07/10/21

The Taliban Will Control Afghanistan in Six Months

It is tempting to blame President Joe Biden for pulling US troops out of Afghanistan, characterizing him and his ilk as being soft on defense (which they are), but that would be inaccurate and unfair.

The decision to finally and pragmatically pull the plug on A’stan was made by the Trump admin. He ran for President promising to get the US out of Afghanistan categorizing the war as already lost.

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08/20/20

Accountability For Failure — Afghanistan

In the running of any enterprise, you will encounter some triumphs and some disasters.

If you remember your schoolboy Kipling, you will know that the right path is to “treat those two impostors just the same.”

That is well and good, but it is also critical to assess what went wrong, why, and how to avoid it in the future.

Which, dear reader, brings me to the subject of Afghanistan and America’s two decades unending war in a far away place called the Graveyard of Empires.

How did Afghanistan get so fucked up?

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02/29/20

Afghanistan — Peace? Not A Chance In Hell

You may have noticed that the United States signed a “treaty” with the Taliban pertinent to Afghanistan that will lead to the end of hostilities between the US and the Taliban.

The Taliban negotiating team including one man who was a Gitmo detainee who we released. These guys outsmarted our generals and out waited our Presidents.

The US has been at war with the the Taliban for 18 years making this the longest war in US history.

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09/7/19

Afghanistan — No Peace, No Honor

The Trump admin is about to cut and run from Afghanistan. Worse, it is the right move. We are tired of Afghanistan, and it is not (never was) a strategic threat to the United States.

Stop right there — is that the right policy for the United States?

There are some who say it is given the current world situation and the lack of an American strategic interest in Afghanistan. Your Big Red Car agrees.

Some background as to how we were seduced into America’s longest war in its history.

 1. President Bush accused Osama bin Laden of masterminding the 9-11 attack (11 September 2001) on the World Trade Center twin towers.

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03/19/19

United States – Taliban Negotiations

The United States has been engaged in a war in Afghanistan since 7 October 2001 on the heels of 9-11, the attack on the World Trade Towers in Manhattan.

The US justified its invasion because the Twin Towers raiders, under the direction of Osama bin Laden, had trained their terrorists in Afghanistan. In addition, the Taliban refused to extradite OBL to the United States when we charged him with masterminding the 9-11 attacks. He was then living in Afghanistan.

We have been continuously at war during Operation Enduring Freedom – Afghanistan (2001-2014) and Operation Freedom’s Sentinel (2015-present). This has spanned the presidencies of George W Bush, Barack H Obama, and Donald J Trump.

George W Bush started it. Barack H Obama sustained it — sometime, reluctantly. Donald J Trump is trying to end it even if it means taking a huge blow to American prestige.

Initially a US operation  (joined by the United Kindgom), the war became a NATO operation in 2003. Almost immediately, the US defeated the Taliban and their Al-Qaeda hosts using a coalition of Afghan warlords that became known as the Northern Alliance. The US provided leadership, Special Forces, and firepower in the form of artillery and air support.

In 2004, the Afghan people held an election which resulted in Hamid Karzai being anointed as President. Afghanistan was and is a narco-corrupt country.

The Taliban and other affiliated groups, operating from rebel strongholds and Pakistan, engaged in fierce guerrilla warfare that motivated the NATO allies to send as many as 140,000 troops (100,000 American included). This insurgency continued unabated with a crescendo in 2009. In 2009, clearly the Allies were winning, but hadn’t yet delivered a knock out punch. Pakistan was sheltering the Taliban during the winters, something that should never have been tolerated.

Then, the United States (President Obama) announced that its military commitment would end in December 2014 though it would maintain some military presence thereafter. [I consider this announcement to have been one of the worst public utterances by any warring nation in the history of warfare. The US, in effect, told the Taliban, “Uhhh, we are going home in December 2014,” to which the Taliban said to themselves, “What say you we spend the time between now and December 2014 in the south of France working on our tans?”]

In 2009, during the Obama administration, the US sent out the first peace feelers indicating the US would consider a negotiated settlement. Here is a pic of a loya jirga, the local deliberative body of tribal Afghanistan.

Image result for images loya jirga

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12/24/18

Generals v Politicians

Big Red Car here on a sunny Christmas Eve awaiting Christmas and the Prince of Peace which brings me to the subject of generals, politicians, and wars.

As a soldier (combat engineer officer), I spent a lot of time around generals. As a class of the species, they represent the top 0.1% of any year group of officers. The road to the top is a meritocracy and a very tough one. [Sure, there are some political generals, but as a general assessment they are the best of the best — if they remember to stay in their lane.]

Generals are at the top of their profession which is to wage war against the enemies of the United States and WIN.

Trump: Mattis out as of Jan. 1; deputy to be acting chief

Resigned Secretary of Defense James N Mattis, former USMC General.

The part about winning is an essential element in the General business.

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