Fundraising for 2019/2020. 12 Month renewal is up Oct 21/2019. $382.44 USD of roughly $1700 USD (CDN conversion) as of Aug 13/2019. Paypal Donation Link Here

Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

For discussion of religion and politics

Moderators: LawBeefaroni, $iljanus

Post Reply
User avatar
Rip
Posts: 26885
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 9:34 pm
Location: Cajun Country!
Contact:
Rip’s avatar
Loading…

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by Rip » Sun Dec 28, 2014 9:57 pm

dbt1949 wrote:They just declared the war over in Afghanistan. How can that be if we still have thousand of troops fighting over there?

They aren't fighting, just hanging out so if someone over there gets the urge to kill an American they don't have to come all the way over here to do it.

User avatar
Jaymann
Posts: 8761
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2004 7:13 pm
Location: California

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by Jaymann » Tue Feb 17, 2015 8:26 pm

You know the US has now been in Afghanistan about 4 years longer than the Russians were there. Man did they pull a fast one on us.
Jaymann
]==(:::::::::::::>

User avatar
dbt1949
Posts: 20752
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 12:34 am
Location: Hogeye Arkansas

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by dbt1949 » Thu Feb 19, 2015 2:19 pm

So, did we win lose or draw?
Ye Olde Farte
Double Ought Forty
aka dbt1949

User avatar
Jaymann
Posts: 8761
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2004 7:13 pm
Location: California

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by Jaymann » Thu Feb 19, 2015 5:48 pm

In another year or two it will be longer than the US was in Vietnam. That sounds like a win to me.
Jaymann
]==(:::::::::::::>

User avatar
Kraken
Posts: 34120
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 11:59 pm
Location: The Hub of the Universe
Contact:
Kraken’s avatar
Offline

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by Kraken » Thu Feb 19, 2015 10:06 pm

The magic 8-ball says "Ask again later."

User avatar
Holman
Posts: 21185
Joined: Sun Oct 24, 2004 8:00 pm
Location: Approximately Wissahickon

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by Holman » Thu Feb 19, 2015 10:25 pm

Jaymann wrote:In another year or two it will be longer than the US was in Vietnam. That sounds like a win to me.
Didn't Afghanistan (2001-) pass Vietnam (1965-1973) five years ago?

The bigger difference is troop numbers. Almost 3.5 million U.S. soldiers served in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam years. A little over 850,000 have been through Afghanistan.
Much prefer my Nazis Nuremberged.

User avatar
Jaymann
Posts: 8761
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2004 7:13 pm
Location: California

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by Jaymann » Thu Feb 19, 2015 11:36 pm

Holman wrote:
Jaymann wrote:In another year or two it will be longer than the US was in Vietnam. That sounds like a win to me.
Didn't Afghanistan (2001-) pass Vietnam (1965-1973) five years ago?

The bigger difference is troop numbers. Almost 3.5 million U.S. soldiers served in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam years. A little over 850,000 have been through Afghanistan.
Give it another 20 years.

And we had troops in Vietnam 1961 - 1975.
Jaymann
]==(:::::::::::::>

User avatar
Holman
Posts: 21185
Joined: Sun Oct 24, 2004 8:00 pm
Location: Approximately Wissahickon

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by Holman » Fri Feb 20, 2015 8:14 am

Well, I was going from the arrival of the first regular ground troops in 1965.

If we want to treat Afghanistan's modern fighting as a continuous like post-WW2 Vietnam, we should probably start with the Russian invasion in 1979.
Much prefer my Nazis Nuremberged.

User avatar
Max Peck
Posts: 7646
Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2005 8:09 pm
Location: Down the Rabbit-Hole

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by Max Peck » Mon Jul 20, 2015 8:00 am

Helmand: Life after UK troop pullout
Afghan forces ranged against them include locally employed police: among them the most unconventional commander in Afghanistan. Ferozah is between 60 and 70 years old, but does not know her age. She never went to school, but took over command of a police unit at Sistani in Marjah province after her son was killed. She has been given Afghanistan's highest award for a woman - the Malalai medal - named after a heroine in a 19th Century battle against the British. Being a female military commander in a rural culture where women rarely work out outside the home is unusual enough. But there is more. Two of Ferozah's grandsons, Faizal Mohammed, 13, and Sultan Mohammed, 14, fight alongside her. They are as quick as an experienced veteran at stripping down and reassembling a Kalashnikov rifle. Ferozah said: "The Taliban keep taunting me, and saying 'what have you gained, you have even armed your grandchildren'. But the government is winning and they are losing." She called them "Sistani warriors" who had already faced many battles against the Taliban. By any other name they are child soldiers, whose deployment breaks international law.
Time and tide melt the snowman.

