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Afghanistan question - no partisan politics


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11 minutes ago, Rosie_0801 said:

Same as Amira said yesterday. Nobody wants them.
 

That's not strictly true. Many veterans want their Afghani compatriots safe in their own country, and most journalists want the same for Afghani journalists. 

Do you mean, no governments with troops in Afghanistan want refugees? I heard Macron has gone full closed borders, which was quite shocking. 

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1 minute ago, Melissa Louise said:

That's not strictly true. Many veterans want their Afghani compatriots safe in their own country, and most journalists want the same for Afghani journalists. 

Do you mean, no governments with troops in Afghanistan want refugees? I heard Macron has gone full closed borders, which was quite shocking. 

I meant governments don't want them. Governments don't like asylum seekers. Populations don't like asylum seekers so vote in governments that don't like them either.

Obviously there are many individuals who want someone to take them in, but look at the governments they (or enough of their neighbours) voted in and look at the reality of actually taking them. If I could fit the whole of Afghanistan in my backyard, I'd rather they were there than at home, coz I know I'm not going to shoot them, but I wouldn't know what to do with them if they were here either. I can only afford to feed one or two. Settling untraumatised migrants is difficult enough. What would we put them? Fill up Christmas Island and Nauru? That's better than immediately dead, but leaving them there to rot is not humane at all.

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5 minutes ago, Rosie_0801 said:

I meant governments don't want them. Governments don't like asylum seekers. Populations don't like asylum seekers so vote in governments that don't like them either.

Obviously there are many individuals who want someone to take them in, but look at the governments they (or enough of their neighbours) voted in and look at the reality of actually taking them. If I could fit the whole of Afghanistan in my backyard, I'd rather they were there than at home, coz I know I'm not going to shoot them, but I wouldn't know what to do with them if they were here either. I can only afford to feed one or two. Settling untraumatised migrants is difficult enough. What would we put them? Fill up Christmas Island and Nauru? That's better than immediately dead, but leaving them there to rot is not humane at all.

My son wonders why I always get disappointed by governments. I guess I always hope that this time, they'll do the right thing. Triumph of hope over experience.

I really hate to think we deliberately did not at least forewarn those Afghanis who worked with us. 

 

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7 minutes ago, Melissa Louise said:

I really hate to think we deliberately did not at least forewarn those Afghanis who worked with us. 

After the last time we abandoned them, I'm almost surprised we found anyone to work with us this time.

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My husband is on the board of Asylum Seekers for our town.  (Calling it a board is kind of overstating it a bit.  It's Mike, Herb, and one other guy who pretty much do all the asylum seekers stuff as an offshoot of the Refugee Partnership.) Just got word that we are getting 9 Afghan families.  

So, that's good.  

Now to try to find them housing....

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6 hours ago, Terabith said:

 Moral injury was already a concern, but now to have it be pointless as well is just.....really, really sucky.

It was always pointless and I think most Americans knew that, which is why getting out has polled so high for so long.  The problem is that most Americans are completely unreaslitic about what getting out would actually look like. There is no clean, tidy, safe-for-the-locals way to get out.  Getting out means leaving a place that has been plagued by religious extremism and all that goes with it for hundreds of years.  You cannot impose the needed cultural change away from religious extremism with a military victory, and you can't win militarily in Afghanistan. It's the ultimate sunk cost fallacy to continue to throw away future military lives in an unwinnable conflict. Are more service members supposed to die in the future because so many service members died in the past? 

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There is more political will to get people out who worked directly with certain foreign governments in certain capacities than just your "typical" asylum seeker.  Even though the US is pretty much out of Afghanistan right now, the US State Department is still very focused on getting people out of Afghanistan.  

There is a combination of problems here.  If someone who worked for the US government wants to get out of Afghanistan, they should have applied for an SIV a long time ago.  But while the Taliban takeover isn't really a surprise, someone sitting in Afghanistan can't really be blamed for not acting sooner to get their paperwork in order, especially when the US government line was that the Taliban wouldn't really take over this quickly.  So there's a backlog in getting SIVs processed because things unraveled so quickly.

Also, SIVs were more difficult to get from 2017-2021.  This was a constant concern in those years, and now we're seeing some of the consequences of that for people in Afghanistan who suddenly are trying to get out now when it was difficult to before.

Then there are all kinds of rules about who qualifies for SIVs and how many and which family members can go.  These are very difficult decisions people are making, so if they're just deciding now to apply for an SIV, they're stuck with waiting because the State Department has limited resources to get them out, plus the SIV process is unreasonably long and should at least be shortened in emergencies.  Congress can change this, but again, there may be too little political will in the US, even now, to do this.

