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  • Afghanistan

    Posted by Jonathan on October 3rd, 2012 (All posts by )

    Chicagoboyz community member Death 6 has some thoughts:

    Some of you might be wondering what is really going on in Afghanistan given
    the official statements, news coverage (or lack of) and some recent
    significant engagements. As someone who networks in the intell and military
    affairs communities, I found this recent article an accurate and concise
    summary of where things stand and a good guide to where it is likely to be
    going from here. The following summary with link was extracted from an email I received:
     
    “Afghanistan is the War that is covered in 1/2 inch articles in the back of
    your newspaper. It is hardly covered on TV. The last of Obama’s surge troops
    have been withdrawn, the remaining troops are no longer training the
    Afghanis [sic], opium farming and sales are up… only the remaining troops
    must remain for more than a year and a half. This short article tells a sad
    tale.
     
    http://cb75948.wordpress.com/2012/09/27/obamas-war/
     
    The media only skimmed over the recent military slaughter and equipment
    destruction in Afghanistan…. C Brewer”

    (The article that Death 6 refers to appears here.)

     

    13 Responses to “Afghanistan”

    1. grey eagle Says:

      It would have been far better if Obama had surrendered to the Taliban and to Al Qaeda the moment he took office and paid them reparations.

      Unconditional surrender by Obama would have saved the lives of several thousand US troops and civilians and would be prevented injury and harm to thousands more. Instead he decided to lose both American troops and the wars. He decided to punish the young Americans who volunteered to protect the U.S.

      Al Qaeda/Iran now controls Iraq and Taliban/Iran now controls Afganistan. Obama disclaims all responsibility and blaims Bush and Republicans.

      Bush had won these wars when Obama took over. Only Obama/Clinton had the force of will to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

      It shame all Americans that all those loyal young men and women must return home in defeat, some of them missing arms, eyes or legs. But all of them wounded and all of them will be vilified by the MSM, Progressives, and Hollywood – as were the Vietnam vets before them.

    2. PenGun Says:

      So “The Graveyard of Empires” strikes again. The US effort was doomed from the beginning.

      When the Taliban streamed away after the loss to the CIA and special forces air fire directors the US thought it had won. I knew it was just beginning as they took pretty well all their weapons with them. As you ramped up the numbers it was obvious the Taliban was using the Afghan army and police to both train and hide their people.

      “Hey I want to join the fight against the Amerikaner swine”. “Cool, go join the Afghan army and get training and weapons, catch up with us later”.

      Every one I pointed this out too said I was nuts. The Taliban was never really your enemy, the AQ they harbored was just some guys from Saudi Arabia to them. As I have pointed out the Taliban are actually the good guys in Afghanistan. You need to read a little about the formation of the Taliban by Mullah Omar. It was a protest against the very corrupt forces they had pretty well defeated when you lot arrived. You picked the wrong side in that war. They will take back Afghanistan when you leave.

    3. Mike K Says:

      As usual, PenGun has profound things to say.

      ” The Taliban was never really your enemy, the AQ they harbored was just some guys from Saudi Arabia to them. As I have pointed out the Taliban are actually the good guys in Afghanistan. You need to read a little about the formation of the Taliban by Mullah Omar. It was a protest against the very corrupt forces they had pretty well defeated when you lot arrived. You picked the wrong side in that war. They will take back Afghanistan when you leave.”

      The Taliban began as a reform movement to oust the Soviets, as did al Qeada. We supported them because the Soviets were our enemy. We should have been under no illusion that Afghans were ready for the 20th century, let alone the 21st.

      The sad thing is that there is an Afghanistan that might have been. It was Kabul and the surrounding area. I do physicals on new recruits for the US military. Today, one young man told me he was born in Kabul. He is joining the US Army. He is a nice looking guy about 23 whose civilian job is a tutor in math and science. There was a modern university and museums in Kabul before the Soviets. However, the king was really the “Mayor of Kabul” since the outer reaches of the country have not changed significantly since Alexander the Great died. The major change is in the weapons they use.

