Patterico's Pontifications

8/30/2021

Arming the Taliban

Filed under: General — JVW @ 8:35 am



[guest post by JVW]

Over the weekend, The Times of London ran an article (trapped behind a paywall, alas) which included an accounting of how much equipment the United States Military likely left behind in their disastrously-executed withdrawal from Afghanistan. Prepared to be sickened:

Neither the Pentagon nor the Biden Administration is thus far willing to confirm or deny these numbers, but with Congressional hearings looming it’s at least somewhat likely the American people will gain a clearer picture of how ridiculously awful this truly is. That it took a newspaper based in the United Kingdom to report this is of course an indictment of the lazy and partisan major news media in our country, who seem either too busy beating up on Joe Biden or covering for his rank incompetence (and, to be far, it’s far more the latter) than to actually try to get a handle on what is going on.

Round up of Afghanistan news:

Victor Davis Hansen is having none of the Biden Administration’s sorry excuses.

Bing West wonders who will trust us after our botched abandonment.

David Loyn tries to figure out what Taliban rule means for Afghanistan this time around.

Bernard-Henri Lévy fears that this is a huge blow to all liberal democracies.

Charles C. W. Cooke notices that with a Democrat in the Oval Office, the media is back to broadly assigning shared blame for the fiasco and will certainly soon resurrect the notion that the Presidency is too big a job for just one man.

Hat tip to Powerline for the weapons graphic.

– JVW

119 Responses to “Arming the Taliban”

  1. And just like that, summer is almost over and September is upon us.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  2. Addled, old St. Prick…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  3. JVW,

    I’ve seen that graphic and I’ve been trying to figure out if that’s US equipment we left or if that’s equipment we sold to the Afghan government and their troops abandoned.

    Since we’d already drawn our troops down to 2,500 a year ago I’m assumed this is gear week sold them. But would like to find out for sure. If that’s the case this equipment was likely always going to the Taliban if we withdrew.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  4. We’ll at least there’s no more mean tweets. So all is well.

    DenZel (fb25e0)

  5. If that’s the case this equipment was likely always going to the Taliban if we withdrew.

    True, but that goes back to the Biden Administration and the security apparatus being amazed by how quickly the Afghan military surrendered. Had we had any inkling of this — and if we were still resolved to leave — we should have either reclaimed or destroyed much of that hardware.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  6. fast ‘n furious — kabul drift!

    JF (e1156d)

  7. JVW nothing about this is good, I don’t think we should have left, and Biden has done a terrible job here. But unless you expected the Afghan government to fight off the Taliban the weapons we sold them were always going to be lost.

    Voters wanted out. Both parties were aligned on that so when I say voters I’m talking about Biden and Trump voters.. Crap like this is part of why those voters were wrong.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  8. The military-industrial complex sure made out like bandits, that’s a fact.

    Now, it’s China turn to make out, with OEM repair parts.

    “Our Afghan allies”. SMH

    nk (1d9030)

  9. Look on the bright side, the Taliban is probably using those weapons to guard HKIA airport from ISIS-K while we evacuate.

    Hoi Polloi (998b37)

  10. . . . but unless you expected the Afghan government to fight off the Taliban the weapons we sold them were always going to be lost.

    Don’t you think that we did in fact expect the Afghan government to fight off the Taliban? Or was 20 years of building up that force just one colossal jobs program? In that case, we should have had them drill with wooden rifles, like a high school JROTC corps.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  11. If the Taliban hadn’t gotten them, “our Afghan allies” would have sold them somewhere else. And anybody who implies that we could have conceivably repossessed, spiked, or destroyed any of them after they were in the hands of “our Afghan allies” is being a big silly.

    nk (1d9030)

  12. I’m assuming that most of the equipment was “surplused” after the Afghan army collapsed, but the collapse of the Afghan army is on Biden and his gargantuan incompetence.

    Paul Montagu (f9db85)

  13. JVW, unless you have time travel not giving those weapons to the Afghan army (if that’s where they came from) wasn’t an option.

    They were able to hold of the Taliban with our support pretty well. But we made the decision to hand the country back over to the Taliban so here we are.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  14. The blame lands squarely on Biden and the military brass leadership.

    IF the Afgan army was only able to hold off the Taliban along with US air support. There should’ve been plans to continue that, along with parallel programs to train the Afgan army on air support so that we can disengage in a stable manner.

    This chaos the Biden facilitated is/was avoidable and it’s probably the most despicable policy decision in modern times.

    whembly (7c17c7)

  15. @14, we screwed this up royally and Biden owns that. But you’re suggesting that we give Afghanistan an air force….which would have taken more time and money and none fo the Biden or Trump supporters were on board for that.

    I would have been okay with is staying for as long as that would have taken.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  16. Hard to argue otherwise… http://ace.mu.nu/archives/meme%2020210830%2000.jpg

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  17. JVW (ee64e4) — 8/30/2021 @ 9:17 am

    Don’t you think that we did in fact expect the Afghan government to fight off the Taliban? Or was 20 years of building up that force just one colossal jobs program? In that case, we should have had them drill with wooden rifles, like a high school JROTC corps.

