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Afghanistan - then and now

Stilly River Sage 17 Aug 21 - 09:40 AM
Charmion 17 Aug 21 - 11:02 AM
meself 17 Aug 21 - 11:54 AM
Backwoodsman 17 Aug 21 - 12:15 PM
Donuel 17 Aug 21 - 06:18 PM
Malcolm Storey 17 Aug 21 - 07:08 PM
Bill D 17 Aug 21 - 07:56 PM
Rapparee 17 Aug 21 - 09:34 PM
Donuel 18 Aug 21 - 08:57 AM
Charmion 18 Aug 21 - 09:39 AM
Steve Shaw 18 Aug 21 - 10:00 AM
Charmion 18 Aug 21 - 11:45 AM
Donuel 18 Aug 21 - 12:16 PM
Stilly River Sage 18 Aug 21 - 12:37 PM
Donuel 18 Aug 21 - 03:30 PM
Charmion 18 Aug 21 - 08:14 PM
Bonzo3legs 19 Aug 21 - 02:27 AM
Donuel 19 Aug 21 - 08:12 AM
Donuel 19 Aug 21 - 08:40 AM
Stilly River Sage 19 Aug 21 - 09:54 AM
Donuel 19 Aug 21 - 10:37 AM
Charmion 19 Aug 21 - 11:26 AM
Donuel 19 Aug 21 - 01:43 PM
meself 19 Aug 21 - 02:37 PM
Bonzo3legs 19 Aug 21 - 03:19 PM
Stilly River Sage 19 Aug 21 - 03:34 PM
Charmion 19 Aug 21 - 04:53 PM
robomatic 19 Aug 21 - 07:16 PM
Donuel 19 Aug 21 - 08:02 PM
Charmion 19 Aug 21 - 08:18 PM
Charmion's brother Andrew 19 Aug 21 - 08:27 PM
Donuel 19 Aug 21 - 08:28 PM
Donuel 19 Aug 21 - 09:21 PM
robomatic 20 Aug 21 - 01:20 AM
Rain Dog 20 Aug 21 - 03:13 AM
Bonzo3legs 20 Aug 21 - 05:19 AM
Backwoodsman 20 Aug 21 - 05:24 AM
Backwoodsman 20 Aug 21 - 05:28 AM
Bonzo3legs 20 Aug 21 - 06:34 AM
Donuel 20 Aug 21 - 07:19 AM
Stilly River Sage 20 Aug 21 - 11:03 AM
Bonzo3legs 20 Aug 21 - 11:53 AM
Backwoodsman 20 Aug 21 - 11:56 AM
Backwoodsman 20 Aug 21 - 12:02 PM
Bonzo3legs 20 Aug 21 - 12:10 PM
Stilly River Sage 20 Aug 21 - 12:23 PM
Bill D 20 Aug 21 - 12:37 PM
Bill D 20 Aug 21 - 12:40 PM
Donuel 20 Aug 21 - 04:09 PM
Bonzo3legs 20 Aug 21 - 04:51 PM
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Subject: Afghanistan - then and now
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 17 Aug 21 - 09:40 AM

Back in 2010 the newest iteration of Sherlock Holmes appeared on TV, this time with Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock, and the more robust representation of Dr. John Watson, the army doctor wounded in Afghanistan, played by Martin Freeman.

What was so remarkable about that? This modern-era Watson was impacted by Afghanistan just as the ORIGINAL Dr. Watson, in Victorian times, was an injured veteran of an Afghan campaign.

Afghanistan is complicated and isn't about to be sorted out by Western nations.

I'm seeing a lot of commentary about the departure of US troops from Afghanistan this week, but if anyone has been paying attention to history, this was always the way it was going to end. It just took a long time for someone to acknowledge that and just get the hell out.

Nearly 20 years ago the Washington Post ran a perspective piece about Afghanistan:
Afghanistan's Rugged Land and People Carved by History


The probable battleground for our current war has, for most of human history, been the turbulent crossroads of Central Asia: a place where man's noblest instincts and achievements have warred with his lust to rule by terror. Osama bin Laden is only the latest prophet of violence to make it his base.

Whole civilizations rose and died in Afghanistan 2,000 years before Christ. Alexander the Great founded Kandahar, its second-largest city, which still bears his name. Uzbeks and Persians have braved its mountain passes with dreams of conquest. Tajiks and Greeks have shivered in its avalanches and sheltered in its caves.

