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Thread: Will U.S. Support the Taliban When Russia Attacks Afghanistan?

  1. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post
    I mean, that's what we were supposed to be doing. That was the justification for our being there, originally. That we did not in fact do that was the implied critique I was going for.
    I can't speak for the objectives in the UK, but it's far from clear that the US ever had a clear objective of nation building in Afghanistan. There were - and still are - a multiplicity of viewpoints in the US about the justification and objectives of the war in Afghanistan. The common denominator was to degrade the terrorist networks that existed in Afghanistan and deny them the safe haven that had been provided by the Taliban. But beyond that, there were substantial divisions about the rest of the scope. Some, especially the neoconservative wing of the Republican party, felt that this was an opportunity to build a strong, centralized, American-friendly democracy in a crucial region of the world. Others focused more on the humanitarian angle (e.g. allowing freedoms for women, improving education, etc.) without explicitly expecting a full-on nation building exercise. Still others focused on the strategic value of a strong American military presence adjacent to Iran, central Asia, and the AfPak region (without specific expectations of an emergent democracy).

    The point is that with such a diversity of views and little coherent policy (let alone little willingness to commit the resources needed to achieve any of these aims), I think it's rather much to suggest that the US was 'supposed' to be doing anything, other than disrupting Al Qaeda safe havens and hunting down their leadership.

    This lack of strategic focus is a hallmark of most postwar American interventions; certainly the US has a lot of resources and a lot of firepower (not to mention the projection capability to bring these to bear), but rarely is there a unified strategy consensus that is implemented in a sustained and thoughtful manner. This outcome is not the exception, but the rule.
    "When I meet God, I am going to ask him two questions: Why relativity? And why turbulence? I really believe he will have an answer for the first." - Werner Heisenberg (maybe)

  2. #32
    Right. So the objective was to lay waste to the Taliban and not put anything in its place.
    .

  3. #33
    30,000 in Taiwan?

    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  4. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by wiggin View Post
    I can't speak for the objectives in the UK, but it's far from clear that the US ever had a clear objective of nation building in Afghanistan.
    I mean, I recognise we're just trading differently worded versions of the same critique here but:

    The justification for remaining in Afghanistan after the destruction of the Al Qaeda bases and the initial overthrow of the Taliban was that we were supposed to be making Afghanistan into a country that would be able to exist without western occupation - whatever form that might have taken, or else what the fuck we were even doing there, merely delaying the day the Taliban would retake the country for as many years as was politically feasible? Or were the brain geniuses running the whole thing just envisaging permanent occupation?

    The complete failure to establish anything in Afghanistan that wasn't entirely dependant on the occupation despite having had two decades in which to do so is a damning indictment of the American state and military. Just an absolutely devastating fuck up. This is on top of the fuck up of the actual withdrawl.
    Spent my days watching and waiting, killed my faith participating
    In this crusade still masquerading as the lie that we're creating
    Blinding lights leave me in silence, hopes and dreams taken with violence
    Right and wrong have made alliance, now I will turn in defiance

  5. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post
    ...
    The complete failure to establish anything in Afghanistan that wasn't entirely dependant on the occupation despite having had two decades in which to do so is a damning indictment of the American state and military. Just an absolutely devastating fuck up. This is on top of the fuck up of the actual withdrawl.
    Really, you gonna leave the UK out of this rant? UK might have just been a follower in this endeavor but lets talk operation AJAX in Iran and all the mushroom cloud rhetoric leading up to the devastation in Iraq.
    .

  6. #36
    UK's a junior partner in Afghanistan with no real power to set the overall strategy. I don't doubt we would have contrived an equivalent fuck up if we'd been in the driving seat, but we weren't. Other, unrelated foreign policy fuck ups which the UK did take a more role in aren't in the scope of this thread.
    Spent my days watching and waiting, killed my faith participating
    In this crusade still masquerading as the lie that we're creating
    Blinding lights leave me in silence, hopes and dreams taken with violence
    Right and wrong have made alliance, now I will turn in defiance

  7. #37
    Nothing is unrelated in this part of the world. Kashmir, Pakistan? Unrelated? No.
    .

  8. #38
    Well, yes, colonialism is also to blame if you want to get meta about it.
    Spent my days watching and waiting, killed my faith participating
    In this crusade still masquerading as the lie that we're creating
    Blinding lights leave me in silence, hopes and dreams taken with violence
    Right and wrong have made alliance, now I will turn in defiance

  9. #39
    And let's not forget how much opium and saffron the UK purchases each year.
    .

  10. #40
    Frankly, even though the Afghanistan Papers identified colossal US policy fuckups wrt the creation and training of Afghan military and police forces going all the way back to the early days of the invasion—and continuing throughout the US occupation—I blame Being for the whole mess.
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  11. #41
    Fake News!
    .