    JB has already said he expected the AF government to fall to the Taliban. He just didn’t expect them to fall so fast. He expected that even when he said publically it wasn’t inevitable.

    Yes, we should have reclaimed or destroyed any equipment we didn’t want to fall into the hands of the Taliban. That is especially odd with regards to the biometric data systems we left. You’d be forgiven for suspecting none of that was an accident and might explain why we aren’t being attacked by the Taliban.

    frosty (f27e97)

  18. @15 I’m suggesting that our leadership informs the voters that afganistan needed a trained airforce as a requirement for a full pullout. I think voters would be onboard when there’s clearly defined objectives.

    whembly (0a8536)

  19. The guns, radios, and goggles certainly would have been hard to reclaim and hardly worth our time. And I don’t even care that much about the trucks or transport aircraft. But no way you can tell me that the U.S. military couldn’t have taken back or destroyed many of the helicopters and the armored vehicles. Especially once it became clear that the Taliban was routing the Afghan army throughout the country.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  20. Over the weekend, The Times of London ran an article (trapped behind a paywall, alas) which included an accounting of how much equipment the United States Military likely left behind in their disastrously-executed withdrawal from Afghanistan.

    Forbes had these numbers w/equipment breakdown estimates last week – no paywall.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/adamandrzejewski/2021/08/23/staggering-costs–us-military-equipment-left-behind-in-afghanistan/

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  21. whembly (0a8536) — 8/30/2021 @ 9:49 am

    Or at least not said they already had an air force

    Q: Is a Taliban takeover of Afghanistan now inevitable?
    THE PRESIDENT: No, it is not.
    Q: Why?
    THE PRESIDENT: Because you — the Afghan troops have 300,000 well-equipped — as well-equipped as any army in the world — and an air force against something like 75,000 Taliban. It is not inevitable.

    frosty (f27e97)

  22. Blackhawks over Kabul
    Who taught the tally band how to fly them?

    mg (8cbc69)

  23. Feckless-Dementia-Ridden??????

    Joe has always fancied himself another ‘F.D.R.’.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  24. @18, None of this was known for certain in advance. I’m sure Biden’s teams were given scenarios that called for that. No one went to the public and said “This might not work well.” The public didn’t want to hear it and half would have rejected it for sure. His base wanted out and wanted a leader to tell them it would be easy and just get it done. Anything to the contrary would have been ‘deep state forever war’

    Biden for sure could have done better. But it’s clear in hindsight he would have needed to add a lot of troops to the region to do so. Which is what he should have done.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  25. @19, JVW, we could probably go destroy them now. But we’ve had a peace / surrender treaty with the Taliban for over a year and blowing this stuff up might violate that.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  26. More intriguing is who is financing them. Our own government keep boasting of still having ‘leverage’ over the Taliban via future economic assistance— which is creepy to say the least as our dead come home to Dover.

    Which banks funnel finances to the Taliban across the internatonal spectrum? Whoi their Charlie Wilson’ or Citibank? Them there Toyota pick-up-trucks they love don’t mate like camels.

    Ahhhh, the sweet smell of capitalism.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  27. @All

    The question that hasn’t been asked is this: did we tacitly give up $80 billion dollars of military equipment to the taliban for some reason?

    whembly (7c17c7)

  28. @26 Time, the Taliban has no intention of abiding by any agreement. They broke their promise under Trump’s plan numerous times. So I think claiming the agreement did “x” is a bit of a red herring or simply a fig leaf.

    whembly (7c17c7)

  29. But we’ve had a peace / surrender treaty with the Taliban for over a year and blowing this stuff up might violate that.

    The same Taliban who let the ISIS suicide bomber through the security lines to kill 13 Americans and 170+ Afghans? Heaven forbid we fail to keep our commitments to that bunch!

    JVW (ee64e4)

  30. Whembly, the Taliban was never a trustworthy partner. Neither was the Afghan government but the Taliban is worse.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  31. 15. We did give Afghanistan an Air Force. But they needed either U.S. military or ex-military (contractors) to maintain them and keep them in good repair, and Biden pulled out both of them.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  32. JVW, so you want to go back to war with them? Re-invade now that we’ve started our retreat and the locals won’t trust us? What’s your proposed path forward?

    Mine is that we send in large number of troops. Take control of the region. Grant any of our allies who need it asylum. Pull the military out last.

    My solution would be expensive in terms of money and life but I think it’s the right thing to do.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  33. JVW, so you want to go back to war with them? Re-invade now that we’ve started our retreat and the locals won’t trust us? What’s your proposed path forward?

