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Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

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Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by $iljanus » Thu May 23, 2019 12:58 pm

Holman wrote:Has Trump called for Lindh's re-arrest and execution yet?
He'll probably use his release to justify the pardoning one of the war criminals, I mean true American heroes mentioned in one of the threads.
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Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by Drazzil » Fri May 24, 2019 12:04 am

Holman wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 9:37 pm
link
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Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by Isgrimnur » Fri Aug 02, 2019 10:19 am

WaPo
The Trump administration is preparing to withdraw thousands of troops from Afghanistan in exchange for concessions from the Taliban, including a cease-fire and a renunciation of al-Qaeda, as part of an initial deal to end the nearly 18-year-old war, U.S. officials say.

The agreement, which would require the Taliban to begin negotiating a larger peace deal directly with the Afghan government, could cut the number of American troops in the country from roughly 14,000 to between 8,000 and 9,000, the officials said. That number would be nearly the same as when President Trump took office.

The plan has taken shape after months of negotiations between the Taliban and Zalmay Khalilzad, an Afghan-born American diplomat who was appointed by the Trump administration last year to jump-start talks. Officials said an agreement could be finalized ahead of the Afghan presidential election in September, though they cautioned that Taliban leaders could delay and that significant challenges remain.

The proposal is likely to be viewed skeptically by some U.S. and Afghan officials who question the Taliban’s honesty and wonder how the United States can verify whether Taliban leaders are following through. But if approved, it would be one of the most significant steps toward ending the war, a goal that increasingly has bipartisan support.

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Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by tjg_marantz » Fri Aug 02, 2019 2:05 pm

Atta boy Kushner!
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Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by Kraken » Sat Aug 17, 2019 12:36 am

How Trump screws up his own Afghanistan policy.
President Donald Trump’s efforts to end the U.S. war in Afghanistan keep hitting a major roadblock: his own proclamations that he wants to get out.

Trump has repeatedly made it known he wants to remove all U.S. troops from the 18-year-old Afghan conflict, a topic he returned to Friday afternoon as his advisers briefed him on the status of peace talks with the Taliban.

But his public statements and leaks of his closed-door demands have weakened the hand of his negotiators by making it clear just how desperately the president wants a deal, according to multiple current and former U.S. officials with direct knowledge of the deliberations.
The Taliban know that Trump has a hard deadline of Nov. '20. Why would they give up anything of substance?

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Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by Jaymann » Sat Aug 17, 2019 11:16 am

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Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by gameoverman » Sun Aug 18, 2019 9:08 pm

Kraken wrote:
Sat Aug 17, 2019 12:36 am
The Taliban know that Trump has a hard deadline of Nov. '20. Why would they give up anything of substance?
The Taliban live there, they aren't going anywhere. That fact alone would be reason enough to not give up anything substantial. With an election coming up it's like the gods are smiling down on them. This is going to be their year. Still, it's not over until it's over. Not that long ago I would have found it unbelievable that in 2019 our efforts in Afghanistan were not yet resolved. And yet here we are AND Donald Trump is President, so really, is any kind of crazy outcome off the table? No.

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Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by Kraken » Sun Aug 18, 2019 9:52 pm

The Taliban knew they would eventually win the long game, as insurgencies usually do against invaders from the other side of the world. Leaving Afghanistan is long overdue; our mission arguably ended there when bin Laden went down. How many Americans have died since then, and for what?

Would Obama have gotten a cleaner ending? Would Clinton have? That's purely rhetorical since we haven't seen Trump's curtain yet. Whatever the particulars, you can bet that it will end with a victory dance -- the greatest American victory since the Revolution!

(Assuming Trump can really end it, that is.)

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Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by Grifman » Mon Aug 19, 2019 10:31 am

I am surprised we did not learn the lesson of Vietnam. At first the Bush admin put the fear of God into the Paki's but over time that fear vanished. Our efforts were doomed the moment Pakistan decided to support and give safe havens to the Taliban. Under those circumstances the Taliban can always control the pace of combat - when losses get too
high, they can retreat, recover, rearm, etc.. You can never defeat an insurgency when they have safe havens that they can retreat to when pressured.

