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The all things Political Topic - When the sun Rises, the shadows must retreat Fleeing in fear from the Fires of dawn


Gorth

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LOL, it’s been what three days since I last took a rhetorical whipping? Four? Actually that is the exact kind of statement that would infuriate Gromnir because it’s fairly absolute even if it isn’t completely wrong.

let me tell you a little secret about him. He probably figures I take a good point and go way too far with it. And he wouldn’t be wrong. But I also think he agrees with me in principle a lot more than he lets on.

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"What can't be changed must be endured"

Robert Jordan

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1 hour ago, BruceVC said:

https://news.yahoo.com/afghan-president-ghani-flees-country-145644024.html?fr=sycsrp_catchall

I am stupefied that the official Afghan army of 350k trained people could acquiesce to the Taliban so easily....Kabul has fallen with NO resistance 

No this is not the consequence of the USA  " betraying "  their partners. At the very least Ghani could have presented  military resistance  in some way ....he had an army and airforce FFS !!!

If after 20 years of support from a foreign country you cannot even make some stand in the interest of your own country them you need to accept the consequences of this cowardice and lack of action 

Yes its  a pity so many lives were lost in the last 20 years but at least AQ was defeated in Afghanistan  and Bin Laden was killed ....so the invasion and  the  20 years of US involvement wasnt a complete waste 

There was no army of 350k trained people, that is just number of paper which never was true, thanks to massive corruption and there has afgan army has suffered lot of casualties and desertion in past 20 years, so their forces were mostly newbies with little training and only their special forces were actually well trained.

Also Afghanistan's forces were build with assumption that people there feel loyalty towards their country, which isn't reality as usually it goes family, village, clan. Which meant that forces didn't have any real morality to fight for Afghanistan and clan elders made all over deals with Taliban that if they leave them mostly alone they will just surrender.

Also Afghanistan's army's leadership didn't actually have any experience of leading the forces without support from Nato forces and they weren't able to get their command lines working in couple months, where Taliban has actually build well working command lines in past 20 years.

Also Afghans had hard time to supply equipment that they got from USA, as they had relied on US contractors to do all the maintenance jobs and when said contractors left with US forces they lost functionality from many of their vehicles.

 So even though on paper Taliban's should not had any change against Afghanistan central government, the sad reality which we all got to witness was that only Talibans actually had force that was ready to fight for governance of Afghanistan.  

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8 minutes ago, Elerond said:

There was no army of <snipped> trained people, that is just number of paper which never was true, thanks to massive corruption

<snip>

so their forces were mostly newbies with little training and only their special forces were actually well trained.

Well, now that we've done that twice, maybe we'll learn our lesson and not do it a third time.

"Art and song are creations but so are weapons and lies"

"Our worst enemies are inventions of the mind. Pleasure. Fear. When we see them for what they are, we become unstoppable."

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16 minutes ago, Achilles said:

Well, now that we've done that twice, maybe we'll learn our lesson and not do it a third time.

Never took you for an optimist LOL

"What can't be changed must be endured"

Robert Jordan

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This outcome will probably embolden the terrorist factions, so additional actions will be likely in the region.

"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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3 hours ago, BruceVC said:

No this is not the consequence of the USA  " betraying "  their partners. At the very least Ghani could have presented  military resistance  in some way ....he had an army and airforce FFS !!!

Some analysts counted on that army to resist for 6 months but no more.
If defeat was inevitable, you can't blame them for not wanting to die in an attempt to meet foreigner hold-out quota.

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4 hours ago, Guard Dog said:

Joe Biden is a feckless idiot. And he has surrounded himself by more of the like. And since the collapse of Afghanistan was absolutely inevitable because we cannot and will not stay there forever this really is not his fault. But it happened on his watch and he will get blamed and I could not care less he’s unfairly judged.

One suspects that the media may, at some point, remember that the withdrawal was originally a Trump policy which Biden just delayed before implementing.

Of course, when the policy was popular and the ANA was going to hold out for months or years it was all Joe's idea, but they can just ignore that if they try really hard.