There are worlds out there where the sky is burning, where the sea's asleep and the rivers dream, people made of smoke and cities made of song. Somewhere there's danger, somewhere there's injustice and somewhere else the tea is getting cold. Come on, Ace, we've got work to do.
-- The Doctor

User avatar
Kraken
Posts: 34120
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 11:59 pm
Location: The Hub of the Universe
Contact:
Kraken’s avatar
Offline

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by Kraken » Sat Aug 01, 2015 11:33 pm

Last week the Taliban, with Pakistan's blessing, entered into peace negotiations with the Afghan government. That went about as well as one might hope; nobody killed anybody else and they agreed to meet again. Then news broke that BTW the Taliban's leader had actually died two years ago, LOL. The second round of talks is postponed while the Taliban regroups.

So what? So, the Taliban is dividing into factions that want to bury the sword and those that want to redouble the fight -- a tension that has undoubtedly always existed, but is coming to light in the leadership vacuum. Several commentators proposed that the likely outcome will be a peace agreement that turns the Peace Party into a Taliban political party while the War Party allies with ISIS -- that is, Afghanistan will make peace with the (nominal) Taliban and be at war with ISIS instead. Afghanistan is a more liberal country than it was before the Americans moved in so there's no way the War Party would get its Sharia law at the ballot box, and battlefield success gives it no reason to stop fighting.

Same enemy with a different flag and a whole lot of mean new friends? I'm going to put that scenario in the "Lose" column if it pans out.

User avatar
Rip
Posts: 26885
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 9:34 pm
Location: Cajun Country!
Contact:
Rip’s avatar
Loading…

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by Rip » Sun Aug 02, 2015 12:39 am

Kraken wrote:Last week the Taliban, with Pakistan's blessing, entered into peace negotiations with the Afghan government. That went about as well as one might hope; nobody killed anybody else and they agreed to meet again. Then news broke that BTW the Taliban's leader had actually died two years ago, LOL. The second round of talks is postponed while the Taliban regroups.

So what? So, the Taliban is dividing into factions that want to bury the sword and those that want to redouble the fight -- a tension that has undoubtedly always existed, but is coming to light in the leadership vacuum. Several commentators proposed that the likely outcome will be a peace agreement that turns the Peace Party into a Taliban political party while the War Party allies with ISIS -- that is, Afghanistan will make peace with the (nominal) Taliban and be at war with ISIS instead. Afghanistan is a more liberal country than it was before the Americans moved in so there's no way the War Party would get its Sharia law at the ballot box, and battlefield success gives it no reason to stop fighting.

Same enemy with a different flag and a whole lot of mean new friends? I'm going to put that scenario in the "Lose" column if it pans out.

Umm, yea, about that.
In an audio message, a speaker purported to be the Taliban's new leader denies that the Sunni Islamist group is attempting to work toward a peace process with the Afghan government.

"When we hear about different processes including the peace process, they are all the propaganda campaigns by the enemy," the audio message says, "They are spreading their propaganda by spending money, through media and some scholars to only weaken our jihad, but we will not pay attention to any of those including the peace process. We will continue our jihad and we will fight until we bring an Islamic rule in the country."
http://www.cnn.com/2015/08/01/asia/afgh ... index.html

User avatar
Kraken
Posts: 34120
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 11:59 pm
Location: The Hub of the Universe
Contact:
Kraken’s avatar
Offline

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by Kraken » Wed Aug 05, 2015 3:40 pm

Here's a story that goes into the latest on thesplit in Taliban leadership that I wrote about without sourcing:
A senior Taliban figure resigned Tuesday in the latest fallout from the death of longtime leader Mullah Mohammad Omar, which has triggered a succession dispute and revealed growing rifts within the two-decade-old Afghan insurgent group.

...

The Taliban are believed to be split over whether to pursue negotiations or continue their 14-year insurgency now that US and NATO troops have transitioned to a supporting role. The peace talks were indefinitely postponed after the announcement of Omar’s death.

...

The succession dispute has raised concerns that the Taliban could splinter, complicating peace efforts, or that powerful field commanders could defect to the Islamic State, which has a small but growing presence in Afghanistan.

Around 50 Taliban fighters in the northern Kunduz province joined the Islamic State three days ago after being offered money, the governor’s spokesman, Abdul Wadood Wahidi, said. The move set off clashes in which the Taliban arrested the defectors, he said.
However it works out, it seems that the war is at an inflection point.

