Patterico's Pontifications

8/13/2021

Afghanistan: Falling To the Taliban

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:16 am



[guest post by Dana]

A dire situation in Afghanistan. It’s reportedly worse than what the administration has told us:

Three major cities in western and southern Afghanistan were confirmed on Friday to have fallen to the Taliban, as the insurgents’ race to take control of the country accelerated.

The Taliban seized Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand Province, on Friday morning after a weekslong battle that left parts of the city in ruins, hospitals filled with the wounded and dying, and residents asking what would come next under their new rulers. Hours earlier, the insurgents had captured Herat, a cultural hub in the west, and Kandahar, the country’s second-largest city, where the Taliban first proclaimed their so-called emirate in the 1990s.

The speed of the cities’ collapse, combined with American officials’ announcement Thursday that they would evacuate most of the United States Embassy, has deepened the sense of panic across the country as thousands try to flee from the Taliban advance.

Only three major Afghan cities — the capital, Kabul, Jalalabad and Mazar-i-Sharif — remain under government control, and one is under siege by the Taliban. With the collapse of both Lashkar Gah and Kandahar, the Taliban now effectively control southern Afghanistan, a powerful symbol of their resurgence, just weeks before the United States is set to completely withdraw from the country.

Because of the urgency of the situation, the US is moving troops immediately to help with evacuation of Americans:

As the Taliban capture provincial capitals with alarming speed, the Pentagon is moving 3,000 Marines and soldiers to Afghanistan and another 4,000 troops to the region to evacuate most of the American Embassy and U.S. citizens in Kabul.

Unfortunately, because Afghan security forces haven’t risen to the occasion at the level needed, it is estimated that Kabul could fall in 30 days.

Despite the administration saying that our high level of intelligence will help deter any future terrorist plots against the US, others aren’t so so sure :

Senior Afghan intelligence officials told CNN that al Qaeda could be ready to attack the West by the end of 2022, as the group’s presence in Afghanistan is thriving with support from the Taliban.

And there are the inevitable humanitarian concerns as well:

“No one should pretend they’re surprised the Taliban is winning now that we abandoned our Afghan partners,” Republican Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska said in a statement. “No one should pretend to be surprised when girls and women are brutalized. And no one should pretend to be surprised when the Taliban yet again provides safe harbor to terrorists plotting international attacks.”

President Biden, meanwhile, remains resolute about his decision to withdraw US troops:

“I do not regret my decision,” Biden told reporters Tuesday, after pointing out that the U.S. has spent more than a trillion dollars and lost thousands of its own troops to train and equip Afghanistan’s military.

“Afghan leaders have to come together,” he said. “They’ve got to fight for themselves, fight for their nation.”

–Dana

183 Responses to “Afghanistan: Falling To the Taliban”

  1. Good morning.

    Dana (174549)

  2. How long before El Paso falls?

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  3. Biden is playing the old man’s game, here and elsewhere. As long as he can paper over the problems for a few more years, his horizon is safe. You see this with Afghanistan, with Iran, with the southern border and above all with the wild spending to buy bandages for today’s crisis without a thought to tomorrow.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  4. Shorter Biden: “Apres moi, le deluge”

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  5. Biden says he doesn’t regret his decision, but he’s going to regret his decision. Bob Gates is right about him.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  6. The White House could be burning and Manhattan swarming with zombies and the MSM would be calling it the new normal. Biden has nothing to fear but time.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  7. The print editions of the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal talk about the prospect of Kandahar falling, but by this morning it had already fallen.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  8. The MSM is quote critical at the State Department briefings.

    https://www.state.gov/briefings/department-press-briefing-august-12-2021

    QUESTION: Can I – so you said that today is a continuation of what has been happening, but it appears very clearly to be a preparation for a full evacuation of all U.S. diplomats from Afghanistan. So what is your response to that?

    MR PRICE: My response to that is that’s not true. This is not a full evacuation. This is not —

    QUESTION: Preparation, I said.

    MR PRICE: We are – and I think it’s a very important distinction between planning and contingency planning.,,,,

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  9. next harris will be appointed to find the root causes of all this

    JF (e1156d)

  10. When basement joe starts reading books to children evacuate tall buildings.

    mg (8cbc69)

  11. 5… who could’ve seen that coming!?!?

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  12. “I do not regret my decision,” Biden told reporters Tuesday, after pointing out that the U.S. has spent more than a trillion dollars and lost thousands of its own troops to train and equip Afghanistan’s military.

    It’s more like $2.26 trillion- and counting, Joey. [Don’t forget to add in the cost of sending 3,000 armed and camoed “United Van Lines” movers in to help convoy the evacuees out, Trucker Joe.]

    It’s Russian Roulette; musical chairs… this was always going to end like this for whoever sat in the Oval.

    ______

    “Unfortunately, because Afghan security forces haven’t risen to the occasion at the level needed, it is estimated that Kabul could fall in 30 days.”

    Unfortunately, because South Vietnamese security forces haven’t risen to the occasion at the level needed, it is estimated that Saigon could fall in 30 days.

    FIFY.

    History rhymes. And those who fail to learn from it are doomed to repeat it.

    This was always going to end this way– regardless of who is CiC. Those mutton munching, rug weaving, poppy-growing, heroin exporting towelheads have zero interest in who occupies their land– as in the end they always leave- and never get stuck with the bill.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  13. Bob Gates is right about him

    He best be talking into a mirror as well; he’s as much to blame for this bloody $2 trillion waste as everybody else in multiple administrations since this 20 year flop debuted on the world stage.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  14. Unfortunately, because South Vietnamese security forces haven’t risen to the occasion at the level needed, it is estimated that Saigon could fall in 30 days.

    There were no U.S. troops at the time in South Vietnam. Congress voted to cut off aid; Sputh Vietnamese president Thieu decided to make a withdrawal to a more limited area, without declaring that in public; panic ensued. And the U.S. did not lend air support – prohibited by law.

    The similiarities are to the fall of France in 1940 and the fall of Mainland China in 1948-9.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  15. “Kabul will “fall” into the hands of the Taliban in the next few months. We knew this from the start. The fact that the Chinese will receive them with open arms is also a given. Afghanistan Flag of Afghanistan is the Tigris and Euphrates of rare earth minerals. #China”

    —- Kyle Bass

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  16. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/taliban-afghanistan-advance-continues-2021-08-13

    The Taliban have captured another three provincial capitals in southern Afghanistan, including in Helmand, the scene of some of the heaviest fighting in the past two decades, as the insurgents press a lightning offensive that is gradually encircling the capital, Kabul.

    Lightning advance. In other words, Can you call it a blitzkrieg.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  17. “Joe’s been on the public dole for about 48 years now. He’s been called a number of things and there are vaults of videos showing him at his ‘normal’ best. And never have I heard the word ’empathetic’ to describe this man or this sort of personality in any man. Bullish. Brutish. Mediocre. Blowhard. Corrupt. Lying. I know these are the obvious and simple ones. Perhaps it’s a more nuanced thing to say he’s empathetic when you see him caressing your daughter’s shoulders as he whispers in her ear. I dunno. I’d have a different reaction than to think he was being ’empathetic’. Or maybe you could say he was empathetic to Black Americans when he said Obama was ‘clean and articulate’. Again – I don’t see it that way…

    While it’s true that Americans are tired of losing our lives and spending money in Afghanistan, it is also true that there may have been a better way (and time) to leave rather than all at once on a given date. Hell, who DIDN’T know the Taliban would be loaded up with armaments (donated by our ‘friends’ around the world) and would simply bull their way across the country? But the point missed is that this is going to be very ugly and many, many people are going to be murdered, butchered, raped, and removed. Women will be subjugated and removed from schools, covered and used for cooking and making babies. Susan B. Glasser [a “journalist”] would be appalled at that happening in her neck of the woods. But I wonder if she and the rest of her media friends will even cover Afghanistan once the slaughter begins.

    More than that, the Taliban will once again allow Al Qaeda (or worse) to set up and plan their next phase against a hapless Europe or a hapless, floundering US, who’s military is sequestered in Woke Training courses at the moment, and who’s national security teams are either escorting illegal immigrants to Atlanta and Nashville, or working feverishly to make sure that no one with opposing views can be allowed on social media platforms.

    Frankly, we could not be in worse hands right now than this clownish bunch in Washington.”

    —- Temujin

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  18. As long as the Americans were there, they stayed in the hills and avoided approaching the cities for fear of things like the AC-135. Now they can proceed freely and resistance is tempered by the threat of retribution.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  19. I don’t think it’s fair to blame Biden; he’s just the front man for the Politburo.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  20. cheney has moved on to finding trump’s wmd

    JF (e1156d)

  21. “Never underestimate Joe’s ability to fu*k things up.”

    —- Barack Obama

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  22. There were no U.S. troops at the time in South Vietnam.

    They weren’t choppering out pallets of cash off the embassy roof, Sammy. In fact, they were burning it in the embassy incinerator. There were plenty U.S. personnel needing evacuated–from Marine detachments, government service and assorted contractors, reporters– to the U.S. ambassador himself.

    As Brits, Russians and an assortment of other powers in days past and any smart West Point professor or instructor at the Imperial War Museum in London could tell you:

    Afghanistan is where empires go to die.

    Add America to the list; their century born December 7, 1941, peaked on July 20, 1969, died September 11, 2001 and buried August, 2021. In fact, if the Taliban time it right for dramatic effect, they’ll claim fully taking Afghanistan and ‘plant the flag’ on…

    September 11.

