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Does anybody think that things would be different if NATO and the US left Afghanistan next year or five years from now?

By Curt Anderson
July 5, 2021 11:04 am
Category: Military
(5.0 from 1 vote)
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Why? Explain your thinking.

It's terrible to say that any people or any nation is a hopeless cause. But whatever the US and our allies attempted in Afghanistan hasn't been a complete and lasting success. There have been some advances for women, especially in female education, which unfortunately has been become a deadly target of the Taliban. A female television anchor was assassinated last month in Kabul. Maybe someday there will be better times for the benighted people of Afghanistan, but it isn't now or in the near future.

More than 1,000 Afghan soldiers have fled to neighbouring Tajikistan after clashing with Taliban militants, officials have said.

The troops retreated over the border to "save their own lives", according to a statement by Tajikistan's border guard.

Violence has risen in Afghanistan and the Taliban have been making significant gains, particularly in the north of the country, in recent weeks.

The surge coincides with the end of Nato's 20-year military mission.

The vast majority of remaining foreign forces in Afghanistan have been withdrawn ahead of a September deadline. There are concerns that the Afghan military, who were supposed to take over security in the country, will collapse.

Under a deal with the Taliban, the US and its Nato allies agreed to withdraw all troops in return for a commitment by the militants not to allow any extremist group to operate in the areas they control.

But the Taliban did not agree to stop fighting Afghan forces, and now reportedly control about a third of the country.


Cited and related links:

  1. bbc.com


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Comments:

  1. by Donna on July 5, 2021 12:24 pm
    That's why I was opposed to going in. I knew it would become a waste of blood and treasure and that the minute we pulled out, the Taliban would take over again.

    Obama called Iraq a "dumb" war, but not only did he laud our involvement in Afghanistan, he escalated it. That was probably smart politically, but it was dumb in all other respects.



  2. by Curt Anderson on July 5, 2021 12:47 pm
    Donna,
    We, the US and NATO nations, have a moral obligation to protect and relocate interpreters and other Afghanis who helped us. There is an intention to help them, but we need to be sure they are in fact helped.

    Incidentally, besides the old forum causing the entire site to crash, there was another reason I pulled the plug. IMHO, the discussions were "unhealthy". There was more heat than light.

    I believe that not every post needs to elicit an acrimonious back and forth. An article can stand alone as information without comment. This forum allows the article writer to select from dozens of categories of which many are non-controversial. Recently, I posted a how-to article on a backyard construction project of mine. I have posted some history articles that I think are enlightening.

    ctvnews.ca
    state.gov


  3. by islander on July 5, 2021 2:46 pm

    " This forum allows the article writer to select from dozens of categories of which many are non-controversial. Recently, I posted a how-to article on a backyard construction project of mine. I have posted some history articles that I think are enlightening."

    Thank you Curt !!


  4. by Curt Anderson on July 5, 2021 2:52 pm
    I appreciate that Islander!

    Incidentally, if anybody is curious as to what I look like, I am my own model in my how-to article. See link below.
    selectsmart.com


  5. by Curt Anderson on July 14, 2021 6:56 pm
    The guy who launched the U.S. military invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001 thinks leaving is a bad idea. He didn't say when it would be acceptable to leave.

    Former President George W. Bush on Wednesday offered fresh criticism of the withdrawal of American and NATO troops from Afghanistan, as the U.S.-backed government in Kabul appears increasingly imperiled and Taliban fighters continue to make rapid gains across the country.

    Asked whether the drawdown was a mistake, Bush told German broadcaster Deutsche Welle in an interview: “I think it is, yeah. Because I think the consequences are going to be unbelievably bad and sad.”
    politico.com


  6. by Curt Anderson on August 13, 2021 8:16 am
    In another thread, HtS correctly characterizes Afghanistan as a debacle. It's a mess.

    My question of last month still stands. Does anybody think that things would be different if NATO and the US left Afghanistan next year or five years from now? And if so, how and why?

    Lest we forget: "Trump wants to pull all U.S. troops out of Afghanistan by 2020 election". Would that have gone any better? And if so, how and why?
    nbcnews.com


  7. by HatetheSwamp on August 13, 2021 9:26 am

    Curt,

    Thanks for giving pb a touch of credit but it's SwampMedia stronghold CNN that blames Joe for Afghanistan and calls it a debacle.

    Here's my thinking. There are two models for handling situations like this. The Vietnam model, which Biden's handlers have chosen. And, the S Korea model, in which an, essentially, permanent limited presence is maintained.

    Afghanistan, clearly, from the beginning, demanded the adoption of the S Korea model.

    What's happening in Afghanistan is a heartbreaking travesty.

    And, I do blame people who voted for the former trucker from Delaware for what is happening.

    You may say that electing a frail, demented old fart may be no big deal but I'm certain that you know better.


  8. by Curt Anderson on August 13, 2021 9:40 am
    So, you like the South Korean model. In other words, you'd like at least 28,000 US troops in Afghanistan for 70 years and beyond.

    The difference is that the South Koreans actively resisted and fought the North Koreans. There doesn't seem to be a discernable Afghan resistance to the Taliban. Nor does the Taliban seem happy to occupy only the northern part of the country.


    en.wikipedia.org


  9. by HatetheSwamp on August 13, 2021 9:54 am

    So, you like the South Korean model. In other words, you'd like at least 28,000 US troops in Afghanistan for 70 years and beyond.

    The difference is that the South Koreans actively resisted and fought the North Koreans. There doesn't seem to be a discernable Afghan resistance to the Taliban. Nor does the Taliban seem happy to occupy only the northern part of the country.


    I do think that the South Korea model is appropriate for Afghanistan.