User avatar
Max Peck
Posts: 7646
Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2005 8:09 pm
Location: Down the Rabbit-Hole

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by Max Peck » Wed Aug 26, 2015 1:23 pm

Taliban capture key Helmand district of Musa Qala
Taliban fighters have seized control of a strategically-important district headquarters in Afghanistan's Helmand province despite American air strikes. Musa Qala, once a key Nato position, is the second town in northern Helmand to fall to the Taliban in recent weeks. The group also captured Nawzad after intensifying attacks in the region. Musa Qala saw some of the fiercest clashes between Western forces and the Taliban following the American-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. Three US air strikes on Saturday around Musa Qala reportedly killed up to 40 Taliban fighters but the militants regrouped to push Afghan ground forces back.

District governor Mohamad Sharif said he fled the district on Wednesday morning as the Taliban attacked. "We left the district early in the morning because the Taliban were attacking from all sides," he told Reuters. "We had asked for reinforcements for days but none arrived and this was what happened."

In southern Helmand, also on Wednesday, two Nato soldiers were killed when two men in Afghan military uniforms opened fire on a vehicle at a military base. The nationalities of the victims are not known.
Time and tide melt the snowman.

There are worlds out there where the sky is burning, where the sea's asleep and the rivers dream, people made of smoke and cities made of song. Somewhere there's danger, somewhere there's injustice and somewhere else the tea is getting cold. Come on, Ace, we've got work to do.
-- The Doctor

User avatar
Max Peck
Posts: 7646
Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2005 8:09 pm
Location: Down the Rabbit-Hole

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by Max Peck » Fri Sep 18, 2015 1:14 pm

Image
Soldiers use the term kinetic force to describe the firing of bullets, bombs and artillery. Non-soldiers often think of the business of war as entirely about the kinetic. But it's not just about this hard power. The role of Influence is often more important than anything. The key strategic town of Musa Qala in Afghanistan's Helmand province is again being fought over. In the past month it has been briefly occupied by the Taliban before being retaken by Afghan security forces aided by US air strikes. In December 2007 I led the coalition forces in the major operation that captured it from the Taliban.

Everyone knows where they were when they first heard the news of hijacked airliners being flown into the Twin Towers in New York. I was in Pristina working in the UN mission in Kosovo. CNN was a constant presence on our screens. The people around me talked about how such a thing could happen. Most assumed they had just witnessed a horrendous accident. But calm discussion changed to horror just a few minutes later when, in front of our eyes, the second tower was hit. I could not have known that this event would find me, just over six years later, sitting in a trench beneath a mobile communications tower on top of Roshan Hill outside the town of Musa Qala in Afghanistan's most troubled province, Helmand.

Musa Qala is the most northern of Helmand's towns and has been strategically important for centuries because of its proximity to trade routes. In recent years, much of this trade has been in opium and heroin. Musa Qala has always been a good spot to watch over the trade in drugs, and Roshan Hill is the best place to watch over Musa Qala. I put my brigade command post there.
Time and tide melt the snowman.

There are worlds out there where the sky is burning, where the sea's asleep and the rivers dream, people made of smoke and cities made of song. Somewhere there's danger, somewhere there's injustice and somewhere else the tea is getting cold. Come on, Ace, we've got work to do.
-- The Doctor

User avatar
Anonymous Bosch
Posts: 7437
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 6:09 pm
Location: Northern California [originally from the UK]

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by Anonymous Bosch » Mon Sep 21, 2015 10:53 am

U.S. Soldiers Told to Ignore Sexual Abuse of Boys by Afghan Allies:
New York Times wrote:KABUL, Afghanistan — In his last phone call home, Lance Cpl. Gregory Buckley Jr. told his father what was troubling him: From his bunk in southern Afghanistan, he could hear Afghan police officers sexually abusing boys they had brought to the base.

“At night we can hear them screaming, but we’re not allowed to do anything about it,” the Marine’s father, Gregory Buckley Sr., recalled his son telling him before he was shot to death at the base in 2012. He urged his son to tell his superiors. “My son said that his officers told him to look the other way because it’s their culture.”

Rampant sexual abuse of children has long been a problem in Afghanistan, particularly among armed commanders who dominate much of the rural landscape and can bully the population. The practice is called bacha bazi, literally “boy play,” and American soldiers and Marines have been instructed not to intervene — in some cases, not even when their Afghan allies have abused boys on military bases, according to interviews and court records.

The policy has endured as American forces have recruited and organized Afghan militias to help hold territory against the Taliban. But soldiers and Marines have been increasingly troubled that instead of weeding out pedophiles, the American military was arming them in some cases and placing them as the commanders of villages — and doing little when they began abusing children.
"Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." -- Daniel Webster

User avatar
GreenGoo
Posts: 40570
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 10:46 pm
Location: Ottawa, ON

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by GreenGoo » Mon Sep 21, 2015 11:27 am

:(

User avatar
hepcat
Posts: 38440
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 3:02 pm
Location: Chicago, IL Home of the triple homicide!
hepcat’s avatar
Offline

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by hepcat » Mon Sep 21, 2015 11:41 am

To be fair, that's a cultural thing that's explicitly outlawed by Sharia law and civil codes within Afghanistan. But it is as despicable a custom as the tribal laws in Pakistan and India that we hear about in which girls are gang raped as punishment for perceived crimes by their family.

