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Afganistan / What Now?

Discussion in 'Too Hot for Swamp Gas' started by Gatorhead, Aug 12, 2021.

  1. Gatorhead

    Gatorhead GC Hall of Fame

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    So the United States has made a decision to completely withdraw.
    This of course is a Biden Decision.

    Is it a............. Get Out, this is an impossible situation as experienced the last 20 years?
    Stay in,............... we have commitments and must respect the sacrifices of our military services and allies.

    Vietnam Middle East it looks like.

    My personal thought is the Military should maintain one of the larger bases, including the required perimeter forces necessary to guard the base. ala Guantanamo, Cuba.

    When and if the Taliban and assorted terrorist groups get out of hand, attack with air power. I understand this is still a significant commitment but IMO leaving that area to just become an Islamic Terrorist Training base again is not ideal.

    Board Thoughts?
     
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  2. cocodrilo

    cocodrilo GC Hall of Fame

    Apr 8, 2007
    We've abandoned God knows how many Afghans who collaborated with us, who will now be slaughtered (perhaps with or at least in front of their families), because of endless visa red tape, which has stretched out until it's too late to get them out of the country. They can't even get to Kabul now to wait. But I guess we can just classify these killings-in-waiting as collateral damage to our longest war.
     
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  3. HallGator

    HallGator Senile Administrator

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    IMO, if there is anything we are good at it's playing political football with other people's lives.
     
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  4. ajoseph

    ajoseph Premium Member

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    Why do you say this is a Biden decision? Trump made the decision and began the logistics for us to withdraw. Biden continued the policy.

    21 years after 911, why are we there? The idea, as I understood it, was to replace the Taliban with a fair and democratic government, while at the same time wage war on Al-Queda and capture/kill the murderous culprits who attacked our country.

    At some point, the Afghans need to be free of us. Or, we are simply an occupier, which nobody wants.

    As it turns out, the Afghans, despite asking us to leave, weren’t prepared for us to leave. Whose fault that is can be fairly debated.

    But in the end, the problem of the inevitable return of Taliban rule will be felt by the Afghans, and by China, Pakistan, India, and Russian states. They can chip on and help their neighbors, if their neighbors want to help.

    Bluntly, we just spent TRILLIONS in COVID expenses and distributions. We will be spending TRILLIONS in limb-overdue infrastructure improvements. The billions we are spending in Afghanistan can be better used domestically at this point in time.

    My biggest problem with the withdrawal is our failure to help the good people who helped us, like interpreters and employees, etc., all of whom will surely be subjected to retaliation. Shame on us for that.
     
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  5. Swamplizard

    Swamplizard VIP Member

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  6. exiledgator

    exiledgator Gruntled

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    The truth is - this is a sticky wicket and I suspect most will decide their stance based on political party.

    Afghanistan is an uncontrollable territory. Read Afghanistan's Endless War by Larry Goodson. He explores the centuries of failed conquest quite well. We're really left with:

    1.) Permanent - as in forever and always - engaged military presence and its accompanying casualties and costs.
    2.) Withdraw

    If we stay, why? To bring relative stability - or for resources? Are we dabbling in colonialism? Do we have the ability to sustain this forever? Let's not pretend any attempt at resource extraction will be simple nor bloodless.

    If we leave, will China move in? Maybe - they have both the morals to make Afghanistan a neo-colony and the stomach for the human costs involved.

    The Taliban is getting out of hand. This won't be good for the Afghan people.




     
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  7. carpeveritas

    carpeveritas Moderator VIP Member

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    At this point what is done is done for good or bad.

    As for your thoughts about leaving a base in place to stabilize the area I would have to disagree mainly because the Taliban have armed themselves with technologies we have left behind. Whether or not they can or would be able to keep the gains functional remains to be determined. While our superior air power may serve as a deterrent there is no doubt it wouldn't be long before any military component we leave behind comes under attack. When that happens the question would be whether or not the US would be willing to go it alone without allied support.
     
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  8. tampagtr

    tampagtr VIP Member

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    Thread from Aaron Stein over attempts to have the Turks hold the airport. Not sure how I feel about that but does not look like it’s happening

     
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  9. gator_lawyer

    gator_lawyer Premium Member

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    Get out. Don't look back. If the Chinese want to be the next world power to waste time there, let them. If the Taliban take a shot at us or aid in another terrorist attack, we can drone the eff out of them at that time.
     