    ” Neat. Sweet. Petite.” – Lurch [Ted Cassidy] ‘The Addams Family’ ABC TV, 1964-66

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  23. From a Washington Post editorial:

    In addition to preventing terrorists from using Afghanistan as a base for another 9/11, the United States achieved — or at least oversaw — real progress for the people of Afghanistan. When the Taliban ruled between 1996 and 2001, it forbade schooling for girls; by 2015, the last year for which World Bank data exist, more than 50 percent of girls attended first grade. In 2006, the coed American University of Afghanistan (AUAF), which now enrolls more than 1,700 students, opened in Kabul, supported by U.S. government funds. It has partnerships with Stanford University, the University of California system and the University of Nebraska. A massive terrorist attack in August 2016 forced the AUAF to close, but it courageously reopened in 2017. Afghanistan’s media have grown into some of the country’s most trusted institutions. Most Afghans live in unfathomable poverty, but today’s per capita income of around $550 per year represents a 66 percent improvement in real terms since 2002, according to the World Bank.

    The Post blames Biden alone for the Afghan collapse; I would debit Trump, and to a lesser extent, Obama. (After all, Biden is essentially following Trump’s policies.)

    (It is disturbing to see comments here from people(?) who apparently have no sympathy for the majority of Afghans, especially Afghan girls and young women.)

    Jim Miller (edcec1)

  24. He best be talking into a mirror as well; he’s as much to blame for this bloody $2 trillion waste as everybody else in multiple administrations since this 20 year flop debuted on the world stage.

    Bob Gates stepped in and cleaned up the dog’s breakfast that Rumsfeld–probably the worst SecDef in history next to McNamara–left behind. Gates gets full credit for helping stop the Iraq insurgency, and Obama-Biden get full blame for not listening to the guy.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  25. “Kabul will “fall” into the hands of the Taliban in the next few months. We knew this from the start. The fact that the Chinese will receive them with open arms is also a given. Afghanistan Flag of Afghanistan is the Tigris and Euphrates of rare earth minerals. #China”

    Poppy growers, heroin exporters and soon, opium dens!

    Woohoo!! ‘Mutton to see here.’ Try the BBQed horse, too!

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  26. And, really, this is no surprise to anyone at the WH, except maybe the speed. It’s what everyone said would happen. The only people that seem to be surprised are those that believe what Biden says (this does not include Biden).

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  27. Jim, This is what Trump wanted to do. It’s been a widely reported move. It’s also entirely foreseeable that it would happen like this. Much of the finger pointing is silly and it bad faith. But Biden’s president, he could have changed the execution plan if he wanted. He owns what happens here.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  28. From a post on the previous thread:

    ……. Women and young girls are being forced into marriage and sex slavery. And the same Biden administration that prides itself on its concern for social justice, racial justice, gender justice, and LGBT pride is going to stand by and watch girls’ schools shut down, ethnic cleansing against Shi’ite Hazaras, and homosexuals stoned to death.

    Paul Montagu (5de684) — 8/13/2021 @ 7:01 am

    Are we now the world’s police, enforcing Western values on cultures totally alien to ours? No we are not. The fate of Afghan women and children is a tragedy, it is no different than what existed prior to the US invasion.

    Dana is right, it is the failure of the Afghan elites, government, and army, not the United States. Only the blame America first crowd makes the US responsible for the failure of Afghan culture.

    Rip Murdock (6d8c0f)

  29. There’s plenty of blame to go around.
    Blame GHW Bush for leaving a political vacuum behind after the Soviets withdrew, thus allowing Taliban extremists to gain a foothold.
    Blame Clinton for ignoring Afghanistan and the Taliban takeover, taking basically zero action against the growing terrorist safe haven that arose because of our inattention. Dropping a couple of bombs after lying to the Independent Counsel doesn’t count.
    Blame GW Bush for invading Iraq, thus diverting our attention and resources away from Afghanistan and from killing more Taliban.
    Blame Obama for declaring that Afghanistan was the “war we need to win” and then dithered and squandered the opportunity to do so.
    Blame Trump for seeking full withdrawal and for believing in the fantasy that there are “good” Taliban to negotiate with, without any strategy for dealing with a post-withdrawal aftermath.
    Blame Biden for his full surrender and botched cut-and-run.

    We actually had a small-footprint plan that was holding things together, but Trump is a xenophobe who wanted none of that, and Biden is being just plain stupid.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  30. Most Afghans live in unfathomable poverty, but today’s per capita income of around $550 per year represents a 66 percent improvement in real terms since 2002, according to the World Bank.

    $2.26 trillion doesn’t buy what it use to, eh? Inflation. Meanwhile, in Detroit, Camden, East St. Louis, etc., etc., etc, …

    Afghanistan is where empires go to die, Jimbo. Read some history, not the opinion of the WaPO editorial board:

    In 1843 British army chaplain G.R. Gleig wrote a memoir of the disastrous (First-there were THREE) Anglo-Afghan War… He wrote that it was:

    “… a war begun for no wise purpose, carried on with a strange mixture of rashness and timidity, brought to a close after suffering and disaster, without much glory attached either to the government which directed, or the great body of troops which waged it. Not one benefit, political or military, was acquired with this war. Our eventual evacuation of the country resembled the retreat of an army defeated.”

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  31. Are we now the world’s police, enforcing Western values on cultures totally alien to ours?

    Straw man, Rip. No one said that our job was to cram “Western values” into their society. Our goal should have always been to create conditions to prevent the Taliban from returning to power, and we failed big time.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  32. Teh future is lithium, dcsca: teh green nude eel.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  33. But Biden’s president, he could have changed the execution plan if he wanted. He owns what happens here.

    No. [yes- I’ll say something positive about Joe]– this would have collapsed like this regardless of who was in the Oval. If it had been Trump, he’d have been blamed for incompetence; Obama- for being too academic, Dubya for being too impetuous etc.,etc.. Once Bin Laden was smoked, it was time to leave.

    But 20 years over multiple administrations, $2.26 trillion wasted… you know who to stick the blame on: the MIC, the brassholes at the Pentagon, the safe-on-K-street-lobbyists and diehard Cnogresional ideologues [like Cheney]– and the let-me-eat-my-roast-mutton-on-a-stick-around-the-campfire-towelheads who don’t give a damn and simply wait for transient empire occupiers to leave, as they have for centuries.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  34. We’re almost twenty years on.

    Two months ago, did anyone have a plan for establishing security and protecting the Afghan people from the Taliban which (a) had a reasonable likelihood of success and (b) didn’t depend on US troops staying in Afghanistan indefinitely?

    I’m not aware of one, but I also haven’t been paying attention to this issue.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  35. Jim,

    I understand what you (and the Post) are saying, but what was the answer? More of the same would end eventually in the same result; so long as the Taliban remained in the hills and Waziristan time was on their side.

    I guess we could have annexed Afghanistan and then treated the Taliban as invaders. That, at least, we could not walk away from. But really, what was the end game?

    Considering that Trump managed to solve the ISIS problem where Obama did not, I would think that his (read: “the unfettered military’s”) ability to change things was minimized by what had gone before and the overall strategy.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  36. Our goal should have always been to create conditions to prevent the Taliban from returning to power, and we failed big time.

    What were those conditions? Can you name them? “Killing them all” is the only one that seems likely.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  37. cheney/booosh/2024

    mg (8cbc69)

  38. If we were going to leave, we should have done so in 2011 instead of leaving Iran. Moving the Afghan troops to Iraq might have given us at least one win.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  39. Straw man, Rip. No one said that our job was to cram “Western values” into their society.

    Neocon rubbish; more creamed-chipped-Cheney-on-toast again…

    My neighbor, an officer and a jarhead, has been deployed to Afghanistan multiple times over the years and he’s said that’s EXACTLY what they were trying to do. And the locals were unresponsive; the country is a sh!thole. Sheepherders all.

    Redeployed, at this very moment he’s in the South Pacific on Palau for half a year — where, according to his left behind Marine wife w/young child- they’re literally gaming out scenarios for war with China.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  40. Straw man, Rip. No one said that our job was to cram “Western values” into their society. Our goal should have always been to create conditions to prevent the Taliban from returning to power, and we failed big time.

    Hardly a straw man. Your post blamed Biden for the Taliban’s treatment of women and children. It’s not Trump’s or Biden’s fault. It’s the fault of extremist Muslim culture and the Afghan government and army.

    Rip Murdock (6d8c0f)

  41. Read it and weep. Seriously. There was no plan for Afghanistan.

    Rip Murdock (6d8c0f)

  42. 38… teh U.S. was in Iran? I never got the memo…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  43. If we were going to leave, we should have done so in 2011 instead of leaving Iran. Moving the Afghan troops to Iraq might have given us at least one win.

    Yeah, it’s all a game.

    Rip Murdock (6d8c0f)

  44. DCSCA – Will the NBA soldier up for the chicoms?

    mg (8cbc69)

  45. The poor S of a B… https://lidblog.com/biden-afghanistan-plan-unravel/

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  46. Perhaps the woke military leadership should’ve spent their time more wisely, e.g., planning for an orderly withdrawal instead of the race-baiting nonsense we’ve been hearing for the last few years.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  47. I’m reading reporting that we left useful military hardware that the Taliban is seizing. That’s a pathetic level of incompetence

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  48. Your post blamed Biden for the Taliban’s treatment of women and children. It’s not Trump’s or Biden’s fault. It’s the fault of extremist Muslim culture and the Afghan government and army.

    Still a strawman. The default position of Afghan society isn’t forced marriages and executions. That’s a strictly Taliban thing.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  49. 47-
    10-1 our gubmint officials are lined up to sell them the ammo required to engage.

    mg (8cbc69)

  50. @4. Better still, does the military still use Nike missiles? 😉

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  51. ^44.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  52. There was no plan for Afghanistan.

    Except war profiteering.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  53. 38… teh U.S. was in Iran? I never got the memo…

    Iraq. Freudian slip. We could have won in Iraq, Syria and maybe Iran for what we spent in Afghanistn.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  54. Yeah, it’s all a game.

    The Great Game™

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  55. Let’s drop in some of the thugs the DAs don’t prosecute/lock-up here and start a rumor that Nike has some limited edition Missiles that are “’bout to drop” on a Tuesday. If the fights in the lines waiting for the Nike missile to show doesn’t do it, the blast will.

    urbanleftbehind (cd1b1e)

  56. 10-1 our gubmint officials are lined up to sell them the ammo required to engage.

