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morpeth Aug 16th 2021 4:44 pm

Re: Afghanistan
 

Originally Posted by Bipat (Post 13041022)
Yes and there was not ever realistic hope of future major change. It is a beautiful country---talk to those in UK and India who have fled over the years---they would so much like to go back---now they never will.
It seems that people are forgetting the role of Pakistan. Taliban occupy north west border area of Pakistan ---oppressing the local people. Pakistan governments from the support of Benazir Bhutto to the lack of effort of subsequent governments have helped the Taliban maintain their power in Afghanistan.

Very good point , Pakistan seems to have been so consistent in direct and indirect support from its intelligence service that one has to wonder about US policy in relation to Pakistan over the years.

As far as being a beautiful country, just my own observation, it is a land of contrasts- some parts beautiful, some downright sparse and unappealing, and the air of violence probably has always been there. I travelled there years ago accompanied by two Pakistani soldiers, sitting having tea and watching 12 year old boys marching around with local made/modified Enfield type rifles ( or maybe just actual Enfield rifles I don't know), Travelling from Peshawar into Afghanistan and seeing homes up the hill with old cannons was among my first sights- and this was years before the Americans came. But longing for home not an uncommon sentiment wherever home might be.

robin1234 Aug 16th 2021 4:46 pm

Re: Afghanistan
 

Originally Posted by johnwoo (Post 13041169)
Their philosophy or ideas of running a country are as much or more f'd up than that of the Oath Takers and the rest of the Jan 6th rabble.

No doubt. But, if offered a COVID vaccine, would they take it? If they went to a pizza restaurant with no basement, would they demand to see the basement? (Etc)

robin1234 Aug 16th 2021 4:52 pm

Re: Afghanistan
 

Originally Posted by Giantaxe (Post 13041153)
Biden was quite happy to be handed a "poisoned chalice" because his opposition to continuing the Afghan War is at least a decade long.

What we're seeing now seems more like an intelligence/military cockup in that it wasn't foreseen that the Afghan Army would crumble and melt away in a matter of weeks. But it does highlight the fact that the US got **** all for the $87bn it spent on building armed forces there capable of holding off the Taliban.

I read a couple of articles yesterday that said that the military have been telling the administration and the State Dept for a couple of weeks that this would happen very quickly, but to no avail. WaPo and NPR, maybe.

johnwoo Aug 16th 2021 4:55 pm

Re: Afghanistan
 

Originally Posted by robin1234 (Post 13041181)
No doubt. But, if offered a COVID vaccine, would they take it? If they went to a pizza restaurant with no basement, would they demand to see the basement? (Etc)

The more disturbing thing is their beliefs in the role of women and girls. They are the ones most likely to suffer the most.

robin1234 Aug 16th 2021 4:57 pm

Re: Afghanistan
 

Originally Posted by morpeth (Post 13041175)
I wondered how many heads would roll at the State department, and among the top generals for this long fiasco- but probably none.

I’m pretty sure Trump got rid of most of the Afghanistan specialists from the State Department. That was part of the reason why we ended up here.

caretaker Aug 16th 2021 5:26 pm

Re: Afghanistan
 

Rep Barbara Lee's speech in Congress Sept 14, 2001


scrubbedexpat091 Aug 16th 2021 5:51 pm

Re: Afghanistan
 
Air Force Plane with locals trying to get onto it as it taxis to depart.

https://www.reddit.com/r/interesting...e_as_it_takes/


caretaker Aug 16th 2021 5:54 pm

Re: Afghanistan
 

Originally Posted by Jsmth321 (Post 13041206)
Air Force Plane with locals trying to get onto it as it taxis to depart.

The video of the people falling from altitude after trying to hang on was pretty disturbing. It didn't help that it was posted over and over.

scrubbedexpat091 Aug 16th 2021 7:21 pm

Re: Afghanistan
 

Originally Posted by caretaker (Post 13041208)
The video of the people falling from altitude after trying to hang on was pretty disturbing. It didn't help that it was posted over and over.

I have so far avoiding watching that video, I did see the comments about it, but didn't click the links.

DXBtoDOH Aug 16th 2021 7:24 pm

Re: Afghanistan
 

Originally Posted by Lion in Winter (Post 13040887)
Presumably it was a done deal. For the Afghan government and all military resistance to fold so completely and so quickly, it doesn't seem as though there was any real intention to fight the Taliban. I would imagine a deal was also struck with China, back when the Taliban visited a short while ago.

The US invaded, with UK help, for its own geopolitical and economic aims. There was zero actual building of the country, it seems, allowing the Taliban to be seen as liberators of an invading force. After 20 years, there was nothing built for non-Taliban to fight for, and no governmental or military structure of any strength. Apparently. Pax Romana would have been a better model than this.

Now there's no chance of a modernizing force for god knows how long.

You are ignoring, of course, the billions and billions spent by the US, the UK and other nations on rebuilding Afghanistan's infrastructure.

I should know because my company helped provide some of the engineering drawings for new roads and bridges. There was genuine effort by many countries and NGOs to rebuild Afghanistan on more liberal grounds.

Mind you, even in those days (circa 2008-2012) everyone I knew who was involved all frankly admitted it was going to waste once the Taliban took back control. No one believed there was a lasting future in Afghanistan.


DXBtoDOH Aug 16th 2021 7:26 pm

Re: Afghanistan
 

Originally Posted by robin1234 (Post 13041186)
I’m pretty sure Trump got rid of most of the Afghanistan specialists from the State Department. That was part of the reason why we ended up here.

