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The Loss of Afghanistan To The Taliban Was Not Inevitable!

JimofPennsylvan

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The failure of the nation building effort for Afghanistan is fully the leaders of Afghanistan fault, their corruption and its effects on undermining their military and holding back growth in their economy and undermining the morale and patriotism of their people did the country of Afghanistan in. However, America failed Afghanistan in its role as great friend and ally in many respects so I don't think it is accurate to say if America stayed in Afghanistan for another ten or twenty years the same failure outcome would have occurred! Some of America's failures include the following.

America assigned a U.S. General to oversee the training of the Afghanistan Armed Forces. One problem here was that the General was often replaced after two years or less and this references what a prudent person should call out as a big problem for the U.S. military is that in key, very important leadership jobs they move out the person after like two years or less. I don't work in the military and never have but I think ordinary citizens can offer legitimate constructive criticism about the military especially since our nation is based on the principle that the U.S. military is accountable to civil authorities. In order to do an optimally effective job you have to know the character and capabilities of the key people you interface with in your job and that takes time to learn these things plus when one changes a policy to improve things one often doesn't get it fully right the first time it often requires replacement or tweaking and this takes time. If people are doing an exceeds satisfactory performance in these jobs they should get a tenure of four to eight years which is needed to be optimally effective, if they are only doing a competent job then sure move them out after two years for a greatly effective candidate. I suspect that the reason why the U.S. military rotates its senior offices out of these jobs so relatively quickly is to allow lower ranking officers to fill those jobs and thereby receive the higher rank, thereby getting the added prestige associated with rank and higher retirement pay; but our nation's leaders need to reconsider this practice because the top priority should be best serving the interests of the American people and that is not happening!

One notable failure of the General overseeing training of the Afghanistan military included why wasn't the General and U.S. military and political leadership advocating, demanding and pressuring the Afghanistan government to make it a crime to be truant from military service, how can you have a consistently effective military when the members don't show up consistently. Consider what would happen in America if U.S. soldiers after boot camp when they get a three day pass or whatever pass they get during that pass entered into a serious romantique relationship with someone that moved them to not want to return to military service and they called their commander and said I don't feel like coming back I met someone and I don't feel like leaving that person, well the commander would say something like I hope you feel like experiencing life at Leavenworth prison because that is where you're going to spend the next couple of years if you don't get your butt back on base by the time your pass ends. As an outside observer I found it shocking how quickly and the manner in which the Afghanistan military surrendered where the hell was their training. First, if a commander surrenders his forces before he surrenders he should be duty bound to destroy any and all significant military equipment that can help the enemy "if time allots"; not doing so is equivalent to being a traitor because the weapons you turn over to the enemy can and often are used to kill your fellow soldiers - officers should have been trained that your weapons are not to be used to barter for your life or your freedom. The General and U.S. military and political leadership should have advocated that the Afghanistan Parliament pass a law that it is a treasonous act to surrender weapons like this and it is punishable by death and that prosecution in absentia will be permitted for such a crime. These Afghan officers should have been trained that certain circumstances must exist before it is lawful to surrender; first if the governor of the province or the Mayor of the City that you are in surrenders doesn't mean you have the right to surrender you are only accountable to the chain of command; your circumstances must be such that you cannot be confident that you have the ability to significantly hurt the enemy and you are then surrendering to save the lives of the forces under your command. Further, these Afghanistan officers should have been trained on the legitimate grounds for mutiny which that being if the mutinying officer(s) has clear and convincing evidence that the commanding officer is seeking to surrender or has entered into a deal to surrender and the aforementioned condition for surrendering doesn't exist then it is permissible to mutiny. I was surprised that the Afghan commanding officer of the government forces at Kandahar surrendered when he had a perfectly good military base from which to make a stand against the Taliban.