    I’m sure some American company is lining up to sell burkas to Afghan women.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  57. @55: but first we have to impress upon them the rules of engagement.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  58. This generation’s righteous war, I suppose, when the more valuable booty was in the fertile crescent. Some people think the South Koreans are ingrates not worth saving and regret ditching the South Vietnamese.

    urbanleftbehind (cd1b1e)

  59. I’m sure some American company is lining up to sell burkas to Afghan women.

    Introducing the Woke Burka… the Woke-ah™

    “You’ll lose your head over this!”

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  60. 24. Paul Montagu (5de684) — 8/13/2021 @ 10:24 am

    Rumsfeld–probably the worst SecDef in history next to McNamara–

    Rimsfeld’s fundamental mistake was not understanding that in Iraq, the United Sttes aced a new enemy. He thought it was all “bitter enders” which would naturally, decline with time. It wasn’t rea;;y even peop;le filling a power vacuum. There were other powers who did not want a democracy to emerge – perhaps then the United States might decide to try it again.

    29. Paul Montagu (5de684) — 8/13/2021 @ 10:36 am

    Blame GHW Bush for leaving a political vacuum behind after the Soviets withdrew, thus allowing Taliban extremists to gain a foothold.

    He relied on what Pakistani president Benazir Bhutto was telling him. hat the Taliban could never take over. But she was fooled by her rougue intelligence agency (which eventually assassinated her, after she had lost power and was trying to get it back)

    Blame Clinton for ignoring Afghanistan and the Taliban takeover, taking basically zero action against the growing terrorist safe haven that arose because of our inattention. Dropping a couple of bombs after lying to the Independent Counsel doesn’t count.

    Clinton actually retracted oermission to kill Osama bin Laden. I think he didn’t want to win – and the terrorists may have been blackmailing him. *the OKC bombing).

    Blame GW Bush for invading Iraq, thus diverting our attention and resources away from Afghanistan and from killing more Taliban.

    Afghanistan was won. Lessons terrorists kearned in Iraq were eventuallly brought to Afghanistan.

    Blame Obama for declaring that Afghanistan was the “war we need to win” and then dithered and squandered the opportunity to do so.

    Nobody confronted Pakistan.

    Blame Trump for seeking full withdrawal and for believing in the fantasy that there are “good” Taliban to negotiate with, without any strategy for dealing with a post-withdrawal aftermath.
    Blame Biden for his full surrender and botched cut-and-run.

    There were better Taliban, but the U.S. often targeted then.

    We actually had a small-footprint plan that was holding things together, but Trump is a xenophobe who wanted none of that, and Biden is being just plain stupid.

    That about sums it up, except that Biden is semi-isolationist.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  61. There’s plenty of blame to go around.

    Good summary, Paul.
    Trumpers who are huffing about Biden’s folly have conveniently forgotten that last November, after he lost the election, Trump wanted “All U.S. Troops Out Of Iraq And Afghanistan By Spring.” On the one hand, it would be a fulfillment of “America First, and to hades with the rest of the world.” At the same time, he could expect that his loyalists would blame Biden for any disaster than followed from the policy.

    Radegunda (33a224)

  62. Fast-forward: 2051.

    The sweet smell of capitalism fills the holiday SuperWalmarts across America as Afghan mutton sales chase ham and poultry buys for seasonal meals. Executives say multi-colored hand sewn Afghan afghans are hot sellers, too- rivalling Vietnamese made underwear and socks as traitional stocking stuffers.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  63. @58.Reagan tried to label Vietnam ‘a noble cause’ in 1980.

    He was losing brain cells even then.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  64. I’m on Team Biden (as I was on Team Trump) on withdrawing from Afghanistan.

    Of course, if the withdrawal incurs heavy losses due to poor planning, Biden deserves criticisms.

    However, unless we’re willing to advance a Marshall-like plan the only thing we should do is to invade, break stuff up and get out.

    whembly (15c62b)

  65. @61, Biden is president. He could have pushed out the time table. The fact that Trump supporters are being dishonest here. doesn’t change that.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  66. @64, I think the time table was too fast and poorly negotiated with the taliban. I think the fact that we’re leaving material the taliban can use is a huge problem.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  67. #35 Kevin – That’s a fair question, to which I have a a dismal, and somewhat circuitous, answer.

    When the War on Terror began — or rather when we recognized we were in a war with some radical Islamists, I told anyone who would listen that we should expect this war to last at least a hundred years. (As most of you should know, the 9/11 attack was the second attack on the World Trade Center — and the first could have been far worse, since the jihadists hoped to topple one tower into the other. If I recall correctly, they were hoping for a quarter of a million deaths.)

    History leads me to that dismal conclusion. In 711, Islamic armies conquered most of the Iberian Peninsula. Gradually, the Portuguese and the Spanish forced them out, with the last part of the Spain falling to them in 1492. Did the war end then? No. Both Spain and Portugal took the offensive, capturing cities in North Africa — and they might have conquered most of it were it not for the rise of the Ottoman Empire.

    (You could even say that the war hasn’t ended yet, with it being continued in the southern Philippines.)

    You can find many, many more examples, including our own wars with the Barbary pirates. (That menace was finally ended by the French conquest of much of North Africa.)

    Pre-history also leads me to that dismal conclusion. Lawrence Keeley persuaded me that wars before civilization seldom ended, that they continued for decades at low levels, with occasional massacres.

    That is, I believe, the “natural” way of warfare for our species. Unfortunately.

    So I think it nearly certain that this war will continue for decades, probably centuries, regardless of what we do in Afghanistan. But I think our bugout there will encourage more attacks, all over the world.

    The Post argues that we had achieved a stalemate in Afghanistan, and that we could have kept it going without inordinate cost. That seems plausible to me, but I am enough of an optimist to think we could have found commanders who would do better than a stalemate.

    Finally, I should add that — as far as I know — a large majority of Afghans do not wish to be ruled by the Taliban.

    Jim Miller (edcec1)

  68. 65. Time123 (9f42ee) — 8/13/2021 @ 12:30 pm

    , Biden is president. He could have pushed out the time table.

    He did push out the timetable. From May 1 to September 11, intended the actual date to be earlier. He apparently wanted July but settled on August 31. The exact time of the wothdrawals were intended to surprise the Afghans (not clear why – so they shouldn’t panic in advance and leave the American soldiers unprotected? Or so it shouldn;t leak to the Taliban through double agents/spies? Not very nice.)

    Note: Biden was not bound by what Trump had negotiated because Trump had left himself an escape hatch – the Taliban had to meet certain conditions and they didn’t meet all of them.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  69. I think the time table was too fast and poorly negotiated with the taliban. I think the fact that we’re leaving material the taliban can use is a huge problem.

    Time123 (9f42ee) — 8/13/2021 @ 12:42 pm

    It is clear that it was poorly planned. But I question whether any negotiation with the Taliban would be reliable. What evidence is there of them being trustworthy and honoring an agreement? Especially when the country will not be ripe for the picking.

    As it stands, Afghan security hasn’t resisted enough, thus the fall of Afghanistan. Innocent women and children will pay the biggest price, of course. Ultimately, though, I agree with Paul: Our goal should have always been to create conditions to prevent the Taliban from returning to power, and we failed big time.

    Dana (174549)

  70. Who lost china, cuba, vietnam, iran, nicaragua, afganistan, iraq?

    asset (b0a616)

  71. Two examples of idiots on parade:

    “Nobody predicted this.” – Nicole Wallace, Bush Adm. employee; MSNBC talking head.

    “I fail to see the analogy with Vietnam.” -Richard Stengel, MSNBC contributor, Biden transition team, former Time editor

    Two stupid former-bureaucrats-now-talking-heads. ANYBODY who can read a history book could have predicted this.

    Since invading Afghanistan in 2001, the United States has spent $2.26 trillion on the war, which includes operations in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. Note that this total does not include funds that the United States government is obligated to spend on lifetime care for American veterans of this war, nor does it include future interest payments on money borrowed to fund the war.

    For the tents to fold in just 90 days after two decades and trillions charged to Uncle Sam’s credit card speaks volumes to the stunning, spinning stupidity of anal right-wing Neocon ideology and American military brassholes pushing it when failing to learn what any savvy West Point professor, wise instructor at Britain’s Imperial War Museum, several well quilled Kipling pieces or a retired Soviet general could have taught them.

    Afghanistan is a miserable land of sheep herders, rug weavers, poppy growers and heroin exporters for centuries with no interest in air conditioned schools, maintaining an air force or want a Starbucks and McDonald’s in the Kyber Pass has zero interest or incentive to fight for them.

    Roast mutton on a stick around the campfire makes for a contented towelhead. This has been one of the stupidest wastes of blood and treasure since the repeated failures there of the British Empire and Soviet Empire failure there as well.

    Afghanistan is where empires go to die. How can these educated, overpaid, talking headed insulated Yuppies be so goddamned stupid and keep shovelling thismanure ut to the American people?

    On deck, China. Even with basic geography a plus- just watch them march, with bayonets gleaming, into that glorious heroin hell in years to come as they spiral down the rabbit hole.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  72. Thomas Joscelyn points out that what looked good on paper to Biden et al, isn’t reality. After all, wars are fought on the ground:

    As should be obvious by now, the Afghans did not have “300,000 well-equipped troops” ready to counter the jihadists’ offensive. Nor did the Taliban have just 75,000 men. As the jihadists threaten to take over much of the country, it is obvious that Biden and Milley grossly miscalculated. The paper estimates offered by the U.S. military’s leadership, as well as some former military analysts, were worthless. They had no idea what they were talking about.

    In these dark hours, as the jihadists maraud across Afghanistan, we should remember that tens of thousands of Afghans fought and died in an attempt to save their country from totalitarian sharia rule. There are many who dismiss their sacrifice. We shouldn’t. Still, it is crystal clear that the Afghan forces were not ready to defend their country.