    This question is so similar to the nonsense the pro-Iran Deal crowd was putting out six years ago: either agree to Obama’s deal with Iran, or war would commence again. As with Iran back then, there were other choices available to Biden: tell the Taliban that in light of their failure to honor their commitments, we would be extending our evacuation presence well past August 31 and, in fact, would not depart until we felt that we had made all of the final preparations that needed to be made, which would have included retrieving all of the equipment that had not as of yet fallen into Taliban hands. Recall how easily we routed the Taliban 20 years ago; I don’t think they would have been too keen to try to directly confront us again. The August 31 deadline is completely meaningless and arbitrary, and there is no reason on earth that Joe Biden should feel bound in any way by it. This is what makes his actions so especially disgraceful.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  34. sackless clown-in-chief
    feckless reckless just plain dumb
    dementia ridden

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  35. Might work. Could also lead to them butchering thousands of people as a reprisal. Or ISIS doing it specifically to draw us back in. One thing that’s pretty clear. As long as we’ve ceded control of the region to them we have very little actual leverage given our limited force presence.

    To me this feels like a ‘reasonable’ version of what the re-treat crowd wanted; us to of the Afghanistan. It’s definitely on the bottom end of that. But with only 13 American soldiers dead and 100,000+ Pulled out of Kabul it’s in the Zone.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  36. to be clear, being at the bottom end still means Biden has done a terrible job.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  37. 34… so similar and yet they never learn

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  38. learned at barry’s knee
    pallets of cash are en route
    corn pop not amused

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  39. 29 whembly (7c17c7) — 8/30/2021 @ 10:30 am

    Time, the Taliban has no intention of abiding by any agreement.

    And if they do, it’s not because of the agreement. It’s because of fear of what we might do otherwise = deterrence.

    They broke their promise under Trump’s plan numerous times.

    But they kept their pledge not to attack U.S. forces even after Joe Biden extended the withdrawal date. Because it still made sense for them. They also avoided taking provincial capitals till about August 8. They were taking everything else.

    Biden is claiming heavy fighting would have erupted had he not proceeded with his withdrawal. He is on very shaky ground here. There hadn’t been any heavy fighting for U.S. forces in the previous four years or more.

    The U.S. was averaging 20 killed a year, which is not nothing. It’s not Korea, but it isn’t a major war, either. It would have been a problem getting a real ceasefire.

    Afghans lost 55,000 to 65,000 (I’ve heard different figures) in the course of the 20 years. The U.S. some 2,000 in all.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  40. 28-
    So the tally band can hang traitors from blackhawks and fly them over Kabul.

    mg (8cbc69)

  41. joe’s new fave flavor
    Taliban Ripple Effect
    they drank his milkshake

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  42. to be clear, being at the bottom end still means Biden has done a terrible job.

    Gee… ya think.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  43. Even Biden was not going to let it be said that not only did we abandon “our Afghan allies” we also destroyed their weapons on our way out.

    And even that is putting the cart before the horse. “Our Afghan allies” are sissier than the Taliban. Venal, treacherous, and corrupt. But they’re still Afghans. Who also whipped the Soviets to a frazzle. We would have needed to send a few hundred thousand of our tatters back in again to disarm them.

    nk (1d9030)

  44. Leverage:

    https://www.foxnews.com/transcript/fox-news-sunday-on-august-29-2021

    SULLIVAN: …

    But we believe, based on all of the extensive and systematic outreach that we have done, that we are down to a population of 300 or fewer Americans who are still on the ground there. And we are working actively in these hours and these days to get those folks out.

    But I also want to underscore, Chris, a very important point, there are some people who have chosen so far not to leave. And that is their right.

    And after August 31st, they are not going to be stuck in Afghanistan.

    We are going to ensure that we have a mechanism to get them out of the country should they choose in the future to come home. The Taliban has made commitments to us in that regard. We intend to hold them to those commitments. And we have leverage to hold them to those commitments.

    IF YOU HAD THAT KIND OF LEVERAGE, and I’m not saying you don’t, in fact there’s leverage over Pakistan now, as there was in 2001, YOU COULD HAVE KEPT THEM OUT OF KABUL, TOO, AND BAGROM AIR BASE, OR ARRANGED FOR GRACE PERIOD – SF

    WALLACE: Well, let me pick up on that. I want to play a clip from something that Jen Psaki said late this week about our relationship with the Taliban. Take a look.

    (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

    JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We have an enormous amount of leverage, this is our view, over time. That includes economic leverage, and includes leverage that we will make clear to the Taliban as it relates to coordination to continue to get American citizens and our partners out.

    (END VIDEO CLIP)

    WALLACE: Do you really believe that we have, quote, enormous leverage over the Taliban, enough that we’re going to be able to get out Americans and Afghan allies after we pull out? Do you really believe that? And do you really believe that there’s a chance that we might be able to set up — re- set up a U.S. embassy in Kabul?

    SULLIVAN: Chris, no one here trusts the Taliban. No one here is counting on any words the Taliban offer. What we are focused on is actions.

    And yes, the answer is emphatically yes. We do believe that the United States of America possesses substantial leverage to ensure that American citizens and others get safe passage out of that country.

    And that if they do not, we can bring to bear enormous pressure on the Taliban with a swift and forceful response to their blocking any American citizen, whether before August 31st or after August 31st. That’s not about trust.

