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 (2000-Pres) Current Day Military talk (No Partisan Politics)
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Larry Purtell
Little Meadows PA USA
Posts: 1329
Joined: 2004
Afghanistan going down?
8/7/2021 2:43:24 PM
I rarely watch or pay attention to world news anymore but this story caught my eye. Looks like Afghanistan is headed back to Taliban rule.
https://www.foxnews.com/world/us-embassy-kabul-leave-taliban-violence
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"My goal is to live forever. So far, so good.
Wazza
Sydney  Australia
Posts: 643
Joined: 2005
Afghanistan going down?
8/7/2021 4:54:03 PM
I don't believe there was any doubt to what would happen.

Regions are quickly falling along with many elements of the Afghan army.
Jim Cameron
Ossining NY USA
Posts: 969
Joined: 2005
Afghanistan going down?
8/7/2021 4:58:52 PM
And frankly, most Americans couldn't care less.
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Jim Cameron Every time I go to Gettysburg, I learn two things. Something new, and, how much I still don't know.
Larry Purtell
Little Meadows PA USA
Posts: 1329
Joined: 2004
Afghanistan going down?
8/12/2021 2:51:27 PM
Quote:
And frankly, most Americans couldn't care less.


I think you're right Jim. Except for military family's with members there it's just a story on the evening news. Shades of 1975 in Saigon.

Best regards, Larry.
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"My goal is to live forever. So far, so good.
DT509er
Santa Rosa CA USA
Posts: 987
Joined: 2005
Afghanistan going down?
8/12/2021 11:37:43 PM
Afghan National Army troops retreating, Herat and Kandahar are back in Taliban control and 82nd Airborne and other US troops deployed back into Afghanistan to evacuate more personnel; I say the Taliban have full control in less than 2 weeks.
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"American parachutists-devils in baggy pants..." “If your experiment needs statistics, you ought to have done a better experiment.” Lord Ernest Rutherford
Larry Purtell
Little Meadows PA USA
Posts: 1329
Joined: 2004
Afghanistan going down?
8/13/2021 9:23:41 AM
Quote:
Afghan National Army troops retreating, Herat and Kandahar are back in Taliban control and 82nd Airborne and other US troops deployed back into Afghanistan to evacuate more personnel; I say the Taliban have full control in less than 2 weeks.

Given current circumstances I think two weeks is optimistic.

Larry.
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"My goal is to live forever. So far, so good.
Larry Purtell
Little Meadows PA USA
Posts: 1329
Joined: 2004
Afghanistan going down?
8/13/2021 3:18:54 PM
From the BBC. Because most american MSM is worthless.
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-58170433
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"My goal is to live forever. So far, so good.
Brian W
Atlanta GA USA
Posts: 1083
Joined: 2004
Afghanistan going down?
8/13/2021 5:02:06 PM
It's a shame it's ending like this. Total chaos it seems.
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"Take it easy. But take it" - Tom Morello's mom.
Larry Purtell
Little Meadows PA USA
Posts: 1329
Joined: 2004
Afghanistan going down?
8/13/2021 5:15:10 PM
From what I can gather the taliban seem to be on an unstoppable march to victory. Sad after all the U.S. blood, time and money spent there.
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"My goal is to live forever. So far, so good.
Brian Grafton
Victoria BC Canada
Posts: 3882
Joined: 2004
Afghanistan going down?
8/14/2021 8:50:27 PM
Help me a bit with this, please. Is the consensus on this thread not just that the Taliban are reasserting their authority but that most folks in the US – military, and those directly linked to them – don’t care?

Will there be no questions about lying to US citizens about reasons, aims, commitments. If there are questions, are they going to be merely retreads of partisan nonsense, rather an an assessment of whether the US has a foreign policy in sync with reality or only with old bromides?

No soul-searching by the military why they continue to fail in their “intrusions for freedom”?, the same military which calls itself the “strongest in the world” but which has to list armloads of “intrusions” as failures (think Cuba [Bay of Pigs]; Vietnam; Iran 79 [turned into a proxy Iran/Iraq slaughter]; Iraq War 2; Syria/ISIS.

This isn’t meant as a partisan comment. It isn’t anti-American. I’ll admit I never believed any story which suggested that the Taliban were being defeated. However slightly, I’ve read Afghan history; for better or worse, the Taliban are the power in Afghanistan right now. But what the hell went pear-shaped that an entire regime can disintegrate in weeks? Is this what makes the collapse of the Kabul power look so similar to the end-of-days in Saigon?