    There were plenty of warning signs. According to the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction (SIGAR), an oversight body that reports to Congress, the U.S. has disbursed more than $75 billion to Afghan security forces. This should have been enough to pay for a more competent fighting force.

    But SIGAR has documented the ANDSF’s many problems. Corruption, attrition, poor management and the issue of “ghost soldiers”—or troops who were on the payroll, but didn’t really exist—have plagued the ANDSF. Reading through SIGAR’s reporting these past several years, it was clear that the ANDSF was not ready to take the lead—as Biden and Milley claimed. SIGAR said as much, warning that “Afghan security forces are not yet capable of securing their own nation.”

    The Afghan political leadership in Kabul deserves blame, too. America’s withdrawal from Afghanistan has been as poorly managed as possible. Across administrations, the U.S. wasted much time in servile diplomacy with the Taliban, which undermined Kabul’s legitimacy and puffed up the jihadists’ cause. But at some point, the Afghans needed to be better prepared to defend themselves—at least better than what we’ve witnessed in recent months. The Taliban and al-Qaeda are fighting for the resurrection of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. The Afghan government has never had such a unified purpose.

    Which brings us to one of the other major failures here: The U.S. and Afghan governments apparently did not see the jihadists’ offensive coming.

    Dana (174549)

  73. Biden is president. He could have pushed out the time table. The fact that Trump supporters are being dishonest here. doesn’t change that.

    Just like The Big Dick did w/Vietnam????!!!!! That only cost 30,000 American lives… but at least it was PAID FOR by taxation and program cuts.

    Bought or sold any Afghan War Bonds lately?? Nope.

    This was always going to end this way, no matter who was in the Oval.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  74. Which brings us to one of the other major failures here: The U.S. and Afghan governments apparently did not see the jihadists’ offensive coming.

    History rhymes:

    By May 3, 1975, North Vietnamese forces controlled all of South Vietnam, just 55 days after opening their attack on Buôn Ma Thuột.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  75. ……It is disturbing to see comments here from people(?) who apparently have no sympathy for the majority of Afghans, especially Afghan girls and young women…….. Finally, I should add that — as far as I know — a large majority of Afghans do not wish to be ruled by the Taliban.

    It’s not that I lack sympathy for Afghans, especially the women and children. It’s that I don’t see a role for US to protect them as a core value for the US military presence. The US military is to defend the the US, not hand hold an inherently corrupt government, military, and society. Afghans have had 20 years to root out corruption, the drug trade, and develop a military force to defend themselves, and they are paying the price for doing nothing. Even our “ally” Pakistan is supporting Afghanistan’s enemies, it’s a lot easier for them to do that than the logistics of supporting US forces in Afghanistan.

    The average Afghan (especially in rural areas, which is approximately 75% of the total population) is very conservative in its outlook, so they have opposed the “Westernization” of Afghanistan. At best they don’t care, at worst the support the Taliban. Read The Afghanistan Papers. We never had a clue about Afghanistan society.

    “We were devoid of a fundamental understanding of Afghanistan — we didn’t know what we were doing,” Douglas Lute, a three-star Army general who served as the White House’s Afghan war czar during the Bush and Obama administrations, told government interviewers in 2015. He added: “What are we trying to do here? We didn’t have the foggiest notion of what we were undertaking.”

    Source

    Rip Murdock (431d14)

  76. Dana (174549) — 8/13/2021 @ 1:27 pm

    : The U.S. and Afghan governments apparently did not see the jihadists’ offensive coming.

    They were working on the basis that they had orevented that through negotiations.

    I know. How atupid can you be?

    The fact that there is no military solution in sight doesn’t mean that there’s a diplomatic solution. At least not one based on compromise.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  77. The United States was superior in all things except human intelligence.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  78. Our goal should have always been to create conditions to prevent the Taliban from returning to power…

    Fool’s errand.

    20 years and $2.26 trillon on Uncle Sam’s Credit card didn’t do it.

    You can’t kill an idea- especially one that’s at home half a world away nd you’re forever a foreign invader. Still plenty of Commies and Nazis around.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  79. Seems relevant… http://ace.mu.nu/archives/bidensaigon.jpg

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  80. The average Afghan (especially in rural areas, which is approximately 75% of the total population) is very conservative in its outlook, so they have opposed the “Westernization” of Afghanistan. At best they don’t care, at worst the support the Taliban. Read The Afghanistan Papers. We never had a clue about Afghanistan society.

    Yep. Asked my neighbor-who was deployed there multiple times. They rebelled at any westernization efforts.

    This is spot on.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  81. This has nothing to do with Afghans being supposedly different kinds of people.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  82. This has nothing to do with westernization.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  83. @7. More frightening, he was already a sitting U.S. Senator when that pix was made.

    “The United States has no obligation to evacuate one — or 100,001 — South Vietnamese,” Mr. Biden said, in an April 1975 meeting at the White House with President Ford. -source history.com

    He’s not only an idiot.

    He’s a bum.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  84. ^79.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  85. @82. Except it does, Sammy. Ask someone who has served there on the ground, multiple times, safe within an air-condition camp, wired back to the real world, trying to teach mutton-munching sheepherders to fly sophisticated U.S. made aircraft.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  86. Qwitten in 2001:

    https://www.hrw.org/reports/2001/afghan2/Afghan0701-02.htm

    PAKISTAN’S SUPPORT OF THE TALIBAN

    The Pakistan government has repeatedly denied that it provides any military support to the Taliban in its diplomacy regarding its extensive operations in Afghanistan.82 Of all the foreign powers involved in efforts to sustain and manipulate the ongoing fighting, Pakistan is distinguished both by the sweep of its objectives and the scale of its efforts, which include soliciting funding for the Taliban, bankrolling Taliban operations, providing diplomatic support as the Taliban’s virtual emissaries abroad, arranging training for Taliban fighters, recruiting skilled and unskilled manpower to serve in Taliban armies, planning and directing offensives, providing and facilitating shipments of ammunition and fuel, and on several occasions apparently directly providing combat support.

    August 13, 2021:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/13/world/asia/pakistan-afghanistan-taliban.html

    …For decades, Pakistan has served as a sanctuary for the Afghan Taliban, who have often crossed the countries’ rugged, 1,660-mile border with ease. Officials have acknowledged that Taliban fighters maintain homes and families in Pakistan, at a safe distance from the battlefields.

    Now that the American military has declared its part in the Afghan war over, and the Taliban increasingly look as if they can capture the country, Washington is applying pressure on Pakistan to push for a negotiated settlement.

    While voicing support for a peaceful solution globally, however, the government of Prime Minister Imran Khan has been quieter at home. It has not spoken out against pro-Taliban rallies within Pakistan. It also hasn’t condemned reported Taliban atrocities as the group marches toward Kabul.
    The reason: A large number of Pakistanis, including military officers, describe a Taliban victory as inevitable. Some, including former military officials, are publicly cheering for one…

    …But Pakistan has leverage that it is not bringing to bear, government officials in other countries say. It still allows Taliban leaders free movement into and out of the country and continues to serve as a safe haven where fighters and their families can receive medical care, they say.

    Some critics, particularly in Afghanistan, accuse Pakistan of actively supporting the Taliban’s offensive, saying that the insurgents could not have mounted such a large effort without assistance. On social media, the hashtag campaign #SanctionPakistan has gained popularity in Afghanistan and among the diaspora.

    Officials in Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital, have played down the idea that they can influence the Taliban. But the U.S. secretary of state, Antony J. Blinken, said during a trip to India last month that Pakistan must “do whatever it can to make sure that the Taliban does not take the country by force.”

    The U.S. special representative for Afghanistan reconciliation, Zalmay Khalizad, said this month that Pakistan bore special responsibility because of how many Taliban leaders resided within its borders, and that it would be “judged internationally” on whether it was seen to have done all it could to promote a political settlement.

    IT’S SIMPLE. PAKISTAN HAS A ROGUE MILITARY INTELLIGENCE AGENCY THAT AVOIDS TAKING OPEN CONTROL OF ITS GOVERNMENT.

    THEY ARE PROBABLY BEING BRIBED.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  87. Biden might very well decide to sanction Pakistan if public opinion tilts that way. He’s a centrist.

    And if someone can’t learn the fault is with the teacher, or whoever wrote the lessons..

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  88. We have a moral responsibility to get the people out who helped us and believed the US could make a stable non-tyranny in Afghanistan. Otherwise, we need to go. We don’t care enough to invest our blood and taxes to make things right there. All we can do is send the special forces in when the next obl starts plotting to nuke America.

    American interests still matter. One of the reasons for Trump is the neoconservative lot forgot that. And one of the reasons the woke left is unacceptable is that they simply don’t believe American interests matter.

    Appalled (1a17de)

  89. https://thehill.com/opinion/international/567813-as-the-talibans-takeover-continues-the-world-calls-for-sanctions-on

    However, Afghans making the #sanctionPakistan hashtag trend were not just frustrated with the West’s dismissive attitude toward their homeland — evident through the abrupt troop withdrawal — but also at Pakistan’s infallibility in the eyes of Washington D.C. As the hashtag reads, Afghans were advocating for hard hitting economic sanctions on Pakistan for its proxy war in Afghanistan.

    ,,,,Twenty years later, the Biden administration introduced a regional trade and economic initiative led by the Quad, linking Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Afghanistan and the U.S. America’s actions have been disconnected from reality on the ground. America’s policy toward Pakistan can be summed up using the old saying that doing the same thing and expecting different results equals insanity.

    A week after the initiative was proposed, the Afghanistan ambassador to Pakistan’s daughter was kidnapped, tortured and later released in Islamabad. This led to the Afghan government recalling their diplomats from Pakistan. While the events may not be connected, it is a clear sign that the region has bigger fish to fry at this critical juncture than working toward solidifying an economic initiative.

