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  #1  
Old 08-16-2021, 11:33 PM
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The U.S. Withdrawal from Afghanistan - August 2021

The U.S. strategy for getting out of a 20-year, no-win, war - was right, but the tactics and execution was horribly wrong. Today, at issue is the botched, unplanned, unprepared, incredibly messy, amateurish way that the Biden administration’s exit strategy developed. There wasn’t any... The point of all this is not about the decision to leave. It is all about the execution. There was no plan, there was no accounting for anything other than meeting a date. Those closest to the situation gave advice - and it was ignored. What we witnessed today was eerily similar, but at a much larger magnitude than the memorable images of the debacle in Vietnam of the evacuation of from the U.S. Embassy in Saigon back in 1975.

Yet, putting all the blame on President Biden is not entirely fair. This was a disaster 20 years in the making. Neither G.W. Bush, Obama nor Trump had the guts to do what Joe Biden did - pull out of Afghanistan while they were in office. Anyone who thinks that withdrawal could have been done in a less "messy" fashion is delusional. It was a bad and misguided mission from the get-go and only got worse as each president kicked the can down the road. At the end of the day, President Biden made the right decision and the American people will ultimately thank him for that.

Let’s not forget that when our armed forces completed their mission of defeating AL Qaeda in Afghanistan in 2001, the job was done, but not for America's military industrial complex (MIC). They did not want the $billions in profits coming their way to end. Therefore, our politicians, financially supported by lobbyists from the MIC, changed the stated goals and modified the U.S. mission in Afghanistan to nation building, creating a modern, educated, liberal, democracy from a backward, Muslim, fractured autocracy. The U.S. spent the past two decades pouring almost $2 trillion and losing almost 2,500 American lives fighting the Taliban. Shockingly, but with 20-20 hindsight and not really surprising, the Afghan government collapsed within 3 weeks of most US troops leaving. Therefore, we should ask the question: Was that goal ever really attainable? We sell a bill of goods about freedom and democracy in other countries, then disgrace ourselves by trying to overthrow the very democracy we claim to have, (see the U.S. Capital on January 6th). The U.S. military and body politic knew democracy would never exist there without a heavy US military presence and continued financial support from the U.S.

I agree with the argument that we cannot justify risking and sacrificing any more American soldier’s lives limbs when a majority of the people of Afghanistan apparently want us gone and the Afghan Army, we spent 20 years training fled the battle field without a fight and the government officials abandoned their country. It is not fair to the service members or their families. Joe Biden is right: if the Afghans won't fight, we should not be fighting for them. Clearly, it has also been a tremendous waste of U.S. taxpayers’ money that could have been better invested in our country.

I wonder if our country will ever abandon the arrogant belief that the U.S. can assert Jeffersonian Democracy in a land or country that has never known such ideals in its history? The problem is that we Americans have been taught to believe that our ideals are easily transferred to another people and that they want what we have, since our way of life is better. Maybe… maybe not. If the Taliban decides to attempt to regress Afghanistan back to the 16th Century, let them try and see if the Afghan people will obediently oblige that step backwards.

One final observation and conjecture: while now the future of women’s rights and freedoms in Afghanistan looks bleak, perhaps Afghan men have no real problem with the Taliban and is part of the reason that the all-male Afghan army just gave up. Perhaps if we had really empowered Afghan females, including making them a major part of the fighting force, democracy may have had a better chance for success. In that case, Afghan women really would have had something to fight for, while men had more mixed feelings. Many of these men wanted to maintain the status of women as chattel or slaves. Maybe with 20/20 hindsight, the U.S. should not have attempted to teach Afghan men how to fight, but taught the women instead….

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Old 08-17-2021, 11:42 AM
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"Yet, putting all the blame on President Biden is not entirely fair. This was a disaster 20 years in the making. Neither G.W. Bush, Obama nor Trump had the guts to do what Joe Biden did - pull out of Afghanistan while they were in office."

Trump had the pull out linked to certain steps and actions (or lack of) by the Taliban and Biden dumped those metrics and just kept the idea of leaving.

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Old 08-18-2021, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by EODguy View Post
...

Trump had the pull out linked to certain steps and actions (or lack of) by the Taliban and Biden dumped those metrics and just kept the idea of leaving.

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Not to arm wrestle, and most politically based posts here or on any forum leave me blah, but the T 'Plans' I have read in various sites show v little to no real, practical steps/actions from previous admin, imo.

It was/is a cluster fook, but certainly exacerbated by many of the previous/current admin's 'estimates' of how quickly the Taliban could move and assert themselves.

Biden probably heard that possibility/probability several times amongst the umptyseven opins and pitches, but Ol'Joe was hoping it would take 18 months for the T to take over, not a weekish.

As to 'us', The US being there: we had little to no biz being there almost 2 decades ago, (as did the Soviet army before that), and all the money, armament, 'training', and loss of life/life changing injuries on 'our side' haven't changed the situ one iota.

Tribal Lands for centuries, and lately propped up by their buddies next door in Pakistan, and the Taliban, roughly translated as 'seekers/students', 'learners', learned quickly...an 18th or 17th century or older, conglomeration of 'tribes', with a 'culture' that is v 'unwestern', and centuries old, now has more guns, armament, planes, et al than they did before.

The other countries with their noses in this are of course our old buddies, Russia, Pakistan, and the CCP. They all have irons in the fire in some manner and all stand to gain slightly over time, or inherit a new hornet's nest.

Time will tell, but I am glad we are getting out, even if it is not well done, messy and media flogged to a fare thee well.
GL, Ol'UncleMotor
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Old 08-23-2021, 10:45 PM
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Old 09-07-2021, 07:00 PM
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One final observation and conjecture: while now the future of women’s rights and freedoms in Afghanistan looks bleak, perhaps Afghan men have no real problem with the Taliban and is part of the reason that the all-male Afghan army just gave up. Perhaps if we had really empowered Afghan females, including making them a major part of the fighting force, democracy may have had a better chance for success. In that case, Afghan women really would have had something to fight for, while men had more mixed feelings. Many of these men wanted to maintain the status of women as chattel or slaves. Maybe with 20/20 hindsight, the U.S. should not have attempted to teach Afghan men how to fight, but taught the women instead….

AVB-AMG

First time ive seen this thought. 10,000% agree


You know, when Russia was in Afghanistan, nothing stoked more fear in their soliders than to be captured alive and turned over to the women in the mountains.
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Old 09-17-2021, 12:14 AM
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Originally Posted by ard View Post
First time ive seen this thought. 10,000% agree


You know, when Russia was in Afghanistan, nothing stoked more fear in their soliders than to be captured alive and turned over to the women in the mountains.
Actually it was the British fighting the Afghans during the Anglo-Afghan war that made the Pashtun women famous for mutilating the wounded and was then immortalized by Rudyard Kipling.

During the fighting with the Russians women and children were mostly kept away from the fighting since the Russians would drop dolls, toys and cany bars filled with explosives killing and wounding many children in the belief that kill the kids and you only have to fight one generation (the last one) to capitulation. The Russians also used chemical weapons.

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Old 09-17-2021, 03:57 AM
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Old 09-19-2021, 10:39 PM
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