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Thread: Facepalm @ Afghan War

  1. #1
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    Default Facepalm @ Afghan War

    For fuck's sake. Time to nuke from orbit?

    Seriously, things like this make me think we should scale back our ambitions and rely on harassing and killing anyone we don't like Afghanistan and West Pakistan with drones and planes. Except I know we would just get manipulated into bombing people due to petty fights on the ground with factions we're allied with.

    The fact that we lost the momentum in this conflict in late 2001 is really damnable. And now we're left with trying to drain the swamps around this shenanigans.

    November 22, 2010
    Taliban Leader in Secret Talks Was an Impostor

    By DEXTER FILKINS and CARLOTTA GALL

    KABUL, Afghanistan — For months, the secret talks unfolding between Taliban and Afghan leaders to end the war appeared to be showing promise, if only because of the appearance of a certain insurgent leader at one end of the table: Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour, one of the most senior commanders in the Taliban movement.

    But now, it turns out, Mr. Mansour was apparently not Mr. Mansour at all. In an episode that could have been lifted from a spy novel, United States and Afghan officials now say the Afghan man was an impostor, and high-level discussions conducted with the assistance of NATO appear to have achieved little.

    “It’s not him,” said a Western diplomat in Kabul intimately involved in the discussions. “And we gave him a lot of money.”

    American officials confirmed Monday that they had given up hope that the Afghan was Mr. Mansour, or even a member of the Taliban leadership.

    NATO and Afghan officials said they held three meetings with the man, who traveled from in Pakistan, where Taliban leaders have taken refuge.

    The fake Taliban leader even met with President Hamid Karzai, having been flown to Kabul on a NATO aircraft and ushered into the presidential palace, officials said.

    The episode underscores the uncertain and even bizarre nature of the atmosphere in which Afghan and American leaders search for ways to bring the nine-year-old American-led war to an end. The leaders of the Taliban are believed to be hiding in Pakistan, possibly with the assistance of the Pakistani government, which receives billions of dollars in American aid.

    Many in the Taliban leadership, which is largely made up of barely literate clerics from the countryside, had not been seen in person by American, NATO or Afghan officials.

    American officials say they were skeptical from the start about the identity of the man who claimed to be Mullah Mansour — who by some accounts is the second-ranking official in the Taliban, behind only the founder, Mullah Mohammed Omar. Serious doubts arose after the third meeting with Afghan officials, held in the southern city of Kandahar. A man who had known Mr. Mansour years ago told Afghan officials that the man at the table did not resemble him. “He said he didn’t recognize him,” said an Afghan leader, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

    The Western diplomat said the Afghan man was initially given a sizable sum of money to take part in the talks — and to help persuade him to return.

    While the Afghan official said he still harbored hopes that the man would return for another round of talks, American and other Western officials said they had concluded that the man in question was not Mr. Mansour. Just how the Americans reached such a definitive conclusion — whether, for instance, they were able to positively establish his identity through fingerprints or some other means — is unknown.

    As recently as last month, American and Afghan officials held high hopes for the talks. Senior American officials, including Gen. David H. Petraeus, said the talks indicated that Taliban leaders, whose rank-and-file fighters are under extraordinary pressure from the American-led offensive, were at least willing to discuss an end to the war.

    The American officials said they and officials of other NATO governments were helping to facilitate the discussions, by providing air transport and securing roadways for Taliban leaders coming from Pakistan.

    Last month, White House officials asked The New York Times to withhold Mr. Mansour’s name from an article about the peace talks, expressing concern that the talks would be jeopardized — and Mr. Mansour’s life put at risk — if his involvement were publicized. The Times agreed to withhold Mr. Mansour’s name, along with the names of two other Taliban leaders said to be involved in the discussions. The status of the other two Taliban leaders said to be involved is not clear.

    Since the last round of discussions, which took place within the past few weeks, Afghan and American officials have been puzzling over who the man was. Some officials say the man may simply have been a freelance fraud, posing as a Taliban leader in order to enrich himself.

    Others say the man may have been a Taliban agent. “The Taliban are cleverer than the Americans and our own intelligence service,” said a senior Afghan official who is familiar with the case. “They are playing games.”