On the southwestern border with Iran, toward the minarets of Zabol and Isfahan, stretch the ruins of an immense and ancient city no one can name. They lie at the edge of the Desert of Death.


The topic is bound to come up, so I'm giving it a broad base for discussion. There is no point in just discussing the Trump v Biden part of it or the "why didn't Obama pull out once they killed Bin Laden" or even "what in hell was George W. Bush thinking?"

The UK couldn't do it, Russia couldn't do it, and the US couldn't do it. My heart breaks for those citizens stuck with the power structure as it is now, but short of giving them an avenue out of that mess, there isn't a lot that can be done. China shares a short part of border with Afghanistan; perhaps they will next enter the fray.

Let the hand-wringing commence.


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Subject: RE: Afghanistan - then and now
From: Charmion
Date: 17 Aug 21 - 11:02 AM

When Edmund went to Afghanistan in 2008, not a good year for ISAF or its parallel US formations, he was deployed with an American outfit called the Combined Security Transition Command - Afghanistan (CSTC-A , pronounced "See Stick-a"). CSTC-A was supposed to "build capacity" in the Afghan state and security forces and, in Edmund's case, that meant convincing the Afghans to adopt the Western European and North American rule-of-law ideal and apply it to war.

He knew that his mission was futile from the get-go, and said as much but only to me. He liked and admired many people he met there, Afghans and Americans alike, but could not imagine any circumstance in which the Americans had a prayer of making so much as a dent in Afghan culture. When he came back to Canada, he put the Afghan experience firmly behind him and returned to defending soldiers at court martial and advising assisting officers as quickly he could.

I never saw Canada's participation in the war in Afghanistan as anything but part of the protective multinational cover applied to US operations. Like the European nations in ISAF (the Netherlands, Germany, Romania, Poland et al.), we were there to help make the US occupation look like an effort of the "community of nations". Well, NATO nations, plus like-minded allies such as Australia. Eventually, frustrated by the hassle of deferring to allies with differing objectives and agendas, the Americans took over ISAF. The Netherlands and Canada were early leavers; by the end, I think only the British and a few other nations were left of the once-mighty multinational gaggle.

Having made what we hoped was a good showing, we cut our losses and bugged out in 2014. The Dutch were out by 2012.

Sitting at my perch in Canadian Expeditionary Force Command Headquarters in Ottawa, I saw the mission re-formulated and narrowed year by year as waves of jargon came and went. Ink-blot theory, COIN, counter-IED, sustainment. In the end, we polished off a 20-km stretch of road in Panjwaii District and handed over our remaining small segment of Kandahar Province to the Americans and moved to Kabul for two years of trying to train the Afghan National Army. When that was done, we left.

Edmund and I were both brought up on Kipling and the history of the British Empire, and I vividly remember how we reacted to the first moves of the U.S. intervention in 2001. "What can possibly go wrong?" we said. "Just about everything," we said. "This will end in tears."

There's plenty of good history and analysis of the so-called "global war on terror" (promptly reduced to the acronym GWOT), and the stuff that's any good starts and consistently circles back to the aspirations and activities of Pakistan, the rampaging elephant in the room that the US never even tried to confront. Now we'll see how the Pakistani security and intelligence services manipulate the Taliban (that's a plural, people) as they try to govern Afghanistan, and how long it will take before China and, possibly, Russia decide that they can't stand the instability any more.


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Subject: RE: Afghanistan - then and now
From: meself
Date: 17 Aug 21 - 11:54 AM

Thanks for that outline from the inside, Charmion.

**********

"if anyone has been paying attention to history" .... Many people have - not the right ones, though.

We're being told over and over how astonished the world is at how quickly the Taliban has taken over .... Hands up if you're astonished .....


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Subject: RE: Afghanistan - then and now
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 17 Aug 21 - 12:15 PM

One thing you can be certain of is that, no matter their protestations, nobody, but NOBODY, at government or diplomatic service levels, is ‘astonished’ or even ‘mildly surprised’ that the Taliban came back toute de suite. The second it was announced that Trump’s poodle, Pompeo, had signed the agreement with the Taliban for US troops to withdraw by April 2021, Mrs Backwoodsperson and I looked at each other and said, “Here come the Taliban!”.

If Proles like us suspected it was going to happen, and quickly, you can damn well bet your boots on it that those in control knew for sure.

