[US Foreign Policy] Declare Victory and Come Home

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  • DoodmannDoodmann Registered User regular
    moniker wrote: »
    We might be deciding to declare victory and come home.
    AP wrote:
    A senior U.S. official said Friday the United States and the Taliban have reached a truce agreement that will take effect “very soon” and could lead to withdrawals of American troops from Afghanistan.

    The official said the agreement for a seven-day “reduction in violence” to be followed by the start of all-Afghan peace talks within 10 days is “very specific” and covers the entire country, including Afghan government forces. There were indications a formal announcement could come as early as the weekend.

    https://www.chicagotribune.com/nation-world/ct-nw-afghanistan-truce-ceasefire-20200214-s3kctser5nfenjsiftgq5nxg6e-story.html

    Or it's an announcement of an announcement of an attempt at announcing declaring victory and coming home. Considering we were planning to have the Taliban at Camp David on 9/11 it might be more real than not.

    Holy. Shit. The taliban won

    Graveyard of empires and all that.

    Whippy wrote: »
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  • PolaritiePolaritie Sleepy Registered User regular
    moniker wrote: »
    We might be deciding to declare victory and come home.
    AP wrote:
    A senior U.S. official said Friday the United States and the Taliban have reached a truce agreement that will take effect “very soon” and could lead to withdrawals of American troops from Afghanistan.

    The official said the agreement for a seven-day “reduction in violence” to be followed by the start of all-Afghan peace talks within 10 days is “very specific” and covers the entire country, including Afghan government forces. There were indications a formal announcement could come as early as the weekend.

    https://www.chicagotribune.com/nation-world/ct-nw-afghanistan-truce-ceasefire-20200214-s3kctser5nfenjsiftgq5nxg6e-story.html

    Or it's an announcement of an announcement of an attempt at announcing declaring victory and coming home. Considering we were planning to have the Taliban at Camp David on 9/11 it might be more real than not.

    Holy. Shit. The taliban won

    In all honesty that's seemed inevitable for a while, sadly.

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  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    Kaputa wrote: »
    I don't think there is a clean way to withdraw from Afghanistan regardless of who's in office. The US should accept Afghan refugees fleeing the ongoing war. Other than that, if withdrawal is desired, what exactly do people think a better administration would do differently than the current one?

    ...

    Accept Afghan refugees fleeing the ongoing war.

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  • KaputaKaputa Registered User regular
    edited February 14
    moniker wrote: »
    Kaputa wrote: »
    I don't think there is a clean way to withdraw from Afghanistan regardless of who's in office. The US should accept Afghan refugees fleeing the ongoing war. Other than that, if withdrawal is desired, what exactly do people think a better administration would do differently than the current one?

    ...

    Accept Afghan refugees fleeing the ongoing war.
    Fair enough. I agree that that is a moral imperative and that it's unlikely under Trump's watch.

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  • TryCatcherTryCatcher Registered User regular
    moniker wrote: »
    We might be deciding to declare victory and come home.
    AP wrote:
    A senior U.S. official said Friday the United States and the Taliban have reached a truce agreement that will take effect “very soon” and could lead to withdrawals of American troops from Afghanistan.

    The official said the agreement for a seven-day “reduction in violence” to be followed by the start of all-Afghan peace talks within 10 days is “very specific” and covers the entire country, including Afghan government forces. There were indications a formal announcement could come as early as the weekend.

    https://www.chicagotribune.com/nation-world/ct-nw-afghanistan-truce-ceasefire-20200214-s3kctser5nfenjsiftgq5nxg6e-story.html

    Or it's an announcement of an announcement of an attempt at announcing declaring victory and coming home. Considering we were planning to have the Taliban at Camp David on 9/11 it might be more real than not.

    Holy. Shit. The taliban won

    Well, duh. Graveyard of empires, remember? If Soviet cruelty at it's height couldn't tame Afghanistan, then the US half-assed approach wasn't going to.

    That much is obvious. Though whatever Trump can pull it off I'm not sure, the Syrian withdrawal fiasco is a show of what can happen.

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  • VishNubVishNub Registered User regular
    I mean the goal of the Taliban was “continue existing.” The goal of the US was ????????