    Others suspect that the fake Taliban leader, whose identity is not known, may have been dispatched by the Pakistani intelligence service, known by its initials, the ISI. Elements within the ISI have long played a “double-game” in Afghanistan, reassuring United States officials that they are pursuing the Taliban while at the same time providing support for the insurgents.

    Publicly, the Taliban leadership is sticking to the line that there are no talks at all. In a recent message to his followers, Mullah Omar denied that there were any talks unfolding at any level.

    “The cunning enemy which has occupied our country, is trying, on the one hand, to expand its military operations on the basis of its double-standard policy and, on the other hand, wants to throw dust into the eyes of the people by spreading the rumors of negotiation,” his message said.

    Despite such statements, some senior leaders of the Taliban did show a willingness to talk peace with representatives of the Afghan government as recently as January.

    At that time, Abdul Ghani Baradar, then the deputy commander of the Taliban, was arrested in a joint C.I.A.-ISI raid in the Pakistani port city of Karachi. Although officials from both countries hailed the arrest as a hallmark of American-Pakistani cooperation, Pakistani officials have since indicated that they orchestrated Mr. Baradar’s arrest because he was engaging in peace discussions without the ISI’s permission.

    Afghan leaders have confirmed this account.

    Neither American nor Afghan leaders confronted the fake Mullah Mansour with their doubts. Indeed, some Afghan leaders are still holding out hopes that the man really is or at least represents Mr. Mansour — and that he will come back soon.

    “Questions have been raised about him, but it’s still possible that it’s him,” said the Afghan leader who declined to be identified.

    The Afghan leader said negotiators had urged the man claiming to be Mr. Mansour to return with colleagues, including other Taliban leaders whose identities they might also be able to verify.

    The meetings were arranged by an Afghan with ties to both the Afghan government and the Taliban, officials said.

    The Afghan leader said both the Americans and the Afghan leadership were initially cautious of the Afghan man’s identity and motives. But after the first meeting, both were reasonably satisfied that the man they were talking to was Mr. Mansour. Several steps were taken to establish the man’s real identity; after the first meeting, photos of him were shown to Taliban detainees who were believed to know Mr. Mansour. They signed off, the Afghan leader said.

    Whatever the Afghan man’s identity, the talks that unfolded between the Americans and the man claiming to be Mr. Mansour seemed substantive, the Afghan leader said. The man claiming to be representing the Taliban laid down several surprisingly moderate conditions for a peace settlement: that the Taliban leadership be allowed to safely return to Afghanistan, that Taliban soldiers be offered jobs, and that prisoners be released.

    The Afghan man did not demand, as the Taliban have in the past, a withdrawal of foreign forces or a Taliban share of the government.

    Sayed Amir Muhammad Agha, a onetime Taliban commander who says he has left the Taliban but who acted as a go-between with the movement in the past, said in an interview that he did not know the tale of the impostor.

    But he said the Taliban leadership had given no indications of a willingness to enter talks.

    “Someone like me could come forward and say, ‘I am a Talib and a powerful person,’ ” he said. “But I can tell you, nothing is going on.”

    “Whenever I talk to the Taliban, they never accept peace and they want to keep on fighting,” he said. “They are not tired.”

    Ruhullah Khapalwak contributed reporting.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/23/wo...a/23kabul.html

  2. #2
    I think the real problem here has been strategic ambiguity. In Iraq, we had a pretty clear mandate of what our goals were - remove the Baathist government, stabilize the country, install a democracy, and leave. It was obviously a big challenge to do so, due to a number of factors, but it was pretty clear. In Afghanistan, I don't think anyone really knows what 'victory' will look like.

  3. #3
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    Probably because no reasonable standard of victory could be achieved. It also doesn't help that the Pakistani intelligence is making sure we don't get anything approaching a victory. Seeing as there's no will to stand up to them, there really is no point in staying in Afghanistan at all.
    Hope is the denial of reality

  4. #4
    Maybe this is wishful thinking, but I feel like people in that corner of the world have been sorely used for generations by global politics that have little to do with them. Isn't there some way to at least leave them with stability, if not quite the freedom or wealth we might wish? This is entirely separate from the question of radical Islam and global terrorist organizations, which the US has shown itself willing to hunt regardless of borders or a ground presence (e.g. airstrikes in Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan).