You guessed wrong.

The US intelligence and military did everything they could to stop Trump from starting the withdrawal from Afghanistan. However, the fine details of the actual final stages of the withdrawal are Biden's problems, not Trump. Because Biden is president and his administration had the lead. They screwed up massively.

morpeth Aug 16th 2021 7:27 pm

Re: Afghanistan
 

Originally Posted by robin1234 (Post 13041186)
I’m pretty sure Trump got rid of most of the Afghanistan specialists from the State Department. That was part of the reason why we ended up here.

I realize that might be a satisfying conjecture from a partisan point of view, however I note (a) the current Secretary of State and not a few political appointees were in the Obama or previous administrations (b) according to civil service regulations and union contracts, not that easy to wholesale get rid of bureaucrats - if I recall reports that Pompeo under Trump simply tries to bypass State department career staff (c) many of the top Generals today were specifically involved in Afghanistan the last 20 years-surely they can't blame everything on White House meddling.

My own view is that the disgrace of all this is not a partisan issue as both Republican and Democrat administrations appear to have handled the situation unsuccessfully.

I admit a bit of bias- I have dealt with some State department employees and 'specialists', I wasn't impressed.

Anyway at some point in the future when more evidence available, analysis and memoirs, will be interesting who advised what and when.

robin1234 Aug 16th 2021 7:34 pm

Re: Afghanistan
 

Originally Posted by DXBtoDOH (Post 13041237)
You guessed wrong.

The US intelligence and military did everything they could to stop Trump from starting the withdrawal from Afghanistan. However, the fine details of the actual final stages of the withdrawal are Biden's problems, not Trump. Because Biden is president and his administration had the lead. They screwed up massively.


Originally Posted by morpeth (Post 13041238)
I realize that might be a satisfying conjecture from a partisan point of view, however I note (a) the current Secretary of State and not a few political appointees were in the Obama or previous administrations (b) according to civil service regulations and union contracts, not that easy to wholesale get rid of bureaucrats - if I recall reports that Pompeo under Trump simply tries to bypass State department career staff (c) many of the top Generals today were specifically involved in Afghanistan the last 20 years-surely they can't blame everything on White House meddling.

My own view is that the disgrace of all this is not a partisan issue as both Republican and Democrat administrations appear to have handled the situation unsuccessfully.

I admit a bit of bias- I have dealt with some State department employees and 'specialists', I wasn't impressed.

Anyway at some point in the future when more evidence available, analysis and memoirs, will be interesting who advised what and when.

I “guessed”?

It is simply the truth. Trump and his minions got rid of regional specialists from the State Dept., including the Afghanistan offices.

If this is descending into some stupid partisan bun fight, I’m totally out of here.

morpeth Aug 16th 2021 8:00 pm

Re: Afghanistan
 

Originally Posted by robin1234 (Post 13041240)
I “guessed”?

It is simply the truth. Trump and his minions got rid of regional specialists from the State Dept., including the Afghanistan offices.

If this is descending into some stupid partisan bun fight, I’m totally out of here.

My comments were decidedly non-partisan, and the regional specialists you refer too many would have been place in the Obama administration, whether they were fired or not ( most I assume would simply have been transferred to other positions) I am not really sure we have much evidence based on results these 'specialists' really were too sharp in recommended strategies that could be executed, and executed successfully- hence I am not sure the degree ( if such firings occurred) ho much real difference it made. Just as I am unsure why top Generals, as opposed to the rank and file, shouldn't be held to account for any leadership mistakes. ( I have a hard time assuming that everything can be placed at the door of Biden ,Trump or Obama, all three who inherited the situation.)

Most military guys I have come across have told me announcing when one is going to withdraw, whether by Trump ir Biden a poor negotiating tactic and even worse military one.

Recently an article in Foreign Policy ,while discussing the issues State Department employees had with the Trump administration, referred to a recent poll of 3,000 state department employees indicating a surprising number considering leaving currently due to various issues and long-standing ones , within the State department. However you may be entirely correct as I do not know the extent of which Afghan specialists lost state department positions.

Certainly Biden can be considered by his own decisions.

robin1234 Aug 16th 2021 10:13 pm

Re: Afghanistan
 

Originally Posted by morpeth (Post 13041246)
My comments were decidedly non-partisan, and the regional specialists you refer too many would have been place in the Obama administration, whether they were fired or not ( most I assume would simply have been transferred to other positions) I am not really sure we have much evidence based on results these 'specialists' really were too sharp in recommended strategies that could be executed, and executed successfully- hence I am not sure the degree ( if such firings occurred) ho much real difference it made. Just as I am unsure why top Generals, as opposed to the rank and file, shouldn't be held to account for any leadership mistakes. ( I have a hard time assuming that everything can be placed at the door of Biden ,Trump or Obama, all three who inherited the situation.)

Most military guys I have come across have told me announcing when one is going to withdraw, whether by Trump ir Biden a poor negotiating tactic and even worse military one.

Recently an article in Foreign Policy ,while discussing the issues State Department employees had with the Trump administration, referred to a recent poll of 3,000 state department employees indicating a surprising number considering leaving currently due to various issues and long-standing ones , within the State department. However you may be entirely correct as I do not know the extent of which Afghan specialists lost state department positions.

Certainly Biden can be considered by his own decisions.

Yes, my apologies, I was really responding to the other poster, and didn’t mean to quote you.

You are right that announcing you are going to withdraw is a poor negotiating tactic! Trump was not the savviest of negotiators - he wasn’t one to listen to his advisors.


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