    Of course the taliban won

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  • ButtersButters A glass of some milks Registered User regular
    I wonder if there's a timeline where Afghanistan isn't a two decade long quagmire because the US didn't invade Iraq

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  • KetBraKetBra FISTS OF JUSTICE! Registered User regular
    Eh, the US was going to admit it lost, sooner or later.

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  • BigJoeMBigJoeM Registered User regular
    Not if this war had started under Trump.

    He can blame Bush and Obama but if he made this mess himself and could be blamed for it . . .

    He would do anything to get a "win".

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  • KetBraKetBra FISTS OF JUSTICE! Registered User regular
    BigJoeM wrote: »
    Not if this war had started under Trump.

    He can blame Bush and Obama but if he made this mess himself and could be blamed for it . . .

    He would do anything to get a "win".

    Oh, I'm sure the government will still frame this as a win, regardless.

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  • DoodmannDoodmann Registered User regular
    I hope we take in an unlimited number of afghan refugees....maybe next admin?

    Just offer them all a chance to move to iowa and take over the electoral process of this country.

    Whippy wrote: »
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  • IncenjucarIncenjucar Audio Game Developer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    The Taliban has been winning since 2001. They changed the world into -this situation-. US Policy has been dictated by their actions since then. This is just a specific example of their success.

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  • GaddezGaddez Registered User regular
    moniker wrote: »
    We might be deciding to declare victory and come home.
    AP wrote:
    A senior U.S. official said Friday the United States and the Taliban have reached a truce agreement that will take effect “very soon” and could lead to withdrawals of American troops from Afghanistan.

    The official said the agreement for a seven-day “reduction in violence” to be followed by the start of all-Afghan peace talks within 10 days is “very specific” and covers the entire country, including Afghan government forces. There were indications a formal announcement could come as early as the weekend.

    https://www.chicagotribune.com/nation-world/ct-nw-afghanistan-truce-ceasefire-20200214-s3kctser5nfenjsiftgq5nxg6e-story.html

    Or it's an announcement of an announcement of an attempt at announcing declaring victory and coming home. Considering we were planning to have the Taliban at Camp David on 9/11 it might be more real than not.

    Holy. Shit. The taliban won

    There wasn't anyway they could lose after the first 2 years; they've adapted themselves to the tactics of the US and come to understand that America simply doesn't win occupations.

    Richy wrote: »
    But I think the resistance I’m getting more has to do with “rawr! Loklar said it! Rage!” than anything else.

    No, it has to do with the fact that you're done nothing but throw lies, blatant flasehoods, and downright dumb statements at us so far.
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  • Commander ZoomCommander Zoom Registered User regular
    Doodmann wrote: »
    I hope we take in an unlimited number of afghan refugees....maybe next admin?

    Just offer them all a chance to move to iowa and take over the electoral process of this country.

    That would be fair and just, and would accelerate the end of the white majority; so of course, it will never happen.

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  • OghulkOghulk biggest externality low-energy economistRegistered User regular
    Butters wrote: »
    I wonder if there's a timeline where Afghanistan isn't a two decade long quagmire because the US didn't invade Iraq

    Likely no, but the probability is much much higher given what I've read about how the US was doing prior to the Iraq war.

    Also did I read that right on the last page that we planned on having the Taliban at Camp David on 9/11.....?

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  • KetBraKetBra FISTS OF JUSTICE! Registered User regular
    Oghulk wrote: »
    Butters wrote: »
    I wonder if there's a timeline where Afghanistan isn't a two decade long quagmire because the US didn't invade Iraq

    Likely no, but the probability is much much higher given what I've read about how the US was doing prior to the Iraq war.

    Also did I read that right on the last page that we planned on having the Taliban at Camp David on 9/11.....?

    Yeah it was a whole thing last year

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  • ButtersButters A glass of some milks Registered User regular
    I've come across a fair amount of writings about the war in Afghanistan making real headway until a majority of the US's strategic resources shifted toward Iraq. Perhaps the authors were war apologists, but there's evidence to suggest the Taliban were in pretty dire straits in 2003 and then were just kind of left alone to regroup for a while. Not that the invasion of Afghanistan was ever justified but I do wonder if a majority of our military intelligence apparatus was working on rooting out the Taliban instead of trying to find WMD in Iraq that wasn't there if things would have ended up different.

