistan indefinitely but we've done it in other places. South Korea. Japan. Germany. And it's worked. Kept the peace there and sustained thriving democracies for generations now.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

"We have understood this before," Rice wrote in a Washington Post op-ed published Tuesday. "Technically, our longest war is not Afghanistan: It is Korea."

The Korean war ended in a stalemate, and 70 years later there are still more than 20,000 American troops in South Korea, Rice notes. While accepting that "even the sophisticated South Korean army cannot deter" North Korea on its own, Washington and Seoul were able to achieve, after several decades, "a stable equilibrium on the Korean Peninsula, a valuable South Korean ally, and a strong presence in the Indo-Pacific."

So, Rice pondered, why couldn't the same strategy be applied to Afghanistan? "Afghanistan is not South Korea," she writes. "But we might have achieved a reasonable outcome with a far smaller commitment. More time for Afghans didn't have to entail combat troops, just a core American presence for training, air support, and intelligence."

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Biden should have seen this coming and brought it to the U.N., asking for help from international peacekeepers and for international support to keep what's happening right now from happening. And if the international community steps up with the encouragement of the Afghan government then maybe we get a solid win. And if they don't then we get what we got now but at least we could say we tried to keep it from happening and the rest of the world refused to do anything to stop it.

We also don't look like idiots who couldn't see the writing on the wall like Biden does after saying this was very unlikely to happen. The Biden administration has a bad habit and a bad track record now of being terribly blind to the obvious and it resulting in predictable and entirely avoidable disasters. We see it with the border crisis, with the crime spike, with the Covid surge because of his great unmasking folly, and we'll see it with inflation. These are the last people you want handling tough situations.

yossarian22c

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Re: Afghanistan
« Reply #68 on: August 18, 2021, 02:52:11 PM »
https://news.yahoo.com/condoleezza-rice-argues-u-could-214002319.html

Rice makes a good point. I thought along the same lines. People say we can't keep troops in Afghanistan indefinitely but we've done it in other places. South Korea. Japan. Germany. And it's worked. Kept the peace there and sustained thriving democracies for generations now.

If it was a matter of keeping an army base there it probably wouldn't have been controversial. But does having soldiers stationed at Bagram do anything to prevent the rest of the country from falling like dominos? I guess there could have been Kabul and the rest of the country with competing differing governments. Our soldiers in all those other places were there to deter foreign powers, not to fight off a long lasting insurgency. Lot's of things could have been done better. I'm sure every administration is going to point to all the others as to why things collapsed but clearly they all failed. So plenty of blame to go around.

cherrypoptart

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Re: Afghanistan
« Reply #69 on: August 18, 2021, 03:10:33 PM »
Another problem is if the Taliban knew we were going to stay forever they would have kept fighting harder instead of just waiting until we left. I'm not sure an international force would be effective anyway. We saw how that worked out in Somalia. And I'm not saying we should be the ones to stay and run it either. We should have told the U.N. that we are leaving and recommended an international force of peacekeepers take our place, maybe even one from Muslim countries the way Africa now has it's own peacekeeping force they send into troubled African countries. And if the U.N. refuses then fine but at least we could say see I told you so instead of having this all blow up in our faces with our President looking like he never even considered it a realistic possibility.

I mean that's something that could still be done right now. Biden instead of staying on vacation calls for an emergency meeting of the U.N. to get input on how to respond to the crisis in Afghanistan. And if they predictably do nothing then at least it looks like we tried, a little anyway, as opposed to what it looks like now, which is just looking like the miserable failure of an addle minded President Biden. Now if the U.N. says collectively that they're not interested and we say well look we're not interested in carrying the whole load in perpetuity either and without international support we don't feel like we have the moral authority to do it anyway then that's that, and it looks like this in Afghanistan now.

At least we should be working on international support for Afghan refugees, especially for them to be given asylum in countries besides America, maybe even in other Muslim countries if that's where they'll be comfortable, or in Europe too since they are so open minded. And sure we'll take our fair share of them especially the ones who helped us and are in immediate danger, but we should be working on helping them out over there for instance with the U.N. reaching out to the Taliban to persuade them to offer permanent exile as an alternative to the people they are pulling out of houses and executing in the street.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2021, 03:13:42 PM by cherrypoptart »

rightleft22

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Re: Afghanistan
« Reply #70 on: August 18, 2021, 03:12:18 PM »
Big differences between Korean and Afghanistan
The Biggest one is that North and South Korea have a clearly defined boarder....
 