      It is a fact that the Taliban, which means “students” were a retrograde force with no education beyond memorizing the Quran in a madrassa in Pakistan. They pushed Afghanistan ever further into the past when they took over. The Bush invasion and the Special Forces that routed them gave the Northern Alliance a chance to chase out the Pashtuns from the north down to Kabul. Southwest of Kabul is Pashtunistan which is also a large part of Pakistan.

      Trying nation building there made no sense. Bush had the good sense to leave them largely alone. Obama had to try to show that Bush had “neglected the Afghans” to argue that Iraq was a bigger mistake than it really was. Iraq had a chance to evolve into a modern Arab state, the only one with a chance. It has oil and a middle class. Obama has pretty well aborted that, his favorite medical procedure, with his total withdrawal. Now, both will be lost to us.

      Obama is 100% about politics and leftist ones at that. Since leftists seem to be unable to do much but kill people, even the NHS is better at that than much of its supposed health care, none of Obama’s policies will turn out well. We can only hope that, like Carter, he can spend his old age pontificating somewhere he can do no harm.

      I actually have read quite a bit about Afghanistan and the clash between Special Forces, who spoke the language (ask Obama what language that is; he doesn’t know) and got along well with the Afghan army, and the Industrial Age US Army that came and built huge camps. One of the new generals’ first order to the SF guys who had conquered to country was to “shave !” Clueless.

    4. Robert Schwartz Says:

      Walter Russell Mead’s take down of the media treatment of the Afghanistan mess is worthwhile reading:

      http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2012/10/01/thank-god-w-isnt-president-anymore/

    5. Mrs. Davis Says:

      Afghanistan is of no strategic value to us. It is an expensive place to fight a war, with no seaport, utterly unprepared for modernity and continued war only exacerbates our problems with Pakistan. We should have left long ago. The only result of leaving it is that Americans will stop dying in vain.

      Iraq is another story altogether. Our voluntary retreat was a strategic error of the highest order for which Romney should hold Obama accountable..

    6. SteveJ Says:

      At some point, certain Republicans need to understand the difference between teaching somebody a lesson, and using our troops for social engineering projects.

      And they need to understand the difference between democracy, and the Constitutional Republic we have in the United States. And they need to understand that the United States and other successful constitutional democracies evolved from constitutional monarchies or had constitutional monarchy phases in their histories. And they need understand that includes post-war Germany and Japan, even those those two countries briefly backslid into dictatorship — which is why those two countries were not models for the Middle East.

      They need to admit that Iraq and Afghanistan were utter failures, and were brought about by a Wilsonian liberal faction that infected the Republican Party.

      And that the Republican Party needs to return to a foreign policy based on Conservative principles.

      The party will then regain the advantage it had over the Democrats in foreign affairs that was squandered during the George W. Bush administration.

    7. Mike K Says:

      “They need to admit that Iraq and Afghanistan were utter failures, and were brought about by a Wilsonian liberal faction that infected the Republican Party.”

      Iraq was an experiment that was bungled by the State Department. Bush had to do something about Saddam once we had been attacked on 9/11. It had been a truce since the end of the first Gulf War. The Saudis were getting more radical and we had to move our headquarters out of there. Leaving Saddam in power would have been a huge gamble.

      Rumsfeld and Tommy Franks wanted no part of a long occupation. Franks was offered Chair of the Joint Chiefs and turned it down to retire. Rumsfeld wanted a small footprint. They wanted to turn the place over to the exiles. Paul Bremer was States’ guy not Rumsfeld’s. The Kurds had been defended by Jay Garner who had done a good job and got along with them. He was relieved with no explanation. Bremer wanted to be a proconsul and said he expected an 18 month occupation.

      There was a reasonable chance of success in making Iraq a more modern Arab state. It was botched but the worst mistake is abandoning it when Obama did.

      Afghanistan is “not worth the bones of a single Pomeranian grenadier.” Or American soldier.

    8. SteveJ Says:

      It is amazing how many Iraq war dead-enders persist in a party that says it’s Conservative.