    America counted on Pakistan for logistical support and never took the war into Pakistan, even as the Taliban found refuge in the hospitals and madrassas in Pakistan. At this stage, while the possibility of a different outcome for the war can only be speculated, it is worth noting that America’s hunt for Bin Laden did not end in Saudi Arabia (his home country), Afghanistan (where he was suspected to be hiding), or Iran but in a safe compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, a stone’s throw away from a Pakistani military academy. The skeptics of the war in Afghanistan should ponder why the U.S. never sought to eliminate the safe havens provided to the retreating Taliban in Pakistan.

    Pakistan has nuclear weapons.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  90. #86 Sammy – So who do you think are bribing them?

    Jim Miller (edcec1)

  91. The Pakistani ISI is not a rogue agency. It implements Pakistani policy.

    Rip Murdock (431d14)

  92. I gather everyone agrees with these two statements: “So I think it nearly certain that this war will continue for decades, probably centuries, regardless of what we do in Afghanistan. But I think our bugout there will encourage more attacks, all over the world.”

    Even those commenters who celebrate American defeats.

    Jim Miller (edcec1)

  93. 88.We have a moral responsibility to get the people out who helped us and believed the US could make a stable non-tyranny in Afghanistan.

    ROFLMAOPIP based on what- how fast they stripped off their free uniforms, dropped their free weapons and blended into the countryside?

    Lest you forget:

    “The United States has no obligation to evacuate one — or 100,001 — South Vietnamese,” Mr. Biden said, in an April 1975 meeting at the White House with President Ford. -source history.com

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  94. Paul Miller addresses the myths, identified thus:

    As Afghanistan collapses, there is no shortage of explanations, justifications, and outright myths taking root, some encouraged by the Biden administration. Among the most common: This was inevitable. The U.S. presence was unsustainable, critics say. The administration was boxed in by the 2020 peace deal with the Taliban. If the U.S. had repudiated the deal, the Taliban would have gone on the offensive and resumed killing U.S. troops.

    And for what? We gave it our best for 20 years, they say, proving that the mission was effectively impossible. The rapid collapse only demonstrates that we were never going to succeed no matter how long we stayed. We achieved the most important thing: Osama bin Laden is dead. The Afghans have to run their own country. We cannot stay there forever, we shouldn’t try nation building, and we can keep an eye on al-Qaeda from afar to make sure they do not threaten us.

    However.

    Of course, none of that is true. The myths are just that: myths. The U.S. presence in Afghanistan the last few years was tiny—just 2,500 troops before the start of the final withdrawal. It was indefinitely sustainable. There is no significant antiwar movement to speak of, there is no domestic political pressure to withdraw, and no election will hinge on U.S. policy toward Afghanistan.

    U.S. troops faced low risks in Afghanistan, and the low casualty rate is not a function of the 2020 peace deal. Just 66 U.S. personnel have been killed in action since 2014, less than one per month for nearly seven years. That is not to make light of the loss of individual soldiers, but it is to recognize, in historical perspective, that the conflict in Afghanistan is very small and U.S. ground troops have not been involved in direct combat in large numbers for years.

    The US mission in Afghanistan accomplished some important successes. There have been no large-scale international terrorist attacks emanating from Afghanistan or Pakistan since 2001. The Afghan people broadly support the country’s new constitution. The Afghan economy showed consistent growth. By virtually every metric of human development, Afghans are better off today than they were 20 years ago. The intervention was not an unmitigated failure—except that many of these successes are likely to unravel with the Afghan army’s collapse.

    The rapid collapse of the Afghan army in recent weeks was not inevitable and is not a sign that the mission was always doomed, nor that we never would have succeeded. We had been making slow, fitful progress building a new Afghan security force from scratch. In 2021, it was better than it had been in 2001—because in 2001 it did not exist. It was better than it had been in 2006—because the Germans, British, and the U.N., which had assumed responsibility for training the new army and police, wasted five years doing essentially nothing.

    The U.S. took over and cobbled together a fighting force by 2010, one that has lost tens of thousands of soldiers keeping the Taliban at bay for the past decade. The Afghan army was again better this year than previously, but the Department of Defense truthfully reported year after year that it was not ready for fully independent operations yet.

    The Afghan army’s collapse this summer is demoralizing for anyone who has watched or participated in the war. Historians will give us the full story decades from now, but surely President Biden’s announcement of a full withdrawal—when everyone, including the U.S. Department of Defense, knew the Afghan army wasn’t yet ready to stand independent of international assistance—had a crippling effect on the morale of Afghan troops.

    Not to mention that the Afghan forces felt demoralized and betrayed by the way we abandoned them and the mission. With our bailing on the Syrian Kurds, we’ve shown ourselves to be sh-tty, unreliable allies.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  95. Comparisons:

    The United States has spent $2.26 trillion on the war [charged to Uncle Sam’s credit card], which includes operations in both Afghanistan and Pakistan- which does not include funds that the U.S. is obligated to spend on lifetime care for American veterans of this war, nor does it include future interest payments on money borrowed to fund the war.

    America’s Apollo moon program total cost was about $152 billion in today’s dollars. And Apollo was paid for. -forbes.com

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  96. Jim Miller (edcec1) — 8/13/2021 @ 2:32 pm

    I gather everyone agrees with these two statements: “So I think it nearly certain that this war will continue for decades, probably centuries, regardless of what we do in Afghanistan. But I think our bugout there will encourage more attacks, all over the world.”

    Both statements are false. The war probably will not continue, unless mnre attacks come from Afghanistan. I don’t think this will encourage more attacks, but it may make recruiting attackers easier for a while.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  97. Mr Miller wrote:

    The Post blames Biden alone for the Afghan collapse; I would debit Trump, and to a lesser extent, Obama. (After all, Biden is essentially following Trump’s policies.)

    (It is disturbing to see comments here from people(?) who apparently have no sympathy for the majority of Afghans, especially Afghan girls and young women.)

    The Taliban are winning because the people of Afghanistan support them.

    What’s that you say, the people don’t support them? Sorry, but that’s how guerrilla fighters survive, by hiding among the population, a population which support them. We’ve been there for 19½ years; if the people of Afghanistan weren’t supporting the Taliban, then every Taliban cell would have been given up a long time ago, and the United States Army could have wiped them out.

    That never happened.

    The women and girls of Afghanistan? Yes, they will be oppressed, as they were when the Taliban ruled before, but 19½ years of American intervention and occupation did not change the culture of the Afghanis enough to change that. We forced the Western idea of sexual equality on a people and a culture who were not ready to accept it, and it will have proven to be merely a flaking coat of paint over a structure which will reject it. If Afghan women attain equality, it will be when their culture is ready for it.

    The libertarian, but not Libertarian, Dana (405d48)

  98. ‘… Of course, none of that is true… It was indefinitely sustainable.’

    Rubbish. More $2.6 trillion dollar creamed-chipped-Cheney-on-toast served up by some Georgetown bunghole.

    Start w/this:

    ‘Military History Matters: What can we learn from history about the current war in Afghanistan?

    Four times – in 1839, 1878, 1919, and 2001 – the country has been invaded by a British army. We review the chequered history of Anglo-Afghan conflict. Until January 1842, the idea that an unorganized band of Afghan hillmen could have defeated the mighty Anglo-Indian Army would have been considered absurd.’

    https://www.military-history.org/feature/the-first-anglo-afghan-war-1839-1842.htm

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  99. The U.S. and Afghan governments apparently did not see the jihadists’ offensive coming.
    They were working on the basis that they had orevented that through negotiations.

    I know. How stupid can you be?

    I have a feeling that will be answered in the not too distant future and it is going to be a very painful lesson for both nations.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  100. Pf course, in 1975, the Khmer Rouge weren’t finished and eventuallly attacked an enemy that was not restrained by the United States: Vietnam. (The Chinese Communists had stolen the Khmer Rouge from the North Vietnamese.)

    There will be issues about refoulement and probably executions. Most surrendering soldiers face execution for one thing.

    They are being encouraged to fight. Do some people want to re-enact the Alamo?

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  101. Oh, won’t somebody please think of the women and children?

    Our hapless tatters had twenty years to eviscerate the Taliban. They did not do it. It’s that simple. It’s nobody’s fault except a military’s which exists as an alternative to welfare, homelessness, and prison for the enlisted, McDonald’s assistant manager for the NCOs, and car salesman for the officer corps.

    nk (1d9030)

  102. The women and girls of Afghanistan? Yes, they will be oppressed…

    As opposed to women and girls of Chicago getting shot and killed out playing in their yard or stolling down the street????

    Don’t give a good goddamn about ‘the women and young girls of Afghanistan.’

    They’re Afghan’s problem. Let the mutton munchers manage their own lives on their own time and dime.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  103. If anything can bring together Republicans and Democrats, it is the failure of our attack and subsequent “nation-building” (read: occupation) of Afghanistan. Both parties tried; both parties failed.

    Hoi Polloi (998b37)

  104. Mr Murdock wrote:

    (The much nicer) Dana is right, it is the failure of the Afghan elites, government, and army, not the United States. Only the blame America first crowd makes the US responsible for the failure of Afghan culture.

    This statement assumes that the “Afghan elites” somehow control the much larger Afghan culture. The American responsibility is the younger President Bush’s belief that somehow, some way, 7th century goat herders would be so enamored of 21st century Western liberalism that they would all adopt it.

    It was 1996, and our piece of [insert slang term for feces here] Kawasaki loader was worn out and held together with duct tape and baling wire. There was an open wire, with a toggle switch, passing across the left side of the engine, out in the open, and you had to use that toggle switch to start the darned thing.

    Corporate decided that there just wasn’t enough money to buy a new loader, so they sent the Kaw off to be ‘rebuilt.’ It took four months, during which we had a nice rental loader.