I'm surprised Rice would make the comparison. But that is the big problem isn't it. That these experts are almost always wrong when it comes to Afghanistan. They fail to take in the uniqueness of which is Afghanistan and assume, assume, ass u me
« Last Edit: August 18, 2021, 03:21:22 PM by rightleft22 »

Wayward Son

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Re: Afghanistan
« Reply #71 on: August 18, 2021, 03:14:11 PM »
One problem with comparing our troops in South Korea, Japan and Germany with those in Afghanistan.

How many military casualties have we had in the last 20 years in South Korea, Japan and Germany compared with Afghanistan?  How many wounded?

It's one thing to keep troops in relatively stable countries with relatively stable situations.  It's another when there is a constant violent insurgency trying to topple the government you're protecting. :(

rightleft22

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Re: Afghanistan
« Reply #72 on: August 18, 2021, 03:22:38 PM »
I'm going to Bet Rice will regret making that case...

cherrypoptart

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Re: Afghanistan
« Reply #73 on: August 18, 2021, 04:07:31 PM »
Biden doing things like this probably didn't help any:

"On Biden’s orders, Bagram Airfield, long the U.S.’s largest military installation in Afghanistan, was deserted by U.S. troops in July, who turned off the electricity and left without notifying the Afghan commander on site. The base fell to the Taliban on August 15."

https://news.yahoo.com/where-president-afghan-reporters-emotional-220259657.html


yossarian22c

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Re: Afghanistan
« Reply #74 on: August 18, 2021, 04:13:57 PM »
Biden doing things like this probably didn't help any:

"On Biden’s orders, Bagram Airfield, long the U.S.’s largest military installation in Afghanistan, was deserted by U.S. troops in July, who turned off the electricity and left without notifying the Afghan commander on site. The base fell to the Taliban on August 15."

https://news.yahoo.com/where-president-afghan-reporters-emotional-220259657.html

I'm guessing they didn't tell the Afghans when they were leaving because they were afraid of the intel leaking and getting ambushed.

TheDrake

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Re: Afghanistan
« Reply #75 on: August 18, 2021, 04:23:09 PM »
Biden doing things like this probably didn't help any:

"On Biden’s orders, Bagram Airfield, long the U.S.’s largest military installation in Afghanistan, was deserted by U.S. troops in July, who turned off the electricity and left without notifying the Afghan commander on site. The base fell to the Taliban on August 15."

https://news.yahoo.com/where-president-afghan-reporters-emotional-220259657.html

It's generally traditional when providing a quote adjacent to the link for the quote to have come from the linked source.

Here's the ap article making that statement

https://apnews.com/article/bagram-afghanistan-airfield-us-troops-f3614828364f567593251aaaa167e623

cherrypoptart

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Re: Afghanistan
« Reply #76 on: August 18, 2021, 04:33:46 PM »
Checked my history again and this is the story I was looking at while I must have linked a different one.

https://news.yahoo.com/afghan-president-surfaces-united-arab-142839211.html

But whatever the reasons that was definitely a case of "What we've got here is failure to communicate."


rightleft22

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Re: Afghanistan
« Reply #77 on: August 18, 2021, 04:47:56 PM »
"What we've got here is failure to communicate." happened a lot in Afghanistan over the last 20 years

cherrypoptart

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Re: Afghanistan
« Reply #78 on: August 18, 2021, 05:31:18 PM »
A game that's always fun to play especially as conservatives is "Can you imagine the media and Democrat response to this if it was happening under Trump?"

There's no way he'd be getting the lickspittling that to a large extent Biden is now enjoying. Sure he's getting some licks too with his lickspittling but it's nothing like what Trump would have received. Trump would be getting raked over the coals. His incompetence would be highlighted along with his arrogance and naivete. With the tragedy underway for the Muslims over there he'd also get accused of hating Muslims, being racist, and of course hating women for what they are about to suffer and for him letting it happen. The media's double standard getting put on display is always the real prize of the game and there's a winner every time.



rightleft22

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Re: Afghanistan
« Reply #79 on: August 18, 2021, 05:37:00 PM »
A game that's always fun to play especially as conservatives is "Can you imagine the media and Democrat response to this if it was happening under Trump?"

There's no way he'd be getting the lickspittling that to a large extent Biden is now enjoying. Sure he's getting some licks too with his lickspittling but it's nothing like what Trump would have received. Trump would be getting raked over the coals. His incompetence would be highlighted along with his arrogance and naivete. With the tragedy underway for the Muslims over there he'd also get accused of hating Muslims, being racist, and of course hating women for what they are about to suffer and for him letting it happen. The media's double standard getting put on display is always the real prize of the game and there's a winner every time.