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  • PhillisherePhillishere Registered User regular
    Butters wrote: »
    I've come across a fair amount of writings about the war in Afghanistan making real headway until a majority of the US's strategic resources shifted toward Iraq. Perhaps the authors were war apologists, but there's evidence to suggest the Taliban were in pretty dire straits in 2003 and then were just kind of left alone to regroup for a while. Not that the invasion of Afghanistan was ever justified but I do wonder if a majority of our military intelligence apparatus was working on rooting out the Taliban instead of trying to find WMD in Iraq that wasn't there if things would have ended up different.

    One of the things that came out in the recent info about the Bush/Obama administration misinformation campaign about Afghanistan is that a lot of the metrics we used to define success were bullshit, and we knew it. That means that analysts could look at the data, the situation on the ground at the time, and honestly infer there was success.

    But the truth was that there wasn't. We never had a clear achievable goal, and we would not have with or without Iraq.

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  • FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    Yeah, the problem was that the criteria for "winning" (and later, "progress") was completely fabricated and amounted to shrug.ascii

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  • KaputaKaputa Registered User regular
    Butters wrote: »
    I've come across a fair amount of writings about the war in Afghanistan making real headway until a majority of the US's strategic resources shifted toward Iraq. Perhaps the authors were war apologists, but there's evidence to suggest the Taliban were in pretty dire straits in 2003 and then were just kind of left alone to regroup for a while. Not that the invasion of Afghanistan was ever justified but I do wonder if a majority of our military intelligence apparatus was working on rooting out the Taliban instead of trying to find WMD in Iraq that wasn't there if things would have ended up different.

    One of the things that came out in the recent info about the Bush/Obama administration misinformation campaign about Afghanistan is that a lot of the metrics we used to define success were bullshit, and we knew it. That means that analysts could look at the data, the situation on the ground at the time, and honestly infer there was success.

    But the truth was that there wasn't. We never had a clear achievable goal, and we would not have with or without Iraq.
    I pretty much agree with this take, especially since two of the main factors responsible for the Taliban's resurgence - Pakistani support for the movement and the corrupt and dysfunctional nature of the Afghan government - would not have been rectified by increased US military presence.

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  • ButtersButters A glass of some milks Registered User regular
    Kaputa wrote: »
    Butters wrote: »
    I've come across a fair amount of writings about the war in Afghanistan making real headway until a majority of the US's strategic resources shifted toward Iraq. Perhaps the authors were war apologists, but there's evidence to suggest the Taliban were in pretty dire straits in 2003 and then were just kind of left alone to regroup for a while. Not that the invasion of Afghanistan was ever justified but I do wonder if a majority of our military intelligence apparatus was working on rooting out the Taliban instead of trying to find WMD in Iraq that wasn't there if things would have ended up different.

    One of the things that came out in the recent info about the Bush/Obama administration misinformation campaign about Afghanistan is that a lot of the metrics we used to define success were bullshit, and we knew it. That means that analysts could look at the data, the situation on the ground at the time, and honestly infer there was success.

    But the truth was that there wasn't. We never had a clear achievable goal, and we would not have with or without Iraq.
    I pretty much agree with this take, especially since two of the main factors responsible for the Taliban's resurgence - Pakistani support for the movement and the corrupt and dysfunctional nature of the Afghan government - would not have been rectified by increased US military presence.

    It's not the presence that was necessarily missing it was the strategy. A majority of the people planning operations were taken off Afghanistan and moved on to Iraq and the Joint Chiefs just stopped paying attention. But you're both probably right. The "headway" I mentioned was likely made up to begin with.

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  • ArbitraryDescriptorArbitraryDescriptor Registered User regular
    Fencingsax wrote: »
    Yeah, the problem was that the criteria for "winning" (and later, "progress") was completely fabricated and amounted to shrug.ascii

    I will try to send them a copy Pax Pamir the next time I have access to a time machine. Then we can see what would have happened if learned that, with enough effort, an individual can achieve enough notoriety and respect to declare victory amid the turmoil of overlapping foreign and domestic conflicts; but also that said victory will not be the end of those conflicts, as it signifies, at best, a convenient time to stop playing.

  • Giggles_FunsworthGiggles_Funsworth Paranoiac Bay Area SprawlRegistered User regular
    moniker wrote: »
    We might be deciding to declare victory and come home.
    AP wrote:
    A senior U.S. official said Friday the United States and the Taliban have reached a truce agreement that will take effect “very soon” and could lead to withdrawals of American troops from Afghanistan.