  12. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by Aimless View Post
    ...the Afghanistan Papers identified colossal US policy fuckups wrt the creation and training of Afghan military and police forces going all the way back to the early days of the invasion—and continuing throughout the US occupation...

    Did the Papers touch on the failure to bring the farmers into the fold? That is the mother of all failures here. Alienating the farmers from the beginning assured failure because the farmers are Afghanistan. Everything else is peripheral.
    .

  13. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by Aimless View Post
    30,000 in Taiwan?

    Fuckers! trying to get us in a war with China.

    I'm your Huckleberry
    .

  14. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by Hazir View Post
    I think comparing the two is offensive and dumb.
    Yeah, as far as I'm aware only one group smeared poop on the walls.

    Not serious enough? How about this one: One group is put their lives on the line, some of which spent years in Guantanamo, the other group can't go a week in jail without their all organic diet.
    "In a field where an overlooked bug could cost millions, you want people who will speak their minds, even if they’re sometimes obnoxious about it."

  15. #45
    I’m so seriously pissed off on what has happened in Afghanistan.
    Sadly it’s also on the level ”we told you so”; but everything was ignored by politicians.

    Our tiny tiny nation had a tiny tiny support unit there between 2002-2021 and I’m not sure what that resulted in.
    Real life training and a few dead soldiers? Money that through corruptions probably landed in the hands of drug lords?
    Any kind of real army never existed in Afghanistan. (Obviously)

    The only real change is the aid we have been able to provide the refuges from those parts of the world.
    But by taking them in there has also been a big intake in a few bad eggs.
    That better be managable…. *sigh*

  16. #46
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  17. #47
    A vast majority of the NATO countries withdrew nearly all their combat troops a decade ago. If they were interested in defeating the Taliban, perhaps they should have done something in that past decade.
    Hope is the denial of reality

  18. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    A vast majority of the NATO countries withdrew nearly all their combat troops a decade ago. If they were interested in defeating the Taliban, perhaps they should have done something in that past decade.
    NATO and allied forces continued to maintain a 10k strong support mission working with thousands of locals, along with organizations to help shore up civil society; to suggest that their concerns about the way this played out are illegitimate is plainly absurd—and to do so in such a whiny manner is undignified. Moreover, if the US were interested in defeating the Taliban—assuming that was ever seen as a realistic goal—perhaps they shouldn't have hamstrung themselves and their allies right from the start, sabotaging any prospect of success through sustained mismanagement.

    There's no reason to get prickly about this; the criticism of how the US managed its withdrawal hasn't just come from partisans but from people—pundits, experts, former officials, veterans, journalists, activists, etc—from all over the world and all over the political spectrum, with all manner of views on the US's actions in Afghanistan over the past two decades. I don't think it's clear that NATO officials should be viewed as simple mouthpieces for their respective countries' political leaders, and their disappointment shouldn't be viewed in light of their nations' largely unrelated decisions.
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  19. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    A vast majority of the NATO countries withdrew nearly all their combat troops a decade ago. If they were interested in defeating the Taliban, perhaps they should have done something in that past decade.
    "if we just had more soldiers we'd finally be able to kill all their dudes" = a famously robust approach to winning low-intensity, asymmetric and politically complex conflicts in developing countries, with a long and successful history
    Spent my days watching and waiting, killed my faith participating
    In this crusade still masquerading as the lie that we're creating
    Blinding lights leave me in silence, hopes and dreams taken with violence
    Right and wrong have made alliance, now I will turn in defiance

  20. #50
    Quote Originally Posted by Aimless View Post
    NATO and allied forces continued to maintain a 10k strong support mission working with thousands of locals, along with organizations to help shore up civil society; to suggest that their concerns about the way this played out are illegitimate is plainly absurd—and to do so in such a whiny manner is undignified. Moreover, if the US were interested in defeating the Taliban—assuming that was ever seen as a realistic goal—perhaps they shouldn't have hamstrung themselves and their allies right from the start, sabotaging any prospect of success through sustained mismanagement.

    There's no reason to get prickly about this; the criticism of how the US managed its withdrawal hasn't just come from partisans but from people—pundits, experts, former officials, veterans, journalists, activists, etc—from all over the world and all over the political spectrum, with all manner of views on the US's actions in Afghanistan over the past two decades. I don't think it's clear that NATO officials should be viewed as simple mouthpieces for their respective countries' political leaders, and their disappointment shouldn't be viewed in light of their nations' largely unrelated decisions.
    The Taliban has been capturing more and more territory for years and EU forces have taken on a smaller and smaller role (even relative to the US, which itself removed most troops). The only reason EU countries even had some troops there was as a favor to the US. Let's not pretend they seriously thought they were making a difference on the military end of things.