This is a military site, folks. I’m asking for some assessments concerning what some might call a “repetitive systems failure” and others might call GIGO. I’m also wondering – if the consensus is right about the lack of interest in the failure of the Afghan “intrusion” – whether the US military functions at the will of the people, or only for the stroking of the people’s ego. We all know there are fans who continue to support a losing team. And they still get a fly-past!

Cheers. And stay safe.
Brian G
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"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly. "The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.
DT509er
Santa Rosa CA USA
Posts: 987
Joined: 2005
Afghanistan going down?
8/15/2021 11:35:42 AM
Apparently so Larry, the collapse in Afghanistan is happening faster than the news can report it; when they do that is.

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"American parachutists-devils in baggy pants..." “If your experiment needs statistics, you ought to have done a better experiment.” Lord Ernest Rutherford
17thfabn
Ohio OH USA
Posts: 152
Joined: 2008
Afghanistan going down?
8/15/2021 3:21:36 PM
Quote:
And frankly, most Americans couldn't care less.


I think many Americans care. But is it worth the effort? How long would we have to stay? How much blood and treasure would we have to spend to have an Afghanistan government and Army that could stand up to the taliban?

We have been there 20 years. If we had left 10 years ago or 10 years from now would the outcome be different?

It is ugly to see the true followers of the illiterate evil false prophet take over. I feel sorry for those who will live through this nightmare.

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Withdrawal in disgust is not the same as apathy.
Larry Purtell
Little Meadows PA USA
Posts: 1329
Joined: 2004
Afghanistan going down?
8/15/2021 4:18:22 PM
Haven't seen any news reports today, but it seems total takeover is hours, not days away. The people of Afghanistan are probably in for a brutal regime bent on revenge toward anyone even suspected of cooperating with any foreign power.

Larry
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"My goal is to live forever. So far, so good.
GaryNJ
Cumberland NJ USA
Posts: 142
Joined: 2010
Afghanistan going down?
8/15/2021 4:22:58 PM
This is an extremely sad situation. I can only hope that those Afghans who helped the US and other nations will be able to get to safety. Some apparently have already been killed.

Gary
Brian W
Atlanta GA USA
Posts: 1083
Joined: 2004
Afghanistan going down?
8/16/2021 8:43:28 PM
I guess we're going to see what China is going to do. It's well known that they're ready to give it a try.
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"Take it easy. But take it" - Tom Morello's mom.
MPReed
Monroe MI USA
Posts: 33
Joined: 2005
Afghanistan going down?
8/16/2021 11:03:01 PM
Quote:
This is an extremely sad situation. I can only hope that those Afghans who helped the US and other nations will be able to get to safety. Some apparently have already been killed.

Gary


My nephew had an Afghan friend at college who is supposed to be in Kabul. He had worked with the U.S. military, and came over to get his masters in engineering degree to help rebuild Afghanistan. He is certainly on a list somewhere. Hope he and his family can get out, but I suspect that is not very likely.

President was on TV. Said it was all Trump's fault (along with Afghan Army). Interesting that I was watching a youtube video of Lewis Sorly on Westmoreland (not too kind to the general). Obama is said to have bragged about reading his book as did Biden, yet Biden seems to have not to have learned anything from it. That is if you subscribe to the view he is not an actual veg.

Sometimes I feel that the best thing for humanity is to turn that whole region of the world into one giant piece of glass.

Going to Mars and dealing with radiation, no potable water, and perchlorates seems on some days to be so much more inviting than living on Earth .
Brian Grafton
Victoria BC Canada
Posts: 3882
Joined: 2004
Afghanistan going down?
8/16/2021 11:27:48 PM
Brian W, good point – though potentially ambiguous.

PRC do, as we all know, have a huge investment in their “silk road” venture, and IIUC that wends through the ‘Stans. And they have capital to spare for the Taliban in order to protect their investments to date. And it seems to me that PRC have a rather more pragmatic approach to human rights than the west does.

I assume that’s at least part of what you are implying.

Cheers. And stay safe.
Brian G
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"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly. "The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.
Brian W
Atlanta GA USA
Posts: 1083
Joined: 2004
Afghanistan going down?
8/17/2021 11:47:41 PM
Thoughts?