I doubt I'd be able to come back to the states in anything resembling a healthy state of mind if I had to endure knowing that was going on only a short distance away. The urge to just take a rifle and wipe them all out would be almost impossible to resist, I would imagine.

The world can be a really, really ugly place. :cry:
I beat a camel to death with a monkey. Can I do that?
-Mr Bismarck

You have to whack a few rabbits before you are ready to punch a camel.
-Coopasonic

User avatar
El Guapo
Posts: 32613
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2005 4:01 pm
Location: Boston

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by El Guapo » Mon Sep 21, 2015 11:51 am

I hate to say it, but securing a stable democracy in Afghanistan by itself is a near impossible task, so adding the prevention of a variety of horrible domestic crimes is by necessity probably a much lesser priority.

Though I would think they would at least do something on *military* bases. I assume / hope that they're at least talking about Afghan bases, not U.S. bases?

User avatar
Isgrimnur
Posts: 61119
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2006 12:29 am
Location: Chookity pok
Contact:
Isgrimnur’s avatar
Snooze

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by Isgrimnur » Mon Sep 21, 2015 11:53 am

Foreign military officers aren't held to account when they're stationed at CONUS bases. I've heard plenty of stories of DUIs mysteriously not making it to court or even the papers in military towns. Attempting to hold them accountable inside their own country isn't going to get traction due to realpolitik, unfortunately.

User avatar
GreenGoo
Posts: 40570
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 10:46 pm
Location: Ottawa, ON

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by GreenGoo » Mon Sep 21, 2015 11:54 am

Isgrimnur wrote:Foreign military officers aren't held to account when they're stationed at CONUS bases. I've heard plenty of stories of DUIs mysteriously not making it to court or even the papers in military towns. Attempting to hold them accountable inside their own country isn't going to get traction due to realpolitik, unfortunately.
Having a tank drive over one of them in front of the others "by accident" might help discourage the practice, at least in the open.

User avatar
LawBeefaroni
Forum Moderator
Posts: 46381
Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2004 3:08 pm
Location: Urbs in Horto, where we only use the old smilies

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by LawBeefaroni » Mon Sep 21, 2015 12:10 pm

Anonymous Bosch wrote:U.S. Soldiers Told to Ignore Sexual Abuse of Boys by Afghan Allies:
New York Times wrote:KABUL, Afghanistan — In his last phone call home, Lance Cpl. Gregory Buckley Jr. told his father what was troubling him: From his bunk in southern Afghanistan, he could hear Afghan police officers sexually abusing boys they had brought to the base.

“At night we can hear them screaming, but we’re not allowed to do anything about it,” the Marine’s father, Gregory Buckley Sr., recalled his son telling him before he was shot to death at the base in 2012. He urged his son to tell his superiors. “My son said that his officers told him to look the other way because it’s their culture.”

Rampant sexual abuse of children has long been a problem in Afghanistan, particularly among armed commanders who dominate much of the rural landscape and can bully the population. The practice is called bacha bazi, literally “boy play,” and American soldiers and Marines have been instructed not to intervene — in some cases, not even when their Afghan allies have abused boys on military bases, according to interviews and court records.

The policy has endured as American forces have recruited and organized Afghan militias to help hold territory against the Taliban. But soldiers and Marines have been increasingly troubled that instead of weeding out pedophiles, the American military was arming them in some cases and placing them as the commanders of villages — and doing little when they began abusing children.
I usually support the idea that we should allow local culture to dictate but in this case it's such a fundamental violation of human rights I can't think of any reason to let it go on. I think murder and rape, particularly of children, should always be off the table. I don't think it's our duty to police and investigate but if we see it happening (or hear it in this case) we should do something about it. At the absolute least we shouldn't be providing guilty individuals with weapons and promoting them to positions of power.