Time will reveal what the real plan has been all along.


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Subject: RE: Afghanistan - then and now
From: Donuel
Date: 17 Aug 21 - 06:18 PM

Afghans had all the time. We had the clocks & watches that ran down.


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Subject: RE: Afghanistan - then and now
From: Malcolm Storey
Date: 17 Aug 21 - 07:08 PM

Amazing that no one ever learns from history - especially politicians.
Who is going to write this particular history - perhaps the losers again - because "it sure as hell" wasn't their fault. Not much!


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Subject: RE: Afghanistan - then and now
From: Bill D
Date: 17 Aug 21 - 07:56 PM

Malcolm Nance said in an interview last night that (paraphrased)
**the problem is that those in the responsible positions in the U.S. simply do NOT understand Afghan culture, which is dominated by a very narrow set of religious views.**

   They had hundreds of years of doing things in certain ways, and we had some idea that in 10, 15, 20 years we were going to change that?


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Subject: RE: Afghanistan - then and now
From: Rapparee
Date: 17 Aug 21 - 09:34 PM

Yeah. And a lot of US veterans are VERY annoyed* that what they worked for and died for fell in a blitzkrieg. Billions of dollars and a huge number of lives lost (Allied and Afghan) to try to prove that what Russia and Great Britain tried to do could be done. I thought that when it began in 2001 and never saw anything to change my mind.


*I was at the local VA Clinic today (getting hearing aids repaired, not getting me repaired) and while waiting heard a young female veteran excoriating every US administration from 2001 to the present. Then she started to weep over friends she lost there -- the psychology people came and took her into their area of the clinic. Her command of rhetoric was quite impressive!


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Subject: RE: Afghanistan - then and now
From: Donuel
Date: 18 Aug 21 - 08:57 AM

It was an initial reactionary attempt at petulant political revenge that almost worked but after its Bora Bora failure, policy took a back seat while continued ignorance drove over endless IED's.
Where are you taking me? Leggo my arm. Can we talk about this?


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Subject: RE: Afghanistan - then and now
From: Charmion
Date: 18 Aug 21 - 09:39 AM

Tora Bora, Donuel.

Spelling matters.


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Subject: RE: BS: Trump Actions and Effects
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 18 Aug 21 - 10:00 AM

Instead of shooting off in all directions, do what I did before I posted that post and google "Americans' knowledge of history."


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Subject: RE: Afghanistan - then and now
From: Charmion
Date: 18 Aug 21 - 11:45 AM

It wasn't ignorance driving over all those IEDs for years and years; it was a military version of the casino delusion: If I don't bet, I can't win.

American foreign policy has a bone-deep contradiction baked right in; the US is a republic and refuses to be an empire, so it does not occupy a country when it sends in a massive army and takes control of it. Instead, it's "nation-building" -- identifying a cooperative power-broker (e.g., Hamid Karzai) and forcefully aligning the people, resources and institutions of the country to, first, put that individual and his (always his) faction in power, and then keep them there as long as they cooperate with the American program.

Because of that original foreign policy contradiction, an American occupation is supposed to end with an orderly withdrawal with the natives waving bye-bye and everyone friends, like Germany in the middle '50s (except the US forces are still in Germany ...). Trouble is, the enemy has a vote, much clearer objectives, and no concern for the voters back home.

Those old enough to remember Vietnam will recognize the pattern.

Allies like Canada, Britain, Australia, Germany and so many others are roped in to make the US occupation look like a world-wide drive to set the target country straight, but the illusion holds up only as long as no one looks too closely.

I hope I live long enough to read some good historical analysis of the last 20 years.


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Subject: RE: Afghanistan - then and now
From: Donuel
Date: 18 Aug 21 - 12:16 PM

The casino delusion is driven by a fallacy that winning is enevitable. The Sunk Cost Dilemma is a formal economic term that describes the emotional difficulty of deciding whether to proceed with or abandon a project when time and money have already been spent, but the desired results have not been achieved. The Sunk Cost Dilemma is also called the Concorde Fallacy. I would call it the Trump fallacy.


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Subject: RE: Afghanistan - then and now
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 18 Aug 21 - 12:37 PM

I was going to transfer this over from the Trump Actions thread, but the system isn't letting me, so it is simply duplicated here.

Here is the "Peace agreement" Trump and Pompeo worked out in Feb. 2020.