6 hours ago, Guard Dog said:

Also they are reporting stories of mass executions in the regional capitals.

The Taliban have generally been decent about actual prisoners- at least comparatively. Though if the comparison is to Abdul Rashid Dostum... Ismail Khan for example was captured by them last time too and held for two years instead of executed, and he was captured rather than executed this time. OTOH, those like Dostum who have some, hmm, history of unpleasantness to Talib prisoners, shall we say? are not likely to rest easy. They're probably more brutal overall when it comes to civilian prisoners than military ones.

There will be inevitable score settling to come, but a lot of that will be intra and inter tribal utu for those who backed the wrong side.

4 hours ago, BruceVC said:

....Kabul has fallen with NO resistance

That at least was sensible. Last stands and heroic pointless resistance make for good movies, but Kabul had Hekmatyar lobbing artillery into it for years in the 90s and all it really achieved was setting the scene for the Taliban while killing thousands and destroying the city.

2 hours ago, Elerond said:

Also Afghanistan's army's leadership didn't actually have any experience of leading the forces without support from Nato forces and they weren't able to get their command lines working in couple months, where Taliban has actually build well working command lines in past 20 years.

Also Afghans had hard time to supply equipment that they got from USA, as they had relied on US contractors to do all the maintenance jobs and when said contractors left with US forces they lost functionality from many of their vehicles.

 So even though on paper Taliban's should not had any change against Afghanistan central government, the sad reality which we all got to witness was that only Talibans actually had force that was ready to fight for governance of Afghanistan.  

They did have support from NATO, just not boots on the ground support. There were still a lot of airstrikes etc. But yeah, the design of the ANA was fundamentally broken for its intended role in its intended country. The contrast would be that it was too 'western' (centralised, basically) while the Taliban was decentralised and far more flexible as well as better motivated in general. Trying to transplant western military methods into different cultures doesn't really work that well even for countries willing to chuck trillions at it like Saudi Arabia. It was centralised to try and cut down on corruption and stop warlords from having personal fiefdoms, but it all it really meant was that the local military commanders (and soldiers to an extent) had little affinity for the regions they were commander of and the soldiers' wages were stolen by someone in Kabul instead of someone local (and usually the local doesn't steal from his own soldiers, as he needs and wants their loyalty). If the US were staying for another 20 years it could have worked, but if that wasn't realistic then it was setting the ANA up to fail.

Does need to be said, there were plenty of ANA soldiers willing to fight, and many who did. Not much point continuing when you're 'obviously' going to lose though, and when your commanders are defecting. There was plenty of outright treachery going on, I mentioned Ismail Khan before who was organising the resistance in Herat a week ago, it fell when... the regional governor handed Khan over to the Taliban in return for amnesty.

The equipment though was definitely particularly stupid. Humvees aren't an asset for the ANA, they're an encumbrance; awful to maintain, not particularly safe, use a ludicrous amount of fuel and are too big. In 99.9% of real world situation in Afghanistan you'd either need something with 'proper' armour like an APC (or tank), or it could be handled by a far cheaper and infinitely easier to maintain Toyota Hilux or equivalent. No neighbour can readily furnish western spares and equipment full stop except Pakistan. At least Americans can console themselves that an awful lot of the 2 trillion spent went towards weapon purchases from US suppliers, though they'd have been far more sensible to have spent less and just kept the soviet stuff if the end goal was a functional army.

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Makes you wonder what's up with US intelligence services. At least superficially they seem to get rather important details very wrong quite a number of times the last couple of decades.

“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

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Things that are normally of little interest to western media... Siberia's wildfires out of control. It's a lot of fire.

 

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“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

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4 hours ago, Gorth said:

Makes you wonder what's up with US intelligence services. At least superficially they seem to get rather important details very wrong quite a number of times the last couple of decades.

We don't really know what advice they were giving Biden (or Trump). It's entirely possible- probable- that they were simply getting very bad intelligence at the base level, ie all their sources, the NATO trainers and the Afghans, thought that things were going to go far better than they did.

