After 20 years of fighting the Taliban

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brainbomb
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After 20 years of fighting the Taliban

#1 Post by brainbomb » Fri Aug 13, 2021 2:33 pm

I am proud to say, that freedom has defeated these creepy monsters who have hidden in the mountains. It is nice to see as the United States leaves Afghanistan, after spending a quadrillion dollars killing goat herders; that weve left with something more profound than our opiod addiction and smart phone desperate society. Thank you Afghanistan, than you for the lands china bought while we protected them from these lovely folks.
Thank you to the brave freedom fighters who ensured the Taliban would never return.
#winning
#war on terror
#no more taliban
#we won

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Re: After 20 years of fighting the Taliban

#2 Post by Octavious » Fri Aug 13, 2021 3:29 pm

Yeah, Biden's really taken the opportunity to make America look weak and run with it. American democracy is at a painfully low ebb. From the ineffective to the insane to the incapable.
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Re: After 20 years of fighting the Taliban

#3 Post by brainbomb » Fri Aug 13, 2021 3:40 pm

Some unlucky administration was going to rip off this bandaid. It may as well be ole grandpa biden. hes shaping up to be like jimmy carter so far.

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Re: After 20 years of fighting the Taliban

#4 Post by Randomizer » Sat Aug 14, 2021 1:19 am

Octavious wrote:
Fri Aug 13, 2021 3:29 pm
Yeah, Biden's really taken the opportunity to make America look weak and run with it. American democracy is at a painfully low ebb. From the ineffective to the insane to the incapable.
Biden honored the negotiated Trump truce with the Taliban. Trump agreed to withdraw most of the troops by May 1. Biden has said he will send them back if the Taliban break the terms which were basically to stop shooting at US forces.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/preordained- ... 00155.html

Republican president Bush sent them in and republican president Trump got them out. Neither one ever fought in a war, although Bush joined the Texas Air National Guard to avoid Vietnam and failed to appear for his required medical physical to finish his "commitment." Trump faked a bone spur.

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Re: After 20 years of fighting the Taliban

#5 Post by Octavious » Sat Aug 14, 2021 11:03 am

Trump negotiated a piss poor deal that the Taliban instantly violated. Biden had it easily within his power to use the violation to invalidate Trump's deal and act however he believed to be appropriate. What he believed to be appropriate, however, was to throw the Afghan population under the same bus Trump was aiming for and run away in shameful disgrace, calculating that he had a decent chance of blaming his cowardice on the previous administration.
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Re: After 20 years of fighting the Taliban

#6 Post by Trigfea63 » Sat Aug 14, 2021 10:11 pm

I don't necessarily disagree with these comments. The other side is, after 20 years we are tired of seeing our soldiers come home with PTSD and amputated limbs. Or not at all. And for what?

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Re: After 20 years of fighting the Taliban

#7 Post by Octavious » Sun Aug 15, 2021 8:07 am

Trigfea63 wrote:
Sat Aug 14, 2021 10:11 pm
I don't necessarily disagree with these comments. The other side is, after 20 years we are tired of seeing our soldiers come home with PTSD and amputated limbs. Or not at all. And for what?
Over the last five years we've not seen our soldiers come home with PTSD, amputated limbs, or not at all. NATO ground combat operations essentially stopped quite a few years back. What we have been doing in that time is providing air support for Afghan military operations that has kept the Taliban largely confined to rural strongholds. It was low risk and low cost, and what it has done is elevate Afghanistan from an impoverished extremist hell hole to a place where it was at least possible to live a decent life. This has now been lost, and we have created a country full of people with extremely good reasons to hate our guts. And in doing so we will not save any Western lives and we will not save any money, as the fallout from this abject failure will dwarf any savings made by not flying a few jets back and forth.

This is not all Biden's fault, but he was the last man who could have stopped it, and he chose not to. Trump loaded the gun, and Biden picked it up and fired it in both feet. They have thrown away the sacrifice of thousands of NATO servicemen and thrown millions of decent Afghans to the wolves. America stands before us all looking weak, incapable, and cowardly, and the world is a far more dangerous place because of it.
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Re: After 20 years of fighting the Taliban

#8 Post by orathaic » Sun Aug 15, 2021 10:32 am

From twitter:
having a lot of feelings about Afghanistan today

I deployed there twice--once in 2008 and once in 2009-10

It was already obvious that the Taliban would sweep through the very instant we left

And here we are today

https://twitter.com/LauraJedeed/status/ ... 41987?s=20

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Re: After 20 years of fighting the Taliban

#9 Post by Randomizer » Mon Aug 16, 2021 3:17 am

https://www.yahoo.com/news/trump-calls- ... 00665.html

Trump calls for VP Harris to become president. I guess Trump really wasn't paying attention during all the classes that discussed the constitution, because if Biden leaves office it doesn't make Trump president.