Summing up by Paul Nuki on Twitter:

1/5 Have you read the deal agreed between the US and the Taliban?

It explains why the Taliban now rule Afghanistan again; the US just surrendered it, even promising financial support.

A quick thread follows but 1st a pic of Big Mike Pompeo doing the deal in Doha in Feb 2020...


2/ The deal itself was simple: The Taliban promised (on the lives of their mums, daughters etc) not to hurt the US or its allies again. In return, they got the following five things:

i/ A complete withdrawal of all US and allied troops under an agreed time line. Nice...


ii/ The immediate release of thousands of Taliban prisoners - you, know the ones guilty of terrorism, stoning women, blowing up US/UK troops, that sort of thing...

iii/ Dropping all sanctions/bounties on the Taliban by a week this Friday so they can get on with building their new caliphate unhindered. Great .. .

iv/ A firm promise not to threaten the Taliban ever again or interfere in the running of their new caliphate. Super ...

v/ Being friends with the Taliban in future and helping them build their new Islamic state via "economic cooperation". A new US/Afghani narco hub perhaps?? Smashing...

3/ If you think my take on this a bit one sided, I urge you to read the agreement for yourself.

It's basically Versailles, as drafted by the Taliban.

Here it is in full. It takes just 5 mins to read: https://2017-2021.state.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Signed-Agreement-02292020.pdf

4/ One last thought - was Big Mike under duress when he agreed it; was he threatened with torture, death or similar in order to sign away 20 years of blood and toil?

Not judging by the pictures from the event. He just seemed his normal plump, jovial self...


5/ And what of the Taliban; how did they seem at the signing ceremony in Doha last year?

Well, as usual, they appeared to be hanging tough. But having played an absolute blinder, they were almost certainly crying with laughter on the inside.


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Subject: RE: Afghanistan - then and now
From: Donuel
Date: 18 Aug 21 - 03:30 PM

Did Biden betray our veterans and ally Afghans? No and yes.
As I recall both Bushs betrayed the Kurds in Iraq.


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Subject: RE: Afghanistan - then and now
From: Charmion
Date: 18 Aug 21 - 08:14 PM

Soldiers aren’t owed a victory, Donuel, so President Biden did not “betray” the veterans of Afghanistan. As citizens, however, the veterans have a right to resent the nation-state that exposed them to so much danger and unpleasantness in a futile and often meretricious cause, and flat-out wasted their precious time.

And yes, your memory is spot on: both Presidents Bush f***ed over the Kurds and didn’t even kiss them first.


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Subject: RE: Afghanistan - then and now
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 19 Aug 21 - 02:27 AM

Biden has proved himself to be a total wanker.


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Subject: RE: Afghanistan - then and now
From: Donuel
Date: 19 Aug 21 - 08:12 AM

A great President ideally should have an omnicient understanding of all processes and contingencies involved in each possible outcome of policies involved. Then implement the best policy that maximizes the most benefits and minimizes the risks. This leaves the posssibility that the best choice will still leave one open to criticism that the President is a total wanker. A more temperate opinion might be 'Biden is a partial wanker'.

On the other side of the equation is WHO are the ones critisizing?
The people alive now that come from America and elsewhere are the middle classes that came form the parents and children of those who were victorious in WWII. The middle class who were armed with a GI bill and were less hungry than those in the depression. Their rage comes from cultural insecurity, tribal party alliances, obcessions with ethnicty and identity, blunted with ambition and a childlike understanding of the process and limits of government. It is easier to share a hatred than a love among political strangers. It is easy to believe/understand an emotional dynamic lie than a subtle truth.

Many of us a have what we want but are still unhappy we don't have more. They cry and wallow in victimhood and greivence and tribalism.
Then they refuse a simple vaccine because the great orange Cheeto had a another idea.


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Subject: RE: Afghanistan - then and now
From: Donuel
Date: 19 Aug 21 - 08:40 AM

Cultural isolationism is a danger.
We gradually grew up in an ever more isolated culture. Physically houses lost their porches, they later grew decks hidden in back.
TV let you stay home lonely and not go to the movies. You can go on your phone and even play poker alone. Mudcatters are an anachronism to a less lonely time, singing and playing together. People who can't sing go to a Q'Anon event or Trump rally and they don't feel alone anymore. Their thirst is quenched but by drinking in a venomous cult and not a fun song.
Eyes are reopening and we are trying to be less isolated but in a pandemic it is tough and facebook is often toxic. So what is possible now? Do we fly all the girls and women out of Afghanistan?
Some things are more possible than others. We have to be realistic.
I hope I am guilty of being too obvious rather than just being preachy without a religion.