Personally, I have little doubt that the US believed the Taliban were a lot weaker than they actually were because they've tended to avoid directly fighting NATO forces as much as possible- which was of course a sound strategy from them, but can easily lead to the belief that they won't/ can't fight any other way. Under those circumstances convincing yourself that even if your allied Afghans aren't that good they'll be good enough to last against a hit and run insurgency that will melt away at the first hint of a response isn't much of a stretch.

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1 hour ago, Hurlsnot said:

Eh, nobody cares when a President gets up and says stupid things anymore. It's business as usual.

Maybe you dont  personally care about the perception that gets created by a president or PM and what they say in public. But for most people who believe in living in any prosperous and sustainable country the President does matter because he represents the elected and governing political party and he guides and shapes the entire direction of the country

Bidens comments were ill-advised and badly informed and yes reflects badly on the Democrats ....but its also not the end of world because the US was justified in leaving Afghanistan. Its the way they left and the failure to do it in a phased approach that will be criticised 

I was watching a good interview on the valid reasons for the US withdrawal, 3 reasons to justify the withdrawal

  • The US cannot be involved in an " endless " war especially when you cant win this war in the traditional sense
  • The US cannot be more interested and committed to defeat the Taliban than the actual Afghan security forces...and the quick collapse of the Afghan security forces supports this important point 
  • Their are more pressing and real global challengers like addressing Chinese hegemony than this conflict. I tend to agree with this point from a priority perspective 

 

Edited by BruceVC

"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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47 minutes ago, BruceVC said:
  • Their are more pressing and real global challengers like addressing Chinese hegemony than this conflict. I tend to agree with this point from a priority perspective 

This is also the reason I prioritize the Chinese threat over anything posed by Russia these days. Russia's sphere of interest seems mostly internal and areas bordering Russia. China has much bigger ambitions outside what you would consider "core China" culturally and traditionally. I.e. militarily aggressive not just against immediate neighbours.

 

Edit: Syria being admittedly a bit of an outlier, but I guess a nice little "contained" war is as good a place as any to test the quality of your gear, training, doctrines etc.

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“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

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29 minutes ago, Gorth said:

This is also the reason I prioritize the Chinese threat over anything posed by Russia these days. Russia's sphere of interest seems mostly internal and areas bordering Russia. China has much bigger ambitions outside what you would consider "core China" culturally and traditionally. I.e. militarily aggressive not just against immediate neighbours.

 

Edit: Syria being admittedly a bit of an outlier, but I guess a nice little "contained" war is as good a place as any to test the quality of your gear, training, doctrines etc.

I agree with you about the threat posed by both Russia or China. And when I say threat I am not suggesting WW3 but rather a world that is not united globally  through shared economic and political goals and governments that espouse Democratic principles like the importance of a transparent legal system, a free media and freedom of speech 

You also played a part in helping  me realize where the greatest problem lies in addressing several geopolitical objectives and China is the greater threat. So thanks for that 

You can reason and understand Russia and their political aspirations even if I dont agree with how they approach certain  things. But the CCP has this alien view of political dogma that is extremely difficult to understand or accept when you see the problems with parts of it being implemented and practised 

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"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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I have to be honest, do you know what is one of  the worst things about the Taliban taking control of Afghanistan? Its the interviews and truly emotional comments from numerous Afghan women who are educated or work for Afghan education NGO that promote equal education and gender equality 

Its really sad because they all feel understandably  hopeless about the future for women in their country ;(

I was in  Afghanistan in 2007/2008 for 5 days and I only stayed in Kabul but it  was exciting to be in a country where simple things like equal education were recognised and you could see the real progress that was being made since the US occupation. Its depressing to think of all this progress becoming negated by the barbaric Taliban  

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"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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"What can't be changed must be endured"

Robert Jordan

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28 minutes ago, Guard Dog said:

Afghanistan is a pretty good example of colonial and geopolitical meddling creating gigantic intractable problems. Its problems didn't start with Biden or Trump, obviously. But they didn't start with Bush Jr, or Reagan, or the Soviets, or Pakistan or the British either, but they all had a hand in making things a little bit worse. Or immensely worse, depending.