But there are millions and millions of people in Afghanistan who would never qualify for an SIV who still qualify for asylum, but they can't get out.  This is not just about SIVs, even though people who can get those visas are pretty much the top priority for the US.  There is no way that the countries who could reasonably take in those people will actually do it.  The best they can do is go to a neighboring country like they've been doing for decades already, and then hoping for resettlement that never comes since only a tiny percentage of refugees ever get resettled to a third country.

I remember meeting an Afghan refugee on a minibus in Kyrgyzstan in 2011.  He had been resettled in Kyrgyzstan, which obviously isn't a great option but still better than nothing.  I've met some Afghan refugees who made it to the US.  I've never been to Pakistan where there were still 1.5 million Afghan refugees before this all started this summer.  I've never been to Afghanistan either where there were still more than 2 million internally displaced people before this summer.  

Edited by Amira
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On 8/17/2021 at 9:42 PM, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

It was always pointless and I think most Americans knew that, which is why getting out has polled so high for so long.  The problem is that most Americans are completely unreaslitic about what getting out would actually look like. There is no clean, tidy, safe-for-the-locals way to get out.  Getting out means leaving a place that has been plagued by religious extremism and all that goes with it for hundreds of years.  You cannot impose the needed cultural change away from religious extremism with a military victory, and you can't win militarily in Afghanistan. It's the ultimate sunk cost fallacy to continue to throw away future military lives in an unwinnable conflict. Are more service members supposed to die in the future because so many service members died in the past? 

I agree with much of what you said about the history/challenges of the area.

However, everything I’ve heard/read from servicemen who served there and families of servicemen who died in Afghanistan has showed disappointment that their service/death was a waste since Afghanistan was basically turned over to the enemy. 

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37 minutes ago, NewnameC said:

I agree with much of what you said about the history/challenges of the area.

However, everything I’ve heard/read from servicemen who served there and families of servicemen who died in Afghanistan has showed disappointment that their service/death was a waste since Afghanistan was basically turned over to the enemy. 

I've heard that argument for years.  While I get it on the one hand, I just can't imagine that even more service and death would make those losses and sacrifices worth it.  Staying longer wouldn't have changed the outcome, but it would have cost more lives. 

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And it wasn’t entirely a waste.  Yes, things are very bad now, but they were better for a while for many people.  Not for all Afghans, of course, but for many of them.  That’s certainly worth something.

I think that Americans sometimes get overly focused on long-term change or solving problems, but sometimes it’s just worth making sure someone gets a chance to go to school today or gets a decent meal today even if you can’t make sure they’ll get that tomorrow.

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10 hours ago, NewnameC said:

I agree with much of what you said about the history/challenges of the area.

However, everything I’ve heard/read from servicemen who served there and families of servicemen who died in Afghanistan has showed disappointment that their service/death was a waste since Afghanistan was basically turned over to the enemy. 

I think that depends on who you talk to.  My husband and most of his closest friends deployed there at one point or another in their career - my husband there for a year - and most of them saw this as expected.   

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So how do we explain this to our kids? I feel like a fool. I was 24 in 2001 and up until this week totally believed that we went after bad guys and then started rebuilding a nation. I was/am ignorant of Afghanistan’s history, really only knowing what we read in story of the world as we homeschooled. I never dug deeper as I had a vague understanding of the mission there and was too busy with my life to think about it more deeply. Now I have to look at my kids, one who is almost as old as I was in 2001 and say something. But I don’t know what. I know that my education as a public school student lacked, when we read the brief chapter on Vietnam I knew I sorely lacked in knowledge, having been taught more about the civil war, revolutionary war and the world wars while my teachers were silent on Vietnam (at least one teacher that I had served there), and to be honest my lack of knowledge only bore out that my kids know more about those old wars than Korea, Vietnam and the gulf wars. 
 So now with embarrassment I have to say something and don’t have time to educate myself to a level that gives me confidence.

What are you saying to your children?

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3 hours ago, SanDiegoMom said:

I think that depends on who you talk to.  My husband and most of his closest friends deployed there at one point or another in their career - my husband there for a year - and most of them saw this as expected.   

If that is true then it makes this mess even more inexcusable. Why did the administraion not get the 11,000+ American citizens, allies (including the Afghanis that risked their lives helping us), and the weapons that are now in the hands of the taliban out before leaving? Total incompetence and disregard for human lives, IMO!