    Well, the Kaw came back, with a new air conditioner on top, a fresh coat of safety yellow paint, and all of the gauges and lights working. Ricky filled the bins for the last time with the rental loader, while pulled the Kaw off the low boy. Chris, the general manager, and Blake, my boss, watched, beaming with pride, and I took the Kaw down to the dock and topped off the bins again; the plant kept batching after Ricky had filled them.

    After I was done, I drove the Kaw back up by the shop, where Chris and Blake were waiting. I got off the loader, and, as is my wont, I told the truth. “It just goes to show you,” I said to them, “if you have enough money, you really can paint a turd.”

    As you might guess, they were not happy with what I said.

    But that is what we have spent the last 19½ years doing in Afghanistan: painting a turd. We tried to put a shiny new coat over it, but underneath it was still a pile of the material of which turds are made. No amount of nice new paint will ever change the fact that it’s nothing but [insert slang term for feces here] underneath.

    The libertarian, but not Libertarian, Dana (405d48)

  105. Suppose they manage to hold them off in Kabul.

    How will they be resupplied? How will they get any food? What will happen to the population after it falls?

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  106. My older daughter was deployed for a few months to Bagram. At night, the ‘insurgents’ would lob what was called IDF — indirect fire — mortar shells into the buffer zone between the air base and the outside. No one was killed, and she told me that, after a few days, she got used to it enough to be able to sleep through the night. This was the fall of 2017.

    Think about that: the fall of 2017 was after we had been in Afghanistan for sixteen f(ornicating) years, and we hadn’t even cleared the Taliban out enough that they couldn’t get within mortar range of our largest air base there?

    The libertarian, but not Libertarian, Dana (405d48)

  107. 106. All the planning was done in Pakistan, probably by professional Pakistani military officers, if they don;t have yet further secret military help from other countries.

    I don’t think Pakistan supports the Taliban alone. They have divided the Islamists they are behind support into several groups.

    Now this is a well guarded secret. None of the documents seized from bin Laden’s home showed support from Pakistan and it’s probably a secretive organization within the Pakistani military.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  108. @108 this isn’t a military failure. It’s the result of a political decision to cut and run. We wanted out quickly, now we’re out. We didn’t care what happened after we left and this is what not caring looks like.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  109. It’s nobody’s fault except a military’s which exists as an alternative to welfare, homelessness, and prison for the enlisted, McDonald’s assistant manager for the NCOs, and car salesman for the officer corps.

    nk (1d9030) — 8/13/2021 @ 3:37 pm

    That is blisteringly funny! And, alas, there is some truth to it.

    norcal (a6130b)

  110. Comparisons:

    The United States has spent $2.26 trillion on the war [charged to Uncle Sam’s credit card], which includes operations in both Afghanistan and Pakistan- which does not include funds that the U.S. is obligated to spend on lifetime care for American veterans of this war, nor does it include future interest payments on money borrowed to fund the war.

    America’s costs for the Manhattan Project -developing the atomic bomb- totaled about $21.6 billion thorough 1945 in today’s dollars. -source, https://www.nti.org/analysis/articles/costs-us-nuclear-weapons/

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  111. Comparisons:

    The United States has spent $2.26 trillion on the war [charged to Uncle Sam’s credit card], which includes operations in both Afghanistan and Pakistan- which does not include funds that the U.S. is obligated to spend on lifetime care for American veterans of this war, nor does it include future interest payments on money borrowed to fund the war.

    The original twin-tower World Trade Center cost about $3.7 billion in today’s dollars. -source, NYT

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  112. Rubbish. More $2.6 trillion dollar creamed-chipped-Cheney-on-toast served up by some Georgetown bunghole.

    It’s been costing us around $50 billion a year to keep this presence, DCSCA, a fair price to keep the Taliban and their guests on their heels, and it helps us to pressure the double-gaming Pakistanis.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  113. Comparisons:

    The United States has spent $2.26 trillion on the war [charged to Uncle Sam’s credit card], which includes operations in both Afghanistan and Pakistan- which does not include funds that the U.S. is obligated to spend on lifetime care for American veterans of this war, nor does it include future interest payments on money borrowed to fund the war.

    The entire Vietnam War cost the U.S. $1 trillion in today’s dollars– and it was paid for via taxes and program cuts. -source, history com.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  114. @114. Neocon rubbish. More creamed-chipped-Cheney-on-toast.

    Bought or sold any Afghan War Bonds lately?

    Nope.

    Credit card wars are best fought in the U.S.– by direct mail.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  115. The options, in descending order of preference:

    1) Leave in 2002-3, after going in and sending the Taliban scurrying. Let the Northern Alliance do their thing, even if they weren’t ardent supporters of democracy. Maybe give them air cover.

    2) Stay there indefinitely with a small force. Acknowledge that the price for keeping the Taliban in check will be a handful of U.S. soldier deaths every year.

    3) What we are doing right now.

    4) Don’t go to war in Afghanistan after 9/11. Let Osama continue to make cave videos and fire up radical Islamists the world over.

    Congratulations Bush, Trump, and Biden. You managed to secure the second from the bottom quartile!

    norcal (a6130b)

  116. Comparisons:

    The United States has spent $2.26 trillion on the war [charged to Uncle Sam’s credit card], which includes operations in both Afghanistan and Pakistan- which does not include funds that the U.S. is obligated to spend on lifetime care for American veterans of this war, nor does it include future interest payments on money borrowed to fund the war.

    Over 801,000 people have died due to direct war violence, and several times as many indirectly Over 335,000 civilians have been killed as a result of the fighting 37 million — the number of war refugees and displaced persons. The U.S. federal price tag for the post-9/11 wars is over $6.4 trillion dollars. On Uncle Sam’s credit card. -source, watson.brown.edu/costsofwar

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  117. The United States has spent $2.26 trillion on the war [charged to Uncle Sam’s credit card], which includes operations in both Afghanistan and Pakistan- which does not include funds that the U.S. is obligated to spend on lifetime care for American veterans of this war, nor does it include future interest payments on money borrowed to fund the war.

    Adjusted for inflation, the entire Second World War against the Axis Powers, cost the United States roughly $4 trillion in today’s dollars.-source, history.com

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  118. Well, if you’re going to engage in the soft bigotry of Trump expectations, DCSCA, your call.
    No one was trying to nation-build the country into a Scandinavian haven and this was not an “occupation”. The Afghan people don’t want a Taliban takeover and they actually voted their present government into power, backward as it is, and we had a semi-workable arrangement post-Karzai. All for naught because Biden unilaterally decided to pull the plug.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  119. What can I say, norcal? The Naval Reserve will just need to find another place where “boy-play” is legal and socially-acceptable to be sent to at taxpayers’ expense and get combat pay for it too.

    nk (1d9030)

  120. Comparisons:

    The United States has spent $2.26 trillion on the war [charged to Uncle Sam’s credit card], which includes operations in both Afghanistan and Pakistan- which does not include funds that the U.S. is obligated to spend on lifetime care for American veterans of this war, nor does it include future interest payments on money borrowed to fund the war.

    The Marshall Plan – the European Recovery Plan of 1948-1951 cost roughly $130 billion in today’s dollars. – source, eurobserver.com

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  121. @120. This isn’t a ‘Trump thing,’ Paul.

    Just common sense. And wiping up the crocodile tears of neo-conservatives who wail over fiscal accountability, ROI and all that.

    Neocons know it as… Reaganomics.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  122. Comparisons:

    The United States has spent $2.26 trillion on the war [charged to Uncle Sam’s credit card], which includes operations in both Afghanistan and Pakistan- which does not include funds that the U.S. is obligated to spend on lifetime care for American veterans of this war, nor does it include future interest payments on money borrowed to fund the war.

    Adjusted for inflation, the War of 1812 cost the U.S. about $1.6 billion in today’s dollars.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  123. #29 Paul – Thanks for your thoughtful comment (as always). I mentioned adding Trump, only because the Post hadn’t. But you are right about the others.

    And I think we should also recognize that Leftists in the media, here and abroad, will handicap us in any conflict.

    Jim Miller (edcec1)

  124. ‘America’s more recent defense budget has been spent training, arming, and paying men and women to fight. Personnel numbers have expanded; so have costs of wages and benefits to personnel who have retired from active service or been discharged due to disability caused by explosives, exotic diseases, and artillery, often while defending other countries against religious extremists, not defending US citizens.

    War is unpopular and America’s president is unwilling or unable to seek funding via traditional sources. Almost 150M people filed income tax returns during the war on terrorism compared with 4.4M between 1917 and 1918. Yet, the US has incurred $2 trillion in foreign debt. China is their biggest lender, owed over $1,200 billion. – https://online.norwich.edu/academic-programs/resources/cost-us-wars-then-and-now

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  125. Mr Montagu wrote:

    The Afghan people don’t want a Taliban takeover and they actually voted their present government into power, backward as it is, and we had a semi-workable arrangement post-Karzai. All for naught because Biden unilaterally decided to pull the plug.

    President Trump was planning a withdrawal, and started the negotiations with Le Duc Tho the Taliban; according to Mr Trump’s plans, we were supposed to be out three months ago.

    But to say that the people don’t want a Taliban takeover is silly: the Afghan people hid, supported and sheltered the Taliban from us for 19½ years. If they hadn’t, the Taliban would have been out in the open, where we could have wiped them out.

    This is what guerrilla fighters do: the Viet Cong did it, Hamas and Hezbollah do it, the Iraqi ‘insurgents’ did it, because hiding among a non-combatant population is the safest thing to do when you know that your enemies try to avoid civilian casualties.

    The libertarian, but not Libertarian, Dana (405d48)

  126. -Every hour, taxpayers in the United States are paying $2.28 million for Care for War on Terror Veterans since 2001.

    -Every hour, taxpayers in the United States are paying $7.99 million for Homeland Security Costs of War Since 2001.

    -Every hour, taxpayers in the United States are paying $10.05 million for Interest on War Debt since 2001.

    -Every hour, taxpayers in the United States are paying $11.76 million for Military Costs of War since 2001.

