What is happening in Afghanistan was always going to happen. From the moment we invaded the country to destroy Al-Qaeda, this was going to be result of also attacking the Taliban. The funny thing about our politics is that people actually pretend there are differences between so-called Conservatives and Liberals. Or like there are differences between Republicans and Democrats when it comes to this foreign policy agenda.
All of that is simply a lie.
This was born out of neo-Conservatism. By the way, I am a fan of neo-conservatism. I actually believe in many principles. But with the emergence of George Bush 44, we saw the ideology of nation-building come to the forefront. As George Bush said, "Freedom is God's gift to the world". I agree with that. But there is no way you can make this happen militarily. We can't deploy the military indefinitely and any society where rule is enforced via the military, is by definition a society that is not free.
So we thought we could build Afghanistan into a democracy that would never attack us again. But it was always going to fail because;
1. You can't free any society without significant majorities of the oppressed groupings willing to fight to the death for their freedoms.
2. It was too easy to for the Taliban to win over folks with anti-American rhetoric. It isn't like America is some bastion of freedom for Muslims. We have plenty of anti-Muslim nonsense in our society that can fuel anti-American resentment overseas.
3. The Taliban are basically a group that believes in a religious theocracy. They never had to "train" their followers. From Day one, their fighters were fanatics, driven into a frenzy over their insane batshit crazy ideology. We were "training" the Afghanistan military, whom had no uniting ideology or principles.
It is sad to see what is happening, but this should have ended over a decade ago. Administration after administration kept thinking it would get to a point where people in Afghanistan would adopt democratic principles and build a Jeffersonian style democracy. It may happen one day. But when it does, it won't be because of a single shot by American soldier. People have to realize, we are going to start seeing an insane amount of bloodshed in the coming weeks. Pray for these folks.
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I agree with you. It's unfortunate that seemingly so many lives were lost and so much money was wasted over the past 20 years for nothing. I also feel so much sadness for the innocent Afghan people (especially the girls and women) who will now return to living in the dark ages. I couldn't imagine being a young woman and having to go from working or getting an education to being fearful of even leaving my house without a male escort. However, I don't see any solution had we stayed longer. We were never going to leave behind a peaceful, democratic Afghanistan. If a majority of the oppressed people do not stand up for their freedom and fight for democracy, it's simply not going to happen. We can't force our ideals onto a completely different culture and society who are not yet ready to embrace them. It seems very similar to Vietnam and what is happening in Kabul appears like a modern day Saigon.
What certainly would have helped is to not remove all essential combat support that suddenly. The Afghan army was trained with NATO intelligence, NATO combat repairs, NATO logistics, NATO close air support and that enabled reasonably effective operations by the Afghan army. For the record, an independent mation organizing this would be very expensive and Afghanistan is very poor, so it is understandable.
Well, all of that disappeared very suddenly and in a very short time. That makes it much more difficult for the Afghan army to fight, makes a diplomatic solution more unlikely and strengthens the Taliban.
In a sense, a more gradual, drawn-out decrease of this support may have been a more better approach.
@tartaarsaus I agree that it could have been more gradual and certainly better planned out. My response was referencing the withdrawal in general, it had to happen at some point.
That said, apparently US military intelligence thought the Taliban would attack in some spots to get an advantage in the peace negotiations. Clearly, they did not notice the Taliban planning, organizing and setting up a nation-wide offensive. So the decision-making here was also based on clearly incorrect information about what the Taliban would do.
@xHoneyBeex oh yeah for sure. The withdrawal had to happen at some point.
But as can be seen, the execution of it is in basically every aspect pretty atrocious.
@tartaarsaus Yeah, it definitely was awful in the way it was executed!
I don’t know what executing a pull out better looks like. When the word was out that we were going panic was going to set in. And now people are going to die. A lot of people.
I mean, a gradual pull-out decreasing support for Afghan forces over time would make sense in helping them mount an effective fight. For example, decrease deployed services personnel gradually while maintaining air support.