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6 hours ago, Fritz said:

If that is true then it makes this mess even more inexcusable. Why did the administraion not get the 11,000+ American citizens, allies (including the Afghanis that risked their lives helping us), and the weapons that are now in the hands of the taliban out before leaving? Total incompetence and disregard for human lives, IMO!

[Deleted by moderator because we have a politics rule.]

Total incompetence and disregard for human lives indeed.

Bill

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5 hours ago, Spy Car said:

[Deleted by moderator because we have a politics rule.]

Total incompetence and disregard for human lives indeed.

Bill



[Deleted by moderator because we have a politics rule.]

The above quote is total ignorance of how the cic works with the pentagon and the generals to get things done.

[Deleted by moderator because we have a politics rule.]

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5 hours ago, BronzeTurtle said:

[Deleted by moderator because we have a politics rule.]

The above quote is total ignorance of how the cic works with the pentagon and the generals to get things done.

[Deleted by moderator because we have a politics rule.]

[Deleted by moderator because we have a politics rule.]

I'd have advised immediately reversing our troop levels myself. Biden can own that. That situation should not have been forced.

Bill

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5 hours ago, Spy Car said:

[Deleted by moderator because we have a politics rule.]

Total incompetence and disregard for human lives indeed.

Bill

[Deleted by moderator because we have a politics rule.]

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5 hours ago, Fritz said:

[Deleted by moderator because we have a politics rule.]

 

[Deleted by moderator because we have a politics rule.]

The bet the Afghan government troops would hold was a colossal mistake. Surrenders were being arranged in advance. If I knew this in advance, then there are either serious problems with intelligence, or the flow of intelligence, or decisions are being make against good intelligence, but anyway you slice it, we did not have the adequate troop levels in place once troop levels were reduced to 2,500. That insured the chaos. 

Bill

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[Deleted by moderator because we have a politics rule.]

This end was locked in when we decided to try nation-building, because a military occupation cannot install democracy.  It’s a contradiction from the very root.

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5 hours ago, Fritz said:

 

[Deleted by moderator because we have a politics rule.]

[Deleted by moderator because we have a politics rule.]

Don't you agree 2,500 troops are insufficient?

Bill

 

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5 hours ago, Spy Car said:

[Deleted by moderator because we have a politics rule.]

I'd have advised immediately reversing our troop levels myself. Biden can own that. That situation should not have been forced.

Bill

[Deleted by moderator because we have a politics rule.]

From where I'm sitting there was no coordination under this guy at all. No expensive and classified equipment taken out, no personnel evacuated, no plan for the bleeping embassy! No plan to secure the actual airport that everyone needed to leave from! 

The situation should not have been forced. Bull-loney. Biden says day one in office that he wants to see a coordinated exit plan from his generals and they have to do it. They have no choice. They say TFG only left us 2500 guys, it's not enough. Biden says, tell me how many you need, I send them. He does it. BUT they all say they had no idea this was coming or that they'd have problems or that all this equipment and all these would be left behind with no easy way out.

So who needs to be immediately fired? The generals? The planners? Someone needs to be held to account.  [Deleted by moderator because we have a politics rule.]

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5 hours ago, Spy Car said:

[Deleted by moderator because we have a politics rule.]

Don't you agree 2,500 troops are insufficient?

Bill

 

[Deleted by moderator because we have a politics rule.]

If 2500 was insufficient and mass chaos was inevitable with only that many, then get into office and do something about it. Only one person on earth. could have done anything about that.

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5 hours ago, BronzeTurtle said:

[Deleted by moderator because we have a politics rule.]

From where I'm sitting there was no coordination under this guy at all. No expensive and classified equipment taken out, no personnel evacuated, no plan for the bleeping embassy! No plan to secure the actual airport that everyone needed to leave from! 

[Deleted by moderator because we have a politics rule.]

So who needs to be immediately fired? The generals? The planners? Someone needs to be held to account.[Deleted by moderator because we have a politics rule.]

[Deleted by moderator because we have a politics rule.]

Bill

 

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5 hours ago, Danae said:

[Deleted by moderator because we have a politics rule.]

This end was locked in when we decided to try nation-building, because a military occupation cannot install democracy.  It’s a contradiction from the very root.

This is true. The only thing we could do was get out. Very few people disagree with the fact that we needed to leave.

How we left matters. Leaving our allies to be tortured and killed matters. Leaving americans in harms way matters. Making our pilots drive through a sea of civilians while having them cling to the plane and fall to their deaths matters. Having people who helped us beaten on the way to try to get to the airport we told them to go to matters.

For anyone reading this thread, regardless of your opinions on the war: If you know any afghanistan vets, please contact them and make sure they know their service was not meaningless. Make sure they know they helped people and did what their country asked of them. Make sure they are ok.