Even ignoring the moral obligation to intervene, it's got to be bad for US/Afghan cooperation and unit cohesion. I imagine US soldiers will find little incentive to risk their lives supporting someone who they know rapes boys a few doors down.
" Hey OP, listen to my advice alright." -Tha General
"No scientific discovery is named after its original discoverer." -Stigler's Law of Eponymy, discovered by Robert K. Merton

MYT

User avatar
Moliere
Posts: 12007
Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2006 10:57 am
Location: Walking through a desert land

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by Moliere » Mon Sep 21, 2015 2:17 pm

NY Times in 2007
Nevertheless the military voices on the show had their winning moments, sounding like old-fashioned relativists, whose basic mission in life was to counter ethnocentrism and disarm those possessed by a strident sense of group superiority. Ms. McFate stressed her success at getting American soldiers to stop making moral judgments about a local Afghan cultural practice in which older men go off with younger boys on “love Thursdays” and do some “hanky-panky.” “Stop imposing your values on others,” was the message for the American soldiers. She was way beyond “don’t ask, don’t tell,” and I found it heartwarming.
Is it time to bring out this quote again?

"This burning of widows is your custom; prepare the funeral pile. But my nation has also a custom. When men burn women alive we hang them, and confiscate all their property. My carpenters shall therefore erect gibbets on which to hang all concerned when the widow is consumed. Let us all act according to national customs.”
"The world is suffering more today from the good people who want to mind other men's business than it is from the bad people who are willing to let everybody look after their own individual affairs." - Clarence Darrow

User avatar
Isgrimnur
Posts: 61119
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2006 12:29 am
Location: Chookity pok
Contact:
Isgrimnur’s avatar
Snooze

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by Isgrimnur » Mon Sep 28, 2015 11:37 am

NYT
After months of besieging the northern Afghan provincial capital of Kunduz, Taliban fighters for the first time seized control of significant parts of the city on Monday, officials said, sending government security forces retreating toward the airport.

The Taliban advance, coming suddenly after what had appeared to be a stalemate through the summer, put the insurgents within close reach of a military and political prize — the capture of a major Afghan city — that has eluded them since 2001. And it presented the government of President Ashraf Ghani, which has been alarmed about insurgent advances in the surrounding province for a year, with a demoralizing setback less than a year after the formal end of the NATO combat mission in Afghanistan.

Security officials and local residents said that by Monday evening, Taliban fighters had taken control of several government buildings, including the governor’s office and police headquarters, though some other officials contested that claim.
...
The Taliban’s advance over the course of Monday raises troubling questions about the ability of the Afghan security forces to fend off a concerted Taliban push. For much of the year, some Afghan and Western officials have sought to describe the Taliban’s gains as marginal and largely confined to rural areas, far from population centers.

Kunduz, however, is a city of just over 300,000, according to one Afghan government population estimate from 2013, although there has been a large outflow of refugees this past year and the population is most likely lower now. The city, not far from the border with Tajikistan, has been encircled for much of the year, and there appears to have been little effort by the NATO-trained Afghan security forces to dislodge insurgents from the city’s outskirts over the past six months.

Mohammad Yousuf Ayoubi, the head of the Kunduz provincial council, said that no major government offensive or reinforcement of the city had been taken up recently, even though it was clear the Taliban had been amassing at the city’s gates for months. He said 70 percent of the province outside of the city also remained under Taliban control.

User avatar
Isgrimnur
Posts: 61119
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2006 12:29 am
Location: Chookity pok
Contact:
Isgrimnur’s avatar
Snooze

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by Isgrimnur » Tue Oct 06, 2015 5:14 pm

Kunduz hospital strike
The U.S. military took responsibility on Tuesday for a deadly air strike on a hospital in the Afghan city of Kunduz, calling it a mistake and vowing to hold people accountable.

Saturday's strike on an Afghan hospital run by Doctors Without Borders, or Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), killed 22 people and deeply angered the medical charity. MSF officials have blamed the United States, demanding an independent investigation into an attack it called a war crime.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter said the Pentagon "deeply regrets" the loss of life. "The U.S. military takes the greatest care in our operations to prevent the loss of innocent life, and when we make mistakes, we own up to them. That's exactly what we're doing right now," Carter, who was traveling in Europe, said in a statement.

"We will do everything we can to understand this tragic incident, learn from it, and hold people accountable as necessary," he said.

Earlier in Washington, the American commander of international forces in Afghanistan, Army General John Campbell, called the strike a mistake made within the U.S. chain of command.

The comments by Carter and Campbell were the most direct acknowledgement yet by the U.S. government that the strike on the hospital was carried out by U.S. forces. On Monday, Campbell said only that U.S. forces had responded to a request for support from Afghan forces.
...
Campbell said U.S. forces had responded to a request from Afghan forces and provided close air support as they engaged in a fight with Taliban militants in Kunduz, a provincial capital that the Taliban captured late last month.

"To be clear, the decision to provide aerial fires was a U.S. decision made within the U.S. chain of command," Campbell said. He added that U.S. special forces nearby were communicating with the aircraft that delivered the strikes.