Former Supreme Allied Commander at NATO Describes Military Events In Kabul
[Read More]
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"Take it easy. But take it" - Tom Morello's mom.
morris crumley
Dunwoody GA USA
Posts: 2952
Joined: 2007
Afghanistan going down?
8/18/2021 4:04:24 PM
Been watching the various briefings, Milley, Austin, Sherman at State, and others including 46. What a pathetic and shameful disgrace of leadership across the boards. God help us all!
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"You are a $70, red-wool, pure quill military genius, or the biggest damn fool in northern Mexico."
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 11876
Joined: 2009
Afghanistan going down?
8/18/2021 5:57:08 PM
Hello Brian W.,

Interesting interview. I am not sure what Admiral Stavridis was suggesting with regard to the training of the Afghan forces. He called the national army a "Mini-me" army and implied that an army based upon the US or NATO model was not what was needed.

Near the end of the interview he said something about the Afghans being more concerned about defending their own villages.

So what was he suggesting? He did say that the Afghans would be better off with "light and fast" units rather than large units supported by a lot of technology. I guess that I am a little confused as to the model that the Admiral was proposing.

Other than that, he was quite honest about the quality of the opponent and his view is that the departure was bungled. It happened too quickly. Of note he said that when he commanded 150,000 troops that he thought that that force was too large. Interesting.

Cheers,

George
Brian W
Atlanta GA USA
Posts: 1083
Joined: 2004
Afghanistan going down?
8/18/2021 8:03:49 PM
Hi George,

Remember the Northern Alliance? They helped bring the Taliban down. Local militias banded together to help get rid of them. I think that's what he was talking about.
Light and local and formed on alliances. The National Army appears to have been doomed from the start. I think that's what he was saying. There's no loyalty at the national level.
That's what I understand as a takeaway.
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"Take it easy. But take it" - Tom Morello's mom.
DT509er
Santa Rosa CA USA
Posts: 987
Joined: 2005
Afghanistan going down?
8/18/2021 11:28:14 PM
Had this been the Trump admin or a Republican admin, Jan 6, 2021 would have looked like a picnic. Heads should roll on this but they won't and there are a slew of incompetent heads in this admin to choose from to roll down the hill.

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"American parachutists-devils in baggy pants..." “If your experiment needs statistics, you ought to have done a better experiment.” Lord Ernest Rutherford
morris crumley
Dunwoody GA USA
Posts: 2952
Joined: 2007
Afghanistan going down?
8/19/2021 9:36:15 AM
According to the clown what`s in charge, Biden, there was no way this could have been done without chaos! Yet he also proclaimed they had prepared for every contingency!

According to Milley, also a joke......they could not hold on to the embassy and the two run-way, military air base with the troop levels imposed by Biden. Then begin evacuations while you still do have the troops to do it right. Or you could tell the President you will resign rather than follow Biden`s ridiculous plans for unavoidable chaos.

No heads are going to roll. There is no accountability in the US military for senior leadership. They can fuck up all they want....retire...and as someone else said....get a high paying gig at Raytheon.
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"You are a $70, red-wool, pure quill military genius, or the biggest damn fool in northern Mexico."
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 11876
Joined: 2009
Afghanistan going down?
8/19/2021 9:57:26 AM
Quote:
Hi George,

Remember the Northern Alliance? They helped bring the Taliban down. Local militias banded together to help get rid of them. I think that's what he was talking about.
Light and local and formed on alliances. The National Army appears to have been doomed from the start. I think that's what he was saying. There's no loyalty at the national level.
That's what I understand as a takeaway.


That's how I see it Brian. Kaii has pointed out that there seems to be a resurgence of the Northern Alliance under Massoud.

But the whole country seems to be controlled by warlords who keep the peace in their areas. How would the US and NATO have ever supported such disparate groups?

If my recollection of some of the Vietnam conflict is correct, the US did have army Rangers embedded with guerrilla groups like the Montagnard. Perhaps the Admiral was referring to that type of support. Again, I was surprised to hear him say that he felt that he had "too many" troops for the type of support actually required.

Cheers,

George
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 11876
Joined: 2009
Afghanistan going down?
8/19/2021 10:20:56 AM
Quote:
Had this been the Trump admin or a Republican admin, Jan 6, 2021 would have looked like a picnic. Heads should roll on this but they won't and there are a slew of incompetent heads in this admin to choose from to roll down the hill.