    The official said the agreement for a seven-day “reduction in violence” to be followed by the start of all-Afghan peace talks within 10 days is “very specific” and covers the entire country, including Afghan government forces. There were indications a formal announcement could come as early as the weekend.

    https://www.chicagotribune.com/nation-world/ct-nw-afghanistan-truce-ceasefire-20200214-s3kctser5nfenjsiftgq5nxg6e-story.html

    Or it's an announcement of an announcement of an attempt at announcing declaring victory and coming home. Considering we were planning to have the Taliban at Camp David on 9/11 it might be more real than not.

    Holy. Shit. The taliban won

    They won when we signed the Patriot Act.

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  • GONG-00GONG-00 Registered User regular
    Anyone else remember our original reason for going into Afghanistan was to destroy Al Qaeda, not the Taliban?

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  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    Butters wrote: »
    I've come across a fair amount of writings about the war in Afghanistan making real headway until a majority of the US's strategic resources shifted toward Iraq. Perhaps the authors were war apologists, but there's evidence to suggest the Taliban were in pretty dire straits in 2003 and then were just kind of left alone to regroup for a while. Not that the invasion of Afghanistan was ever justified but I do wonder if a majority of our military intelligence apparatus was working on rooting out the Taliban instead of trying to find WMD in Iraq that wasn't there if things would have ended up different.

    One of the things that came out in the recent info about the Bush/Obama administration misinformation campaign about Afghanistan is that a lot of the metrics we used to define success were bullshit, and we knew it. That means that analysts could look at the data, the situation on the ground at the time, and honestly infer there was success.

    But the truth was that there wasn't. We never had a clear achievable goal, and we would not have with or without Iraq.

    We did originally have a clear goal... it was just a goal no one wanted or wants to admit to because it is terrible. That goal was revenge. Again, literally no one wants to admit that, and a bunch of people will try to argue it, but we went in there after 9/11 to try and find bin laden and kill as many folks on the way to him as we could cause, fuck everyone, someone punched us in the face and we gotta fuck everyone up for that. The reason we had no clean way to pull out and have been quagmired for 2 decades is because no one wanted to admit that we went in for some pretty unwholesome reasons, and we kept trying to make it look like there were good on the ground reasons we were still there. From fighting terrorism to cleaning up the mess we'd caused, all of it was post hoc reasoning for why we were still there. The reason we originally went in was because we were angry and someone, somewhere needed to pay. There was never going to be a good exit because the achievable goal we went in there for, retribution, was bad and only has bad outcomes for everyone involved.

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  • TryCatcherTryCatcher Registered User regular
    Sleep wrote: »
    Butters wrote: »
    I've come across a fair amount of writings about the war in Afghanistan making real headway until a majority of the US's strategic resources shifted toward Iraq. Perhaps the authors were war apologists, but there's evidence to suggest the Taliban were in pretty dire straits in 2003 and then were just kind of left alone to regroup for a while. Not that the invasion of Afghanistan was ever justified but I do wonder if a majority of our military intelligence apparatus was working on rooting out the Taliban instead of trying to find WMD in Iraq that wasn't there if things would have ended up different.

    One of the things that came out in the recent info about the Bush/Obama administration misinformation campaign about Afghanistan is that a lot of the metrics we used to define success were bullshit, and we knew it. That means that analysts could look at the data, the situation on the ground at the time, and honestly infer there was success.

    But the truth was that there wasn't. We never had a clear achievable goal, and we would not have with or without Iraq.

    We did originally have a clear goal... it was just a goal no one wanted or wants to admit to because it is terrible. That goal was revenge. Again, literally no one wants to admit that, and a bunch of people will try to argue it, but we went in there after 9/11 to try and find bin laden and kill as many folks on the way to him as we could cause, fuck everyone, someone punched us in the face and we gotta fuck everyone up for that. The reason we had no clean way to pull out and have been quagmired for 2 decades is because no one wanted to admit that we went in for some pretty unwholesome reasons, and we kept trying to make it look like there were good on the ground reasons we were still there. From fighting terrorism to cleaning up the mess we'd caused, all of it was post hoc reasoning for why we were still there. The reason we originally went in was because we were angry and someone, somewhere needed to pay. There was never going to be a good exit because the achievable goal we went in there for, retribution, was bad and only has bad outcomes for everyone involved.