"A hospital was mistakenly struck," Campbell said. "We would never intentionally target a protected medical facility."

President Barack Obama expected steps to be taken to prevent such an incident from recurring, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said on Tuesday.

User avatar
El Guapo
Posts: 32613
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2005 4:01 pm
Location: Boston

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by El Guapo » Tue Oct 06, 2015 5:31 pm

Saturday's strike on an Afghan hospital run by Doctors Without Borders, or Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), killed 22 people and deeply angered the medical charity.
Man, they're so sensitive.

User avatar
Isgrimnur
Posts: 61119
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2006 12:29 am
Location: Chookity pok
Contact:
Isgrimnur’s avatar
Snooze

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by Isgrimnur » Thu Oct 15, 2015 10:17 am

New US troop plan
President Barack Obama will keep 5,500 U.S. troops in Afghanistan when he leaves office in 2017, according to senior administration officials, casting aside his promise to end the war on his watch and instead ensuring he hands the conflict off to his successor.

Obama had originally planned to pull out all but a small, embassy-based U.S. military presence by the end of next year, a timeline coinciding with the final weeks of his presidency. But military leaders argued for months that the Afghans needed additional assistance and support from the U.S. to beat back a resurgent Taliban and hold onto gains made over the last 14 years of American bloodshed and billions of dollars in aid.

The president was to announce the changes Thursday morning from the White House. Officials said he would outline plans to maintain the current force of 9,800 troops in Afghanistan through most of next year, then draw down to 5,500 troops in 2017, at a pace still to be determined by commanders.
...
U.S. officials have been hinting at the policy shift for weeks, noting that conditions on the ground in Afghanistan have changed since Obama's initial decision on a sharper troop withdrawal timeline was made more than two years ago. The White House has also been buoyed by having a more reliable partner in Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, who succeeded the mercurial Hamid Karzai last year.

"The narrative that we're leaving Afghanistan is self-defeating," Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Wednesday during a speech at the Association of the U.S. Army. "We're not, we can't and to do so would not be to take advantage of the success we've had to date."

While officials said the Afghan policy had been under review for several months, Obama's decision to leave more forces in Afghanistan than initially envisioned was reinforced when Taliban fighters took control of the key northern city of Kunduz late last month, prompting a protracted battle with Afghan forces on the ground, supported by U.S. airstrikes.

User avatar
Kraken
Posts: 34120
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 11:59 pm
Location: The Hub of the Universe
Contact:
Kraken’s avatar
Offline

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by Kraken » Thu Oct 15, 2015 12:31 pm

Disappointing news, but necessary unless we want to answer this thread with a clear "Lose." This might just be propaganda aimed at Hillary, but here's what happens to women when the Taliban come to town. IMO integrating women into society has been one of the better outcomes of our long occupation.

User avatar
Rip
Posts: 26885
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 9:34 pm
Location: Cajun Country!
Contact:
Rip’s avatar
Loading…

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by Rip » Thu Oct 15, 2015 1:17 pm

Yea, cause those troops are going to totally slow the Taliban down. :roll:

He ceded that battle a long time ago. People just haven't figured it out yet.

User avatar
El Guapo
Posts: 32613
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2005 4:01 pm
Location: Boston

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by El Guapo » Thu Oct 15, 2015 1:25 pm

Rip wrote:Yea, cause those troops are going to totally slow the Taliban down. :roll:

He ceded that battle a long time ago. People just haven't figured it out yet.
They're not going to destroy the Taliban, certainly. A small U.S. force + local Afghan allies + airstrikes should be sufficient to keep the Taliban from capturing and holding cities, which should be enough to keep the Afghan government standing. The plan, I think, is to keep the Taliban confined to certain rural areas until enough of the Taliban is willing to accept a deal that keeps the Afghan government standing.

I don't know enough about military strategy and anti-insurrection tactics to say if that's the best plan, although even at our highest deployment of ground troops there we weren't able to militarily destroy the Taliban, and there's no way U.S. politics would support reaching that level again, let alone higher than that, so I suspect it's the best option available at this point.

User avatar
Rip
Posts: 26885
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 9:34 pm
Location: Cajun Country!
Contact:
Rip’s avatar
Loading…

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by Rip » Thu Oct 15, 2015 1:30 pm

El Guapo wrote:
Rip wrote:Yea, cause those troops are going to totally slow the Taliban down. :roll:

He ceded that battle a long time ago. People just haven't figured it out yet.
They're not going to destroy the Taliban, certainly. A small U.S. force + local Afghan allies + airstrikes should be sufficient to keep the Taliban from capturing and holding cities, which should be enough to keep the Afghan government standing. The plan, I think, is to keep the Taliban confined to certain rural areas until enough of the Taliban is willing to accept a deal that keeps the Afghan government standing.