I find it bewildering beyond words that the U.S. military leadership in Afghanistan didn't demand the testing through combat of the various Afghan military forces assigned to major Afghan cities to see if they could do the job if called to defend their respective city. The Afghan army overall almost always had specific areas of the country where they were in active combat against the Taliban, they lost cities and then re-took them, providing ample opportunity for U.S. military leadership to vet these Afghan units for competency. This is especially surprising because it was as recent as the Obama administration where the U.S. military leadership learned that a huge portion of the Iraq army they trained was just a paper army, the commanders were incompetent and/or uncommitted and so were their rank and file soldiers and they fled or surrendered to the ISIS enemy extremely quickly; you would have thought the U.S. military leadership in Afghanistan would have been on the lookout for this flaw in the local indigenous forces in Afghanistan!

From comments of military experts on the matter one should conclude that the country of Afghanistan from a terrain standpoint is the worst country on God's green earth to fight an insurgency for the country is blanketed with mountains from which an insurgent force can hide and spring attacks. So it is beyond explanation on why the U.S. military and political leadership did not advocate, pressure and insist that the Afghanistan government enlist the assistance of anti-Taliban militia leaders to grow their militia forces and ally with them in their war against the Taliban. I understand the Afghanistan government did not want separate governments in Afghanistan comprising governments set-up by these militia leaders and having some cases where these leaders greatly enrich themselves but it could have been set up to avoid this. For these militia leaders being against the Taliban was a matter of survival and these militia leaders knew how to fight, the locales were their home turf and they knew how to fight a guerilla war. They should have entered into twenty year agreements with the respective militia leader committing to pay a salary to the leader and all his forces with ten year renewal options. The militia leader was free to operate on his or her own but limited to a group of districts or a province based on ability but could not operate in a city which was defended by Afghan forces unless it was a minor operation to kill an enemy leader or soldier. The leader and his forces had the same type of immunity granted to foreign forces and to protect them against political reprisals the leader and his commanders had the homes and businesses free from confiscation for life and for them and each member of their force if for some reason they were brought before a Judge it would be one they selected and the leader would get to fill every other judge opening in his area of operation the government would get a veto for cause power over the selection though. The U.S. government would pay these militia leaders and their individual force members directly and would arm them as they seed fit. Disabled and killed militia fighters would be treated like their Afghan army counterparts.

Another mistake the U.S. government made was with all the money they were pouring into Afghanistan and it would have only cost a small portion of the aid they should have demanded , insisted and insured (and I mean not provide a dollar for government salaries until it happened) that the Afghanistan government in areas that it controlled had an effective elementary school system, one that reliably taught the vast majority of students how to read, write and do arithmetic. Afghanistan army recruits had a sky high rate of illiteracy, couldn't count, didn't know their colors; basically the way the Afghanistan government ran the country the majority of Afghan boys were raised to have the potential to be ignorant manual laborers, so it shouldn't have been any surprise to anyone that a lot of them became Taliban barbarians.

Two things I find disconcerting that the U.S. media isn't picking up on and really making a big deal over. First, the Washington Post apparently reported that come August 15th when Kabul initially fell the Taliban in communications with the U.S. government offered if the U.S. government wanted to handle security for the city of Kabul that would be okay with them and the Biden Administration's response was we're not interested we just want to control the Kabul airport. If that happened that is an off-the-charts selfish act by President Biden, the U.S. military could have done it at low risk to military forces -not having checkpoints throughout the city vulnerable to the Kabul airport type of attacks but little command posts strategically spotted throughout Kabul and sure Biden would have gotten some egg on his face because the military would have needed another ten thousand soldiers to conduct the expanded mission. But that development would have given the civilian occupants of the City of Kabul free movement throughout the City. If America had controlled the City of Kabul they could have arranged pick-up locations for special visa holders and second priority visa holders and Americans to transport them to the airport throughout the city, so much obstruction that occurred to those trying to evacuate would have disappeared. America would have easily been able to have evacuated another one hundred thousand "at-risk" Afghans!

Secondly, President Biden references the intellectual elitist viewpoint for America getting out of Afghanistan that the world is changing in so far as things like America is now facing a growing threat from Asia meaning from China in the area of the South China Sea. I am not a military expert just a simple ordinary person but it seems to me that our hand was stronger against China aggression in that area when we had air bases in Afghanistan because if China used military action against Taiwan or the Philippines, our planes in Afghanistan could hurt China bad because Afghanistan has a border with China. U.S. planes based in Afghanistan could have been bombing in China within thirty minutes now I believe the U.S. planes hitting China from the west need to come from Qatar which would take hours of flight time. Since America left Afghanistan China can now move more of their military resources to the eastern part of China to defend against a U.S. military response because they are in less danger from a military attack from the west, now U.S. planes carrying out that response to Chinese aggression will face a greater lethal threat, this seems to me to be the repercussions of President Biden's moves on Afghanistan!
 