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Subject: RE: Afghanistan - then and now
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 19 Aug 21 - 09:54 AM

Rachel Maddow does a very good look back at who profited from all of the money poured into Afghanistan. For the most part it wasn't the Afghan people, it was a few well-connected profiteers.


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Subject: RE: Afghanistan - then and now
From: Donuel
Date: 19 Aug 21 - 10:37 AM

War is always a racket. Sometimes I grow weary of another sterile global political analysis. Sure the neo cons chose the wars they could sell and earn fortunes. When will we stop buying?

I should classify war and its euphemisms as all the same war.
imo it is not just politics by other means, it is cruelty by another legalized name to create wealth.
War against war makers
False flag wars
Corporate wars
Police action
religious war
territory war
and the ironic,
humanitarian war


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Subject: RE: Afghanistan - then and now
From: Charmion
Date: 19 Aug 21 - 11:26 AM

On social media, I have many friends who are military veterans and some who are still serving. I am more than a little sad to see some of them writing about how the Canadian combat mission "improved" life for -- as one put it -- "an entire generation of Afghans." Then, inevitably, there's a statement about girls going to school.

Y'know, that's not what armies are for.

The military profession is a tragic one because it is inherently wasteful and its core business is destruction. The fact that training for war can make good people better just makes it worse. The view of military service in the so-called Western world was severely warped by the Second World War and its crusade against Fascism in general and Hitler's version of it in particular; we won, and that victory halted a great evil. That success blinded us to the great evils we perpetrated ourselves to accomplish it, and the fates of many innocents who perished or were permanently scarred along the way. The end justified the means -- stopping the Holocaust justified the fire-bombing of Dresden, etc. etc. etc. Look back a century further and note the same logic around the American Civil War: the abolition of slavery justified slaughter on a scale grander than anything seen since the 30 Years' War in the 17th century.

Canadians are very romantic about military service, largely because they know almost nothing about it. "Peacekeeping" is a big part of our national myth, and it's a crock of lies; it works only when all parties to a conflict are ready and willing to quit fighting, and no patron powers are stirring the ashes. Of the UN missions under way now, UNFICYP in Cyprus is a good example: in 1974, after nine years of peacekeeping, EOKA was a spent force and the newly independent island was beginning to confront its ethnically defined inequities, when Turkey gingered up its diaspora on the north side of the island and actually invaded in support of a breakaway statelet. Cue the pocket war, and UNFICYP is still there.

When we first accepted a gig with ISAF, it was 2003 and we were going to Kabul to keep the peace while the Afghans organized their new government and conducted their first national elections. It was a very bumpy ride, and a clear-eyed after-action analysis in 2005 would have resulted in a withdrawal instead of doubling down with a move to Kandahar to fight the Taliban as part of a combined formation made up of troops from Britain and the Netherlands as well as us. (At that time, the US was running its own show, Operation Enduring Freedom, and was not part of ISAF -- although everything ISAF did had to be tailored to US intentions.)

The war in Kandahar shifted quickly from forces in the field to counter-insurgency, and the highly professional regular armies of ISAF had neither the skills nor the experience for it. The ruthless British imperial armies of the early to mid-20th centuries probably could have put it down -- for a while -- but the post-Cold War forces of NATO were still designed to fight the Soviet horde thundering through the Fulda Gap. So it did not go well.

Alas, the Canadian public still has no clue. When the nice kid who mows my lawn realized that Edmund and I were ex-military, she reflexively said, "Thank you for your service"; she had no idea that joining the Canadian Forces was a career move, not an act of sacrifice, for people like us. In lovely, leafy Stratford, where the military footprint is limited to an Army Reserve unit of about 100 part-time soldiers parading on Thursday nights at our handsome Edwardian armoury, cars with Veteran licence plates park for free because, first, romance, and also because there are so few of us.


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Subject: RE: Afghanistan - then and now
From: Donuel
Date: 19 Aug 21 - 01:43 PM

I would buy a history book written by Charmion.