I don't know enough about military strategy and anti-insurrection tactics to say if that's the best plan, although even at our highest deployment of ground troops there we weren't able to militarily destroy the Taliban, and there's no way U.S. politics would support reaching that level again, let alone higher than that, so I suspect it's the best option available at this point.

Sounds a lot like the Syria plan. You know the guys we trained before Putin bombed them into smithereens. The Taliban has been expanding and doing more of the same won't reverse that.

User avatar
El Guapo
Posts: 32613
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2005 4:01 pm
Location: Boston

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by El Guapo » Thu Oct 15, 2015 1:35 pm

Rip wrote:
El Guapo wrote:
Rip wrote:Yea, cause those troops are going to totally slow the Taliban down. :roll:

He ceded that battle a long time ago. People just haven't figured it out yet.
They're not going to destroy the Taliban, certainly. A small U.S. force + local Afghan allies + airstrikes should be sufficient to keep the Taliban from capturing and holding cities, which should be enough to keep the Afghan government standing. The plan, I think, is to keep the Taliban confined to certain rural areas until enough of the Taliban is willing to accept a deal that keeps the Afghan government standing.

I don't know enough about military strategy and anti-insurrection tactics to say if that's the best plan, although even at our highest deployment of ground troops there we weren't able to militarily destroy the Taliban, and there's no way U.S. politics would support reaching that level again, let alone higher than that, so I suspect it's the best option available at this point.

Sounds a lot like the Syria plan. You know the guys we trained before Putin bombed them into smithereens. The Taliban has been expanding and doing more of the same won't reverse that.
A stalemate is probably the most realistic objective at this point, unless and until Afghan government forces drastically improve. Actually destroying the Taliban militarily would require the return of a large number of U.S. troops, and like I said we weren't able to do that when we had them there, so is there any particular reason to think that that would work now?

There aren't really any non-shitty options available.

User avatar
Rip
Posts: 26885
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 9:34 pm
Location: Cajun Country!
Contact:
Rip’s avatar
Loading…

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by Rip » Thu Oct 15, 2015 2:02 pm

So you are ready to admit that the Afghan surge was a failure?

Stalemate is far too kind a word. You should ask the people in Kunduz how that is working out.

User avatar
hepcat
Posts: 38440
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 3:02 pm
Location: Chicago, IL Home of the triple homicide!
hepcat’s avatar
Offline

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by hepcat » Thu Oct 15, 2015 2:14 pm

Rip wrote:So you are ready to admit that the Afghan surge was a failure?

Stalemate is far too kind a word. You should ask the people in Kunduz how that is working out.
I love Bizarro Rip.
Rip wrote:
The Mad Hatter wrote:
Poleaxe wrote:
The Mad Hatter wrote:
That also means you can't really win, either. America does not have limitless supplies of money and blood to spend, so eventually you will have to pull out regardless of the status quo on the ground.
We've already won the war, now we're trying to win the peace.

The worst possible outcome (for the world as well as us) is that we pull out and leave a civil war behind us. Thus my suggestion (which you didn't quote) that we partition the country before leaving.
Partition is one of the possible solutions proposed by the Baker commission. It might or might not work, but we'll never know because the Bush administration pretty much tossed that report out the window. I don't think anyone really believes that this 21,000 troop surge will do more than fill body bags.
So far it is on the right track. Amazing how little faith you have in our military and the Iraqi people. Perhaps you should move to Switzerland and hide in the mountains?
Rip wrote:
Grundbegriff wrote:
LawBeefaroni wrote:Obama's speech's thunder, however much of it there was, has been stolen today. Deft move by McCain.
John McCain "doesn't know what he's up against".

Heh

What the heall has Obama been smoking?

From that article.
Addressing the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in Orlando, Fla., Obama reaffirmed his early opposition to the U.S. invasion of Iraq and said the strategy of sending in 30,000 additional troops last year had not produced the political reconciliation necessary to achieve lasting peace in the country.
I thought he just went over there? Everyone knows that the surge worked. While I could imagine downplaying that fact it is stupid to try and deny it. Even if you were going to deny such a thing I doubt a VFW group would be the ones to say it in front of.
I beat a camel to death with a monkey. Can I do that?
-Mr Bismarck

You have to whack a few rabbits before you are ready to punch a camel.
-Coopasonic

User avatar
Isgrimnur
Posts: 61119
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2006 12:29 am
Location: Chookity pok
Contact:
Isgrimnur’s avatar
Snooze

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by Isgrimnur » Thu Oct 15, 2015 2:15 pm

He was for it before he was against it.