    -Every hour, taxpayers in the United States are paying $32.08 million for Total Cost of Wars Since 2001.

    source, https://www.nationalpriorities.org/cost-of/

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  127. The Afghan people don’t want a Taliban takeover and they actually voted their present government into power, backward as it is, and we had a semi-workable arrangement post-Karzai.

    The 2019 election was heavily disputed and reflected the will of about 20% of the voters.

    Rip Murdock (431d14)

  128. @129. ROFLMAOPIP.

    “This ship can’t sink. She’s unsinkable!” – E.J. Smith, Captain, RMS Titanic [Laurence Naismith] ‘A Night To Remember’ 1958

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  129. this isn’t a military failure

    Except it is: a $2.26 trillion failure. Ask the Brits… or visit the Imperial War Museum in London and see for yourself- [my late father would drag me through there every month or so]– it is loaded w/Anglo-Afghan war relics glorifying failure after failure.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  130. Some will find this 2019 poll of interest.

    For example:

    This year, the proportion who say they have no sympathy with the Taliban has grown by almost 3
    percentage points, from 82.4% in 2018 to 85.1% this year. The proportion of respondents who have a
    lot or a little sympathy for the Taliban is 13.4%, similar to 2018. But among respondents who express
    sympathy for the Taliban, the proportion who say they don’t know why they feel this sympathy has
    increased four-fold, from 6.2% in 2018 to 28.6% in 2019.

    And there is much more. (I await with interest, but not bated breath, for some retractions.)

    Jim Miller (edcec1)

  131. wonder what the odds were in Vegas on da gubmint blowing 2.26 trillion in 2 decades – to lose?

    mg (8cbc69)

  132. Jim and Kentucky Dana,

    Both of you are correct. The Afghan people do not like the Taliban for the most part, but they weren’t willing to translate this dislike into concrete action against the Taliban.

    It’s like the people who are afraid of the mafia. They don’t like the mafia, but they’re not about to stick their necks out and oppose it.

    norcal (a6130b)

  133. Comparisons:

    The United States has spent $2.26 trillion on the war [charged to Uncle Sam’s credit card], which includes operations in both Afghanistan and Pakistan- which does not include funds that the U.S. is obligated to spend on lifetime care for American veterans of this war, nor does it include future interest payments on money borrowed to fund the war.

    The cost of the U.S. participation in World War I from 1917 to 1918 was $334 billion in today’s dollars.

    “And we won’t come back ’til it’s over, over there!” – George M. Cohan [James Cagney] ‘Yankee Doodle Dandy’ 1942

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  134. 133.wonder what the odds were in Vegas on da gubmint blowing 2.26 trillion in 2 decades – to lose?

    Seem Uncle Sam was severely Casino Royaled at the crap shoot. 😉

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  135. Some will find this 2019 poll of interest
    ………

    Sure wish those results showed up in governmental and military performance.

    Rip Murdock (431d14)

  136. #134 norcal – Tens of thousands of them did stick their necks out — and that included their leaders, who were under the threat of assassination all through the war, and before it.

    Jim Miller (edcec1)

  137. But to say that the people don’t want a Taliban takeover is silly: the Afghan people hid, supported and sheltered the Taliban from us for 19½ years. If they hadn’t, the Taliban would have been out in the open, where we could have wiped them out.

    You’ll never find a poll anywhere that prefers a Taliban return to power, Other Dana. Not a one. I’ve looked.
    The country is similar to Iraq in that their culture is heavily tribal, and that gives militant Islamists the cover they need.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  138. You’ll never find a poll anywhere that prefers a Taliban return to power, Other Dana. Not a one. I’ve looked.

    Would you admit it to a pollster?

    Rip Murdock (431d14)

  139. The Afghan Military Was Built Over 20 Years. How Did It Collapse So Quickly?
    ……..
    ……..[T]he systemic weaknesses of the Afghan security forces — which on paper numbered somewhere around 300,000 people, but in recent days have totaled around just one-sixth of that, according to U.S. officials — were apparent. These shortfalls can be traced to numerous issues that sprung from the West’s insistence on building a fully modern military with all the logistical and supply complexities one requires, and which has proved unsustainable without the United States and its NATO allies.

    Soldiers and policemen have expressed ever-deeper resentment of the Afghan leadership. Officials often turned a blind eye to what was happening, knowing full well that the Afghan forces’ real manpower count was far lower than what was on the books, skewed by corruption and secrecy that they quietly accepted.

    And when the Taliban started building momentum after the United States’ announcement of withdrawal, it only increased the belief that fighting in the security forces — fighting for President Ashraf Ghani’s government — wasn’t worth dying for.
    ……….
    “They’re just trying to finish us off,” said Abdulhai, 45, a police chief who was holding Kandahar’s northern front line last week.

    The Afghan security forces have suffered well over 60,000 deaths since 2001. But Abdulhai was not talking about the Taliban, but rather his own government, which he believed was so inept that it had to be part of a broader plan to cede territory to the Taliban.
    ………
    Brig. Gen. Abbas Tawakoli, commander of the 217th Afghan Army corps who was in a nearby province when his base fell, echoed Abdulhai’s sentiments as reasons for his troops’ defeat on the battlefield.

    “Unfortunately, knowingly and unknowingly, a number of Parliament members and politicians fanned the flame started by the enemy,” [said Gen. Tawakoli]……
    ……..
    Afghan pilots say that their leadership cares more about the state of the aircraft rather than the people flying them……
    ………
    “We are drowning in corruption,” said Abdul Haleem, 38, a police officer on the Kandahar frontline earlier this month. …..

    “How are we supposed to defeat the Taliban with this amount of ammunition?” he said. The heavy machine gun, for which his unit had very few bullets, broke later that night.
    ……..
    Some U.S. officials say the Taliban numbers have swelled because of an influx of foreign fighters and an aggressive conscription campaign in captured territory. Other experts say the Taliban have taken a bulk of their strength from Pakistan.
    ………

    Rip Murdock (431d14)

  140. Well, at least there’s an upside to this- vets won’t get spit on coming home. And if they muster out, there’s plenty of Mickey Dee jobs open for ’em.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  141. Welcome Home was seldom uttered to the Vietnam Vets. Those soldiers are the best.

    mg (8cbc69)

  142. So, they come back to power and sooner or later some idiot decides to stick it to the Americans again. They’re lucky last time they got W. Next time the response might be rather more complete and abrupt. For sure we won’t be sending troops in again.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  143. And if they muster out, there’s plenty of Mickey Dee jobs open for ’em.

    This is the kind of comment that makes me favor the Draft for a moment.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  144. Back in the day, recall being perplexed at why there were so many statues and monuments peppering the UK to labeled noble yet lost causes and futile battle glory. ‘Celebrating the twilight of Empire’ was always my late father’s response. Expect America to follow suit. Sad.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  145. @145. This is the kind of comment that makes me favor the Draft for a moment.

    You’ve never seen ‘Buck Privates’ have you.

    We need a new crop of Rambo flicks, Kev.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  146. Tens of thousands of them did stick their necks out — and that included their leaders, who were under the threat of assassination all through the war, and before it.

    Jim Miller (edcec1) — 8/13/2021 @ 6:05 pm

    Many did, but not a majority.

    norcal (a6130b)

  147. “For sure we won’t be sending troops in again.”

    This is the kind of comment that makes me favor the Draft. Period.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  148. So we went into Afghanistan with no plan, never developed a plan, and left with our tail between our legs, just like the Russians and the British before us?

    It’s hard for me to blame this on Biden; it sounds like a failure of the foreign policy and military establishment continued for more than two decades.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  149. That said, the fact that we didn’t get the Afghans who helped us out of the country and to a place of safety before we left *is* Biden’s fault, and it’s reprehensible.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  150. Most are deployed for around eight months. And as little as four-and-a-half for the Air Force up to nine-and-a-half for the Army.

    nk (1d9030)

  151. #150 “just like the Russians and British before us?”

    Part right.

    For example: the Second Anglo-Afghan War:

    The war was split into two campaigns – the first began in November 1878 with the British invasion of Afghanistan. The British were quickly victorious and forced the Amir – Sher Ali Khan to flee. Ali’s successor Mohammad Yaqub Khan immediately sued for peace and the Treaty of Gandamak was then signed on 26 May 1879. The British sent an envoy and mission led by Sir Louis Cavagnari to Kabul but on 3 September this mission was massacred and the conflict was reignited by Ayub Khan which led to the abdication of Yaqub.[11]

    The second campaign ended in September 1880 when the British decisively defeated Ayub Khan outside Kandahar. A new Amir – Abdur Rahman Khan selected by the British, ratified and confirmed the Gandamak treaty once more. When the British and Indian soldiers had withdrawn, the Afghans agreed to let the British attain all of their geopolitical objectives, as well as create a buffer between the British Raj and the Russian Empire.[12]

    There followed 40 years of good relationships between Afghanistan and the British.

    The first and third Anglo-Afghan Wars had more ambiguous outcomes, but neither were unqualified British defeats.

    Jim Miller (edcec1)

  152. The 2019 election was heavily disputed and reflected the will of about 20% of the voters.

    So we DO have a few things in common…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  153. Would you admit it to a pollster?

    An Afghan Bradley Effect? I doubt it, because the Taliban are Bradley in this scenario.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  154. It’s hard for me to blame this on Biden

    He’s a bum.