    That’s about the capabilities we have to hold the Taliban to the commitments that they have voiced directly and the commitments that they have made publicly. And we are working in a united way with dozens of other countries in the international community to ensure that’s the case.

    ….WALLACE: But I think some people question whether we have leverage. I understand when you talk about there is pressure we can bring to bear, we have frozen billions of dollars and Afghan assets. There’s all kinds of ways we can squeeze them without actually using force.

    But let me take an example of one member of the Taliban. That’s Khalil Haqqani who is the head of security for the Taliban in Kabul. This fellow, Haqqani, he authorized suicide bombings against U.S. forces in Afghanistan over the years.

    The State Department has a $5 billion bounty on this guy’s head. Do you really believe that the kinds of soft power pressure you’re talking about is enormous leverage over a zealot like Haqqani?

    SULLIVAN: First of all, Chris, billions of dollars is not soft power.

    That’s real cold hard cash that matters. Secondly, and probably more importantly, no one is more clear-eyed about who the Taliban are and who the Haqqani network is than the national security professionals that have been working on this issue for the past 20 years.

    The question is not whether these are good guys or bad guys. We know the answer to that question. The question is whether or not they will ultimately see it as being in their interest to let Americans through.

    Jake Sullivan continues with proof of leverage:

    A lot of people suggested 12 days ago that they wouldn’t, that people under the Taliban head of security wouldn’t let thousands of Americans have safe passage to the airport and get out.

    We have evacuated more than 5,000 Americans in that time. And we intend to ensure that any American who wants to leave Afghanistan at any time will be able to do so.

    Now, he’s forgetting about the Afghan allies. They throw them in, and then, when it’s convenient, they leave them out of their rhetoric.

    The Taliban in fact have said that people will be permitted to leave Afghanistan – once they have passports – and anyone with permission to go to another country – that’s a Catch-22 by the way – will be permitted to leave. Pakistan has said they let through any Americans and people authorized to travel further or something like that. If Americans are not leaving it could be in some cases it’s because they think they won’t be killed and neither will they kill others in front of them and let them go, but if they leave people behind, who knows?

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  45. During WW2, the dictum for weaponry and munitions procurement was to design and purchase ‘product’ which could be economically absorbed as acceptable losses. In other words- they were ‘disposable stuff’ – affordably made to lose. Examples:

    THE PRICE OF VICTORY (cost of an aircraft in WWII dollars)

    B-17 $204,370. P-40 $44,892.
    B-24 $215,516. P-47 $85,578.
    B-25 $142,194. P-51 $51,572.
    B-26 $192,426. C-47 $88,574.
    B-29 $605,360. PT-17 $15,052.
    P-38 $97,147. AT-6 $22,952.

    Not ‘cheap’- just affordable enough to absorb as acceptable losses. You can do the conversion today’s $ if you want, but today, America’s war profitering MIC has larded up the costs of today’s weapons platforms to the point of making them so expensive as to be ‘unaffordable to lose’ – which is absurdly counterproductive to their intented purpose to begin with- but highly lucrative for arms merchants suckling at the government teet. $15 billion aircraft carriers which can be sunk by a couple of $1.5 million Exocet missiles is not particularly cost-effective thinking.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  46. From a previously posted article:

    The Trump-Taliban agreement shaped the circumstances for the current situation by essentially curtailing offensive combat operations for U.S. and allied troops. The U.S. air-support rules of engagement for Afghan security forces effectively changed overnight, and the Taliban were emboldened. They could sense victory and knew it was just a matter of waiting out the Americans. Before that deal, the Taliban had not won any significant battles against the Afghan Army. After the agreement? We were losing dozens of soldiers a day.
    ……..
    Contractors maintained our bombers and our attack and transport aircraft throughout the war. By July, most of the 17,000 support contractors had left. A technical issue now meant that aircraft — a Black Hawk helicopter, a C-130 transport, a surveillance drone — would be grounded.

    The contractors also took proprietary software and weapons systems with them. They physically removed our helicopter missile-defense system. Access to the software that we relied on to track our vehicles, weapons and personnel also disappeared. Real-time intelligence on targets went out the window, too……..

    Apparently the Trump-Taliban agreement curtailed US offensive engagements, including US air support, (at least according to a top Afghan general) and once the contractors left so did the ability of the Afghan Army (and now the Taliban) to use Black Hawk helicopters, etc. efficiently.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  47. @47: whatabout trump

    over/under was 37

    over wins

    JF (e1156d)

  48. How dare RIP provide a link to an article that’s pertinent to the OP. Good thing JF is here to clutter up the thread pointless trolling.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  49. Arms cost- in WW2 $:

    $15. M1911 .45cal pistol.
    $70. Thompson SMG.
    $83. M1 Garand rifle.