    Well, people, to this day, still talk about "glassing the place" and making Arabs "glow in the dark" so not sure about the "not wanting to admit it" part.

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  • ArbitraryDescriptorArbitraryDescriptor Registered User regular
    Sleep wrote: »
    Butters wrote: »
    I've come across a fair amount of writings about the war in Afghanistan making real headway until a majority of the US's strategic resources shifted toward Iraq. Perhaps the authors were war apologists, but there's evidence to suggest the Taliban were in pretty dire straits in 2003 and then were just kind of left alone to regroup for a while. Not that the invasion of Afghanistan was ever justified but I do wonder if a majority of our military intelligence apparatus was working on rooting out the Taliban instead of trying to find WMD in Iraq that wasn't there if things would have ended up different.

    One of the things that came out in the recent info about the Bush/Obama administration misinformation campaign about Afghanistan is that a lot of the metrics we used to define success were bullshit, and we knew it. That means that analysts could look at the data, the situation on the ground at the time, and honestly infer there was success.

    But the truth was that there wasn't. We never had a clear achievable goal, and we would not have with or without Iraq.

    We did originally have a clear goal... it was just a goal no one wanted or wants to admit to because it is terrible. That goal was revenge. Again, literally no one wants to admit that, and a bunch of people will try to argue it, but we went in there after 9/11 to try and find bin laden and kill as many folks on the way to him as we could cause, fuck everyone, someone punched us in the face and we gotta fuck everyone up for that. The reason we had no clean way to pull out and have been quagmired for 2 decades is because no one wanted to admit that we went in for some pretty unwholesome reasons, and we kept trying to make it look like there were good on the ground reasons we were still there. From fighting terrorism to cleaning up the mess we'd caused, all of it was post hoc reasoning for why we were still there. The reason we originally went in was because we were angry and someone, somewhere needed to pay. There was never going to be a good exit because the achievable goal we went in there for, retribution, was bad and only has bad outcomes for everyone involved.

    I would actually argue that there would have been a pretty clean exit waiting for us if we had stuck to the original selfish-but-succinct goal of substituting an invasion for an extradition treaty. It was the desire to do some good while we were there that made us stay, and had we found Bin Laden early on, I can see a timeline where we might not have bothered.

  • Jealous DevaJealous Deva Registered User regular
    edited February 14
    Butters wrote: »
    I wonder if there's a timeline where Afghanistan isn't a two decade long quagmire because the US didn't invade Iraq

    No. It’s not like being in both places somehow taxed US military resources beyond the breaking point like we were Germany fighting a two front war in one of the world wars. Afghanistan was always going to be a clusterfuck because there were no clear goals. Even just having a set goal of “we are just going to straight up murder people until we kill some arbitrary multiple of the number of deaths from 9/11” would have been better, because then you could say “Khorne is satisfied, let’s go home”.

    Afganistan was basically “someone hit us lets hit them back” and that was the end of the thought that went into it. And that wasn’t an actual objective. When you get into a war with no clear idea as the how it is going to end... it doesn’t.

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  • KetBraKetBra FISTS OF JUSTICE! Registered User regular
    The problem with Afghanistan is that the US wanted to essentially establish a colonial government without admitting to themselves or anyone else that that is what their goal was

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  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    Butters wrote: »
    I wonder if there's a timeline where Afghanistan isn't a two decade long quagmire because the US didn't invade Iraq

    No. It’s not like being in both places somehow taxed US military resources beyond the breaking point like we were Germany fighting a two front war in one of the world wars. Afghanistan was always going to be a clusterfuck because there were no clear goals. Even just having a set goal of “we are just going to straight up murder people until we kill some arbitrary multiple of the number of deaths from 9/11” would have been better, because then you could say “Khorne is satisfied, let’s go home”.

    Afganistan was basically “someone hit us lets hit them back” and that was the end of the thought that went into it. And that wasn’t an actual objective. When you get into a war with no clear idea as the how it is going to end... it doesn’t.

    It was a problem anybody who had looked at Vietnam for five seconds could figure it out.

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  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    I suspect the US and it's allies very much wanted to establish a stable not-connected-to-anti-western-terrorist-groups government and then fuck off elsewhere.

