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Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by aaronvan, Oct 15, 2015.
Who didn't see this coming?
IMO this is the problem with the whole US policy of regime change, to make it work you have to say in situ, to defend the regime that you put into power.
Don't stay and watch as the Taliban take over, and then the critics will start on about all the US lives lost for nothing, in America's longest war.
Exactly, we seem to be trying to create an empire without actually taking over and annexing the countries. Unfortunately puppet governments only last as long as they have the foreign government keeping troops there to back them up.
With the Taliban coming back Obama should have hurried up the withdrawal so we could get them all out before the Afghan government completely collapses. With this policy I see our troop numbers increasing within a year or so in order to fight the Taliban as the Afghan army can't do much of anything.
Aren't we sitting there watching the Taliban take over and ISIS plotting? If so what exactly is our objective there at this moment? We're already standing fast and watching little boys being raped on military bases by Afghan commanders. If we don't have the moral courage to stand against that then WTF are we doing there?
Yes we can..
At this point it's likely a political decision, based on not having Afghanistan fall during an election cycle and reflecting badly on the Democrats. Obama is going to hold the country together with duct tape and glue and hand the mess over to whomever wins the next election.
war monger in chief loves war.
what is an "objective"? the U.S does not have one, just bomb people and see what happens, over & over & over.
I think its far from clear that Afghanistan will inevitably fall back under Taliban control.
In the past year, since the departure of Karzai as Afghan President, the government and military of that country have made tremendous efforts to step up to the challenges of fighting insurgents and building some sort of stable central government.
As the Afghan Army has developed professionally in its fight with the Taliban, taking the burden of combat I'm a way that simply wasn't the case two years ago, they have uncovered gaps in their own capabilities. In very brief terms, they lack effective air-support - which their troops and commanders came to realize during the US campaign was vital. The Soviet-era Hind helicopters they use are reaching the end of their service life, and the small US-supplied birds lack the capability to operate at much of the high altitude terrain surrounding Kabul and other key areas.
My suspicion is that Obama's military commanders have suggested keeping some US air assets in Afghanistan a while longer, so as to give the Afghan military time to bring their own air forces up to standard.
We've spent hundreds of billions of dollars, and several thousand US lives in Afghanistan. It seems a very poor economy to let that all go to waste simply to meet some artificial withdrawal deadline.
We have an objective, hold it together long enough that the next president gets the blame when everything falls apart.
^^That seems to be it.
does the next president get to use Obama's "we inherited this mess" line? can he blame Obama like Obama blamed Bush? or will the liberals cry "racist" because the next POTUS is blaming a black guy?
I'm sure they will get to say that they inherited it and not get anymore opposition to that line than Obama has gotten for it. Although if Hillary or another democrat wins then they might still be saying that we inherited the mess from Bush.
Well said. A sensible,intelligent and informed post on Afghanistan rather than one culled from the more usual diet of uninformed opinions offered as facts.
For those who keep blithely describing the inevitably of 'a Taliban takeover', this is unlikely to happen.
For one thing, the Afghan army (and security forces) are fighting and taking horrendous casualties. Estimates suggest that they have lost around 15,000 for the first seven or eight months of this year alone. They need time and training - and air support, aerial surveillance, logistics, & assistance with emergency medical evacuation - to try to consolidate their position.
Secondly, with the announcement of the death of Mullah Omar, the Taliban have just undergone a vicious power struggle, and it appears - with the assault on Kunduz - that Mullah Mansour has secured the succession, consolidated his position and quashed dissent from the relatives of Mullah Omar who had contested his appointment as the successor to Mullah Omar.
Thirdly, both the Taliban and the Government are fighting ISIS/ISIL (Daesh); some of the Taliban IS clashes have been extraordinarily violent, vicious and nasty. This is because they are not just fighting for military supremacy, but are also competing for ideological supremacy, and the pole position of which of them can lay claim to being the 'most ideologically fervent' Islamist insurrectionist group.