Dan, what does this have to do with Jan. 6?

I also think that the table was set for what is happening now by the Trump administration when he signed that deal with the Taliban in Doha in 2020. There were no representatives from the Afghanistan government present. Those negotiations should not have happened without them. The Afghanistan government is inept but this exclusion must have been demoralizing.

I believe that the initial troop withdrawal under Trump lowered the number of US troops from 13,000 to 2,500.

When were the 5000 Taliban prisoners released? The Afghans were pressured to do this and it was a condition demanded by the Taliban before they would agree to engage with the Afghanistan government.

And the Taliban continued to attack even after the agreement. What happened to the full ceasefire?
They also engaged in talks with Al-Qaeda which violated the deal.

Still, Trump and Biden seem to be on the same page with respect to US withdrawal. They both want it done. I don't know whether Biden would have been permitted to renege on Trump's deal but with the wisdom of hindsight, it appears that he should have.

Trump signed this deal with the devil on Feb. 29, 2020. That put Biden in a bad spot I think.

Cheers,

George
Brian W
Atlanta GA USA
Posts: 1083
Joined: 2004
Afghanistan going down?
8/19/2021 9:46:56 PM
It's a colossal failure. So many millions of Afghans have been let down. And we lost huge amounts of military hardware to the Taliban.
I really have to wonder if Biden is capable of making coherent decisions anymore and we're only 1 year into his presidency.
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"Take it easy. But take it" - Tom Morello's mom.
morris crumley
Dunwoody GA USA
Posts: 2952
Joined: 2007
Afghanistan going down?
8/20/2021 8:56:10 AM
Dan was just pointing out that, had a GOP administration ordered a botched and disgraceful withdrawal like this....then we would see antifa goons and thugs would torch Washington DC buildings..try to take down the security fence at the White House, injure sixty or seventy secret service agents....all of which was condoned last year by the Democrats who now call Jan. 6 an insurrection....but called last years riots " peaceful protests."
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"You are a $70, red-wool, pure quill military genius, or the biggest damn fool in northern Mexico."
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 11876
Joined: 2009
Afghanistan going down?
8/20/2021 3:00:43 PM
The US was leaving Afghanistan. The last two Presidents and now Biden have said that enough is enough. And so after 20 years of "nation building", the Afghanis were going to be on their own no matter what.

The US drawdown began before this President took office. I believe that 2500 troops were left which is insufficient to remain control of the country and it appears that the Taliban were patient. They also had a deal made with Mr. Trump that they did not honour.

So would Americans have been willing to send their people back to Afghanistan en masse once again? Because that was Biden's option; continue to withdraw or to ramp up once again. The millions of Afghan people who are about to return to a lifestyle that we would call under developed are distraught. But the US and allies cannot save all of them. The hope was that the government of Afghanistan and its armed forces would keep the Taliban at bay. They did not.

Should the US and NATO partners have anticipated the collapse of the Afghan National Army? Perhaps and it seems that the intelligence agencies predicted that could and did transpire. So that is an error in judgement by this administration.

It seems obvious that every person that wishes to leave Afghanistan cannot be permitted to do so. And indeed, the Kabul airport is surrounded by the deserving but also the desperate who have not worked with the allied forces. That makes it most difficult for the deserving to get to the US and NATO nations present to present their papers.

My concern is that the most deserving and those whose lives are now in peril may not be rescued. Were any of the NATO countries able to anticipate that their plans to allow emigration of deserving Afghans would be almost destroyed?

What should President Biden's orders be now? Is it possible to save the situation without an infusion of a large number of soldiers?

George



DT509er
Santa Rosa CA USA
Posts: 987
Joined: 2005
Afghanistan going down?
8/20/2021 3:15:55 PM
I say Biden is not capable of making decisions and most I believe derive from his staff, which in the long run is the same ineptness across the board. With the US guarding the airfields, relations with other nations, who are sending their troops out to rescue their citizens is becoming, or already is strained. That this is even a point of discussion is ludicrous, but Joe and staff doubled down again today.

The man is old, tromping on the edge of senility and fully incompetent to run this nation as its President. But(!), if he departs it only gets worse with Harris in the wings just waiting for his departure.

An absolute disgrace and dereliction of duty by the Biden admin.