RodISHI

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So many ins and outs to that whole mess and who all was working at making sure that the government failed there?

We need is to get our own house cleaned out here in the US from top to bottom and bottom to top.


I also wondered about the Dems paki's who seemingly got to return back to Pakistan after it was discovered they were all into phones of the politicians in DC? It sure does seem like a lot of the current politicians are into seeing this country take a huge hit and assisting in that.

This too is bothering me. It makes me wonder just how big of a part are these evil bastards we have in bureacracies and politics assisting in all this destruction? Biden pressured Ghani to create ‘perception’ Taliban weren’t winning
 
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pknopp

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Afghanistan isn't ours to win or lose.
 

Anomalism

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They kicked our asses.
If this is your true position and not just something provocative that you say for reactions then I think your perspective is lacking. There was no organized force that defeated us. We defeated ourselves by trying to spread across a country and force its culture to change. We could've turned that entire country into craters and killed every last man, woman and child if we had wanted.
 

pknopp

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If this is your true position and not just something provocative that you say for reactions then I think your perspective is lacking. There was no organized force that defeated us. We defeated ourselves by trying to spread across a country and force its culture to change. We could've turned that entire country into craters and killed every last man, woman and child if we had wanted.

And we would have won nothing. They made our entire military and those who run it look foolish. I consider that as kicking our asses.
 

petro

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The failure of the Afghan army was known for over a decade.
Ryan Crocker, a former U.S. ambassador to Kabul, told government interviewers that the Afghan police were ineffective “not because they’re out-gunned or out-manned. It’s because they are useless as a security force and they’re useless as a security force because they are corrupt down to the patrol level.”

Victor Glaviano, who worked with the Afghan army as a U.S. combat adviser from 2007 to 2008, called the soldiers “stealing fools” who habitually looted equipment supplied by the Pentagon. He complained to government interviewers that Afghan troops had “beautiful rifles, but didn’t know how to use them,” and were undisciplined fighters, wasting ammunition because they “wanted to fire constantly.”

Anyone thinking a bunch of poor illiterate sheep farmers looking for a paycheck were gonna hold off organized terrorists is simply delusional.
 

Anomalism

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There was nothing we could do. Nothing. There never was any way to win as there was nothing to win.
I agree, unless vengeance is important to you. You could argue that we sought and achieved vengeance. That's stupid though. Things like vengeance are for dumb, short-sighted apes.
 

Donald H

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Yes it was. China had already invested heavily in the Taliban while America was still pretending the puppet government would hold up and be able to keep all the weapons left behind. Weapons that were obviouslly the property of the puppet government, in case anybody is still confused about that?
 

surada

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The failure of the nation building effort for Afghanistan is fully the leaders of Afghanistan fault, their corruption and its effects on undermining their military and holding back growth in their economy and undermining the morale and patriotism of their people did the country of Afghanistan in. However, America failed Afghanistan in its role as great friend and ally in many respects so I don't think it is accurate to say if America stayed in Afghanistan for another ten or twenty years the same failure outcome would have occurred! Some of America's failures include the following.

America assigned a U.S. General to oversee the training of the Afghanistan Armed Forces. One problem here was that the General was often replaced after two years or less and this references what a prudent person should call out as a big problem for the U.S. military is that in key, very important leadership jobs they move out the person after like two years or less. I don't work in the military and never have but I think ordinary citizens can offer legitimate constructive criticism about the military especially since our nation is based on the principle that the U.S. military is accountable to civil authorities. In order to do an optimally effective job you have to know the character and capabilities of the key people you interface with in your job and that takes time to learn these things plus when one changes a policy to improve things one often doesn't get it fully right the first time it often requires replacement or tweaking and this takes time. If people are doing an exceeds satisfactory performance in these jobs they should get a tenure of four to eight years which is needed to be optimally effective, if they are only doing a competent job then sure move them out after two years for a greatly effective candidate. I suspect that the reason why the U.S. military rotates its senior offices out of these jobs so relatively quickly is to allow lower ranking officers to fill those jobs and thereby receive the higher rank, thereby getting the added prestige associated with rank and higher retirement pay; but our nation's leaders need to reconsider this practice because the top priority should be best serving the interests of the American people and that is not happening!