Can't disagree with you. I suspect the same events would have happened under a Trump withdraw plan and CNN and the like would of roasted him like no one has been roasted before.
Of course Trump would have tweeted out blame and junk to feed the flames and of course never taken responsibility... so what creates what???

Saw the following headline: Why experts say the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan didn't have to lead to chaos... the same fracking experts who got us in this mess. Their are no Experts on Afghanistan....

TheDrake

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Re: Afghanistan
« Reply #80 on: August 18, 2021, 06:44:48 PM »
Biden is laying low. The conservative "news" outlets are making a lot of hay out of him being in hiding. Yeah, that's what you're supposed to do when you screw things up. Keep quiet, let proxies try to control the damage, and try not to make it any more memorable. No doubt, however, the hacky "news" outlets like CNN would be running scrolls about it 24/7 if Trump tried it. "Trump still at Mar a lago as Afghanistan descends into chaotic taliban takeover."

Of course, Trump would still be tweeting that he was a military genius from his hotel room and calling into fox News, so we'd also get a steady stream of ridicule from late night hosts about his belligerence, exaggerations, and inaccuracies.

Crunch

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Re: Afghanistan
« Reply #81 on: August 19, 2021, 09:50:11 AM »
Of course, Trump would not have let this happen. It was not inevitable, it was grossly mismanaged.

Biden has reportedly told aides he is not sleeping well and is going home. I guess that 2-week vacation didn't reinvigorate him. Meanwhile, more fallout:
Quote
UK Parliament holds US President in contempt.

Biden remains in hiding, refusing questions at any press conference as he turns his back on the press and America to scurry back into his hiding place. He did do the interview with the uber-friendly Stephanopolus and that is widely seen as an expansion of the disaster in leadership we're watching play out. Biden must hide, he cannot manage this and it's obvious.

I've never seen anything like this. The president is AWOL, the VP is invisible except for the one picture where she's literally giving Biden the finger during the meeting, thousands of Americans are stranded behind enemy lines as the Taliban starts their purge (the images are heartbreaking). The situation continues to degrade and not a single person in leadership seems to have the ability to manage this. Just incredible.

Fenring

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Re: Afghanistan
« Reply #82 on: August 19, 2021, 09:53:21 AM »
Maybe it's all part of the theatre where they invoke the 25th...

rightleft22

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Re: Afghanistan
« Reply #83 on: August 19, 2021, 10:07:48 AM »
A month ago Biden made a statement that he was confident that the government and military would try to hold out against the Taliban. At worse case it would take months for the Taliban to gain the upper-hand. Sounded resemble and that plans be created accordingly Afghanistan was going to fall to the Taliban but their was time and to me a I don't think may of the 'experts' disagreed. No one paid any attention to what the average soldier in Afghanistan military or government official might have thought about fighting to delay an inevitable loss. (we create what we fear)

In hindsight that seems obvious and that a more extreme worse case should have been planned for.  Biden and most of the experts saw the world as they wished were not as it was. Biden remains responsible for being wrong in hindsight about how long the government and military would last but in that moment in time it was reasonable with the 'expert' advice provided, to think he had time.

I watched his latest interview and I don't know why Biden, and politicians in general, can't acknowledge that they acted in good faith on bad information and perceptions.  That in the last 20 years the west didn't really 'see' the Afghanistan people.  Not uncommon in a lot of failed relationships.   

I heard in a report that most of the Taliban fighters are not Afghanistan nationals, foreign fighters, essentially a occupying force.  History has not been kind to occupying forces in Afghanistan but I wonder if they are viewed as outsiders by Afghans.

yossarian22c

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Re: Afghanistan
« Reply #84 on: August 19, 2021, 10:26:29 AM »
Of course, Trump would not have let this happen. It was not inevitable, it was grossly mismanaged.

Because the pull out from Syria didn't result in our Kurdish allies being killed by all sides?

You have this confidence in Trump because why? He negotiated/planned most of this Biden just delayed it a few months. Its clear from how quickly the Afghan government folded that our options were either to stay or let them collapse.


Wayward Son

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Re: Afghanistan
« Reply #85 on: August 19, 2021, 11:29:46 AM »
For those truly interested, here is a report from SIGAR, Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction.  SIGAR has been in existence for 13 years, and interviewed over 700 people in the country.