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"American parachutists-devils in baggy pants..." “If your experiment needs statistics, you ought to have done a better experiment.” Lord Ernest Rutherford
vpatrick
MA MA USA
Posts: 2086
Joined: 2020
Afghanistan going down?
8/20/2021 4:44:02 PM
I would think the last to leave should have been the military not the first, evacuations of US civilians, Afghan allies, and military equipment should have started months ago using a worst case scenario plan not the current best case scenario plan that seems to have been utilized, this plan is clearly catastrophic. And if after 20 years in Afghanistan US intelligence services did not have an inkling that the Afghan armed forces would lay down their arms instead of fighting then I think alot of heads should roll and organized intelligence services dismantled and rethought because they are becoming more harm than good at this point, we are still looking for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

As for Biden I see a silver lining, this might unite the country somewhat because both Democrats and Republicans are starting to realize Biden is unfit to be President. Its beyond scary to see how Biden handles a crisis and it has not even been a year.

vpatrick
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nuts
Larry Purtell
Little Meadows PA USA
Posts: 1329
Joined: 2004
Afghanistan going down?
8/20/2021 8:30:25 PM
Quote:
I would think the last to leave should have been the military not the first, evacuations of US civilians, Afghan allies, and military equipment should have started months ago using a worst case scenario plan not the current best case scenario plan that seems to have been utilized, this plan is clearly catastrophic. And if after 20 years in Afghanistan US intelligence services did not have an inkling that the Afghan armed forces would lay down their arms instead of fighting then I think alot of heads should roll and organized intelligence services dismantled and rethought because they are becoming more harm than good at this point, we are still looking for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

As for Biden I see a silver lining, this might unite the country somewhat because both Democrats and Republicans are starting to realize Biden is unfit to be President. Its beyond scary to see how Biden handles a crisis and its has not even been a year.

vpatrick


Worst case scenario for the US is senile joe fades into obscurity and head board harris becomes president. The last weeks events have shown that joe has no clue where he is, what job he has or what to do. How could our military have failed so badly as to not have a contingency plan to evacuate, destroy equipment. It would seem our military intelligence is no better than December 1944.

Larry
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"My goal is to live forever. So far, so good.
MPReed
Monroe MI USA
Posts: 33
Joined: 2005
Afghanistan going down?
8/21/2021 12:55:25 AM
Just heard from my nephew a little while ago. His friend A. has made his escape from Afghanistan with his wife and daughter, and are now in France. They expect to be in the U.S. shortly, and he plans to return to Houghton (Michigan). A. had been working with the Army as a contractor (he had came to the U.S. to get his PhD in Civil Engineering, where my nephew (also studying CE) met him.

Shortly after A. arrived in France (he had been smart enough to tuck away an emergency fund for just such an emergency), he received word from friends back in Afghanistan that his home had been raided by the Taliban, and was blown up! From what he told my nephew, the Taliban are executing anybody they can find that worked with the Americans. Often times this was done summarily out int the streets.

Not particularly a fan of the current Administration.

He is receiving help from the DoD to get to the U.S., and they have already found an apartment for him and his family. He is also being fast tracked for U.S. Citizenship. Sadly most of the Afghans who worked for us will not be so fortunate, but my nephew sounded very relieved his friend made it out.

Anyway, I thought this might be an interesting anecdote for some here.

Michael
mikecmaps
CAMARILLO CA USA
Posts: 113
Joined: 2020
Afghanistan going down?
8/21/2021 4:24:56 PM
group,

Well, Geez, Re: all the anti biden Blah.
How convenient to forget BUSH, CHENEY, RUMSFIELD, POWELL RICE lies & torture.
Iraq-afgan wars lost when first boot hit the ground all in vain sadly. Stupidly ignored Vietnam lessons for politics.
Us deaths in Iraq 2003-2008 perfectly correlate to oil price increases. War was 100% About Oil not security.
Per asymmetric guerrilla war principles insurgents smartly disengage to fight another day & place where
heavy west conventional forces won’t can’t go.
Better planning needed yes, better plan next time, hopefully, to stay out?!
Remember pottery barn rule? you break it you own it!! Bush rumsfield broke it by stupidity and arrogance.
Biden doing clean up on aisle 9 please.