    $46,000. M4 (Sherman) tank. 35 tons. 75mm main gun.
    $50,000. F6F Hellcat fighter

    http://www.ww2f.com/threads/cost-of-ww2-weapons.20291/

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  50. https://www.nbcnews.com/meet-the-press/meet-press-august-29-2021-n1277894

    SEC. ANTONY BLINKEN:,,, . First, in terms of having an on-the-ground diplomatic presence on September 1st, that’s not likely to happen. But what is going to happen is that our commitment to continue to help people leave Afghanistan who want to leave and who are not out by September 1st, that endures. There’s no deadline on that effort. And we have ways, we have mechanisms to help facilitate the ongoing departure of people from Afghanistan if they choose to leave.

    CHUCK TODD:

    What are those ways and mechanisms? Is it more negotiating with the Taliban?

    SEC. ANTONY BLINKEN:

    Well, look, I’m not going to get into the detail, but let me say this. First, you may have seen that just yesterday a very senior Taliban official went on television and radio across the country and repeatedly assured people in Afghanistan that they would have the freedom to travel after August 31st. He even specifically said, “Those who worked for the Americans and those who want to leave for whatever reason will have that freedom.” Now of course, we don’t take the Taliban at their word, we take them by their deed. And that’s what we’re going to be looking to. We have more than 100 countries, 114 countries who signed onto a statement we initiated making clear the international community expects the Taliban to make good on a commitment to let people continue to leave the country after August 31st. That freedom of travel is essential to the international community’s expectations of the Taliban going forward. And working with other countries very closely, we’re going to make sure that we put in place the means to do that. An airport that functions, other ways of leaving the country, all of that is what we’re working on in the days ahead.

    CHUCK TODD:

    There’s a report that says the Turks have agreed to essentially be in charge of security of that airport after August 31st. Is that your understanding?

    SEC. ANTONY BLINKEN:

    Chuck, there are a number of countries in the region that we’re working very closely with that are focused on how to make sure the airport can stay open or reopen after we leave to ensure the flights can come in, flights can go out, there’s the necessary security. We’ve done a lot of technical work on exactly what would be required to keep the airport going. We’ve shared that with those countries, and we’ll have a plan for the way forward.

    CHUCK TODD:

    We know that the list of Americans who may want to get out is in the hundreds. Do you have a good —

    SEC. ANTONY BLINKEN:

    That’s right.

    CHUCK TODD:

    — number of Afghan allies that would like to get out, that would like to be — to get these special immigrant visas? Do you have a good handle on what that number is?

    SEC. ANTONY BLINKEN:

    Chuck, we already know this. First, roughly 110,000 people overall have been evacuated. The very significant majority of those people are Afghans. And of those Afghans who’ve been evacuated, there are thousands upon thousands who are special immigrant visa program members. That is the people who worked side by side directly for our diplomats, directly for our troops over the years. These numbers though are very, very fluid. And we’re working very hard to do a full accounting, to get a full tabulation. We’ll be able to break down who was able to leave by these different categories. Part of the challenge with the special immigrant visa program participants is that in this –in these 14 days, many of them have not had complete or full documentation. All of that has to be verified, but we’ll have a full accounting in the days ahead.

    CHUCK TODD:

    I want to ask about this idea that we’re — some of these lists of people that you’re trying to get out of the country you’ve had to give to the Taliban. And I know you guys have some — that you think some of this has been a bit overreported or exaggerated. But given the Haqqani network’s ties to the Taliban, how can you be sure any list you share of Afghans who helped Americans won’t be used for horrendous reasons by the Haqqani network or others?

    SEC. ANTONY BLINKEN:

    Chuck, it’s simply not the case. The idea that we’ve done anything to put at further risk those that we’re trying to help leave the country is simply wrong. And the idea that we shared lists of Americans or others with the Taliban is simply wrong —

    CHUCK TODD:

    What was shared?

    SEC. ANTONY BLINKEN:

    In specific — so, in specific instances when you’re trying to get a bus or a group of people through, and you need to show a manifest to do that, because particularly in cases where people don’t have the necessary credentials on them or documents on them, then you would — you’ll share names on a list of people on the bus so they can be assured that those are people that we’re looking to bring in. And by definition, that’s exactly what’s happened. We’ve gotten 5,500 American citizens out of Afghanistan. And to the extent that in an individual case with a particular group or a bus to verify that the people on the bus or in that group were people who were supposed to come out, American citizens, especially again, if they lacked the right document with them, that’s what we would do. But the idea that we put anyone in any further jeopardy is simply wrong.

    Note, he mentions “people who were supposed to come out” but does not explain who they are and who they are not. Even those who could be put on such a list, aren’t yet on it. People evacutaed from the airport include people who owned stores there or right outside.

    CHUCK TODD:

    What — what has been promised to the Taliban for this cooperation? Is it money? Is it — is it money that we have frozen right now that they perhaps might be able to use for governing?

    SEC. ANTONY BLINKEN:

    Nothing has been promised to the Taliban. To the contrary, we have made very clear, and not just us, country upon country around the world have made clear that there are very significant expectations of the Taliban going forward if they’re going to have any kind of relationship with the rest of the world. Starting with freedom of travel, but then going on to making sure that they’re sustaining the basic rights of their people, including women and girls, making sure that they’re making good on commitments they’ve repeatedly made on counterterrorism and having some inclusivity in governance.