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5 hours ago, BronzeTurtle said:

[Deleted by moderator because we have a politics rule.]

Why "fixate" on the root of a problem??? Isn't that the rational course?

2,500 was definitely insufficient. no question. We were put in that hole. Deliberately.

Should have been undone. [Deleted by moderator because we have a politics rule.]

Bill

 

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5 hours ago, Danae said:

[Deleted by moderator because we have a politics rule.]

This end was locked in when we decided to try nation-building, because a military occupation cannot install democracy.  It’s a contradiction from the very root.

Well... we kind of did in Germany after that disaster of a political vacuum from WWI lead to fascism...  But you have to stay until no one in power fondly remembers the past. No one wants to stay there 60-100 years, and it would be pretty impossible in Afghanistan anyway because of where they are culturally. If we wanted to spend billions of dollars on schools and infrastructure and require education for both genders for generations maybe, but in this climate it would only be considered colonialism.

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5 hours ago, BronzeTurtle said:

[Deleted by moderator because we have a politics rule.]

I don't believe that. I don't think you do either.

[Deleted by moderator because we have a politics rule.]

I think that was a spectacularly bad bet and that it was very unwise not to reinforce our troops on day one. 

Bill

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5 hours ago, Spy Car said:

Why "fixate" on the root of a problem??? Isn't that the rational course?

2,500 was definitely insufficient. no question. We were put in that hole. Deliberately.

Should have been undone. [Deleted by moderator because we have a politics rule.]

Bill

 

You don't know how the military works or what the c-i-c's job is, clearly.

I grant you that 2500 was insufficient 7 months ago. Great. Who cares what happened 7 months ago that was also total reversible.

If I bought a failing business 7 months ago and the previous guy failed to hire enough employees for me to run the business, I don't throw my hands up to customers with unfullfilled orders 7 months later and say, "Welp, the last owner didn't hire enough people how could I possibly have known???"

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4 hours ago, Spy Car said:

[Deleted by moderator because we have a politics rule.]

I think that was a spectacularly bad bet and that it was very unwise not to reinforce our troops on day one. 

Bill

Wait, in the post I quoted, you said he fell into a trap. Okay, I'm done because this is going in circles. I can't have a conversation if you're going to change positions from one post to the next. I don't know how to do that.

To all: Please check on your friends who are afghanistan vets. Keep checking in with them and let them know you are a friend who will listen without judgement.

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4 hours ago, BronzeTurtle said:

You don't know how the military works or what the c-i-c's job is, clearly.

I grant you that 2500 was insufficient 7 months ago. Great. Who cares what happened 7 months ago that was also total reversible.

If I bought a failing business 7 months ago and the previous guy failed to hire enough employees for me to run the business, I don't throw my hands up to customers with unfullfilled orders 7 months later and say, "Welp, the last owner didn't hire enough people how could I possibly have known???"

Other than insulting someone who studied international relations (with an emphasis in Middle East politics) and has excellent sources of information from the region, what's your purpose here?

I fully understand the role of the Commander in Chief. Trust me.

Troop excaliations have different optics that troop maintenance.[Deleted by moderator because we have a politics rule.]

Bill

 

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5 hours ago, Spy Car said:

[Deleted by moderator because we have a politics rule.]

Don't you agree 2,500 troops are insufficient?

Bill

 

[Deleted by moderator because we have a politics rule.]

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3 minutes ago, BronzeTurtle said:

Wait, in the post I quoted, you said he fell into a trap. Okay, I'm done because this is going in circles. I can't have a conversation if you're going to change positions from one post to the next. I don't know how to do that.

To all: Please check on your friends who are afghanistan vets. Keep checking in with them and let them know you are a friend who will listen without judgement.

Yes, it was a trap. It created a very bad situation.

My position--despite your hilariously honest attempts to spin--is consistent.

Did you used to live in Alaska?

Bill

 

 

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4 hours ago, Spy Car said:

Other than insulting someone who studied international relations (with an emphasis in Middle East politics) and has excellent sources of information from the region, what's your purpose here?

I fully understand the role of the Commander in Chief. Trust me.

Troop excaliations have different optics that troop maintenance. [Deleted by moderator because we have a politics rule.]

Bill

 

[Deleted by moderator because we have a politics rule.]

Optics?? Look at the images coming out of afghanistan right now and talk about optics of more troops. smh.


[Deleted by moderator because we have a politics rule.]

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4 hours ago, Spy Car said:

Yes, it was a trap. It created a very bad situation.