Mike_C
mikecmaps
vpatrick
MA MA USA
Posts: 2086
Joined: 2020
Afghanistan going down?
8/21/2021 5:20:18 PM
thanks Mp for some first hand knowledge.

I think and fear this is going to turn into the largest hostage crisis this country or any country has ever seen. Yesterday one of the things Biden said in his press conference was that the Airport was open for Americans/ Afghans or Americans who are trapped to "call". No phone number was given and then Biden actually said "knock on wood nobody gets killed". Today we are told that Americans/Afghans trapped should not try to get to the airport and then conflicting reports from the Pentagon after the Biden press conference where Biden called on friendly news sources by name but this time even those notorious ice cream flavor asking news sources asked hard questions and he mouth marbled grand pop answered. He answered 5 questions and retreated. Kamala the Vice president sat back said nothing probably counting the seconds in her head when she can get on a plane and go to southeast Asia, Vietnam of all places.

Trump fucked up here too never should have been a timeline or a release of 5000 Taliban prisoners or should the Taliban have been negotiated with, Trump always said he would never broadcast to his enemies what he was going to do, yet he did it here. But of all of the things Biden reversed from the Trump administration which was nearly everything he decided to be bound by this and then blame his predecessor at every turn. I feel Bush, Obama, and Trump have a role this disaster but Biden owns it right now.

Lastly the US Presidency is not a job for an old man the US President must be clear eyed resolute and honest in a crisis the disingenuous political games should be left for domestic political haggling. Every political stripe in the US has stranded folks in Afghanistan right now. To see babies sent over barbed wire screaming to US troops and the what the women are going to face in Afghanistan right now brings tears to my eyes. Can you imagine being a child right now in Afghanistan and being told the Taliban is coming and they might be taking away your dad or mom or burn your house down or even worse kill the children. Im starting to change my opinion on immigration because of this bring everyone in we have plenty, plenty of room in Canada and the US. I have seen people on the US southern border surrender their children never thought about it much until I saw that Afghani do it, I wouldn't surrender my dog unless i was screwed never mind my child.

This world is a terrible place and if we cant invade countries and make them better maybe we should just bring the freedom loving to our own countries. We will face huge assimilation issues as we are now but for the sake of humanity we need to try something different. The US has faced huge assimilation issues before I was never against immigration but wanted it to be legal and orderly but maybe its time to let everyone in under threat. Can you imagine the fear of the children? We will figure it out.


This Afghanistan stuff has me sad and enraged at the same time.

Vpatrick
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nuts
Larry Purtell
Little Meadows PA USA
Posts: 1329
Joined: 2004
Afghanistan going down?
8/21/2021 7:12:27 PM
Quote:
group,

Well, Geez, Re: all the anti biden Blah.
How convenient to forget BUSH, CHENEY, RUMSFIELD, POWELL RICE lies & torture.
Iraq-afgan wars lost when first boot hit the ground all in vain sadly. Stupidly ignored Vietnam lessons for politics.
Us deaths in Iraq 2003-2008 perfectly correlate to oil price increases. War was 100% About Oil not security.
Per asymmetric guerrilla war principles insurgents smartly disengage to fight another day & place where
heavy west conventional forces won’t can’t go.
Better planning needed yes, better plan next time, hopefully, to stay out?!
Remember pottery barn rule? you break it you own it!! Bush rumsfield broke it by stupidity and arrogance.
Biden doing clean up on aisle 9 please.

Mike_C
mikecmaps

The former Presidents do deserve most of the blame but biden did his part and since the shit hit the fan on his watch it's pretty cowardly to try and shift the blame. That the military seems to have had no plan for a worst case scenario is also a huge embarrassment. I wish the US leaders would learn someday to stay out of foreign country's and quit meddling.
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"My goal is to live forever. So far, so good.
DT509er
Santa Rosa CA USA
Posts: 987
Joined: 2005
Afghanistan going down?
8/22/2021 1:45:32 PM
While I tend to agree regarding your comment about the Iraq war and oil and that many others have had the fingers in the pie of Afghanistan and Iraq, the press and politico's have had their share of heaping on those past individuals who participated in those events.