Fourthly, a civil war is a far more likely outcome than a Taliban victory; the pressures put on the Government could cause ethnic fissures to openly fracture - this is partly because the security forces are comprised mainly of those from the Tadjik, Hazara and Uzbek ethnic groups (along with some Pashtun), whereas the Taliban are mainly Pashtun.
I don't doubt that President Obama would dearly love to be quit of the country, - it wasn't his war to start with - but his military (and political) advisors seem to have persuaded him that the political and military cost of such a departure would far outweigh the political and military cost of keeping a small force of around 10,000 in the country. Starting such wars is always easier than bringing them to a successful conclusion.
I disagree. The poor economy is to keep pouring money into a futile effort. Our army can't create a stable and sustainable Afghanistan. As with other conflicts in the Middle East, I'd prefer we let the people determine their own destiny, while we provide humanitarian efforts to the many civilians who'll unfortunately be caught up in the struggle.
It's been a while since I've been on the ground there but in my time training the ANA they were all Pashtun.
I just sent a buddy off to Afghanistan today he's good people and a logi so I'm sure he'll find a way to sham and stay safe.
Where - and when - were you posted in Afghanistan?
If it was in the south, (or east) then, yes, it is very likely that a good number of the people who were trained by you were Pashtun. However, the officer class are mostly comprised of Tadjik and Hazaras, not to mention some Uzbeks.
When we left Afghanistan to its "own destiny" after the Soviet occupation that the Taliban took over, creating a safe haven for al-Queda.
I'm aware of the logical fallacies of "sunk costs" and throwing good money (and lives) after bad. But I'm also aware of the ghosts of Vietnam hanging over a lot of our discussion of Afghanistan. Having seen the inexorable slide towards a Vietcong takeover after the US left, its easy to assume the same thing will happen in Afghanistan.
While there are certainly some parallels, there are many more differences. Not the least of which is that the Afghan army has shown a fighting spirit and effectiveness that never was present in ARVN.
Another key difference is in US domestic politics. By the early 1970s - and especially with a draft - the American people were utterly against spending any more money and lives in Vietnam. In the mid 2110s - its a little different. We've paid our own domestic price for letting a Taliban-led government take hold.
To that end, it is politically palatable for the US government to continue to provide limited military and financial resources to the Afghan government. And it is also to our advantage to maintain air bases at Bagram and elsewhere from which to conduct drone surveillance and strike operations - both inside Afghanistan and in neighboring countries (hint: Pakistan and Iran) - where we have pressing national interests.
Actually, I beg to differ. The real tragedy is that the period between 2002 and 2005 was not utilised properly and that time was not used to finish off the Taliban completely.
Instead of investing time and resources in Afghanistan, - setting up robust institutions with proper oversight, and finishing the job by obliterating the Taliban (something which would have been supported by the vast majority of Afghans at that time), the west allowed themselves to get distracted by a stupid and unnecessary and mendacious war in Iraq and stopped paying attention to Afghanistan at a time when they could have finished the job.
Another missed opportunity was the election of 2009, which Hamid Karzai was allowed to rob. While both Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah are impressive and experienced individuals, their somewhat unsteady government has taken office five years too late.
Some in the west have conflated two separate facts about Afghanistan from the 1990s. The USSR withdrew its forces in 1989, but the Afghan state did not collapse then. Rather, it collapsed half a year after the USSR itself dissolved because that was when the money dried up.
More important than the proverbial 'boots on the ground' is continued financial backing. The Afghan security forces are fighting - and taking truly atrocious casualties. They will continue to fight as long as the financial life-line is not cut off abruptly.
Actually, it is far more important - it is vitally important - to keep the country financed, to keep paying the salaries of the security forces (which is where much of the foreign aid goes) than to keep troops - 'boots on the ground' - there. Afghanistan will survive - with horrific difficulty - without troops. It will not survive if the financial life line is abruptly terminated.
After all the debt we have gotten from 15 years of war can we actually afford to keep that funding going indefinitely?
you can't kill an "idea".
easy peasy, print more money or borrow from China. the killing of brown people should continue until morality improves & they stop hating the U.S.
there's absolutely no doubt that vital tasks were left unaccomplished when attention sifted to the Iraq war