User avatar
hepcat
Posts: 38440
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 3:02 pm
Location: Chicago, IL Home of the triple homicide!
hepcat’s avatar
Offline

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by hepcat » Thu Oct 15, 2015 2:16 pm

Well...before a Democrat tried it. :lol:
I beat a camel to death with a monkey. Can I do that?
-Mr Bismarck

You have to whack a few rabbits before you are ready to punch a camel.
-Coopasonic

User avatar
El Guapo
Posts: 32613
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2005 4:01 pm
Location: Boston

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by El Guapo » Thu Oct 15, 2015 2:21 pm

hepcat wrote:Well...before a Democrat tried it. :lol:
To be fair to Rip Prime, in your quote he's talking about the Iraqi surge, not the Afghan surge. It's entirely possible for the former to be a success while the latter is a failure. I am of course certain that the former occurred under a Republican while the latter occurred under a democrat is entirely removed from his objective analysis.

That said, obvious the surge didn't succeed in destroying the Taliban or compelling them to accept some sort of peace deal or surrender or anything of the sort. I don't know whether it's goals were those or were more modest, but it's hard to imagine that it was much of a success.

But that also gets back to my point that tons of troops failed to destroy the Taliban before, so it's hard to imagine that they would succeed now, even if it were politically possible to try.

User avatar
Isgrimnur
Posts: 61119
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2006 12:29 am
Location: Chookity pok
Contact:
Isgrimnur’s avatar
Snooze

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by Isgrimnur » Thu Oct 15, 2015 2:22 pm

There's always the Burma route.

User avatar
Rip
Posts: 26885
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 9:34 pm
Location: Cajun Country!
Contact:
Rip’s avatar
Loading…

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by Rip » Thu Oct 15, 2015 3:08 pm

hepcat wrote:
Rip wrote:So you are ready to admit that the Afghan surge was a failure?

Stalemate is far too kind a word. You should ask the people in Kunduz how that is working out.
I love Bizarro Rip.
Rip wrote:
The Mad Hatter wrote:
Poleaxe wrote:
The Mad Hatter wrote:
That also means you can't really win, either. America does not have limitless supplies of money and blood to spend, so eventually you will have to pull out regardless of the status quo on the ground.
We've already won the war, now we're trying to win the peace.

The worst possible outcome (for the world as well as us) is that we pull out and leave a civil war behind us. Thus my suggestion (which you didn't quote) that we partition the country before leaving.
Partition is one of the possible solutions proposed by the Baker commission. It might or might not work, but we'll never know because the Bush administration pretty much tossed that report out the window. I don't think anyone really believes that this 21,000 troop surge will do more than fill body bags.
So far it is on the right track. Amazing how little faith you have in our military and the Iraqi people. Perhaps you should move to Switzerland and hide in the mountains?
Rip wrote:
Grundbegriff wrote:
LawBeefaroni wrote:Obama's speech's thunder, however much of it there was, has been stolen today. Deft move by McCain.
John McCain "doesn't know what he's up against".

Heh

What the heall has Obama been smoking?

From that article.
Addressing the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in Orlando, Fla., Obama reaffirmed his early opposition to the U.S. invasion of Iraq and said the strategy of sending in 30,000 additional troops last year had not produced the political reconciliation necessary to achieve lasting peace in the country.
I thought he just went over there? Everyone knows that the surge worked. While I could imagine downplaying that fact it is stupid to try and deny it. Even if you were going to deny such a thing I doubt a VFW group would be the ones to say it in front of.


Ummmm....Iraq != Afghanistan different surges. The Iraqi one worked the Afghan one didn't.

User avatar
hepcat
Posts: 38440
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 3:02 pm
Location: Chicago, IL Home of the triple homicide!
hepcat’s avatar
Offline

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by hepcat » Thu Oct 15, 2015 3:20 pm

The Bush backed surge worked?

News to me. And to others.

Neither has worked. The difference is that the folks you idolize backed the one you mistakenly believe to have worked, while the folks you hate backed the other.
I beat a camel to death with a monkey. Can I do that?
-Mr Bismarck

You have to whack a few rabbits before you are ready to punch a camel.
-Coopasonic

User avatar
El Guapo
Posts: 32613
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2005 4:01 pm
Location: Boston

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by El Guapo » Thu Oct 15, 2015 3:37 pm

hepcat wrote:The Bush backed surge worked?

News to me. And to others.

Neither has worked. The difference is that the folks you idolize backed the one you mistakenly believe to have worked, while the folks you hate backed the other.
It's a little more nuanced than that. The Iraq Surge initially was an unmitigated success because the Republican president who initiated it is so tough. It then fell apart under his democratic successor because he is weak. See, nuance.

Post Reply