We should have given an ultimatum to Pakistan - stop supporting the Taliban or we will attack over the border. In addition we end all military and economic support and will implement crippling sanctions on your country. We will support India instead of you. Give them a stark choice. We needed to stop thinking of them as a supposed "ally".
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Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by tjg_marantz » Mon Aug 19, 2019 10:34 am

Paki's...
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Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by stessier » Mon Aug 19, 2019 10:48 am

Grifman wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 10:31 am
I am surprised we did not learn the lesson of Vietnam. At first the Bush admin put the fear of God into the Paki's but over time that fear vanished. Our efforts were doomed the moment Pakistan decided to support and give safe havens to the Taliban. Under those circumstances the Taliban can always control the pace of combat - when losses get too
high, they can retreat, recover, rearm, etc.. You can never defeat an insurgency when they have safe havens that they can retreat to when pressured.

We should have given an ultimatum to Pakistan - stop supporting the Taliban or we will attack over the border. In addition we end all military and economic support and will implement crippling sanctions on your country. We will support India instead of you. Give them a stark choice. We needed to stop thinking of them as a supposed "ally".
They have nuclear weapons and are no friend of India. That would seem to be a dangerous game to play.
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Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by Isgrimnur » Mon Aug 19, 2019 11:17 am

Grifman wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 10:31 am
Paki's
Wiki
Paki is a racial slur typically used towards people of Pakistani descent, but can also be used to refer to Pakistani people in general.

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Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by tjg_marantz » Mon Aug 19, 2019 11:53 am

Isgrimnur wrote:
Grifman wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 10:31 am
Paki's
Wiki
Paki is a racial slur typically used towards people of Pakistani descent, but can also be used to refer to Pakistani people in general.
I'll quote the rest to really drive home the point :)

Paki is a racial slur typically used towards people of Pakistani descent, but can also be used to refer to Pakistani people in general.[1][2][3] The term is also oftentimes indiscriminately directed towards people of perceived South Asian descent.[4] The slur is used mainly by certain Europeans and even North Americans to refer to anyone resembling South Asian descent. In more recent usage, the term has been used as a blanket term for all South Asians. A “paki move” is sometimes referred to someone who has initially screwed someone over.
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Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by Grifman » Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:25 pm

stessier wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 10:48 am
Grifman wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 10:31 am
I am surprised we did not learn the lesson of Vietnam. At first the Bush admin put the fear of God into the Paki's but over time that fear vanished. Our efforts were doomed the moment Pakistan decided to support and give safe havens to the Taliban. Under those circumstances the Taliban can always control the pace of combat - when losses get too
high, they can retreat, recover, rearm, etc.. You can never defeat an insurgency when they have safe havens that they can retreat to when pressured.

We should have given an ultimatum to Pakistan - stop supporting the Taliban or we will attack over the border. In addition we end all military and economic support and will implement crippling sanctions on your country. We will support India instead of you. Give them a stark choice. We needed to stop thinking of them as a supposed "ally".
They have nuclear weapons and are no friend of India. That would seem to be a dangerous game to play.
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Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by Grifman » Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:27 pm

stessier wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 10:48 am

They have nuclear weapons and are no friend of India. That would seem to be a dangerous game to play.
What are they going to do? Use nukes against US troops in Afghanistan? That would be suicide. The point is that Pakistan should have paid a very heavy price, political and economic, for their support of the Taliban. Instead we've let them slide.
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Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by Grifman » Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:29 pm

Isgrimnur wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 11:17 am
Grifman wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 10:31 am
Paki's
Wiki
Paki is a racial slur typically used towards people of Pakistani descent, but can also be used to refer to Pakistani people in general.
1. I was ignorant of it being a racial slur
2. I was using it as a short hand for Pakistani
3. My use was intended as "can also be used to refer to Pakistani people in general"
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Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by El Guapo » Mon Aug 19, 2019 11:26 pm

Grifman wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:27 pm
stessier wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 10:48 am

They have nuclear weapons and are no friend of India. That would seem to be a dangerous game to play.
What are they going to do? Use nukes against US troops in Afghanistan? That would be suicide. The point is that Pakistan should have paid a very heavy price, political and economic, for their support of the Taliban. Instead we've let them slide.
They could also have decided to get more aggressive in terms of nuclear proliferation.

But maybe more to the point, attacking across the Pakistani border would be incredibly risky for the U.S. Pakistan would naturally make a big stink about it internationally, which would likely cost the U.S. allies. But more problematic is that any such incursion would necessarily risk combat between U.S. and Pakistani forces. This is by definition risking war with Pakistan, which would further broaden the war (and expand the list of U.S. enemies in the region). It would be domestic political suicide (wait, you're telling me we're now fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan, *and* Pakistan?). It would also risk pushing Pakistan into greater support of the Taliban, and also risks the nightmare scenario - destabilizing Pakistan's government, leading to Islamist forces toppling the government (and getting control of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal).