Then you have things like ensuring visum applications and extractions of those who have assisted US forces way before.
Lastly, according to various newspapers (such as Washington Post), the USA was basically offering money and legitimacy to the Taliban if they do not attack the airport now and the embassy.
Obviously, these people could have been evacuated way before or the area should have been secured way before so this was never necessary.
Meh query on money
@tartaarsaus What kind of gradual pull-out is going to save Afghan lives? What kind of gradual pull-out is going to stop women from being murdered in the streets, stripped of all power, authority, resources, etc? Children will starve, men who are thought to be traitors will be executed.
No gradual pull out was going to stop that. The only thing that could have been planned better was the evacuating of American personnel.
A pretty common argument for the easy folding of the Afghan army is that because of all combat support disappearing, they had a much more difficult time fighting the Taliban.
A gradual pull-out would enable the Afghan army to continue to fight somewhat better and would probably give more time for an actual diplomatic solution. Sure, it’d definitely give leverage to the Taliban, but it would also not be the complete takeover as we see now.
I mean, over the last years, NATO has been fighting way less than before and the task was far more on the Afghan army itself to fight off the Taliban. And the last years, they have been reasonably successful in doing so.
t@tartaarsaus Again, that makes no sense. What diplomacy have you ever seen the Taliban engage in? Have you seen the videos of them executing women over charges of infidelity? Have you seen them beheading folks in public for believing in a different flavor of Islam. They will execute men for wearing the wrong kind of beard. They will kill women for not wearing the right robes.
They have this weird insane batshit crazy interpretation of Islam. And they mean to enforce it at the cost of tens of thousands of human lives. That is their version of a diplomatic solution.
@tartaarsaus I don't get it. They could not have fallen faster. And they fell because they didn't really believe in what they were fighting for.
The Taliban do not have that problem. They had 80,000 fanatics.
We trained 300,000 Afghan military personnel.
They lost with superior equipment and numbers. Because in order for their society to be free, the idea must be theirs.
The Taliban has been involved in diplomacy for literally years already. They have had very frequent negotiations with high-level US and Afghani officials in Qatar. Even Trump during his Presidency wanted to meet with them in person during and after negotiations.
And meh, a fundamental reason for falling is because basically all that enabled earlier success collapsed because NATO pulled out
And for the record, it is thought that the Taliban has a core of about 80k but with allied militias is much bigger. Conversely, it js thought that the Afghan army is formally 300k but also consists of people who don’t exist and thus shrink to substantially smaller than that
@tartaarsaus Right, I am trying to get from you how stadium executions isn't apart of their diplomacy. I am trying to understand how murdering women for infidelity is not apart of their negotiations. What were these negotiations? That if we let them take over the country, their would execute half as many women?
I am not understanding your viewpoint at this juncture.
You do know they tried to kill Malala, right? And she cannot return to Afghanistan or she will be killed on the spot.
@tartaarsaus Okay, how does that change the argument? Even if you are correct. How do you make Afghans fight the Taliban? You just stay there forever propping them up? I mean after 20 years. . . maybe it was never going to happen?
@tartaarsaus LOL!! I remember an episode of "Call to Duty" and one character said, paraphrasing: The US is like angry children that come in, and break things, then just leave!!
How many times have we done this?
Korea, Vietnam, Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan, did I forget any?
It is incredible. We keep doing this and every time it is devastating to those left behind.
@xHoneyxBeex Sadly, some people, some nations, cannot understand, or want the freedom that we assume!! It's kind of a twisted thing, trying to go there, and "FORCE" that on them, not knowing their culture, and religion.
As sad as it is, Not everyone wants the "American IDEA" of FREEDOM, yet so few Americans cna understand that!!
We go into these places, not knowing their culture, and like the White Catholics, forcing Christianity on the Native Americans, they resist, because they don't understand, or want it!!
LEAVE THEM BE!! Why do our leaders think that everyone wants to LIVE the "American Dream"? And WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT, HERE, NOW?