The executive summary per Electoral Vote.com (which is not the same as the reports own executive summary):

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SIGAR was created by Congress to investigate the entire Afghanistan mission. In 2014 it began working on its "lessons learned" program. Here are the main points in the report:

Strategy: The U.S. continuously struggled to define why it was in Afghanistan. Was it because everyone was furious after 9/11 and somebody had to pay? Was it to destroy al-Qaeda? Was it to rebuild Afghanistan like the Marshall Plan rebuilt Germany after World War II? It was also not clear who was in charge of the mission. The Dept. of Defense is great for fighting wars and the State Dept. is great for diplomacy, but no one was really in charge of the overall effort to achieve any mission, assuming someone had specified the mission in the first place.

Timeline: Everyone in the project greatly underestimated how hard it would be and how long it would take. The budget was far too small. It was more like 20 1-year projects instead of one 20-year project. There was far too much emphasis on short-term gains that could be shown to the president and Congress, as in: "Look, they had an election! Mission almost accomplished!"

Sustainability: The U.S. has often done humanitarian aid after natural disasters. They are meant to tide people over with food and tents for a short time. Building a nation where none ever existed before is a whole different ball of wax. Agencies were not prepared for that and were judged by how well they had completed some specific short-term task, not on whether it would be sustainable once the U.S. left. Also, there was a trade-off between letting the Afghans run the programs and having Americans run the programs. Letting the Afghans run them would have embedded them in the country much better, but the Afghan officials were all corrupt. Having the Americans run them gave much better short-term results, but had the danger they would collapse the minute the U.S. pulled out.

Personnel: The Americans who ran the programs in Afghanistan were often the wrong people, with no background in Afghan language, history, or culture. Most were incompetent for the task they were expected to do. DoD police advisors watched American crime shows on TV to learn about policing. No actual American police were there. Civil affairs personnel had PowerPoint presentations for the Afghans. Staff was rotated out before they could learn on the job what was needed. Nobody was watching the spending.

Insecurity: While the reconstruction was going on, the Taliban were not just sitting around waiting for the Americans to leave. They were using violence everywhere to block the U.S. For example, they intimidated voters in ways even Texas Republicans wouldn't dare try. They convinced many people in rural areas that if they cooperated with the government, they would simply be killed, no questions asked. Without security, building a country was basically impossible. In Germany in 1946, there were no heavily armed roving bands of Nazis threatening to kill anyone who cooperated with American officials trying to reboot the country. That made it a piece of cake compared to Afghanistan.

Context: None of the Americans there understood Afghanistan's social, economic, and political dynamics, and if they had, they would probably have rejected them as being obsolete and in need of being updated. There was almost no information about the condition of the country available to U.S. officials. To give one example, the DoD tried training the Afghan security forces in the use of weapons they couldn't even understand, let alone maintain. To give another, there was a big emphasis on writing a constitution and laws in a country that never really had laws and which settled almost all disputes privately and locally. And one more: The Americans never understood the social and cultural barriers to women being treated as equal citizens so the approaches taken (e.g., we'll just pass a law banning X) never worked.

Monitoring and evaluation: There was no serious, accurate monitoring of how well the country was doing. Communication with far-flung mountainous regions was close to impossible, staff turnover was enormous, and the emphasis was on short-term projects that could be measured easily (e.g., X number of school buildings were constructed this year).

It's easy just to mindlessly blame someone or some organization for our failure.  But that won't prevent us failing in the future.  We need to figure out what went wrong and why, not who.

Grant

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Re: Afghanistan
« Reply #86 on: August 20, 2021, 05:04:44 PM »
Ornery never fails to disappoint. 

TheDeamon

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Re: Afghanistan
« Reply #87 on: August 20, 2021, 05:51:20 PM »
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Timeline: Everyone in the project greatly underestimated how hard it would be and how long it would take. The budget was far too small. It was more like 20 1-year projects instead of one 20-year project. There was far too much emphasis on short-term gains that could be shown to the president and Congress, as in: "Look, they had an election! Mission almost accomplished!"

That was generally what I was aiming towards in my own commentary on what happened there. The reason they were "20 1-year projects" was because leaving was always "1 year away" from happening for most of that time. So any project started needed to be completed before the latest departure goal/deadline.

Grant

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Re: Afghanistan
« Reply #88 on: August 20, 2021, 06:39:11 PM »
Its Vietnam all over again.

Yes.  Yes it is. 

