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War on Terrorism (Politics)
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Grant



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A news journalist on ITN tonight just said that the Taliban might take Kabul in ninety days. I reckon two weeks at most
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Mick Harper
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In: London
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He or she should be tried for treason just by suggesting they might. Personally, I think two weeks is optimistic though I use the term in the AE sense that once the outcome of conflict is clear it is better to end the conflict as soon as possible no matter how awful that outcome might be. Subject to the AE rule of there being no rules.
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Mick Harper
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Should I Re-Brand It For The American Market?

Missing Persons page 121 All quotes courtesy of the British Museum.

One large group of objects, perhaps the bulk of the treasure, was bought from locals by three merchants from Bokhara in 1880

Three wise men from the east. We must pray they did not fall among thieves

who unwisely left their convoy on the road south from Kabul to Peshawar and were captured by Afghan tribesmen, who carried them and their goods into the hills

Kabul to Peshawar! There is a journey that brings a shudder to every right-thinking Englishman. An entire British army, complete with a full complement of memsahibs, perished lock, stock and honour on the road from Kabul to Peshawar during the First Afghan War. One man was allowed to escape, triggering the Second Afghan War.
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Mick Harper
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The Taliban may wish to check this out

Unintended Consequences: The Impact on Women of Twelfth-Century Educational Changes in Europe
Patricia Rosof 2021, Academia Letters
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Wile E. Coyote


In: Arizona
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Historic scenes as the Chinooks leave and flags lowered.
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Wile E. Coyote


In: Arizona
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Looks like Taliban have simply walked in unopposed. They got in so quickly, we didn't even have time to recall our parliament to discuss how well the government and armed forces were managing the tactical withdrawal. They reached Kabul before MPs could return to London. The foreign secretary was on holiday.

We have missed the critical moment that this was turning into a rout.

The web explanation is that the Taliban simply paid off the defenders of the cities.
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Mick Harper
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The web explanation is that the Taliban simply paid off the defenders of the cities.

This is important in AE. Upholders of orthodoxy are always puzzled when dissenters have any degree of success. We originally gave it the name "Rioters are from elsewhere syndrome" because this is always advanced as the explanation for why the locals are dissenting from orthodoxy. They've been got at. Though we should also point out that the counter-orthodoxy is just as quick to say "They are rioting because the prevailing orthodoxy, i.e. the government, left them no option". AE-ists tend to say, "They are opportunist scumbags. And so are the rioters."

According to AE, the guilty parties this time are, with one exception
a) the world community
b) the Afghan government
c) the media
d) external critics of any of the above
e) some bloke paid to open the gates of Kabul. "I can do you a party rate but if anyone asks, you're unwaged."
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Grant



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If you are a member of the Afghan army you know, better than anyone, that the only reason you hold the country is because of US support. As soon as that support is withdrawn the only logical response is to give up.

The really scary thing is that the “experts” in the Pentagon couldn’t see this.
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Mick Harper
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To be fair to the '"experts" in the Pentagon' nor did anybody else.
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Grant



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I did.

The reality of Afghanistan is that the Taliban represent the Pashtun population making up half the country. Those who helped us were non-Pashtun chancers who followed the money. Once the money flow was turned off and the Pashtuns were marching on Kabul why would anyone fight for the losing side any more?

Why did the Pentagon think differently? Well, if I had spunked a trillion dollars building up the Afghan army and someone asked me whether it would fight, I would lie as well.
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Grant



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The revelation here is Joe Biden.

As a Trump supporter I have to say, well done Joe, you senile old fool. Twenty years spent pretending we can help the Afghans turn into a democracy was ridiculous.

No doubt the Pentagon were telling him that a few more hundreds of billions would prevent disaster but he decided that disaster was a small price to pay to get out of that dusty hell-hole.
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Wile E. Coyote


In: Arizona
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Yes it seems that Biden was given the facts by the generals, 2500 troops and air cover to support a stalemate or pull out and face the consequences. He opted for the latter.

The problem is going to be that Joe Average won't forgive Joe Biden, if they can't get out the 5,000-10,000 (that means they have no exact idea of the numbers, it's been put as high as 40,000 by political opponents) Americans stranded in Kabul, who are now hemmed in by Taliban checkpoints in Kabul. The military are resending in troops to guard the military side of the airport, but it's now down to the Taliban to decide if they will let the Americans pass. The Taliban are giving the Americans two weeks to leave. The Americans are telling their citizens to "shelter", ie don't approach the airport at this time, and wait to be emailed.

The current plan is to send in troops, disembark, then refill with civilian and take off. The civilian side of the airport is controlled by the Taliban.

I don't see any hope of getting out the Afghans who helped the US and British, they won't get through the checkpoints.
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Hatty
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Grant wrote:
if I had spunked a trillion dollars building up the Afghan army and someone asked me whether it would fight, I would lie as well.

The Afghan National Army sounds like a phantom army. The 300,000 figure has reportedly turned out to be 50,000. To no-one's surprise.
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Wile E. Coyote


In: Arizona
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Hatty wrote:
The Afghan National Army sounds like a phantom army. The 300,000 figure has reportedly turned out to be 50,000. To no-one's surprise.

I have seen all sort of figures. The point is, did they have the numbers of well trained men, the logistics, air cover, morale etc to put up a fight. The Afghan army had in fact being doing most of the fighting recently, there were only 2500 American troops supporting them in the last year. The Americans it is claimed did not have a single causality during this period. If it was 300,000 then arguably that was way too large, as you have a lot of not very well trained, motivated soldiers who will switch when the going get tough. Better to have 50,000 super warriors. Maybe they tried to build too large a force?
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Mick Harper
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A bit of horses thundering after the cart here. You are quite right, Grant, about the Taliban being a Greater Pushtun Army but even the Americans managed to spot this and used the Northern Alliance (Tajiks, Uzbeks and whatnot) to get rid of Taliban Mark One with no great difficulty. Then installing anti-Taliban but still Pushtun governments (of sorts). But now the problem was (part-Pushtun) Pakistan.

When the threat came from the north (Russia) the northern minorities were in play and Pakistan could fish in Afghan waters to its heart's content. Once the Russians were gone a genuinely independent Pushtun Afghanistan could fish in their waters. Hence Pakistan's covert support of Taliban Mark One. But then came 9/11, the Americans blundering in and insisting on a western-clone Afghanistan. (Just as the Russians had been insisting on a Soviet-clone Afghanistan before them.) That united everyone against Kabul, Pakistan could happily resume its covert support of Taliban Mark II, and the rest will be history.

However, American policy was rational enough. Nobody could predict that twenty years of Western largesse would have nil effect. And it wasn't Biden that ended the policy, Grant, it was Trump. What Biden would have done is a "What would Bobby Kennedy have done re Vietnam" type of question.
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