Also, I tend to think that the military strategists probably thought of "we should deter Pakistan from supporting our enemies", and likely rejected that plan for a variety of the above reasons.

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Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by Grifman » Tue Aug 20, 2019 7:53 am

El Guapo wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 11:26 pm
Grifman wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:27 pm
stessier wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 10:48 am

They have nuclear weapons and are no friend of India. That would seem to be a dangerous game to play.
What are they going to do? Use nukes against US troops in Afghanistan? That would be suicide. The point is that Pakistan should have paid a very heavy price, political and economic, for their support of the Taliban. Instead we've let them slide.
They could also have decided to get more aggressive in terms of nuclear proliferation.

But maybe more to the point, attacking across the Pakistani border would be incredibly risky for the U.S. Pakistan would naturally make a big stink about it internationally, which would likely cost the U.S. allies. But more problematic is that any such incursion would necessarily risk combat between U.S. and Pakistani forces. This is by definition risking war with Pakistan, which would further broaden the war (and expand the list of U.S. enemies in the region). It would be domestic political suicide (wait, you're telling me we're now fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan, *and* Pakistan?). It would also risk pushing Pakistan into greater support of the Taliban, and also risks the nightmare scenario - destabilizing Pakistan's government, leading to Islamist forces toppling the government (and getting control of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal).

Also, I tend to think that the military strategists probably thought of "we should deter Pakistan from supporting our enemies", and likely rejected that plan for a variety of the above reasons.
Those are all excellent points. However, historical precedent is with me. After 9/11 and before we invaded Afghanistan, President Bush sent an envoy to President Musharraf of Pakistan. The envoy made a number of demands of Pakistan and basically told him, "You're either for us or against us". Pakistan folded, and I think they would fold again because I don't see anything has changed over there that would have them make a different decision.
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Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by Zarathud » Tue Aug 20, 2019 2:03 pm

Bush convinced Pakistan to fold because they knew a Bush administration was going to conduct military operations and get a coalition against any opponents.

Trump can’t even make up his mind about imposing American sanctions, doesn’t want to engage the world and has no friends. Plus, Trump has no diplomatic skills. Trump can say whatever he wants but the Orange Puppet has no credibility or leverage.
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Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by Grifman » Tue Aug 20, 2019 11:24 pm

Zarathud wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 2:03 pm
Bush convinced Pakistan to fold because they knew a Bush administration was going to conduct military operations and get a coalition against any opponents.

Trump can’t even make up his mind about imposing American sanctions, doesn’t want to engage the world and has no friends. Plus, Trump has no diplomatic skills. Trump can say whatever he wants but the Orange Puppet has no credibility or leverage.
I am not speaking specifically about Trump, I know he's incompetent.
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Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by El Guapo » Wed Aug 21, 2019 12:55 pm

Grifman wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 7:53 am
El Guapo wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 11:26 pm
Grifman wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:27 pm
stessier wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 10:48 am

They have nuclear weapons and are no friend of India. That would seem to be a dangerous game to play.
What are they going to do? Use nukes against US troops in Afghanistan? That would be suicide. The point is that Pakistan should have paid a very heavy price, political and economic, for their support of the Taliban. Instead we've let them slide.
They could also have decided to get more aggressive in terms of nuclear proliferation.

But maybe more to the point, attacking across the Pakistani border would be incredibly risky for the U.S. Pakistan would naturally make a big stink about it internationally, which would likely cost the U.S. allies. But more problematic is that any such incursion would necessarily risk combat between U.S. and Pakistani forces. This is by definition risking war with Pakistan, which would further broaden the war (and expand the list of U.S. enemies in the region). It would be domestic political suicide (wait, you're telling me we're now fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan, *and* Pakistan?). It would also risk pushing Pakistan into greater support of the Taliban, and also risks the nightmare scenario - destabilizing Pakistan's government, leading to Islamist forces toppling the government (and getting control of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal).

Also, I tend to think that the military strategists probably thought of "we should deter Pakistan from supporting our enemies", and likely rejected that plan for a variety of the above reasons.
Those are all excellent points. However, historical precedent is with me. After 9/11 and before we invaded Afghanistan, President Bush sent an envoy to President Musharraf of Pakistan. The envoy made a number of demands of Pakistan and basically told him, "You're either for us or against us". Pakistan folded, and I think they would fold again because I don't see anything has changed over there that would have them make a different decision.
Did they really fold, though? They agreed to the U.S. demands, but those demands didn't stop Pakistan (or more specifically, Pakistani intelligence services, which are not always super under the control of the Pakistani head of state) from helping the Taliban. I assume the response to any U.S. demands would be similar - "We don't support or help the Taliban! But if you want we'll totally double-up our efforts to make sure that rogue agents within our government are not helping the Taliban. We're good for it!"