My position--despite your hilariously honest attempts to spin--is consistent.

Did you used to live in Alaska?

Bill

 

 

[Deleted by moderator because we have a politics rule.]

Is alaska code for something? Is it an insult that I'm not getting?

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26 minutes ago, Katy said:

 If we wanted to spend billions of dollars on schools and infrastructure and require education for both genders for generations maybe, but in this climate it would only be considered colonialism.

Is there a different name for occupying a country in other climates?

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4 hours ago, Fritz said:

[Deleted by moderator because we have a politics rule.]

[Deleted by moderator because we have a politics rule.]

Re-escalation presented bad optics. No win position.

As for "total incompetence and disregard for human lives"....gotta good laugh out of that one.

Gaslighting never ends.

Bill

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Spy Car said:

[Deleted by moderator because we have a politics rule.]

Re-escalation presented bad optics. No win position.

As for "total incompetence and disregard for human lives"....gotta good laugh out of that one.

Gaslighting never ends.

Bill

 

 

 

Securing a safe exit of equipment and personnel is not re-escalation. Sure, you might have more AMC people in at a given time, or more security at a given time, but if it's all planned and transient to the situation of actually getting people out, then it's not re-escalating or provoking anything. 

Bad optics is people seeing your embassy flag getting flown out in a NEO while thousands of Americans are stuck in country and people are passing toddlers over concertina wire out of desparation. Being stuck on bad optics instead of getting the job done is the mark of a bad leader.

[Deleted by moderator because we have a politics rule.]


I admit I got mad when I saw your original post because it's never going to be anybody's fault. No one is ever going to pay for all of this except soldiers and afghanis who were doing what was asked of them by their respective countries. And the reason is because people are willing to just point fingers. At TFG, at their own agencies, at presidents who are decades out of office now. No one pays but we can always find someone to blame except for those people who right now were supposed to be doing the right thing.

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2 hours ago, Danae said:

Is there a different name for occupying a country in other climates?

I realize you’re making a bad joke, but responding because I know some people don’t know about this. I’m given to understand that historical political climates called it something much more offensive, yes. Something along the lines of civilizing the heathens.  

Then again among the service people I know who were deployed there multiple times, especially in rural areas, aren’t as gentle with their language as offensive historical terms.  My ex uses profanity coupled with the word cavemen. All of them saw this as inevitable, even if the rapid way it’s happened is a tragedy.  

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2 minutes ago, Katy said:

I realize you’re making a bad joke, but responding because I know some people don’t know about this. I’m given to understand that historical political climates called it something much more offensive, yes. Something along the lines of civilizing the heathens.  

Then again among the service people I know who were deployed there multiple times, especially in rural areas, aren’t as gentle with their language as offensive historical terms.  My ex uses profanity coupled with the word cavemen. All of them saw this as inevitable, even if the rapid way it’s happened is a tragedy.  

Ah.  I thought you were saying that it wasn’t actually colonialism but would be called that because of our (woke?  pc?) political climate.

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A military occupation cannot force a democracy, not because it is a military occupation but because democracy cannot be forced. Democracies have to be persuaded and that implies both voluntarism and trust.

An occupation can facilitate democracatic institutions among people who want a democracy. If the military force is used to shield willing participants in a democracy from those who would deny them, to maintain the rule of law and to help a gradual transfer of power into the hands of the willing, then it can work. Japan in the post-WWII is an example of this.

I get the impression that part was not the key reason the wider Afghanistan project failed, but more in a lack of trust-building. Yes, being a military occupation tends to hamper this - as the Taliban themselves are starting to discover during their door-to-door searches for collaborators - but arguments about whether there were 50,000 or 300,000 soldiers trained, along with whether they were consistently paid, may have made it look to locals like foreigners could not be trusted any more than the Taliban. Those same people cheered when the Taliban got kicked out - but governments that don't gain the people's trust don't get to change the fundamental fabric of power. Not American/Europeans to democracy, not Soviets to communism and not Taliban to theocracy.

The Taliban will probably get to have the trappings of theocracy for a while... ...but unless they change, at some point someone else will overpower them. It's not like anyone seems to permanently learn that waging land wars in Asia is folly, after all...

Edited by ieta_cassiopeia
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4 minutes ago, Danae said:

Ah.  I thought you were saying that it wasn’t actually colonialism but would be called that because of our (woke?  pc?) political climate.

Nope, it's colonialism all right.  In this situation it's difficult for me to not prefer colonialism over the Taliban though.  Which leads to uncomfortable questions about history, but that is another topic for another day.

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