Biden and his staff have had plenty of time to move on a withdrawal plan that should have avoided this complete and utter failure we are now witnessing. Is Biden being picked on, called out unjustly, cleaning up aisle 9? Well yes and no. He is the US President now and the buck as he says is at his desk and this current situation in Afghanistan is his fault, 100% his, and of course his incompetent staff. It is obvious that Biden's mental capability is wanting at best. He should never have been elected but that was the best the Dem's could do, so they put a man who is nearly incapable of finishing a coherent sentence, let alone directing commands to his staff's to organize a mass withdrawal of American citizens and those who helped the US in Afghanistan in a manner that should have prevented this chaos.

You can say all you want about the past leaders screw up's and rightfully so, many were wrong but, the invasion of Afghanistan was never about oil (I am not saying you have stated such), that mission was about getting bin Laden, al Qaeda and punishing the Taliban for providing support to al Qaeda; IMO I have always supported that role. Boots on the ground were needed for that but not for 20 years, and that is where nation building by America once again failed our men and women in the armed Forces.

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"American parachutists-devils in baggy pants..." “If your experiment needs statistics, you ought to have done a better experiment.” Lord Ernest Rutherford
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 11876
Joined: 2009
Afghanistan going down?
8/22/2021 2:54:01 PM
I believe that the withdrawal began after Pres. Trump inked a deal with the Taliban in Doha. That reduced the number of US troops from 13,500 to about 2,500. The rest were supposed to come out on May 1, 2021.

On Mar. 1, 2020, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani objected to the clause in Trump's agreement that called for the release of 5000 Taliban being held by the Afghans. Note again that the Afghanistan government was not invited to the table when this mess was concocted. The US pressured Ghani to release the prisoners though we don't know what sort of pressure was brought to bear. He began to release them on Mar. 10. Apparently many just returned to the Taliban fold. By Sept. 3, all of the 5000 had been released.

Aug. 18, 2020: “The Taliban did not appear to uphold its commitment to distance itself from terrorist organizations in Afghanistan. UN and U.S. officials reported that the Taliban continued to support al-Qaeda, and conducted joint attacks with al-Qaeda members against Afghan National Defense and Security Forces.” (DD Inspector General)

Taliban continued to attack Afghan forces even as the two sides met for their own meeting in Qatar.

Even people like Mitch McConnell were warning that the pull-out was too rapid. The signs were there that the Taliban would continue to fight even as they held talks with the Afghan government.

So even before Biden took over, were there sufficient US and NATO forces to prevent the calamitous collapse of the Afghan security forces? Probably not.

Hindsight tells us that Trump should have stopped the withdrawal if one of the goals was to get the Afghan interpreters and aides out and that that process should have begun earlier. As well, the Taliban had reneged on the agreement made in Doha. They were still in contact with Al-Qeada and other terrorist groups.

Former head of National Security in the Trump administration, Gen. H.R. McMaster has said that the events that have transpired were entirely predicable. He claims that once the Taliban were told that the US was leaving and once they received other concessions, that they knew that the US had capitulated. He said that dealing with the Taliban without the Afghan government present, indicated to the Taliban that they had already won.

So Biden had a decision to make and again, if the goal was to remove all Americans and their Afghan helpers then more troops were needed. But Biden forged ahead and the American public, if polls are correct, were happy to bring the soldiers home.

And now we have Taliban and thousands of Afghans in the vicinity of Hamid Karzai Airport and a percentage of them are the ones who have registered with the governments of the country for whom they worked and should be walking through the gates to the tarmac. But they can't get through the masses and the Taliban are making it difficult to move. They are questioning people in the crowd, looking for the "traitors" to their cause.

Speculation of Biden's cognitive abilities have become a convenient target for a lot of people including Trump supporters and rabid republicans. I don't know whether he is having difficulty. He has never been a great orator and he periodically reveals the vestiges of his stuttering problem. Criticism of Harris, whose cognitive skills cannot be questioned is piling on and there doesn't seem to be a valid reason for it.

But Biden seems to know what he wants to do but it may be all but impossible to leave Afghanistan and do the honourable thing by those who worked for US forces.

Setting aside speculation on Biden's cognitive decline, what should be done right now? Some soldiers have returned. How can the US and NATO ensure that the Afghan people who deserve to leave that country and are hiding in Kabul, are able to get to the airport? More troops? More negotiation with the Taliban?

Biden was put into this position by the previous administration. He doesn't oppose the overall goal but he may have to extend the deadline for departure for a little longer. He has altered Trump's May 1 departure date and may have to alter his own date which is Aug. 31.