  5. #5
    Resiste et Mords! Steely Glint's Avatar
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    I increasingly can't see a way to deal with the problems in Afghanistan without dealing with the Taliban in Pakistan. If anyone has any bright suggestions about how do deal with that little kettle of worms, forward them to the Pentagon.
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  6. #6
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    I think the initial premise for entering Afghanistan was fatally flawed. 9/11 and like attacks are not phenomena that can be addressed by invading countries. Since that's why we entered Afghanistan, then we have no real national interest there beyond some increasingly irrelevant idea of "we finish what we start." If we had put the trillion or so dollars we've wasted there toward better security for our international logistics and transportation infrastructure and toward better domestic and international policing, we would be much further ahead in besting terrorism and far fewer people would be dead and angry at the US and NATO.
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    Huh? Afghanistan's government at the time was bloody complicit in the 9/11 attacks. There was nothing wrong with the idea of taking them down. As Loki has pointed out though there was something wrong in thinking Pakistan would be of any help.
    Greece shows us that there is a kind of politician worse than the ones that break their election promises; the ones that keep their election promises.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hazir View Post
    Huh? Afghanistan's government at the time was bloody complicit in the 9/11 attacks. There was nothing wrong with the idea of taking them down. As Loki has pointed out though there was something wrong in thinking Pakistan would be of any help.
    So we invaded Afghanistan to punish the Taliban government for letting AQ set up shop? Mission accomplished, let's get out now.
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    Quote Originally Posted by wiggin View Post
    Maybe this is wishful thinking, but I feel like people in that corner of the world have been sorely used for generations by global politics that have little to do with them. Isn't there some way to at least leave them with stability, if not quite the freedom or wealth we might wish? This is entirely separate from the question of radical Islam and global terrorist organizations, which the US has shown itself willing to hunt regardless of borders or a ground presence (e.g. airstrikes in Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan).
    You can't have stability without ensuring central government control over the entire Afghan territory. That control is impossible to achieve. The place is too poor, too illiterate, has mountainous, in too hostile a neighborhood, has a recent history of bloodletting, has no path toward economic development, and is generally a crappy place to live.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post
    I increasingly can't see a way to deal with the problems in Afghanistan without dealing with the Taliban in Pakistan. If anyone has any bright suggestions about how do deal with that little kettle of worms, forward them to the Pentagon.
    If you read the article, the problem isn't so much the Taliban in Pakistan as it is ISI.
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    Quote Originally Posted by EyeKhan View Post
    So we invaded Afghanistan to punish the Taliban government for letting AQ set up shop? Mission accomplished, let's get out now.
    That's the attitude that brought you 9/11 in the first place.
    Greece shows us that there is a kind of politician worse than the ones that break their election promises; the ones that keep their election promises.