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Re: After 20 years of fighting the Taliban

#10 Post by Jamiet99uk » Mon Aug 16, 2021 12:05 pm

For a country that spends more on its military than the next 10 countries combined, the USA really sucks at imperialism, doesn't it?
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Re: After 20 years of fighting the Taliban

#11 Post by peterlund » Mon Aug 16, 2021 4:43 pm

Octavious wrote:
Sat Aug 14, 2021 11:03 am
Trump negotiated a piss poor deal that the Taliban instantly violated. Biden had it easily within his power to use the violation to invalidate Trump's deal and act however he believed to be appropriate. What he believed to be appropriate, however, was to throw the Afghan population under the same bus Trump was aiming for and run away in shameful disgrace, calculating that he had a decent chance of blaming his cowardice on the previous administration.
Well one idiot US president confirms one other idiot US president's decision. Are there no smart Americans around, anywhere, really not anywhere?

Last time we got the Islamic State califat on our hands. What will we get this time?
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Re: After 20 years of fighting the Taliban

#12 Post by Randomizer » Mon Aug 16, 2021 6:10 pm

The Taliban have been negotiating with China and now want the rest of the world to let them do what they want inside their borders in return for not exporting terrorism. So a return to what they had 20 yers ago.

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Re: After 20 years of fighting the Taliban

#13 Post by flash2015 » Mon Aug 16, 2021 10:44 pm

Octavious wrote:
Sat Aug 14, 2021 11:03 am
Trump negotiated a piss poor deal that the Taliban instantly violated. Biden had it easily within his power to use the violation to invalidate Trump's deal and act however he believed to be appropriate. What he believed to be appropriate, however, was to throw the Afghan population under the same bus Trump was aiming for and run away in shameful disgrace, calculating that he had a decent chance of blaming his cowardice on the previous administration.
A little over a month ago Trump gloated that he had set it up so that Biden couldn't stop the withdrawal (video link):

https://twitter.com/thenuzzy/status/1427051039404957697

Already he had removed most of the troops and billions of dollars of equipment:

https://twitter.com/joncoopertweets/sta ... 76/photo/1

And they had already released thousands of Taliban from prison:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-afgh ... SKCN25507I

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/09/worl ... talks.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics ... niversary/

Getting the blame game out of the way though, if the US can't create a stable government in Afghanistan after 2 decades how long should they be waiting for? While the number of troops was small, as of 2019 it was STILL costing over 50 billion a year for the US to retain its presence there:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/niallmccar ... b18b2f1971

While the pullout has been a debacle, it makes no sense for the US to maintain troops and an airbase in Afghanistan indefinitely.

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Re: After 20 years of fighting the Taliban

#14 Post by Octavious » Tue Aug 17, 2021 7:07 am

You're remarkably quick to take Trump's word at face value when he happens to say something you agree with :razz:.

Out of curiosity, how do you believe Trump made it impossible to stop the withdrawal? Being the commander in chief one imagines that all Biden had to do was say the words "stop the withdrawal". He'll be in Camp David kicking himself that such a strategy never occurred to him.

The US made an impressive series of cock-ups over the last 20 years, but let's not pretend that Afghanistan had not changed massively for the better. The military strength required to maintain and progress that change had been reduced to air support and several thousand ground troops carrying out training missions and making the idea of the Taliban sweeping the country impossible. The financial cost was low, as was the risk to servicemen.

We have traded that situation for the establishment of a totalitarian anti American regime who, as the UN kindly inform us, has maintained close links with Al Qaeda. In doing so America has trashed its reputation as a reliable ally and offered massive encouragement to anyone out there who may have feared a strong American response that the chances are they can do whatever the hell they want and get away with it.