It's a shame too, considering how much effort was put into not having it happen again.  My first profession in particular spent a great deal of time on figuring out what went wrong and how to make sure it didn't happen again and teaching it to us.  Those old guys who lived through it the first time didn't want it to happen again.

Of course, the problem was that teaching a particular set of guys wearing green how to do things didn't help because it doesn't seem like the guys in green are ever responsible for making things happen or not happen.  The public never came to a consensus on what went wrong in Vietnam.  Could have a 100 year debate on it.  It was the public who got tired and wanted out and the politicians gave it to them.  That and a whole new generation of guys in green that wasn't being taught by the guys it happened to the first time so they didn't know how bad it was to lose.  Now they know. 

I dedicated a significant portion of my early education and love (and taxpayer dollars through tuition exemption) to the study of history.  I guess it was because I found it fascinating, but the philosophical reason was always about "people who fail to learn from the past are doomed to repeat it".  That was the mantra.  The use and public service of history as something beyond entertainment.  By learning history you could prevent bad things from happening by learning from past mistakes. 

I realize now that it was all a lie.  That it was a huge waste of time (and taxpayer dollars) if the attempt was to prevent bad things from happening by learning from the past.  The truth is that I'm just a spectator on a derailing train.  I can't stop the train or convince somebody in charge to stop it.  Nobody learns.  The truth is that history is driven by forces far more powerful than "knowledge" or "wisdom".  History is driven by human nature, not knowledge.  And human nature never changes.  It's a constant. It's why what is happening in Afghanistan is happening.  It's the reason for Ukraine and Syria.  "Never again!".  Ha. 

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Instead of a national military maybe we should have been training and arming village and city level militias. Give people the tools to defend their own homes.

Nah.  See, it's a catch 22.  Diem did that back in Vietnam back when the VC was taking village by village with the Strategic Hamlet program.  So the VC just concentrated their forces and overwhelmed the strategic hamlets.  The lack of a powerful national force by spending all that money on the Strategic Hamlet program led to the failure of the ARVN to annihilate the VC at Ap Bac.  See, if you disperse, the enemy will simply concentrate.  If you concentrate, the enemy disperses.  You need to have the ability to do both.  The VC could do that.  But ARVN could not. 

Grant

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Re: Afghanistan
« Reply #89 on: August 20, 2021, 06:43:37 PM »
And the story of Vietnam is that America should have stayed there longer and fought harder, arming the locals more than they did?

The story of Vietnam is that the American people got tired of fighting, declared peace, picked up their stuff and left, and left their allies out to dry. 

Grant

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Re: Afghanistan
« Reply #90 on: August 20, 2021, 06:48:51 PM »
It was previously well-known that going into Afghanistan was a no-win proposition in the long-term; Russia knew that all too well. The only thing I can't understand is why you're looking for reasons why America should have done more there. How about less?

Well, there ya go.  It was well known by some very wise and intelligent people, probably all graduates of the Army War College (or University of Phoenix, or even Clown College, everyone is an expert on war), that going into Afghanistan was a "no-win proposition".  They've been saying it for 20 years.  I'm sure this reinforces their belief, and they will pass this belief on to their intellectual spawn. 

I'm consistently amazed. 

Wayward Son

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Re: Afghanistan
« Reply #91 on: August 20, 2021, 06:52:06 PM »
And the story of Vietnam is that America should have stayed there longer and fought harder, arming the locals more than they did?

The story of Vietnam is that the American people got tired of fighting, declared peace, picked up their stuff and left, and left their allies out to dry.

Which, of course, the VC never had that option.  They were home.  :D :'(

Which maybe is the lesson...

Grant

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Re: Afghanistan
« Reply #92 on: August 20, 2021, 07:00:09 PM »
Time to cut the loses.

"Time to let our allies die or become refugees" is I think a better statement reflecting the reality of the situation. 

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There was never going to be a good way to leave which is why its taken so long.

Never

Grant

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Re: Afghanistan
« Reply #93 on: August 20, 2021, 07:02:01 PM »
I commend you, Crunch, for self isolating by hiding under a rock for over a year and a half.

I feel attacked. 

Grant

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Re: Afghanistan
« Reply #94 on: August 20, 2021, 07:06:46 PM »
Sure, but it seems like it was always going to end this way if no one in the country was willing to fight the Taliban without US forces standing beside them.

I really don't see why France or Poland can't stand up against Germany by themselves without the British or United States standing besides them. 