  11. #11
    That's no moon. EyeKhan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hazir View Post
    That's the attitude that brought you 9/11 in the first place.
    No, that's me ridiculing your dense thinking. There's plenty wrong with taking down the Taliban government when you have no plan, and no ability even if you had a plan, to replace it with anything that wouldn't result in the exact same state of affairs. And that's especially true when the problem of 9/11 could and should have been dealt with in ways that did not require invading Afghanistan to begin with. Worse yet, even if we had been spectacularly successful in Afghanistan, killed Bin Laden and the AQ leadership, defeated the Taliban, built a shining example of democracy, we still would not have ensured there would not be another 9/11. It's not the kind of problem you can fix by invading countries.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by EyeKhan View Post
    No, that's me ridiculing your dense thinking. There's plenty wrong with taking down the Taliban government when you have no plan, and no ability even if you had a plan, to replace it with anything that wouldn't result in the exact same state of affairs. And that's especially true when the problem of 9/11 could and should have been dealt with in ways that did not require invading Afghanistan to begin with. Worse yet, even if we had been spectacularly successful in Afghanistan, killed Bin Laden and the AQ leadership, defeated the Taliban, built a shining example of democracy, we still would not have ensured there would not be another 9/11. It's not the kind of problem you can fix by invading countries.
    Now you have me curious...and I'm honestly asking: What alternatives would you have suggested?
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    To deal with the threat of global terrorism? Massive improvements in our logistic and human transportation system security, in the effectiveness and cooperation of our intelligence and police forces both domestically and internationally, and stepped up campaigns of covert assassination. Plus some bread and circusses bullshit for the mud people. There is nothing at all invading, occupying and nation building in Afghanistan that would or will prevent another 9/11. The best it has done for us is bleed our resources, tarnish our international image and breed new generations of potential terrorists. Good old fashioned cooperative police work will go and has gone infinitely further to stop terrorist attacks.
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    Close the gates, pull up the bridges isn't going to work in today's world either.
    Greece shows us that there is a kind of politician worse than the ones that break their election promises; the ones that keep their election promises.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EyeKhan View Post
    To deal with the threat of global terrorism? Massive improvements in our logistic and human transportation system security, in the effectiveness and cooperation of our intelligence and police forces both domestically and internationally, and stepped up campaigns of covert assassination. Plus some bread and circusses bullshit for the mud people. There is nothing at all invading, occupying and nation building in Afghanistan that would or will prevent another 9/11. The best it has done for us is bleed our resources, tarnish our international image and breed new generations of potential terrorists. Good old fashioned cooperative police work will go and has gone infinitely further to stop terrorist attacks.
    Not one of those is a viable solution.
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    Quote Originally Posted by EyeKhan View Post
    I think the initial premise for entering Afghanistan was fatally flawed. 9/11 and like attacks are not phenomena that can be addressed by invading countries. Since that's why we entered Afghanistan, then we have no real national interest there beyond some increasingly irrelevant idea of "we finish what we start." If we had put the trillion or so dollars we've wasted there toward better security for our international logistics and transportation infrastructure and toward better domestic and international policing, we would be much further ahead in besting terrorism and far fewer people would be dead and angry at the US and NATO.
    I utterly disagree. My only criticism of the start was the degree to which we used corruptible proxies instead of our own troops. Do I need to use the "pack of girl scouts" phrase again? Perhaps you could add having no communication of what to do immediately thereafter. In the longer term, Iraq was a fatal distraction, and Afghanistan was neglected for quite awhile. But being there in the first place was far better justified than almost every other conflict the US has been involved in. You know I'm not a knee-jerk hawk; I generally endorse only wars with very clear causes and goals. But this was one of those. Arguably the first so since WWII.

  17. #17
    Resiste et Mords! Steely Glint's Avatar
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    Not sure about 'clear goals'.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hazir View Post
    Close the gates, pull up the bridges isn't going to work in today's world either.
    I agree and never suggested it would.
    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    Not one of those is a viable solution.
    As always you are absolutely wrong.
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  19. #19
    That's no moon. EyeKhan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ']['ear View Post
    I utterly disagree. My only criticism of the start was the degree to which we used corruptible proxies instead of our own troops. Do I need to use the "pack of girl scouts" phrase again? Perhaps you could add having no communication of what to do immediately thereafter. In the longer term, Iraq was a fatal distraction, and Afghanistan was neglected for quite awhile. But being there in the first place was far better justified than almost every other conflict the US has been involved in. You know I'm not a knee-jerk hawk; I generally endorse only wars with very clear causes and goals. But this was one of those. Arguably the first so since WWII.
    I said nothing about justification, only that it was a bad idea if your goal is to stop global terrorism from pulling 9/11 style attacks. That is your understanding of why we entered afghanistan, right?
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    There is something to invading and nation building. Whether it's morally right, or cost effective are other matters. However, creating strong governments that are pro-American values will help in the long-term to stop terrorism. IT will make for harder for terrorist groups to manipulate the government they have there, and harder for the to operate if a strong pro-american government exists with many safety nets.

    The best way to stop terorrism is through education, equally strong counter-propaganda, and in ailing the problem the that is making the citizens restless, feel wronged, but most importantly ailing any issues that are effecting their day to day well-being.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EyeKhan View Post
    I said nothing about justification, only that it was a bad idea if your goal is to stop global terrorism from pulling 9/11 style attacks. That is your understanding of why we entered afghanistan, right?
    Not really. We could have blown in, crushed al Qaeda, and then blown out. Follow it up with a heavily regulated aid program tied to certain democratic advances, and send the clear signal that any potentially terrorist activity would be met with strikes. Zero tolerance. Stop global terrorism? No. Seriously hamper it? Yes.