    The problem is no one has any fucking idea how you would actually accomplish that.

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  • Metzger MeisterMetzger Meister Registered User regular
    GONG-00 wrote: »
    Anyone else remember our original reason for going into Afghanistan was to destroy Al Qaeda, not the Taliban?

    Yeah but it turns out certain factions of those guys were fighting ISIS so we gave them weapons so they're cool now I guess.

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  • PreacherPreacher Registered User regular
    What I wonder is how long until there is a horror story of the taliban brutalizing women, children fucking anyone will be just shrugged off by our media "Trump did what he could."

    I would like some money because these are artisanal nuggets of wisdom philistine.

    Http:// pleasepaypreacher.net
    JaysonFourSmrtnik
  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited February 14
    shryke wrote: »
    I suspect the US and it's allies very much wanted to establish a stable not-connected-to-anti-western-terrorist-groups government and then fuck off elsewhere.

    The problem is no one has any fucking idea how you would actually accomplish that.

    You could probably create a government that exists and stays around in cities with mostly just funding.

    Beyond that... I guess invade Pakistan?

    Couscous on
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    Couscous wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    I suspect the US and it's allies very much wanted to establish a stable not-connected-to-anti-western-terrorist-groups government and then fuck off elsewhere.

    The problem is no one has any fucking idea how you would actually accomplish that.

    You could probably create a government that exists and stays around in cities with mostly just funding.

    Beyond that... I guess invade Pakistan?

    They have nukes.

    CouscousGiggles_FunsworthJaysonFourMild Confusion
  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    moniker wrote: »
    Couscous wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    I suspect the US and it's allies very much wanted to establish a stable not-connected-to-anti-western-terrorist-groups government and then fuck off elsewhere.

    The problem is no one has any fucking idea how you would actually accomplish that.

    You could probably create a government that exists and stays around in cities with mostly just funding.

    Beyond that... I guess invade Pakistan?

    They have nukes.

    Only a problem if you are worried about allies unless they can hit the US.

    I mean, any president invading Pakistan would already be wrong in the head in the first place even if they didn't have nukes.

  • TastyfishTastyfish Registered User regular
    edited February 14
    Sleep wrote: »
    Butters wrote: »
    I've come across a fair amount of writings about the war in Afghanistan making real headway until a majority of the US's strategic resources shifted toward Iraq. Perhaps the authors were war apologists, but there's evidence to suggest the Taliban were in pretty dire straits in 2003 and then were just kind of left alone to regroup for a while. Not that the invasion of Afghanistan was ever justified but I do wonder if a majority of our military intelligence apparatus was working on rooting out the Taliban instead of trying to find WMD in Iraq that wasn't there if things would have ended up different.

    One of the things that came out in the recent info about the Bush/Obama administration misinformation campaign about Afghanistan is that a lot of the metrics we used to define success were bullshit, and we knew it. That means that analysts could look at the data, the situation on the ground at the time, and honestly infer there was success.

    But the truth was that there wasn't. We never had a clear achievable goal, and we would not have with or without Iraq.

    We did originally have a clear goal... it was just a goal no one wanted or wants to admit to because it is terrible. That goal was revenge. Again, literally no one wants to admit that, and a bunch of people will try to argue it, but we went in there after 9/11 to try and find bin laden and kill as many folks on the way to him as we could cause, fuck everyone, someone punched us in the face and we gotta fuck everyone up for that. The reason we had no clean way to pull out and have been quagmired for 2 decades is because no one wanted to admit that we went in for some pretty unwholesome reasons, and we kept trying to make it look like there were good on the ground reasons we were still there. From fighting terrorism to cleaning up the mess we'd caused, all of it was post hoc reasoning for why we were still there. The reason we originally went in was because we were angry and someone, somewhere needed to pay. There was never going to be a good exit because the achievable goal we went in there for, retribution, was bad and only has bad outcomes for everyone involved.

    I would actually argue that there would have been a pretty clean exit waiting for us if we had stuck to the original selfish-but-succinct goal of substituting an invasion for an extradition treaty. It was the desire to do some good while we were there that made us stay, and had we found Bin Laden early on, I can see a timeline where we might not have bothered.