    The US withdrawal was disastrous, but everyone knew it was coming. No need to be surprised.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post
    "if we just had more soldiers we'd finally be able to kill all their dudes" = a famously robust approach to winning low-intensity, asymmetric and politically complex conflicts in developing countries, with a long and successful history
    More soldiers don't guarantee victory, but having virtually no troops guarantees defeat. And it's not like the EU was improving good governance or the rule of law.
    Last edited by Loki; 08-18-2021 at 09:53 PM.
    Hope is the denial of reality

  21. #51
    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    More soldiers don't guarantee victory, but having virtually no troops guarantees defeat. And it's not like the EU was improving good governance or the rule of law.
    A decade ago was the U.S troop surge, there were over 100,000 US soldiers in Afghanistan, and you're sat there telling me it could have been turned around if only the EU had pitched in more?
    Spent my days watching and waiting, killed my faith participating
    In this crusade still masquerading as the lie that we're creating
    Blinding lights leave me in silence, hopes and dreams taken with violence
    Right and wrong have made alliance, now I will turn in defiance

  22. #52
    The war against the Taliban was lost when we told the farmers they can't grow poppies or pot.
    .

  23. #53
    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post
    A decade ago was the U.S troop surge, there were over 100,000 US soldiers in Afghanistan, and you're sat there telling me it could have been turned around if only the EU had pitched in more?
    How much territory did the Taliban control after that surge? Are you really going to claim that keeping Afghanistan from collapsing was a serious EU priority after 2010?

    Everyone half-assed it after that point (the EU more so than the US).
    Hope is the denial of reality

  24. #54
    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    How much territory did the Taliban control after that surge?
    Fucks sake, dude. It doesn't matter how much territory you take off them if there's no strategy stop them taking it right back after the troops go away. How is this some big mystery to you?

    If you somehow destroy the Taliban militarily, they'll just start a new one. Or ISIS would have moved in. If you're insisting on occupying the country, you're either doing it to allow the political work of making Afghanistan into a stable country, or you're just envisaging permanent occupation. Or you're just putting off the inevitable.

    Are you really going to claim that keeping Afghanistan from collapsing was a serious EU priority after 2010?

    Everyone half-assed it after that point (the EU more so than the US).
    Yeah, Japan and South Korea didn't pitch in much either. The nation building effort in Afghanistan has always been U.S/U.K project. It is frankly childish to say 'there's blame to go around here' because other countries didn't do more to help resolve the situation the US created.
    Spent my days watching and waiting, killed my faith participating
    In this crusade still masquerading as the lie that we're creating
    Blinding lights leave me in silence, hopes and dreams taken with violence
    Right and wrong have made alliance, now I will turn in defiance

  25. #55
    The issue isn't the blame. It's the EU acting shocked and outraged because of something that was inevitable and something the EU put absolutely no effort in preventing.
    Hope is the denial of reality

  26. #56
    No power on Earth is capable of stopping the U.S doing dumb shit abroad.
    Spent my days watching and waiting, killed my faith participating
    In this crusade still masquerading as the lie that we're creating
    Blinding lights leave me in silence, hopes and dreams taken with violence
    Right and wrong have made alliance, now I will turn in defiance

  27. #57
    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post
    No power on Earth is capable of stopping the U.S doing dumb shit abroad.
    And we use Enhanced Techniques to keep it that way.
    .

  28. #58
    Really surprised that nobody answered the thread title question, will the US support the Taliban when Russia attacks Afghanistan? The answer is obviously

    They already have.
    .

  29. #59
    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    The Taliban has been capturing more and more territory for years and EU forces have taken on a smaller and smaller role (even relative to the US, which itself removed most troops). The only reason EU countries even had some troops there was as a favor to the US. Let's not pretend they seriously thought they were making a difference on the military end of things.

    The US withdrawal was disastrous, but everyone knew it was coming. No need to be surprised.
    Feel like you're having a discussion with either yourself or someone who isn't here. You keep talking about the EU, but 1. I was talking about NATO officials, and 2. the harshest political criticism of the US's and Biden's conduct wrt the withdrawal has - so far - come from politicians and former officials in the UK, a NATO ally famously not in the EU. I don't think allies realized the US would withdraw in this way - making bizarre and dangerous decisions without coordinating with other stakeholders (eg. wrt Bagram).
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  30. #60
    Quote Originally Posted by Aimless View Post
    Feel like you're having a discussion with either yourself or someone who isn't here. You keep talking about the EU, but 1. I was talking about NATO officials, and 2. the harshest political criticism of the US's and Biden's conduct wrt the withdrawal has - so far - come from politicians and former officials in the UK, a NATO ally famously not in the EU. I don't think allies realized the US would withdraw in this way - making bizarre and dangerous decisions without coordinating with other stakeholders (eg. wrt Bagram).
    I should have said Europe. Forgot someone's gone solo. And the harshest criticism I've seen came from Germany.

    Incidentally, the UK strongly supported the withdrawal agreement: https://www.bbc.com/news/58271943
    Hope is the denial of reality

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