    Containment is often a lot better than nation building. That lesson was already there from Gulf War I, before Bush invaded.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by ']['ear View Post
    Not really. We could have blown in, crushed al Qaeda, and then blown out.
    And they would run across the border and come back the second we left.

    Follow it up with a heavily regulated aid program tied to certain democratic advances
    That entails having an aid distribution and monitoring network. That was never on the cards for Afghanistan.

    and send the clear signal that any potentially terrorist activity would be met with strikes.
    And these strikes would do what? Kill a handful of terrorists? We've been carrying out strikes for a decade. The difference is that we'd have even less intelligence to plan those strikes than we do if we had fewer troops on the ground.

    Zero tolerance. Stop global terrorism? No. Seriously hamper it? Yes.
    We're doing that in Somalia and Yemen. How has that been working for us?

    Containment is often a lot better than nation building. That lesson was already there from Gulf War I, before Bush invaded.
    You can't contain a decentralized group of warlords and tribesmen. Afghanistan isn't Iraq, let alone the Soviet Union.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    And they would run across the border and come back the second we left.
    But we would have dismantled any substantive infrastructure. Who gives a shit if a bunch of guys are running around? As long as they aren't running camps and training new guys, that's fine.



    That entails having an aid distribution and monitoring network. That was never on the cards for Afghanistan.
    Perhaps so, though at least a try at nonprofit school building and the like would have gone a long way. But maybe not.
    And these strikes would do what? Kill a handful of terrorists? We've been carrying out strikes for a decade. The difference is that we'd have even less intelligence to plan those strikes than we do if we had fewer troops on the ground.
    So what? I'm not asking to control the country, which is the current goal. Just disrupt any likely terrorist activities. you're stuck in thinking about our current conventional war plans, and the democratization horse shit made popular (or unpopular) by Iraq.

    We're doing that in Somalia and Yemen. How has that been working for us?
    These places have ready access to much more than Afghanistan does.

    You can't contain a decentralized group of warlords and tribesmen.
    Don't really want to. I'd just want to disrupt any organized camps. If you want to go further, you can, but I'm not convinced it's worth it, and it might be counter-productive.

    Afghanistan isn't Iraq, let alone the Soviet Union.
    I didn't say it was (and who the fuck mentioned the Soviets?) But you can contain or minimize problems quite well without resorting to a full-blown invasion/occupation followed by trying to re-program the population. Which one of these is more plausible?

    It is impossible to win a war on terrorism. That was W's problem right from the get-go. If terrorists have to work underground and in caves, and exert lots of effort and burn resources to avoid detection, then you're doing a good job. Will it eliminate attacks? No. But it will make them a lot more difficult if used in conjunction with reasonable security measures and beefing up intelligence.

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    You can't have stability without ensuring central government control over the entire Afghan territory. That control is impossible to achieve. The place is too poor, too illiterate, has mountainous, in too hostile a neighborhood, has a recent history of bloodletting, has no path toward economic development, and is generally a crappy place to live.
    Is it impossible to achieve, or just very very hard? I think it's only impossible in the context of the resources we were willing to commit to it. Afghanistan is a very big country, and even with 130k troops and heavy use of force multipliers and rapid transport, it doesn't come close to being enough. I imagine that a sustained occupation by, say, a quarter million troops coupled with a massive development push could significantly improve the chances of something good happening to the country. Otherwise, it's just going to be another shithole, and we know that at the end of the day lots of Very Bad people like to hang out in shitholes because they're relatively free to do so.

    Perhaps partition or Balkanization is the solution, given the lack of a national identity. Maybe an international protectorate would work, or a natural resource-driven economic boom. Who knows? I think the problem isn't that the goals were impossible to achieve, but that the goals were not clearly stated, so we didn't have a clue what would be needed to carry them out.