    The issue, in my mind, has nothing to do with the South Koreans resisting the North Koreans. I'm pretty confident that the reason that we still have troops on the Korean peninsula is that we have a military stronghold near China.

    Considering the volatility of the region, having a continued military presence in Afghanistan would be of great value,...now that we're there. It would be well worth the investment.


  10. by Curt Anderson on August 13, 2021 11:19 am
    It is my opinion that for better or worse nations get the type of rulers and government that the majority of the people want or at least tolerate. The people may not be voting in a government but they might be allowing it passively to happen.

    Whatever the Taliban is selling, and it appears to be a 9th Century lifestyle, it's pretty obvious that many Afghanis are okay with it.


  11. by HatetheSwamp on August 13, 2021 11:27 am

    I won't argue your point, Curt, but, in my opinion, for the US, the question here is what's in US interests.

    If we'd maintain a serious enough presence in Afghanistan, it would be, primarily because it's in our interest.

    I'm guessing that the two of us probably agreed that we shouldn't have entered Afghanistan 20 years ago but we did. And, we're left with a serious mess because of it. That's the reality we're facing and there's no escaping it.


  12. by Curt Anderson on August 13, 2021 11:35 am
    I'm guessing that the two of us probably agreed that we shouldn't have entered Afghanistan 20 years ago but we did. And, we're left with a serious mess because of it. That's the reality we're facing and there's no escaping it. --HtS

    Correct on both counts.

    Btw, I am holding out hope that after a time people will reject the Taliban rule and choose a more enlightened path into modernity.


  13. by HatetheSwamp on August 13, 2021 11:55 am

    Another thing we agree about.

    But, these people are cruel and oppressive on the order of the North Korean government.


  14. by islander on August 13, 2021 12:08 pm

    ”Does anybody think that things would be different if NATO and the US left Afghanistan next year or five years from now? And if so, how and why?” ---Curt

    Unfortunately, no, I don’t think it would be any different five years from now.

    In my opinion, the situation we are in now in Afghanistan reminds me very much of the situation we were in when we had to decide whether or not to finally pull out of South Vietnam. We lost 55,000 lives and the monetary cost was staggering. We could have kept the North Vietnamese from ultimately winning “if” the Viet Cong did not have enough support from the people of South Vietnam. The North Vietnam army, by itself, was no match against the US military just as the Taliban is no match against the US military, without the support of enough of the Afghan people themselves.

    We invaded both countries. Both times it was a terrible mistake. I have to agree with you when you said, “for better or worse nations get the type of rulers and government that the majority of the people want or at least tolerate. The people may not be voting in a government but they might be allowing it passively to happen.”

    I know that sounds heartless, but reality sometimes is. You cannot win a long-term military victory in situations like these without the strong support of enough of the citizens themselves.



  15. by Curt Anderson on August 13, 2021 1:41 pm
    Islander,
    I should point out that is not a new or original thought.

    "Toute nation a le gouvernement qu'elle mérite."
    Every nation gets the government it deserves. -- Joseph de Maistre (1 April 1753 – 26 February 1821) was a Savoyard lawyer, diplomat, writer, and philosopher.
    en.wikiquote.org


  16. by islander on August 13, 2021 2:12 pm

    Curt,

    I quite liked this quote from Joseph de Maistre as well!

    ”False opinions are like false money, struck first of all by guilty men and thereafter circulated by honest people who perpetuate the crime without knowing what they are doing.”





  17. by Curt Anderson on August 15, 2021 9:52 am
    "When you add up the cost of Defense and State Department funds sunk into Operations Enduring Freedom and Resolute Support, then throw in the cost of caring for the conflicts’ veterans and the interest on the money borrowed to cover it all, you’re looking at over $2 trillion, according to a report released Friday."


    militarytimes.com


  18. by Donna on August 15, 2021 11:08 am
    Most Americans don't care one way or another about foreign policy. In 1972, after numerous antiwar protests and the Kent State massacre, antiwar candidate George McGovern lost in the biggest landslide in US presidential election history, winning only D.C. and Massachusetts. Then in 2004, Americans re-elected George Bush.


  19. by Donna on August 15, 2021 11:34 am
    Btw I just read that the president of Afghanistan fled the country.



  20. by Curt Anderson on August 15, 2021 11:49 am
    Donna, I was just reflecting back on the Vietnam War and its aftermath. After our ignoble exit, America's hawks complained it was because of the anti-war protesters that America lost the war. Well, there are some pretty obvious parallels between Vietnam and Afghanistan but I don't recall seeing many anti Afghanistan war protests. Yet the outcome was very similar.

    That Military Times article said that since we occupied their country 241,000 people died in Afghanistan with some 2,400 American service members killed. So when people say we should have stayed there for humanitarian purposes to prevent death I have my doubts.


  21. by Donna on August 15, 2021 1:11 pm
    The US killed and maimed millions of Vietnamese civilians ostensibly in an effort to stop the spread of communism. Our military carpet-bombed densely populated areas in the Mekong Delta region and dropped tons of Agent Orange which led many thousands of deaths and birth defects. Thousands of our own soldiers were poisoned by it too.

    And Americans replied "ho hum", rejected the antiwar candidate, and re-elected the hawk.

    Our military's actions in Iraq and to a somewhat lesser degree in Afghanistan were at
    best wrongheaded and at worse pure evil.

    IMO as a nation, we deserve everything that's happening to us.

    Did I mention that Sheri and I are seriously considering retiring in Costa Rica?


  22. by Curt Anderson on August 15, 2021 2:16 pm
    You've mentioned Costa Rica, but I didn't how seriously you looked into it or planned. I've been in Colombia and Mexico, never in central America though. Have you been there? It sure looks nice in photos and videos, etc.

    Retiring in Costa Rica sounds like a good topic for another thread.




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