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  10. cocodrilo

    cocodrilo GC Hall of Fame

    Apr 8, 2007
    We went into Afghanistan supposedly to catch bin Laden, and we couldn't even do that. (Did we want to? He was a good bogeyman for years, and I'm sure there were interests that did not want to hear his defense in a court trial. In fact, when we finally found him, he was shot right there on the spot.) But we stayed in Afghanistan because it's hard to pass up a good war, till our people of course get tired of it.
     
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  11. swampspring

    swampspring GC Hall of Fame

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    This. I dont have an answer to this mess...obviously no one does. The current situation of maintaining a base there is unsustainable, and yet the alternative is also equally abhorrent for those who put their lives on the line to help the US and its allies.

    I feel for the people there and i believe those who are/were supporting us will no longer do so given this sense of abandonment. I read somewhere that the expectation was that the Taliban would take over the larger urban areas within a year...this has now been updated to 60-90 days from withdrawal.

    This is a pretty good primer on Afghanistan, and more specifically, the Taliban.

    The Taliban in Afghanistan (cfr.org)

    Do Afghans support the Taliban?
    For years after its fall from power, the Taliban enjoyed support. The U.S.-based nonprofit organization Asia Foundation found in 2009 [PDF] that half of Afghans—mostly Pashtuns and rural Afghans—had sympathy for armed opposition groups, primarily the Taliban. Afghan support for the Taliban and allied groups stemmed in part from grievances against public institutions.

    But in 2019, a response to the same survey found that only 13.4 percent of Afghans had sympathy for the Taliban [PDF]. As intra-Afghan peace talks stalled in early 2021, an overwhelming majority surveyed said it was important to protect [PDF] women’s rights, freedom of speech, and the current constitution. Around 44 percent of Afghans surveyed said they believed that Afghanistan could achieve peace in the next two years.

    This saddens me the most. From the survey, it looks like there appeared to be a shift in mindset and support for the Taliban declined dramatically over that ten year timeframe.

    I remember reading Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns and I can't imagine what those people are dealing with now, and in the future.
     
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  12. sierragator

    sierragator GC Hall of Fame

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    Yep, we cannot stay there forever. Put them on notice that if another 9/11 comes from them, back to the stone age for them (not that they will give a shit).
     
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  13. l_boy

    l_boy 5500

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    There is no doubt in mind we should be materially out. What I don't know is if the way we did it is the best way. It is hard to watch the slaughter. Seems like there could have been a more merciful/humane exit, but I honestly don't know
     
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  14. gator_lyn

    gator_lyn GC Legend

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    Taliban were just waiting for this day to come, and they were willing to drag it out, even if we pulled out 5, 10 years later.

    For now, we got to fix stuff right here at home first
     
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  15. cocodrilo

    cocodrilo GC Hall of Fame

    Apr 8, 2007
    Get the "collaborators" and their families out, then the troops. Don't just pull out the troops and then say "Oops." Who was asleep at the wheel (besides Sleepy Joe)? Blinken? The Secretary of Defense? Both? Of course they blame it on the slow visa process (as if they could do nothing about it). Well, see my first sentence.
     
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  16. Gatorhead

    Gatorhead GC Hall of Fame

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    Great post Ajoe.....thanks. Also for the correction Trump / Biden.
    What a sad, sad situation the entire 911, Iraqi, Afghanistan tale is.
     
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  17. Gatorhead

    Gatorhead GC Hall of Fame

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  18. Gatorhead

    Gatorhead GC Hall of Fame

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    Great link -

    Indeed Afghanistan is a horror show to a bunch of Western nations.
    British had some fun experiences there during their "Imperialism" phase as well as many others, including of course, Russia.[/QUOTE]
     
  19. Gatorhead

    Gatorhead GC Hall of Fame

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    I remember reading Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns and I can't imagine what those people are dealing with now, and in the future.

    I read the Kite Runner as well. Great book, incredibly bad story. What a hell hole that place is. Feel sorry for the non violent people trying to scratch out a living.
     
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  20. AlfaGator

    AlfaGator VIP Member

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    Kirby is the pinnacle of a professional bullshitter.



     
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