In any case the current conflict was specifically lost the day the US invaded Afghanistan.

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6 minutes ago, Pidesco said:

Afghanistan is a pretty good example of colonial and geopolitical meddling creating gigantic intractable problems. Its problems didn't start with Biden or Trump, obviously. But they did start with Bush Jr, or Reagan, or the Soviets, or Pakistan or the British either, but they all had a hand in making things a little bit worse. Or immensely worse, depending.

In any case the current conflict was specifically lost the day the US invaded Afghanistan.

You are right especially about that last part. In retrospect the final outcome was never in doubt.

They tried to create a functioning western style country out of a place that has never been a functioning country. Those people do not identify by nebulous concepts like nationality. They identify with family and “tribe”. It would’ve been far better to just blast the hell out of the Taliban government and give the country back to the individual tribes as regional governments. Hubris. Failure to learn the lessons of the British, the Soviets, and the Barakazi. 

"What can't be changed must be endured"

Robert Jordan

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Warning, gruesome.

 

 

 

Civilization, in fact, grows more and more maudlin and hysterical; especially under democracy it tends to degenerate into a mere combat of crazes; the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary. - H.L. Mencken

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21 minutes ago, Pidesco said:

Afghanistan is a pretty good example of colonial and geopolitical meddling creating gigantic intractable problems. Its problems didn't start with Biden or Trump, obviously. But they didn't start with Bush Jr, or Reagan, or the Soviets, or Pakistan or the British either, but they all had a hand in making things a little bit worse. Or immensely worse, depending.

In any case the current conflict was specifically lost the day the US invaded Afghanistan.

You right in some ways but where do you bring Colonialism into the reality of Afghanistan nowadays?

Lets focus on the last 40 years or  so to  understand why we are where we are. The USSR invaded Afghanistan in 1979 and  left in 1989, they are the reason the Taliban came to power after the Cold War ended because their was a power vacuum and various Afghan tribes went to war with each other and the Taliban was victorious 

I am not sure if you are defining the various proxy wars and direct wars during the Cold War as Colonialism?

Because its unhelpful and inaccurate to define historical  events that arent directly related to what caused them ?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet–Afghan_War

Secondly the primary mission in Afghanistan after 9/11 was the defeat of the AQ and the killing of Bin Laden , when you suggest " the war was lost the moment the US invaded Afghanistan " are you saying the US should not have acted after 9/11 ?

"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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Oh that plane was on its way to Rammstein in Germany. Even if they had held on for the takeoff once it went over 10,000 feet the air would be too thin to breathe. And even if they could it would be too cold not to end up with frostbite. The secretary of state got into a snit the other day when a reporter compare this to the evacuation of Saigon in 1975. It’s a lot like that though.

"What can't be changed must be endured"

Robert Jordan

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1 hour ago, Azdeus said:

Warning, gruesome.

 

  Reveal hidden contents

 

 

 

 

 

 

Surprised they managed to hold on that long

Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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1 hour ago, Guard Dog said:

They tried to create a functioning western style country out of a place that has never been a functioning country. Those people do not identify by nebulous concepts like nationality. They identify with family and “tribe”. It would’ve been far better to just blast the hell out of the Taliban government and give the country back to the individual tribes as regional governments. Hubris. Failure to learn the lessons of the British, the Soviets, and the Barakazi. 

Alexander "ruled" Afghanistan by marrying a Bactrian woman, adopting the trappings of an Eastern despot and bringing to heel the local satraps who did the actual running of the country. Not to mention extensive colonization of the former Achaemenid empire areas with Greeks. But neither him nor his successors were arrogant enough to try to impose Hellenic culture directly. The emerging polity, the Seleucid empire, was as Eastern as it was Greek. I'm sure you know this, of course.

Blasting the Taliban and leaving would have had the Taliban back in power within a year, I'd think. In retrospect, perhaps a better outcome in terms of lives and resources wasted, but hardly a "good" one. Bin Laden would still be at large, as well.

It may be the modern man's biggest flaw to think himself so much smarter than his ancestors.

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