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Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by Isgrimnur » Thu Sep 05, 2019 11:56 am

WaPo
Two NATO service members, including an American, were killed in Kabul on Thursday, military officials said, just days after the top U.S. negotiator said he had reached a peace deal “in principle” with the Taliban.

The U.S. and Romanian soldiers died in a Taliban-claimed car bombing in a heavily fortified part of central Kabul just after 10 a.m., a U.S. military official confirmed. The Ministry of Interior originally said 10 people had died in the attack.

This brings the number of U.S. troops killed in combat in Afghanistan to 16 this year.
...
The Taliban said in a statement that it had targeted a convoy of foreigners.

In footage circulating on social media, a van is seen entering a crowded traffic circle before exploding close to two white SUVs, a number of sedans and some pedestrians, including one who appeared to try to run from the scene just before the bomb detonated. In Kabul, white SUVs are often armored and used by diplomats, military officers and government officials.
...
Under the draft agreement, 5,400 U.S. troops would leave Afghanistan and five U.S. bases would close within about five months, pending President Trump’s approval.

But Afghan officials expressed serious doubts over the pending deal this week, as the militant group claimed responsibility for the second deadly explosion in the capital in less than three days.

Two regional capitals were also attacked by the Taliban this past week.

The Afghan government has been excluded from peace talks with the Taliban, and on Wednesday, presidential spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said the Afghan government fears that the deal would have dangerous consequences.
I hope the embassy in Kabul can support helicopters on the roof.

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Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by El Guapo » Thu Sep 05, 2019 12:22 pm

If the deal happens, when would U.S. troops leave? Politically I would be terrified if I were Trump of actually having troops leave before the end of 2020, because if the Afghan government collapses and you have Saigon-type photos coming over that would be utterly devastating for Trump's reelection. You would think he would want to announce a deal in July / August 2020 that takes effect in summer 2021.

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Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by Jaymann » Thu Sep 05, 2019 12:32 pm

Fuck politics, get the goddamn troops out.
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Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by El Guapo » Thu Sep 05, 2019 12:53 pm

Jaymann wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 12:32 pm
Fuck politics, get the goddamn troops out.
I tend to agree, but I'm just trying to understand Trump's perspective. And he obviously cares more about his reelection prospects than the troops (or pretty much anything else).

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Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by Kraken » Thu Sep 05, 2019 11:27 pm

El Guapo wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 12:22 pm
If the deal happens, when would U.S. troops leave? Politically I would be terrified if I were Trump of actually having troops leave before the end of 2020, because if the Afghan government collapses and you have Saigon-type photos coming over that would be utterly devastating for Trump's reelection. You would think he would want to announce a deal in July / August 2020 that takes effect in summer 2021.
There will still be 8,600 troops there. That's a couple hundred more than when Trump took office. The drawdown will occur over two years. Kind of a half-assed withdrawal...but then, the Taliban aren't conceding anything beyond a pinky-swear to hate terrorists.

The government didn't fall when Obama drew down to 8,400. Granted the Taliban are stronger now, but why should the government collapse at 8,600?

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Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by LordMortis » Fri Sep 06, 2019 10:59 am

El Guapo wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 12:22 pm
If the deal happens, when would U.S. troops leave? Politically I would be terrified if I were Trump of actually having troops leave before the end of 2020, because if the Afghan government collapses and you have Saigon-type photos coming over that would be utterly devastating for Trump's reelection. You would think he would want to announce a deal in July / August 2020 that takes effect in summer 2021.

Do you think so? It seems to me Trump is a test case for if the US is lost or not. What makes Afghanistan any different to those who are still "undecided" voters that tracking toward Trump because they "don't see an alternative." We have plenty of visceral history these last three years.

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Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by LawBeefaroni » Thu Sep 19, 2019 4:41 pm

Oops.
JALALABAD, Afghanistan (Reuters) - A U.S. drone strike intended to hit an Islamic State (IS) hideout in Afghanistan killed at least 30 civilians resting after a day's labor in the fields, officials said on Thursday.

The attack on Wednesday night also injured 40 people after accidentally targeting farmers and laborers who had just finished collecting pine nuts at mountainous Wazir Tangi in eastern Nangarhar province, three Afghan officials told Reuters.
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