    Wasn't Afghanistan well on the way to modernisation around the 50s & 60s? So still in living memory. I remember seeing a bunch of these photos back around the initial invasion 9url=https://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2013/07/afghanistan-in-the-1950s-and-60s/100544/]Atlantic article[/url], I think in the Times (UK) which also had a few of American style diners by a hydro plant and a lot more of the young women in western clothes in Kabul.

    This one in particular of two medical students talking with their professor stands out:
    original.jpg

    It's a mess because of a civil war and now two foreign invasions, rather than some fundamental nature of the place. The older generations (especially in the early 2000s) would remember how it was in the good old days and probably given you someone to build on if you'd actually set out to do that in the aftermath. Though I also remember from the time, that doing specifically not that was a pretty major part of what would make the invasion acceptable to various allies:
    'Better to take out an oppressive (and more importantly "Rogue") regime and let the people put things back together than be seen as doing this as part of some idea of it being taking apart nations to put them back better.'

    Tastyfish on
    Kayne Red RobeGnome-Interruptus
  • FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    edited February 14
    That basically only happened in Kabul and a few other cities iirc.

    Afghanistan isn't really a country as much as it is a patch over a political hole in the map. There are places so isolated I wouldn't be surprised they haven't heard of the Societ invasion. Hecl, I bet there are places that haven't heard of the British invasion.

    Fencingsax on
    torchlight-sig-80.jpg
    BlackDragon480Commander ZoomMild Confusion
  • TastyfishTastyfish Registered User regular
    Obviously the major cities are going to be the bits that are more modern, you'd probably be pretty shocked looking at what Britain looked like at the same time period if you were to compare rural vs urban (even discounting the bomb damage to major urban centres).

    The really isolated bits aren't the issue (other than how they ended up being a last stronghold for the Taliban), it's the bits away from the capital that used to be peaceful that then got completely fucked over during the civil war, invasions and their aftermaths. But there would have been people who remembered a time before all that, when there were construction and mining jobs and it seemed like some of the kids could make it big and be part of the wider world in the cities. Afganistan's problem is that the Taliban had a place to come back to, not that they were able to come back at all (burning of poppy fields etc).

    Kayne Red Robe
  • NSDFRandNSDFRand FloridaRegistered User regular
    TryCatcher wrote: »
    Sleep wrote: »
    Butters wrote: »
    I've come across a fair amount of writings about the war in Afghanistan making real headway until a majority of the US's strategic resources shifted toward Iraq. Perhaps the authors were war apologists, but there's evidence to suggest the Taliban were in pretty dire straits in 2003 and then were just kind of left alone to regroup for a while. Not that the invasion of Afghanistan was ever justified but I do wonder if a majority of our military intelligence apparatus was working on rooting out the Taliban instead of trying to find WMD in Iraq that wasn't there if things would have ended up different.

    One of the things that came out in the recent info about the Bush/Obama administration misinformation campaign about Afghanistan is that a lot of the metrics we used to define success were bullshit, and we knew it. That means that analysts could look at the data, the situation on the ground at the time, and honestly infer there was success.

    But the truth was that there wasn't. We never had a clear achievable goal, and we would not have with or without Iraq.

    We did originally have a clear goal... it was just a goal no one wanted or wants to admit to because it is terrible. That goal was revenge. Again, literally no one wants to admit that, and a bunch of people will try to argue it, but we went in there after 9/11 to try and find bin laden and kill as many folks on the way to him as we could cause, fuck everyone, someone punched us in the face and we gotta fuck everyone up for that. The reason we had no clean way to pull out and have been quagmired for 2 decades is because no one wanted to admit that we went in for some pretty unwholesome reasons, and we kept trying to make it look like there were good on the ground reasons we were still there. From fighting terrorism to cleaning up the mess we'd caused, all of it was post hoc reasoning for why we were still there. The reason we originally went in was because we were angry and someone, somewhere needed to pay. There was never going to be a good exit because the achievable goal we went in there for, retribution, was bad and only has bad outcomes for everyone involved.

    Well, people, to this day, still talk about "glassing the place" and making Arabs "glow in the dark" so not sure about the "not wanting to admit it" part.

    It isn't that voters/private citizens aren't open to that explanation, but that the establishment Washington Consensus means we can't admit to it because that would go against Liberal Internationalism which has been a primary driver of the foreign policy establishment world view for decades.

    The 2nd Amendment is unarguably one of the most liberal, liberating and radical statements ever made in human history.
    shryke
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