    I think one thing is clear, though - failed states are extremely hard to fix. I can't think of a good example of one that has been effectively improved through outside intervention. Just imagine what a headache we'd have if we tried doing this with a post-war NK, or Sudan, or any number of other nasties.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by wiggin View Post
    Is it impossible to achieve, or just very very hard? I think it's only impossible in the context of the resources we were willing to commit to it. Afghanistan is a very big country, and even with 130k troops and heavy use of force multipliers and rapid transport, it doesn't come close to being enough. I imagine that a sustained occupation by, say, a quarter million troops coupled with a massive development push could significantly improve the chances of something good happening to the country. Otherwise, it's just going to be another shithole, and we know that at the end of the day lots of Very Bad people like to hang out in shitholes because they're relatively free to do so.
    250k wouldn't be nearly enough. Again, Afghanistan is a mountainous country with no national loyalty, no infrastructure, no history of central authority, no education, and no economy. You would need to have troops within a mile of every village in the country. Perhaps if you had a million troops there, import tens of thousands of civil servants, and treat the place the same way France treated its colonies, you might have a shot. Of course it would take decades and over a trillion dollars to get Afghanistan to look like Algeria.

    Perhaps partition or Balkanization is the solution, given the lack of a national identity. Maybe an international protectorate would work, or a natural resource-driven economic boom. Who knows? I think the problem isn't that the goals were impossible to achieve, but that the goals were not clearly stated, so we didn't have a clue what would be needed to carry them out.
    There is no basis for partition. We don't have fighting between large ethnic groups in Afghanistan (there's also no strong ethnic identities; people might say they're a Pashtun or a Tajik, but they're not going to accept someone's authority just because they're a Pashtun or a Tajik). We have tribes and warlords fighting one another for control of land and people. The situation there is closer to ancient China than it is to Bosnia. Natural resources cause more harm than good, both in terms of economic development and internal conflict (more natural resources makes it more tempting for groups to try to take control over those resources; those resources can also be used to fund militias, as is case in the Congo).

    Nothing happens in a vacuum. We can come up with scenarios where if we did A, B, and C, and the Afghan government did X, Y, and Z, the country would be less of a crap hole. But the reality is that there's a reason neither we nor the Afghan government does those things. There are too many structural constraints, too much individual-level resistance, and no forces that can contribute to state-building. A place like Uzbekistan has far more favorable conditions for political and economic development than Afghanistan, and yet it took over a century of direct Russian and Soviet rule for that place to be anything approaching a modern state.
    Hope is the denial of reality

  26. #26
    Senior Member GGT's Avatar
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    I think the US needs to pull back and re-assess the whole damn thing. Beginning with our Super Power status reputation. We may have a lot of money (*cough*) and huge military capability, but we're not the world's police. The world has changed, but we keep hanging onto this worn-out idea that the world is US-centric, or that we can control everything.

    Funny, the freee market capitalists claim that some risk and volatility is necessary for economic growth; too much control of markets (regulation, rules, oversight) is bad in a globally connected world. In that sense, government is bad and evil. Especially Big Gummint. They'll send us into debt paying for welfare and healthcare for failed individuals, see.

    But the same folks tell us how important it is to control risk (sanction, arm, bribe, threaten, or bomb) from the volatile and illiterate third world places that breed terror; to ignore that risk is bad. In that sense, only the government can keep us safe, or protect our global interests. Especially Big Gummint. Spreading freeedom and democracy, toppling dictators, smoothing relations, buying oil. They'll put us into debt (and send our military to their death) for failed nations, see.

  27. #27
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    Um, people and firms in capitalism try to control risk as well. Ever heard of hedging, diversification, or insurance?
    Hope is the denial of reality

  28. #28
    Senior Member GGT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    Um, people and firms in capitalism try to control risk as well. Ever heard of hedging, diversification, or insurance?
    My analogy about CONTROL blew right over your head?

  29. #29
    All Worship Ragnarök Loki's Avatar
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    For an economy to function, you need people to play by the rules of that economy. That implies that you need someone to ensure those rules.
    Hope is the denial of reality

  30. #30
    Administrator Dreadnaught's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EyeKhan View Post
    To deal with the threat of global terrorism? Massive improvements in our logistic and human transportation system security, in the effectiveness and cooperation of our intelligence and police forces both domestically and internationally, and stepped up campaigns of covert assassination. Plus some bread and circusses bullshit for the mud people. There is nothing at all invading, occupying and nation building in Afghanistan that would or will prevent another 9/11. The best it has done for us is bleed our resources, tarnish our international image and breed new generations of potential terrorists. Good old fashioned cooperative police work will go and has gone infinitely further to stop terrorist attacks.
    Those kinds of insular solutions is what made Bin Laden feel he could simple hide away in Afghanistan, survive a few missile strikes and fade away.

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