    ???

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  51. @51. Jesus. Is he that stupid?

    Watch word:

    [ ] Mickey Mouse

    [ ] Spiro Agnew

    [ ] Sundial

    Choose.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  52. @46,’
    That could have been because Jesse Jones had a big role in production.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesse_H._Jones

    ones was in charge of spending US$50 billion, especially in financing railways and building munitions factories.[1] He served as the United States Secretary of Commerce from 1940 to 1945, a post he held concurrently with his chairmanship of the RFC.

    This might be the wrong person to attribute this common sense approach, though.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  53. @49 another fan of whatabout trump chimes in

    it had already been posted

    and, it’s a disservice to the article to reduce it to but trump

    “Mr. Biden’s full and accelerated withdrawal solely exacerbated the state of affairs.”

    biden reversed countless trump decisions on day one — border policy, iran nuclear deal, climate accords — but this one his hands were clearly tied for seven months

    what a joke

    keep covering for your dementia ridden piece of crap prez

    JF (e1156d)

  54. @55, he didn’t. You’re just obsessed with reducing everything to Trump, or you’re not smart enough to notice RIP pointed out how the deal impacted the functionality of the helicopters, which is pertinent to this post.

    Either way I’m going to go back to ignoring you.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  55. Yes, but the Taliban carry face covering cloth everywhere which makes them morally superior, and smarter than Trump voters.
    No word yet on how well the Taliban is doing on getting its fighters to vaccinate but in all fairness, they’ve been busy

    steveg (ebe7c1)

  56. @56 bullcrap

    the helicopters were impacted by the loss of contractors, who left in july according to that same article

    trump made them leave in july, is that your sorry azz story?

    quit making crap up

    JF (e1156d)

  57. Even WaPo allows that the Taliban breached its end of the deal and Trump had threatened to use overwhelming force to counter violations and Biden choose not to.

    “Trump spoke cautiously about the deal’s prospects for success, warning of military firepower if “bad things happen.” Pompeo similarly said the U.S. was “realistic” and “restrained,” determined to avoid endless wars.

    U.S. officials made clear at the time that the agreement was conditions-based and the failure of intra-Afghan peace talks to reach a negotiated settlement would have nullified the requirement to withdraw.

    One day before the Doha deal, a top aide to chief U.S. negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad said the agreement was not irreversible, and “there is no obligation for the United States to withdraw troops if the Afghan parties are unable to reach agreement or if the Taliban show bad faith” during negotiations”

    steveg (ebe7c1)

  58. SteveG, I agree, it’s a bad deal and a bad policy. Biden could have tossed it, but he and his based wanted out also. So this is on him and them as well.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  59. @58, you have summarized the same point that RIP made, only you did it badly, and with more profanity. It’s nice that you and RIP can agree on this.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  60. Biden was too busy making vaccines, sewing masks in the WH kitchen with Dr. Jill, saving us all from COVID to pay attention to the Taliban’s breaches of contract.

    steveg (ebe7c1)

  61. Do you think its good policy to have our Blackhawks being flown by the tally band with people hanging by a rope from them?

    mg (8cbc69)

  62. Silly frat boy pranksters, those Taliban…

    Regarding the hardware, if only we had planes who were invented to deal with mechanized armies with no air cover, then we could of dealt with this for the last three months.
    Oh. A-10’s were sent home and Bagram was closed. Never mind

    steveg (ebe7c1)

  63. biden/harris has created a new army that will be seated next to India at the United Nations…

    mg (8cbc69)

  64. @61 you’d even lie about ignoring me

    JF (e1156d)

  65. Whatever happened to Col. klank?

    mg (8cbc69)

  66. Breaking- Pentagon announced last C-17 left with U.S. personnel aboard [a general and ambassador aboard] 12 hours ago.

    “War over.”

    Centcom’s McKenzie then says Americans “left behind” in Afghanistan number in ‘the low hundreds.’

    Douche nozzle.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  67. Wheels Up/Heals Up/2024

    mg (8cbc69)

  68. “We did not get everybody out who we wanted to get out.” – General McKenzie, CENTCOM

    Idiot.

    ‘Did you really call a one-star General a nincompack?’ – Henry Blake [McLean Stevenson] ‘MASH’ CBS TV

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  69. Stamp of Approval: http://ace.mu.nu/archives/meme%2020210830%2000.jpg

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  70. Unsophisticated cavemen from centuries past with sophisticated weapons of today.
    Wheels Up!

    mg (8cbc69)

  71. Beauing, Beauing, gone, eh, Joe?!

    “These things happened. They were glorious and they changed the world… and then we fvcked up the endgame.” – Charlie Wilson [Tom Hanks] ‘Charlie Wilson’s War’ 2007

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  72. CLG News: “Glenn Beck had a private plane try to pick up Americans in Afghanistan. The State Dept. told him to stand down or the plane would be shot down. But Biden made sure he got 120,000+ unvetted Afghans out-to flood the US w. even more illegal immigrants to destroy the US from within.”

    https://twitter.com/legitgov/status/1432380355063975949?s=21

    Obudman (46eeea)

  73. Who will trust us? They need us more then we need them. Trust has nothing to do with it. If senile joe is replaced by harris and squad member veep. You prefer this?

    asset (55426c)

  74. @56. It’s now a parts store:

    “Tally Towelhead’s War Surplus.”