As for the 50 billion figure, without a breakdown I'd treat that with a massive pinch of salt. Traditionally they are massively inflated with costs attributed to the war that would have occurred anyway. There was an outcry a few years back in the Libyan conflict regarding how much the UK has spent on the cruise missiles it had fired. Whilst it was true that they are indeed expensive and we'd fired a lot of them, what was less widely reported was that they have expiry dates and if they hadn't been fired would have had to have been disposed of some other way. I very much expect that a lot of that 50 billion figure would still exist on defense spending balance sheets regardless of whether the US was in Afghanistan or not.
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Re: After 20 years of fighting the Taliban

#15 Post by principians » Tue Aug 17, 2021 1:08 pm

So the US still assume themselves as the *police* of the world?

Wouldnt be better to have a functional UN with true power to deal with this kind of situations, and so avoid dependeny on absurd decisions by the presidency of one single nation?

Of course a truely democratic and functional UN wouldnt fit so well for 5 countries that still can do whatever they want without any fear to any kind of consequence

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Re: After 20 years of fighting the Taliban

#16 Post by orathaic » Tue Aug 17, 2021 1:29 pm

Octavious wrote:
Tue Aug 17, 2021 7:07 am
You're remarkably quick to take Trump's word at face value when he happens to say something you agree with :razz:.

Out of curiosity, how do you believe Trump made it impossible to stop the withdrawal?
The deal he made was that Taliban forces would not fire on US troops as they withdrew. So that would have been an issue for stopping the withdrawal.

But also, give that thousands of Talbian prisoners had been released, and the Taliban's armed forces were, reportedly, in a stronger position than they have been in 20 years. Given that the US draw down meant they were in a weaker position than at any point in the past 20 years... Yeah, i mean Biden could have kept the troops there, and they would have been killed.

Or he could have sent more troops in, and the US public would have been angry with him.

Whether he should have acted differently or not is a seperate question.
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Re: After 20 years of fighting the Taliban

#17 Post by Octavious » Tue Aug 17, 2021 2:28 pm

orathaic wrote:
Tue Aug 17, 2021 1:29 pm
The deal he made was that Taliban forces would not fire on US troops as they withdrew. So that would have been an issue for stopping the withdrawal.
It is impossible to fire on troops as they withdraw if said troops are not withdrawing.
orathaic wrote:
Tue Aug 17, 2021 1:29 pm
But also, give that thousands of Talbian prisoners had been released, and the Taliban's armed forces were, reportedly, in a stronger position than they have been in 20 years. Given that the US draw down meant they were in a weaker position than at any point in the past 20 years... Yeah, i mean Biden could have kept the troops there, and they would have been killed.
The US had complete air superiority, established supply lines, and an allied army 200,000 strong with multiple highly defensible bases. The US may have been weaker on the ground than in previous years, but that could easily be reversed. The Taliban may be in a position of strength relative to how they'd been before, but they were several orders of magnitude weaker than the US. The Taliban could have attacked the US bases, and the Taliban would have been slaughtered. The position Biden inherited, whilst far from ideal, was still far superior to that of the coalition position when it all started 20 years ago.
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Re: After 20 years of fighting the Taliban

#18 Post by flash2015 » Tue Aug 17, 2021 3:38 pm

Octavious wrote:
Tue Aug 17, 2021 7:07 am
You're remarkably quick to take Trump's word at face value when he happens to say something you agree with :razz:.

Out of curiosity, how do you believe Trump made it impossible to stop the withdrawal? Being the commander in chief one imagines that all Biden had to do was say the words "stop the withdrawal". He'll be in Camp David kicking himself that such a strategy never occurred to him.
Impossible is a strong word. He just made it very costly. The Taliban had been making big gains for a while now. We would probably need another "surge" to push them back. Last time we did that we had 100K troops in Afghanistan...and the cost averaged over 100 billion per year between 2009 and 2013. Another surge would probably cost tens of thousands of civilian lives too.
The US made an impressive series of cock-ups over the last 20 years, but let's not pretend that Afghanistan had not changed massively for the better. The military strength required to maintain and progress that change had been reduced to air support and several thousand ground troops carrying out training missions and making the idea of the Taliban sweeping the country impossible. The financial cost was low, as was the risk to servicemen.
Given the substantial gains the Taliban had already made, I don't see any evidence to suggest that the financial cost or the risk to servicemen was low.
We have traded that situation for the establishment of a totalitarian anti American regime who, as the UN kindly inform us, has maintained close links with Al Qaeda. In doing so America has trashed its reputation as a reliable ally and offered massive encouragement to anyone out there who may have feared a strong American response that the chances are they can do whatever the hell they want and get away with it.
I am kind of ambivalent to the situation. I don't like the Taliban being back but I understand the rationale for pulling out.