I also don't see why the Taliban can't take Afghanistan without the Russians, Pakistanis, Saudi billionaires, and every heroine addict in the world helping them. 

Grant

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Re: Afghanistan
« Reply #95 on: August 20, 2021, 07:15:18 PM »
I think he was justified in thinking that a 300,000 man army might have done better against a force of 75,000. With that failure their is nothing for NATO to do.  Either the Afghan people stand up or they don't and they had 20 years to work it out.

This despite all the people that said the Afghan army would fall if the US pulled out completely?  I don't understand how decisions are made as to who the geniuses are.  The people who said that it was a no-win situation 20 years ago, or the people who said 3 months ago that the American pullout would lead to a collapse?   

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And so it is with great sadness that I now criticise one of them. Because I was never prouder than when I was decorated by the 82nd Airborne after the capture of Musa Qala. It was a huge privilege to be recognised by such an extraordinary unit in combat. To see their commander-in-chief call into question the courage of men I fought with — to claim that they ran. It is shameful.

Those who have never fought for the colours they fly should be careful about criticising those who have. Because what we have done, in these last few days, is we’ve demonstrated that it’s not armies that win wars. Armies can get tactical victories and operational victories that can hold a line. They can just about make room for peace, make room for people like us, parliamentarians, to talk, to compromise, to listen. It’s nations that make war. Nations endure. Nations mobilise and muster. Nations determine, and have patience.

Well, America doesn't have patience.  Most Americans think a baseball game takes too long.

Grant

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Re: Afghanistan
« Reply #96 on: August 20, 2021, 07:28:43 PM »
The reality is that the majority of Afghani's find the Taliban preferable to the US.  Their military aren't fighting because they don't view the Taliban as their enemy.  People in the US are confused 'how did the Taliban take over so quickly' - because there was no interest in opposing them by the vast majority of Afghani's.

We have this narrative that we are the beloved liberators, but from their perspective we are an invader who has setup and supported an extremely corrupt government.

LOL!  Oh man.  Yeah I remember you saying the same thing about Vietnam. 

I'm sure that the 50% of the Afghans (Afghani is the currency) that constitute the women of Afghanistan very much prefer the Taliban and are thrilled they have returned to power. 

I mean, really. 

Grant

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Re: Afghanistan
« Reply #97 on: August 20, 2021, 07:45:39 PM »
Voter turnout hasn't been great during that time.

8 million Afghans voted in the 2004 Presidential election.  That was 83% of all registered voters.  Total population of Afghanistan at that time was roughly 24 million.  Figure 1/3 of those were under age.  That gives Afghanistan a 50% voter turnout of the total population in 2004.  How the hell is that a low turnout? 

Of course, after that election, turnout kinda dropped off when some people realized that democracy wasn't going to give them the win.  Hard to blame them.  Trump voters aren't big on democracy either after taking an election loss.  Oh, and the fact that the Taliban threatened voters.  I mean, sure.  Obviously the Taliban is preferred by the majority of Afghans. That's why they need to threaten voters.  Oh yeah, that's right.  The Taliban arn't big on democracy or give a damn how many people support them.  They shoot the ones that don't.  Helps their poll numbers.   

Grant

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Re: Afghanistan
« Reply #98 on: August 20, 2021, 07:59:50 PM »
You are again, interpreting it through your cultural expectations.  They probably view it is the right and proper role of men as God intended it - not "I'm being treated as property" but "I'm being protected by my family from wicked men who would assault my virtue".

For something comparable think of circumcision in the US.  Chomping off part of a male child's penis is from an outsiders perspective horrifically barbaric genital mutilation and yet we really don't give it much thought and most US parents will have their male child circumcised.

Do you have anything at all to back up your contention that the majority of Afghans support the Taliban?  Other than the fact that they're just rural traditionalist conservatives whose views and massacres and torture and women's rights make them similar to mohels and pediatricians? 

Grant

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Re: Afghanistan
« Reply #99 on: August 20, 2021, 08:11:44 PM »
From my perspective its the generals and intelligence experts that have been wrong time and again across 4 administrations.

Michael Morell's response:

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What is happening in Afghanistan is not the result of an intelligence failure. It is the result of numerous policy failures by multiple administrations. Of all the players over the years, the Intelligence Community by far has seen the situation in Afghanistan most accurately.


RightLeft:
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Funny sad then that the media in general keep going to them for their perspective on things. Only a few have acknowledge how badly they got things.

Who do YOU think they should be going to?  Michael Moore?