    ‘Be-headin’ our way where every deal’s a steal!’

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  75. Given Biden’s Christmas in August event gifting the Taliban with that ginormous amount of military equipment and weaponry, it’s likely they will sell much of it off. It’s not a stretch to think there’s potential for the USA becoming Number 1 funder of global terrorism.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  76. In his Farewell Address to the newly freed American people, George Washington warned against three things: hyperpartisanship, excessive debt, and interference in foreign conflicts. He was what we would call today a classical liberal, in the Enlightenment sense, like Jefferson, Adams and Franklin. They lived over 250 years ago, but look at us today.

    https://reason.com/2021/08/27/libertarians-correctly-predicted-the-afghanistan-fiasco/

    I consider myself a classical liberal, but the Libertarian Party nowadays is full of kooks. None of them have a clue, but then neither do the Democrats or the Republicans. So I am basically a man without a party.

    Gawain's Ghost (c6fd3b)

  77. I feel you pain GG

    Time123 (edb5fd)

  78. Where’s the ‘blinken’ goddamned President?

    Why Big Tone on TeeVee and not the CIC?????

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  79. Populism is now the driving force in both parties as free trade economic libertarian capitalism has failed the working class. Uncle milty was wrong people won’t put up with anything.

    asset (55426c)

  80. @78/79George Washington warned against three things: hyperpartisanship, excessive debt, and interference in foreign conflicts.

    Pffft.

    You’ve never read ‘George Washington’s Expense Account’ by Marvin Kitman have you…

    “Everybody knows George Washington as our foremost Founding Father, the man who led the forces that liberated the Colonies and became our first President. But how many today give him due credit for his unprecedented successes with creative accounting and financial wizardry?

    In George Washington’s Expense Account, coauthor Marvin Kitman shows how Washington brilliantly turned his noble gesture of refusing payment for his service as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army into an opportunity to indulge his insatiable lust for fine food and drink, extravagant clothing, and lavish accommodations. In a close analysis of the actual documents that financed our Revolution, Kitman uncovers more scandals than you can shake a Nixon cabinet member at–and serves each up with verve and wit.” -https://groveatlantic.com/book/george-washingtons-expense-account/

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  81. Hundreds of hostages at the ready, eh mick? Taliban pot ‘o’ gold at the end of your Rain-Beau.

    Which is why this man is smiling:

    https://qph.fs.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-fc01411200d26acc65cfad513ef0d657-c

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  82. With the US and allies holding Afghanistan’s cash and leaving the government and Afghan people, I can see the Taliban starting to sell some of our military equipment that they cannot use or want to raise money.

    I wonder if the smartest president ever – Joe Biden – thought of that.

    Probably not.

    Too busy looking at his watch…

    Hoi Polloi (093fb9)

  83. Just heard cellar joe left our service dogs in the kennels.

    mg (8cbc69)

  84. Maybe we could have sent Rudi Giuliani and Sidney Powell to repossess the weapons.

    nk (1d9030)

  85. And the boots, too. In addition to carrying M-16s and M-4s, there are photos of Taliban wearing American army boots.

    nk (1d9030)

  86. “You imam wears army boots!”

    felipe (484255)

  87. https://www.state.gov/

    Blinken was supposed to speak at 5pm eastern. It was rescheduled to 6pm. Still nothing.

    BuDuh (fdd65e)

  88. Perhaps the urinating hookers,nk.

    mg (8cbc69)

  89. Sec of State takes a victory lap. Nice!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  90. Well.. that was pathetic. Blinken is counting of the Taliban brushing up on their humanitarian credentials while the Taliban are swinging bodies from helicopters.

    Truly a lofty goal.

    BuDuh (fdd65e)

  91. The President should have made that speech.

    O.M.G. First, second, thirdly, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh… did somebody stick a Hellfire up his blinken azz?? He’s a drone, too.

    That was the worst displays by a public servant since Budd Dwyer resigned at gunpoint.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  92. 85.Just heard cellar joe left our service dogs in the kennels.

    Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh Talilunch!

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  93. The US will use caution fighting Covid in Afghanistan until the Taliban respect women and treat them equally.

    I think the don’t blame me crowd who voted 3rd party so they could pin the responsibility on their State’s unchangeable electoral vote, probably should at least be pissed at the people in their State that chose this administration.

    BuDuh (fdd65e)

  94. Secretary of State Wint leaves ‘with his tails between his legs’:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2GHL8VhMjo

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  95. If it were Trump having these issues – special impeachment sessions would have already taken place.

    mg (8cbc69)

  96. @97. Cannot possibly imagine in this Universe or any other that Pompeo would allow himself to deliver a pathetic address like that.