      Iraq has no relation to 9/11. Iraq was not bungled. There was no right way to invade. Conservatives, of all people, should know that Democracy does not cause modernization, secular development, freedom or stability. It causes extremism and instability.

      Freedom is advance through constitutional development, and one of the things absolutely necessary for constitutional development is private property rights. You can’t have limited government without it. There are no private property rights in the Arab world. So there is no constitutional development there and the only democracies you will have there are democracies of the worst sort — the kind Madison warned about in the federalist papers.

      I realize that liberals don’t get this. They don’t care about private property. But it’s the last thing I expected to hear out of people claiming they are part of a Conservative party.

    9. Mike K Says:

      ” But it’s the last thing I expected to hear out of people claiming they are part of a Conservative party.”

      I think you are mistaken. You sound like a “big L” Libertarian. That is why I am a small L libertarian. Gandhi advised the British not to resist Hitler. He told them that even if they were all massacred, they would have the satisfaction that they had upheld their principles.

      That sounds like big L Libertarians to me.

      It is odd that you prefer crazy dictators like Saddam but there is no explaining Libertarians to me.

    10. Michael Kennedy Says:

      Here is the last paragraph of the Wikipedia entry on Jay Garner

      When Garner was replaced in his role by Paul Bremer, the former Managing Director of Kissinger and Associates, on May 11, 2003, there was quite a bit of speculation as to why he was replaced so abruptly. It has been suggested that Garner was moved aside because he did not agree with the White House about who should decide how to reconstruct Iraq. He wanted early elections – 90 days after the fall of Baghdad – and the new government to decide how to run the country and what to do with its assets. Garner said “I don’t think [Iraqis] need to go by the U.S. plan, I think that what we need to do is set an Iraqi government that represents the freely elected will of the people. It’s their country… their oil.”[7]

      Garner was interviewed in No End in Sight, a 2007 documentary movie very critical of the handling of the Iraq occupation., who is the same age I am.

      I still think this is unexplained.

    11. SteveJ Says:

      All due respect Mike, I said that certain Republicans need to understand the difference between teaching somebody a lesson, and using our troops for social engineering projects.

      You apparently approve of social engineering projects — which is quite liberal.

      The proper response to 9/11 was delivered in a matter of months — in very impressive fashion. A military route in which the enemy was obliterated — paying a price many times over the one they inflicted. At that point you make it clear to any Afghani warlord, Taliban or otherwise, that an Al Qaeda training camp in their village means their village will be flattened.

      That’s it. It was over.

      What happened after that was a grand scheme thought up by some “intellectuals” in think tanks in Washington. “Intellectuals” whose roots were in the Democratic party.

    12. Michael Kennedy Says:

      SteveJ First, I didn’t support what Obama did in Afghanistan. Second, I was very leery of any attempt to try to make a modern state out of that cluster of tribes.

      Iraq I felt as worth an experiment to see if an Arab state could contain a modern economy. My idea at the time was that Jay Garner had done a good job with the Kurds and once the invasion was over, we could turn the country over to the exiles. That was botched completely by Bremer.

      You comment was “It is amazing how many Iraq war dead-enders persist in a party that says it’s Conservative.”

      I think you are wrong and your comment was tendentious. I am tired of lefties, and most who use this sort of language are lefties, ignoring the dilemma that Bush faced after 9/11. They make no attempt to explain what the correct policy would have been.

      You wrote: “Iraq has no relation to 9/11. Iraq was not bungled. There was no right way to invade. Conservatives, of all people, should know that ”

      You made no effort to describe the correct policy you would have supported. Retreat from Saudi Arabia ? Leave Saddam alone and let him brag, as the Taliban are doing now, that we ran away ?

      I have no time for the ignorant critic who nothing constructive to say.

    13. SteveJ Says:

      Well my comment right above yours says what the correct response to 9/11 was.

      The correct response was delivered in a matter of months, and it was a complete military route. Hard to see how the Taliban could brag about much of anything at that point.