One notable failure of the General overseeing training of the Afghanistan military included why wasn't the General and U.S. military and political leadership advocating, demanding and pressuring the Afghanistan government to make it a crime to be truant from military service, how can you have a consistently effective military when the members don't show up consistently. Consider what would happen in America if U.S. soldiers after boot camp when they get a three day pass or whatever pass they get during that pass entered into a serious romantique relationship with someone that moved them to not want to return to military service and they called their commander and said I don't feel like coming back I met someone and I don't feel like leaving that person, well the commander would say something like I hope you feel like experiencing life at Leavenworth prison because that is where you're going to spend the next couple of years if you don't get your butt back on base by the time your pass ends. As an outside observer I found it shocking how quickly and the manner in which the Afghanistan military surrendered where the hell was their training. First, if a commander surrenders his forces before he surrenders he should be duty bound to destroy any and all significant military equipment that can help the enemy "if time allots"; not doing so is equivalent to being a traitor because the weapons you turn over to the enemy can and often are used to kill your fellow soldiers - officers should have been trained that your weapons are not to be used to barter for your life or your freedom. The General and U.S. military and political leadership should have advocated that the Afghanistan Parliament pass a law that it is a treasonous act to surrender weapons like this and it is punishable by death and that prosecution in absentia will be permitted for such a crime. These Afghan officers should have been trained that certain circumstances must exist before it is lawful to surrender; first if the governor of the province or the Mayor of the City that you are in surrenders doesn't mean you have the right to surrender you are only accountable to the chain of command; your circumstances must be such that you cannot be confident that you have the ability to significantly hurt the enemy and you are then surrendering to save the lives of the forces under your command. Further, these Afghanistan officers should have been trained on the legitimate grounds for mutiny which that being if the mutinying officer(s) has clear and convincing evidence that the commanding officer is seeking to surrender or has entered into a deal to surrender and the aforementioned condition for surrendering doesn't exist then it is permissible to mutiny. I was surprised that the Afghan commanding officer of the government forces at Kandahar surrendered when he had a perfectly good military base from which to make a stand against the Taliban.

I find it bewildering beyond words that the U.S. military leadership in Afghanistan didn't demand the testing through combat of the various Afghan military forces assigned to major Afghan cities to see if they could do the job if called to defend their respective city. The Afghan army overall almost always had specific areas of the country where they were in active combat against the Taliban, they lost cities and then re-took them, providing ample opportunity for U.S. military leadership to vet these Afghan units for competency. This is especially surprising because it was as recent as the Obama administration where the U.S. military leadership learned that a huge portion of the Iraq army they trained was just a paper army, the commanders were incompetent and/or uncommitted and so were their rank and file soldiers and they fled or surrendered to the ISIS enemy extremely quickly; you would have thought the U.S. military leadership in Afghanistan would have been on the lookout for this flaw in the local indigenous forces in Afghanistan!

From comments of military experts on the matter one should conclude that the country of Afghanistan from a terrain standpoint is the worst country on God's green earth to fight an insurgency for the country is blanketed with mountains from which an insurgent force can hide and spring attacks. So it is beyond explanation on why the U.S. military and political leadership did not advocate, pressure and insist that the Afghanistan government enlist the assistance of anti-Taliban militia leaders to grow their militia forces and ally with them in their war against the Taliban. I understand the Afghanistan government did not want separate governments in Afghanistan comprising governments set-up by these militia leaders and having some cases where these leaders greatly enrich themselves but it could have been set up to avoid this. For these militia leaders being against the Taliban was a matter of survival and these militia leaders knew how to fight, the locales were their home turf and they knew how to fight a guerilla war. They should have entered into twenty year agreements with the respective militia leader committing to pay a salary to the leader and all his forces with ten year renewal options. The militia leader was free to operate on his or her own but limited to a group of districts or a province based on ability but could not operate in a city which was defended by Afghan forces unless it was a minor operation to kill an enemy leader or soldier. The leader and his forces had the same type of immunity granted to foreign forces and to protect them against political reprisals the leader and his commanders had the homes and businesses free from confiscation for life and for them and each member of their force if for some reason they were brought before a Judge it would be one they selected and the leader would get to fill every other judge opening in his area of operation the government would get a veto for cause power over the selection though. The U.S. government would pay these militia leaders and their individual force members directly and would arm them as they seed fit. Disabled and killed militia fighters would be treated like their Afghan army counterparts.