    But yeah, this collapse would have happened to any CiC given the Westmorland-type brassholes runnin’ the Pentagon today. A lot of them paper shufflers should be canned for incompetence. This whole debacle oozes MIC kickbacks and ‘Oh, What A Lovely War’ attitudes. $2.26 trillion. Simply unacceptable management. Accountability is long overdue. If Soviet general fouled up like this- he’d be sent to Siberia. In a box.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  155. The first and third Anglo-Afghan Wars had more ambiguous outcomes, but neither were unqualified British defeats. That would be news to lads at the IWM. The Empire never fought for ‘unqulified defeats.’ The most powerful military on Earth at the time was kicked in the balls over and over by mutton-munching sheep herders.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  156. 50 comments from a single commenter, almost a third of the total. It feels like a shoutdown, not conversation. Just an observation.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  157. @111 unsurprising takes from nk and norcal

    JF (e1156d)

  158. @159 I said “some” truth, JF. Not completely true. nk is exaggerating for comic effect.

    norcal (a6130b)

  159. I was re-watching “The Kite Runner” earlier today and its weaving the Afghan practice of “Bacha bāzī “ into the storyline got me wondering if the ancient Greeks had ever maintained a presence in Afghanistan.

    Sure enough… “the expedition of Alexander the Great (327-325 B.C.) into what is now Afghanistan has been well documented. He laid the foundations of many cities, some bearing his own name. With the passage of time, some names were changed by newcomers to the area who could not pronounce Greek names. In this way, Kandahar is Alexander’s name, Herat is Alexandria Areion, and Ganzhni is Alexandria Gazhaka, among others.”

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  160. @161 I need to finish the book. Started it years ago, and liked it, but was distracted by other things.

    norcal (a6130b)

  161. i think we can agree that:

    1) this was Trump’s fault.
    2) Biden made the right decsion.
    3) Someone else is to blame if Biden made the wrong decision.

    rcocean (fcc23e)

  162. @158. Drumming the snakes out of Ireland- and the GOP.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  163. @163 How about just saying they were both wrong? I’ve been much happier since I got out of the my-team-versus-your-team frame of mind.

    norcal (a6130b)

  164. Only Trump could have gotten Biden elected President, so any way you look at it, you’re right, rcocean.

    nk (1d9030)

  165. Moscow mitch mcdonnell says send in more americans. OK lets send him.

    asset (4afc4b)

  166. Mr Miller wrote:

    This year, the proportion who say they have no sympathy with the Taliban has grown by almost 3 percentage points, from 82.4% in 2018 to 85.1% this year. The proportion of respondents who have a lot or a little sympathy for the Taliban is 13.4%, similar to 2018. But among respondents who express sympathy for the Taliban, the proportion who say they don’t know why they feel this sympathy has increased four-fold, from 6.2% in 2018 to 28.6% in 2019.

    And there is much more. (I await with interest, but not bated breath, for some retractions.)

    So, if over 80% have “no sympathy” for the Taliban, how have the Taliban managed to remain hidden among the population for all of these years? Why haven’t we seen 19½ years of Afghanis providing all of the information that the United States Army and the United States Marine Corps needed to find and destroy them?

    It’s almost as though the opinion polls bear no resemblance to reality.

    The libertarian, but not Libertarian, Dana (c0e8d4)

  167. Mr Montagu wrote:

    But to say that the people don’t want a Taliban takeover is silly: the Afghan people hid, supported and sheltered the Taliban from us for 19½ years. If they hadn’t, the Taliban would have been out in the open, where we could have wiped them out.

    You’ll never find a poll anywhere that prefers a Taliban return to power, Other Dana. Not a one. I’ve looked. The country is similar to Iraq in that their culture is heavily tribal, and that gives militant Islamists the cover they need.

    I’m old enough to remember how it was argued that the Vietnamese people never wanted a Communist takeover; how’d that one work out?

    We have been confidently told that the German people never really supported the Nazis, but somehow, some way, der Führer got tens of millions of Germans to do things we all consider so far out of the paradigm of Western civilization that it would have been impossible to imagine it before it happened. Not only were the Germans an armed populace, but the Nazis put more guns in the hands of ordinary Germans as the war progressed, yet the Germans still did as the Nazis told them to do.

    The Italians at least got so fed up with il Duce that they deposed him, not once but twice, and finally seized and killed him; the Germans fought to defend Adolf Hitler to almost the last man.

    In the end, every dictator, every ruling body, depends upon the support of the populace to continue to govern.

    The libertarian, but not Libertarian, Dana (c0e8d4)

  168. How is that “consent of the governed” business working in Cuba, Other Dana. Or North Korea?

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  169. My good friend aphrael wrote:

    So we went into Afghanistan with no plan, never developed a plan, and left with our tail between our legs, just like the Russians and the British before us?

    It’s hard for me to blame this on Biden; it sounds like a failure of the foreign policy and military establishment continued for more than two decades.

    Maybe, just maybe, there is no possible ‘plan’ for Afghanistan that the United States, or any other foreign power, can adopt.

    President Bush sent us in to hunt down and destroy al Qaeda, which was a worthwhile goal, and mostly achieved. But it soon metastasized into trying to turn Afghanistan into a Western democracy, and that was an impossible goal.

    Western democracy is achievable only in civilized countries, yet in Afghanistan we were having to deal with tribal leaders who kept their bacha bazi boys.

    The libertarian, but not Libertarian, Dana (160996)

  170. Mr Montagu wrote:

    How is that “consent of the governed” business working in Cuba, Other Dana. Or North Korea?

    Pretty darned well, I would say: the Communists have been in power in Cuba since 1959, and since 1945 on North Korea. It doesn’t matter what the rulers want if the people don’t obey.

    You might say that the people have no choice, being compelled by military force, but those nations have had three generations of civilians growing up and joining those military forces. Both nations organize party control down to the neighborhood level, but three generations of civilians have grown up and joined those neighborhood organizations.

    The libertarian, but not Libertarian, Dana (160996)

  171. 169. The libertarian, but not Libertarian, Dana (c0e8d4) — 8/14/2021 @ 5:38 am

    I’m old enough to remember how it was argued that the Vietnamese people never wanted a Communist takeover; how’d that one work out?

    It didn’t matter what they wanted.

    I suppose it is comforting for people to believe that nothing ever happens to a people that they don’t want, including foreign military occupation and being murdered. I suppose the people of the Soviet Union wanted Stalin also. And the people of Cuba, Castro.

    We have been confidently told that the German people never really supported the Nazis,

    they never won a majority, or even 40%

    but somehow, some way, der Führer got tens of millions of Germans to do things we all consider so far out of the paradigm of Western civilization that it would have been impossible to imagine it before it happened.

    The German people supported kaw and order, and they didn;t oppose murder. That went back to the 1870s. Morality nd religion was not scientific.

    Not only were the Germans an armed populace, but the Nazis put more guns in the hands of ordinary Germans as the war progressed, yet the Germans still did as the Nazis told them to do.

    Well, in then they were surrendering *to the western allies) and deserting

    The Italians at least got so fed up with il Duce that they deposed him, not once but twice,

    It wasn’t “the Italians” who deposed him the first time – it was the Fascist Party – the Grand Council of the Fascist Party – and the second time it was partisans.

    In the end, every dictator, every ruling body, depends upon the support of the populace to continue to govern.

    Comforting to believe. Because then there are no true dictators,

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  172. You know what’s ‘dumb’ Dustin?

    This:

    The United States has spent $2.26 trillion on the war [charged to Uncle Sam’s credit card], which includes operations in both Afghanistan and Pakistan- which does not include funds that the U.S. is obligated to spend on lifetime care for American veterans of this war, nor does it include future interest payments on money borrowed to fund the war.

    -America’s costs for the Manhattan Project -developing the atomic bomb- totaled about $21.6 billion thorough 1945 in today’s dollars. -source, https://www.nti.org/analysis/articles/costs-us-nuclear-weapons/

    -The original twin-tower World Trade Center cost about $3.7 billion in today’s dollars. -source, NYT

    -The entire Vietnam War cost the U.S. $1 trillion in today’s dollars– and it was paid for via taxes and program cuts. -source, history com.

    -Over 801,000 people have died due to direct war violence, and several times as many indirectly. Over 335,000 civilians have been killed as a result of the fighting 37 million — the number of war refugees and displaced persons. The U.S. federal price tag for the post-9/11 wars is over $6.4 trillion dollars. On Uncle Sam’s credit card. -source, watson.brown.edu/costsofwar

    -Adjusted for inflation, the entire Second World War against the Axis Powers, cost the United States roughly $4 trillion in today’s dollars.-source, history.com

    -The Marshall Plan – the European Recovery Plan of 1948-1951 cost roughly $130 billion in today’s dollars. – source, eurobserver.com

    -Adjusted for inflation, the War of 1812 cost the U.S. about $1.6 billion in today’s dollars.

    You know what’s DUMB, Dusty-boy? -charging $2.26 trillion to Uncle Sam’s credit card for 20 years and getting zip for it.

    Buy or sell any Afghan War Bonds lately?

    Nope.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  173. Are they equating off of the us embassy roof yet?

    asset (51f6ba)

  174. @175. Actually… yes.

    CNN is airing tape of multiple choppers in the skies over Kabul evacuating U.S personnel from the embassy.

    Saigon Redux.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  175. When the chicoms take over Afghanistan look for the prices in human organs to drop. Taliban heart transplants by the thousands.

    mg (8cbc69)

  176. I haven’t seen Dave or Nic comment here in quite some time. Did they elope?

    norcal (a6130b)

  177. happyfeet spam was a billion times more entertaining than

    HE’S AN IDIOT ROTFLMAOBBQ

    and

    ACTUALLY NO, REAGANOMICS

    which is no less than one third of the comments here.

    Also, Trump’s gone and Biden is freaking awful and that kind takes the wind out of the sails of nevertrumpers. It’s not like it’s a surprise, but at a certain point there’s no positive vision and I dont blame Dave or Nic for taking a break. Breaks are good.

    dustin (6d3e52)

  178. Are you Austin Dustin or another Dustin?

    norcal (a6130b)

  179. Same guy.

    dustin (6d3e52)

  180. Good to see you, Dustin.

    I agree about Biden. He is not looking good at all. Employers begging for employees, border crashers, and now Afghanistan.

    norcal (a6130b)

  181. @179. =yawn=

    Mouse Squeaks With Tail Caught In Crack!

    Film at 11.

    Neos gotta keep neoing and conning.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)


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