Cheers,

George





kaii
Oslo  
Posts: 2961
Joined: 2010
Afghanistan going down?
8/22/2021 3:20:49 PM
Quote:
Hi George,

Remember the Northern Alliance? They helped bring the Taliban down. Local militias banded together to help get rid of them. I think that's what he was talking about.
Light and local and formed on alliances. The National Army appears to have been doomed from the start. I think that's what he was saying. There's no loyalty at the national level.
That's what I understand as a takeaway.


Very correct Brian, "nationbuilding" in Afghanistan could only ever succeed from the bottom up, not top down as it was tried.

If you get a chance, see if you can find a report by a Maj. James Gant from the US Special Forces called "One tribe at a time".
It makes for very interesting reading, and explains a lot of the debacle we have seen in Afghanistan. It was written probably around 2008-9 or so.
It mirrors many of the same objections that have been raised by several European intel services since 2003-4, but largely been ignored by politicians and top brass.

K
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“My dear boy, as long as you don’t invade Afghanistan you’ll be absolutely fine.” - Harold Macmillan to Alec Douglas-Home upon the latter taking over as PM.
vpatrick
MA MA USA
Posts: 2086
Joined: 2020
Afghanistan going down?
8/22/2021 4:47:51 PM
Quote:


speculation of Biden's cognitive abilities have become a convenient target for a lot of people including Trump supporters and rabid republicans. I don't know whether he is having difficulty. He has never been a great orator and he periodically reveals the vestiges of his stuttering problem. Criticism of Harris, whose cognitive skills cannot be questioned is piling on and there doesn't seem to be a valid reason for it.

But Biden seems to know what he wants to do but it may be all but impossible to leave Afghanistan and do the honourable thing by those who worked for US forces.

Setting aside speculation on Biden's cognitive decline, what should be done right now? Some soldiers have returned. How can the US and NATO ensure that the Afghan people who deserve to leave that country and are hiding in Kabul, are able to get to the airport? More troops? More negotiation with the Taliban?

Biden was put into this position by the previous administration. He doesn't oppose the overall goal but he may have to extend the deadline for departure for a little longer. He has altered Trump's May 1 departure date and may have to alter his own date which is Aug. 31.



Cheers,

George







Biden by executive order has done away with many or most Trumps initiatives be it the Alberta pipeline, drilling for oil on Federal lands, the stay in Mexico order, the Paris Climate accords etc. right or wrong Biden reversed Trump yet here he blames Trump for following his lead, why? Biden is the current president he is in charge and this is a catastrophic disaster and Biden owns how this was executed. As far as Bidens cognitive decline these observations are not just from folks that support Trump or are "rabid" Republicans, Biden barley takes questions at press conferences which is enraging even his friendly news sources, and his own cabinet are contradicting his assertions. If your eyes tell you that Biden is ok to lead the free world then ok.

This disaster has alot of authors but right now we need a leader and from where im sitting we dont have one. The French and the Brits seem more capable they are getting their people out and offering no excuses, as an American Im embarrassed and ashamed. I dont know why the US cant elect decent people to lead this country we are to concerned with peoples feelings, race rather than capability or intelligence

vpatrick






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nuts
Brian W
Atlanta GA USA
Posts: 1083
Joined: 2004
Afghanistan going down?
8/22/2021 6:32:18 PM
So over the past few days, I've been trying to figure out what happened exactly to cause this catastrophe.

1. The Afghan government and military were both a shell of a government and military. Everyone knew this except the American people it seems. Anyone that has been over there describes it as a s#!t show.
2. The Afghan military collapsed in 11 days. So fast that it blew the most pessimistic estimates of performance out of the water. It caught the US military completely off guard.
3. The government and military were so corrupt that it is estimated that 1/2 of all supplies (billions) were siphoned off to officers and govt officials.
4. Former President Ashraf Ghani requested that the US not evacuate its personnel early because it would cause a panic among the Afghan people. And Biden agreed.
5. The rest of Afghanistan collapsed the US General went to meet with Taliban leaders to declare a 25-mile no-entry zone around Kabul, but by the time he arrived, Taliban forces were already in Kabul. By then, it was too late to do much.

There's no doubt that we needed to get of Afghanistan eventually. It's how it was handled. We still have thousands stuck in the country with no immediate way to get out.

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"Take it easy. But take it" - Tom Morello's mom.
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