The goal of going into Afghanistan was to get Bin Laden. He is dead for over a decade. He only existed because of an earlier US intervention decades earlier.
The original mission is long over.

We will see how things play out, but I don't believe the Taliban will be so stupid as to immediately turn around and foster terrorists. They also seem to have been giving out all sorts of warm fuzzies the last few days.

Note that Afghanistan isn't the only messed up country in the world. There are plenty of other countries that the US could potentially help in too...perhaps with more bang for the buck.
As for the 50 billion figure, without a breakdown I'd treat that with a massive pinch of salt. Traditionally they are massively inflated with costs attributed to the war that would have occurred anyway. There was an outcry a few years back in the Libyan conflict regarding how much the UK has spent on the cruise missiles it had fired. Whilst it was true that they are indeed expensive and we'd fired a lot of them, what was less widely reported was that they have expiry dates and if they hadn't been fired would have had to have been disposed of some other way. I very much expect that a lot of that 50 billion figure would still exist on defense spending balance sheets regardless of whether the US was in Afghanistan or not.
That may be true to some extent...but I wouldn't base much on your pure speculation. You aren't one for letting facts get in the way of your assertions.

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Re: After 20 years of fighting the Taliban

#19 Post by flash2015 » Tue Aug 17, 2021 4:01 pm

More info on the crazy costs of the Afghan occupation. Apart from the 2 trillion cost, by 2050 it is estimated that the US will likely have to pay 6.5 trillion dollars in interest on this debut.

https://www.hindustantimes.com/world-ne ... 37345.html

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Re: After 20 years of fighting the Taliban

#20 Post by Octavious » Tue Aug 17, 2021 6:07 pm

flash2015 wrote:
Tue Aug 17, 2021 4:01 pm
More info on the crazy costs of the Afghan occupation. Apart from the 2 trillion cost, by 2050 it is estimated that the US will likely have to pay 6.5 trillion dollars in interest on this debut.

https://www.hindustantimes.com/world-ne ... 37345.html
US treasury mismanagement is irrelevant to this debate. I do find it more than a little amusing that the costs of the Afghan adventure are being trumpeted by the likes of yourself and ora when only months ago, in the Israel thread when the similar cost of Iraq was mentioned, great lengths were made to argue that the true cost is in fact far lower than the headline figure ;).
flash2015 wrote:
Tue Aug 17, 2021 3:38 pm
He just made it very costly
Costs are relative. I suspect the cost of the choice Biden has taken will prove to be massively greater in the long term.
flash2015 wrote:
Tue Aug 17, 2021 3:38 pm
We would probably need another "surge" to push them back
If you wanted immediate gains, yes, but there was no pressing need to take the fight to the Taliban. Drawing a line in the sand would not have required a surge, or the associated cost in lives and financial burden.
flash2015 wrote:
Tue Aug 17, 2021 3:38 pm
Given the substantial gains the Taliban had already made, I don't see any evidence to suggest that the financial cost or the risk to servicemen was low.
The low US casualty rate should be evidence enough that the risk is low, surely?
flash2015 wrote:
Tue Aug 17, 2021 3:38 pm
I am kind of ambivalent to the situation
Clearly so, and it is for this reason that Biden is pursuing this shameful strategy. He believes that ultimately the American population don't give a shit about Afghans and throwing them to the wolves won't cost him at the ballot box. He may well be right.
flash2015 wrote:
Tue Aug 17, 2021 3:38 pm
The goal of going into Afghanistan was to get Bin Laden. He is dead for over a decade. He only existed because of an earlier US intervention decades earlier. The original mission is long over.
Some would profoundly disagree. I refer you to these voices from the US Senate
"Our hope is that we will see a relatively stable government in Afghanistan, one that… provides the foundation for future reconstruction of that country."
- Senator J Biden, 2001
"the alternative to nation building is chaos, a chaos that churns out bloodthirsty warlords, drug traffickers and terrorists".
- Senator J Biden, 2003
flash2015 wrote:
Tue Aug 17, 2021 3:38 pm
We will see how things play out, but I don't believe the Taliban will be so stupid as to immediately turn around and foster terrorists.
I refer you to the UN.

https://daccess-ods.un.org/TMP/8930020.33233643.html
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