Another mistake the U.S. government made was with all the money they were pouring into Afghanistan and it would have only cost a small portion of the aid they should have demanded , insisted and insured (and I mean not provide a dollar for government salaries until it happened) that the Afghanistan government in areas that it controlled had an effective elementary school system, one that reliably taught the vast majority of students how to read, write and do arithmetic. Afghanistan army recruits had a sky high rate of illiteracy, couldn't count, didn't know their colors; basically the way the Afghanistan government ran the country the majority of Afghan boys were raised to have the potential to be ignorant manual laborers, so it shouldn't have been any surprise to anyone that a lot of them became Taliban barbarians.

Two things I find disconcerting that the U.S. media isn't picking up on and really making a big deal over. First, the Washington Post apparently reported that come August 15th when Kabul initially fell the Taliban in communications with the U.S. government offered if the U.S. government wanted to handle security for the city of Kabul that would be okay with them and the Biden Administration's response was we're not interested we just want to control the Kabul airport. If that happened that is an off-the-charts selfish act by President Biden, the U.S. military could have done it at low risk to military forces -not having checkpoints throughout the city vulnerable to the Kabul airport type of attacks but little command posts strategically spotted throughout Kabul and sure Biden would have gotten some egg on his face because the military would have needed another ten thousand soldiers to conduct the expanded mission. But that development would have given the civilian occupants of the City of Kabul free movement throughout the City. If America had controlled the City of Kabul they could have arranged pick-up locations for special visa holders and second priority visa holders and Americans to transport them to the airport throughout the city, so much obstruction that occurred to those trying to evacuate would have disappeared. America would have easily been able to have evacuated another one hundred thousand "at-risk" Afghans!

Secondly, President Biden references the intellectual elitist viewpoint for America getting out of Afghanistan that the world is changing in so far as things like America is now facing a growing threat from Asia meaning from China in the area of the South China Sea. I am not a military expert just a simple ordinary person but it seems to me that our hand was stronger against China aggression in that area when we had air bases in Afghanistan because if China used military action against Taiwan or the Philippines, our planes in Afghanistan could hurt China bad because Afghanistan has a border with China. U.S. planes based in Afghanistan could have been bombing in China within thirty minutes now I believe the U.S. planes hitting China from the west need to come from Qatar which would take hours of flight time. Since America left Afghanistan China can now move more of their military resources to the eastern part of China to defend against a U.S. military response because they are in less danger from a military attack from the west, now U.S. planes carrying out that response to Chinese aggression will face a greater lethal threat, this seems to me to be the repercussions of President Biden's moves on Afghanistan!

The Taliban were just war orphans who banded together to try and restore law and order after the US pulled out.

Afghanistan has been a basketcase since 1974 when the Afghan communists overthrew the monarchy.

China has built railroads, mining operations and power plants in Afghanistan.. They share a border.
 

Donald H

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The Taliban were just war orphans who banded together to try and restore law and order after the US pulled out.

Afghanistan has been a basketcase since 1974 when the Afghan communists overthrew the monarchy.

China has built railroads, mining operations and power plants in Afghanistan.. They share a border.
China also had contracts in place with the Taliban. China obviously knew that the puppet government wasn't popular and wouldn't survive.
 

Donald H

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Yes, it was inevitable and there are many references on China gambling that the Taliban would take over.

Many instances of that happening with China well before the US pullout. Search the question and read the dates.

China gambled trillions and they don't make bad bets.
 

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