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Subject: RE: Afghanistan - then and now
From: meself
Date: 19 Aug 21 - 02:37 PM

Yup. Everything she writes on here is well worth the read. Thanks again, Charmion! [The automatic "Thank you for your service" is just another of the more recent Americanisms that's creeped into Canada - at least "Support Our Troops" was original (I think), whatever exactly it was supposed to mean.]


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Subject: RE: Afghanistan - then and now
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 19 Aug 21 - 03:19 PM

Tom Tugendhat sums it up well in House of Commons!!!


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Subject: RE: Afghanistan - then and now
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 19 Aug 21 - 03:34 PM

I agree about Charmion's explanation of the history and military - but I think we also have a bit of a ringer here - didn't you copyedit a book on the subject a couple of years ago?


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Subject: RE: Afghanistan - then and now
From: Charmion
Date: 19 Aug 21 - 04:53 PM

Guilty as charged, Stilly.

And I lived through the whole thing as a worker bee in National Defence Headquarters and Canadian Expeditionary Force Command Headquarters.

I wrote and rewrote the official Canadian government website pages on our military operations in Afghanistan several times a year from 2001 to 2013. At the same time, I wrote and revised all the stuff we published about all our other foreign deployments. So I have had a good long time to make up my mind.


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Subject: RE: Afghanistan - then and now
From: robomatic
Date: 19 Aug 21 - 07:16 PM

Fresh Air this day was devoted to an interview with Steve Call of The New Yorker well worth the listen and I believe a transcript is available at the Fresh Air site.


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Subject: RE: Afghanistan - then and now
From: Donuel
Date: 19 Aug 21 - 08:02 PM

Archeology

In Time
the dust of history
will become stone.
As events grow worse
every breath
feels like the curse.
In Time
mistakes are understood
and made again,
until forgotten
like digital text
in a city of stone.

Forbidden and hidden again


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Subject: RE: Afghanistan - then and now
From: Charmion
Date: 19 Aug 21 - 08:18 PM

That’s Steve Coll, author of “Ghost Wars”, “Directorate S” and a book about the Bin Laden family. Essential reading.


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Subject: RE: Afghanistan - then and now
From: Charmion's brother Andrew
Date: 19 Aug 21 - 08:27 PM

I made the same career move as Charmion, to which our father reacted, "Oh, no, not another one?"

I filled Charmion in on UNFICYP when I was posted to Kingston for a French language course just four months after my return the said mission. I pointed out that the reason it was working at the time was because the U.S. Sixth Fleet was just over the horizon to smack whoever got too uppity. Canada was happy to take on such peacekeeping roles that the U.S administrations knew they could not sell to their public.

Before I got too old and crusty, I had figured out that the role of the military is to operate the state's monopoly on violence or the threat of violence to meet state ends. I was still, however, enough of an adventurer that I would volunteer for missions.


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Subject: RE: Afghanistan - then and now
From: Donuel
Date: 19 Aug 21 - 08:28 PM

Robo your npr link is truely a summation and not just an angry died in vain wake up call.


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Subject: RE: Afghanistan - then and now
From: Donuel
Date: 19 Aug 21 - 09:21 PM

Here is the ULTIMATE summation https://www.sigar.mil/interactive-reports/what-we-need-to-learn/index.html


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Subject: RE: Afghanistan - then and now
From: robomatic
Date: 20 Aug 21 - 01:20 AM

Reminds me of the quote about doctors:

“Surgeons know nothing but do everything. Internists know everything but do nothing. Pathologists know everything and do everything but too late.”


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Subject: RE: Afghanistan - then and now
From: Rain Dog
Date: 20 Aug 21 - 03:13 AM

Interesting posts Charmion.

"Thank you for your service."

Sometimes we are just grateful that somebody is willing to do a job that a lot of us would not like to do.

In times past, when we had conscription and/or asked for volunteers, it was not a career choice for the majority of those who risked their lives.


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Subject: RE: Afghanistan - then and now
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 20 Aug 21 - 05:19 AM

Biden knows nothing but does the worst. No way should usa have pulled out.


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Subject: RE: Afghanistan - then and now
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 20 Aug 21 - 05:24 AM

The Doha agreement was signed by Pompeo under Trump’s presidency and the date for full withdrawal was set at 31/5/21.


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Subject: RE: Afghanistan - then and now
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 20 Aug 21 - 05:28 AM

I agree that neither the US nor the UK should have pulled out, but the agreement for withdrawal that set the ball rolling was completely Trump’s doing.