    He’d resign first.

    That ‘Duty, Honor, Country,’ West Point thingy.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  97. FWIW, dug out our 13 star flag bougtt for the Bicentennial back in ’76- usually fly it only on July 4.

    No half staff crap: have it full up for the Fallen 13. A star for each of them.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  98. Even Biden was not going to let it be said that not only did we abandon “our Afghan allies” we also destroyed their weapons on our way out.

    The Afghan Army, such that it was, had already had their asses kicked all over the Hindu Kush. Best thing we could have done is take away their heavy equipment (it’s true that confiscating their guns, trucks, etc. would have been useless), tell half of them they’re free to go join the Taliban (which is pretty much what was happening, as I gather) and then provide a flight out of Afghanistan for the rest of them: “You and your family are just going to love Germany, Hamid.”

    JVW (ee64e4)

  99. West Point thingy just surrendered.

    mg (8cbc69)

  100. My neighbor has his flying, DCSCA.
    I need a new one.

    mg (8cbc69)

  101. Cannot possibly imagine in this Universe or any other that Pompeo would allow himself to deliver a pathetic address like that.

    He’d resign first.

    That ‘Duty, Honor, Country,’ West Point thingy.

    You think Anthony Blinken, former editor of the Harvard Crimson and intern at The New Republic, might have a particularly tenuous grasp on how people act away from “Porc” and Spee and the restaurant at the Hay-Adams Hotel?

    JVW (ee64e4)

  102. He actuall said we’ll give the Taliban aid.

    Petrol for planes and tanks, Secretary of State Wint?

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  103. @103. the restaurant at the Hay-Adams Hotel….

    Is that where he and Mr. Kidd practice dessert spooning and shish-ka-bob diplomacy?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2GHL8VhMjo

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  104. @102. Spoke to a friend last night who has two different contacts who knew two of the dead Marines. It’s just devastating.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  105. “United Teachers Los Angeles President Cecily Myart-Cruz says learning loss is a myth. “It’s OK that our babies may not have learned all their times tables…. They know the difference between a riot and a protest. They know the words insurrection and coup.”

    https://www.eiaonline.com/intercepts/2021/08/30/los-angeles-magazine-gives-union-president-the-profile-shes-earned/

    Obudman (46eeea)

  106. Beau to Hell, Joe.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  107. West Point thingy just surrendered.

    Not a surprise when this is what is going on at the service academies:

    West Point Scraps Second-Chance Program After Major Cheating Scandal
    Responding to its worst academic scandal in decades, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point will scrap a program that provided a second chance to cadets who violated the honor code that is central to its mission, officials said on Friday.

    The program, which the academy adopted in 2015, was sharply criticized by some West Point graduates in December after officials disclosed that 73 cadets had been accused of cheating on a calculus exam last spring.

    The program’s critics said it reflected an approach that was too lenient for dealing with infractions of West Point’s honor code — “A cadet will not lie, cheat, steal or tolerate those who do” — like the ones at issue in the cheating scandal.
    ………

    Or

    U.S. Naval Academy Expels 18 Midshipmen Over Cheating Scandal
    …….
    In all, 105 midshipmen were identified as likely to have accessed unauthorized resources, it said. Eighteen of those were expelled and 82 were found to be in violation of the academy’s Honor Concept and entered a five-month “honor remediation program.” Four midshipmen were found to not be in violation and one is awaiting a judgment.
    …….

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  108. victory mincing
    Winkin Blinken and Nod off
    forever haunt us

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  109. mg (8cbc69) — 8/30/2021 @ 1:17 pm

    Whatever happened to Col. klank?

    Been wondering the same. I can do a “this thing isn’t that thing” and “words mean things” every so often if you’re really missing him. I’m not sure I can replicate his more recent stuff though.

    frosty (f27e97)

  110. We armed north vietnam in 1975.

    asset (4988cd)

  111. I just wanted to hear his spin, like nk’s b.s.

    mg (8cbc69)

  112. 96. I clicked on this now. Saw an out-of-date ad about Afghanistan from the International Rescue Committee about increasing violence, 300.000 homeless, size of Afghan staff and 30,000 Afghans fleeing each week into other counties. It asks people to go to rescue.org

    I think most of those NGO people were evvacated – at least those who could get to Kabul.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  113. 113… “Jussie and teh Moonshiner Show”?

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  114. More like $24 billion, which is still not good, but the more lethal stuff was “demilitarized”, i.e., destroyed in place.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  115. Link.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  116. You know there’s precedent for this. Atalanta and the golden apples. Medea and the pieces of her brother’s dead body. The sleigh and the passenger being thrown to the wolves (the most apt, I think). The Taliban occupied with securing the weapons (and boots) from “our Afghan allies” would have less incentive and fewer resources to chase down our fleeing troops and take theirs.

    nk (1d9030)

  117. 112.We armed north vietnam in 1975.

    North Korea, too. That USS Pueblo is a lovely museum.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)


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