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Subject: RE: Afghanistan - then and now
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 20 Aug 21 - 06:34 AM

So sad!


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Subject: RE: Afghanistan - then and now
From: Donuel
Date: 20 Aug 21 - 07:19 AM

America has done this in Viet Nam, Iraq, Afghanistan and will do it again so there are things we need to learn to do it better


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Subject: RE: Afghanistan - then and now
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 20 Aug 21 - 11:03 AM

Bonzo and Backwoodsman, so you'd have the US continue to support the status quo of the few oligarchs who got rich and richer with all of the cash poured into Afghanistan? It had to end. Intelligence seems to have failed, there are now reports and interviews from various high-ranking folks who should have known, who have said the information didn't come to warn how fast the Taliban was moving (because Trump positioned them to buy the cooperation of many regions and towns starting in early 2020. Bribes happened and lots of cooperation was purchased. This was apparently a low-key operation. And Trump released 5000 or so Taliban staff from prison to do the job.)

I think you're missing the point of just what has been going on there since George W. Bush started this absurd project 20 years ago. The question now is did Trump manage to enrich himself in this process. We're going to need to impeach his ass again.


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Subject: RE: Afghanistan - then and now
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 20 Aug 21 - 11:53 AM

Don't agree, I don't care who gets rich. This Russian rifled ragtag raghead prick waving rabble should never have been allowed to take over Afghanistan.

More words of wisdom from Rory Stewart


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Subject: RE: Afghanistan - then and now
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 20 Aug 21 - 11:56 AM

SRS, I don’t give a FF about a ‘few oligarchs’ - I’d put the lives of millions of ordinary Afghanis, none of whom bear the slightest iota of responsibility for anything that’s gone on there, above everything else. The US has a military presence in many countries, some dating back 60 or 70 years - e.g. there are still 54,000 personnel in Japan, 35,000 in Germany, the US presence has existed in those countries for 76 years, yet they present no threat to the US, nor to their own populations. Why is there no clamour for ‘withdrawal’ from those countries, yet it was apparently essential to desert the people of Afghanistan with indecent haste and no viable plan, and leave them to their fate?

And I’m not ‘missing the point’ at all. I’m very much aware of what’s gone on, and I couldn’t agree with you more that GWB’s project was absurd. But start it he did, in the US’s name (and others of course) and, having committed the US and it’s allies to occupation, it’s only right that they should remain there to protect ordinary Afghanis until a viable exit plan was worked out. And the Doha Agreement wasn’t a viable exit plan.

And BTW, I include the UK, as the US’s major ally, in the above - our hands are just as dirty as yours.


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Subject: RE: Afghanistan - then and now
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 20 Aug 21 - 12:02 PM

Thanks for that link, Bonz - a good summation. For anyone who is unaware of Rory Stewart’s credentials…

Rory Stewart.


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Subject: RE: Afghanistan - then and now
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 20 Aug 21 - 12:10 PM

Absolutely right Backwoodsman, and how many usaian troops have been stationed in South Korea for the past 70 years?????????????????????

I would also say that Hilary Benn's Syria speech during debate on military action in Syria still holds relevance


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Subject: RE: Afghanistan - then and now
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 20 Aug 21 - 12:23 PM

The UK is welcome to send those support military personnel. Trump mangled any strategic and efficient exit plans, but it was time. Trump was trying to pull support out of several other places; consider it fortunate that this is the only one he managed to pull off. I'll point you to historian Heather Cox Richardson for a comprehensive view of the Afghan situation.


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Subject: RE: Afghanistan - then and now
From: Bill D
Date: 20 Aug 21 - 12:37 PM

If you can access this, it clarifies a lot of what went on the last 20 years...

Maddow interviews John Sopko
Or just google him.


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Subject: RE: Afghanistan - then and now
From: Bill D
Date: 20 Aug 21 - 12:40 PM

It may not show here.. it did on Facebook


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Subject: RE: Afghanistan - then and now
From: Donuel
Date: 20 Aug 21 - 04:09 PM

My last link shows everything John Sopko learned Bill.

There is plenty of blame to go around and it is sad SO FAR.
To blame one person is child like.


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Subject: RE: Afghanistan - then and now
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 20 Aug 21 - 04:51 PM

No it's not just one person, it's the usaian government which has let the whole world down.


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