Traveler

Why did we fight a war in Afghanistan?

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I understand that the 9/11 attack was brought to us from elements in Afghanistan but now after 20 or so years what has been improved or solved?  I understand the reason to withdraw from Afghanistan and I wonder why we thought it a brilliant idea to fight a war we never intended to win.  I think what bothers me with what I am currently seeing is that our current leadership promised that what is now happening was not even possible.

I do not object to leaving – I object to the lying about our leaving.  If our leaders cannot be truthful about leaving Afghanistan --- What can we believe as reasons concerning anything our leaders are doing?  

When I trained others in white water rafting I would often express the idea that regardless of what has happened - always the greater concern ought to be on what is coming next.  It is my general impression that what is coming next is more turbulent and threatening than what we have recently faced. (recently - meaning in the last 100 years or so)

 

The Traveler

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22 minutes ago, Fether said:

The propaganda being fed to using is that if we leave, the terrorists can rebuild and start launching more attacks on the United States.

I agree.  The people making money off war contracts want more war for money.  More planes, bombs, ammo and other equipment in my opinion.

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The mission objectives, I think, should have been limited to destroying their ability to make war/coordinate terror attacks against us.  The US can win wars just fine, as long as we don’t get bogged down in the minutia of what has to happen amongst the populace after we’ve won.  But these days we tend to get too invested in winning the hearts and minds of the people, and hoping that in time they might become a western-style democracy.

Trump was right to want us out of there.  I’m inclined to think Biden was right for carrying Trump’s policies out to what we all knew was their logical conclusion.  (I’m not buying Biden’s line that Trump’s actions tied his hands—he owns this as much as Trump does—but let’s not pretend that the Inauguration Day status quo was sustainable.)  But Biden’s abject failure to protect the Afghanis who threw in their lot with us, provide for the orderly evacuation of them and their loved ones, and keep enough US forces on hand to maintain stability in Kabul until that happened, is nothing short of evil; and I frankly suspect he didn’t want them coming here because, like earlier generations of Cuban and Vietnamese and Eastern European refugees, they’d be an inconveniently local and politically potent reminder of what happens when you give free rein to the ambitions of people who reject western-Enlightenment ideals. 

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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1 hour ago, Just_A_Guy said:

But Biden’s abject failure to protect the Afghanis who threw in their lot with us, provide for the orderly evacuation of them and their loved ones, and keep enough US forces on hand to maintain stability in Kabul until that happened, is nothing short of evil; and I frankly suspect he didn’t want them coming here because, like earlier generations of Cuban and Vietnamese and Eastern European refugees, they’d be an inconveniently local and politically potent reminder of what happens when you give free rein to the ambitions of people who reject western-Enlightenment ideals. 

I don't think it's unwillingness so much as incompetence. There seems to be a willingness in the Biden administration to help Afghan refugees, but it's shaping up to be a logistical nightmare. Hopefully they can get things sorted out soon.

https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/desperation-us-scours-countries-willing-house-afghan-refugees-2021-08-13/

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15 minutes ago, Godless said:

incompetence.


What is astonishing is that an extremely similar thing happened last time Joe Biden was in office (Vice President) during the withdrawal from Iraq and had been warned previously what would happen. 

 

"…Beginning with President Bush and continuing through the Obama administration, the White House was set on a total troop withdrawal, for political reasons," General Jim Mattis writes. "I argued strongly that any vacuum left in our wake would be filled by Sunni terrorists and Iran."

Mattis also recounts a meeting in Iraq with then-Vice President Joe Biden in the run-up to the U.S. withdrawal.

"He wanted our forces out of Iraq," Mattis writes. "Whatever path led there fastest, he favored. He exuded the confidence of a man whose mind was made up, perhaps even indifferent to considering the consequences were he judging the situation incorrectly."

After the U.S. withdrew at the end of 2011, the Islamic State, a Sunni Muslim group, seized a large part of western and northern Iraq. President Obama reluctantly sent forces back to Iraq in 2014.

"All this was predicted — and preventable," Mattis adds.

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6 minutes ago, Colirio said:


What is astonishing is that an extremely similar thing happened last time Joe Biden was in office (Vice President) during the withdrawal from Iraq and had been warned previously what would happen. 

 

"…Beginning with President Bush and continuing through the Obama administration, the White House was set on a total troop withdrawal, for political reasons," General Jim Mattis writes. "I argued strongly that any vacuum left in our wake would be filled by Sunni terrorists and Iran."

Mattis also recounts a meeting in Iraq with then-Vice President Joe Biden in the run-up to the U.S. withdrawal.

"He wanted our forces out of Iraq," Mattis writes. "Whatever path led there fastest, he favored. He exuded the confidence of a man whose mind was made up, perhaps even indifferent to considering the consequences were he judging the situation incorrectly."

After the U.S. withdrew at the end of 2011, the Islamic State, a Sunni Muslim group, seized a large part of western and northern Iraq. President Obama reluctantly sent forces back to Iraq in 2014.

"All this was predicted — and preventable," Mattis adds.

I’m also seeing reports claiming Biden, as a senator, opposed attempts to rescue South Vietnamese allies when Saigon fell.

If that’s true, then it’s hard not to wonder whether Biden actually enjoys this stuff.  

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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It is interesting that some have attempted to compare Afghanistan to Vietnam.  I do not think there is a better example of trying to compare apples to oranges.   Vietnam was a proxy war caused by conflicts of the "Cold War" between so called capitalisms and communism that was over rubber availability to communists countries' industrial complex - specifically China. 

Although Afghanistan is also a proxy war - there is noting in the economy of Afghanistan to benefit any foreign country with the exception of Opiate products.  But opium does not benefit any country; rather it is a means to destroy civilizations and economies.   

@Still_Small_Voice noted that Afghanistan has never been concurred in over 1,000 years.   I believe it is because the opiate trade is deeply imbedded into "Secret Combinations" and their operations.  I believe we could easily have won the war in Afghanistan by destroying the opiate infrastructure and operations.  It is surprising how delicate and vulnerable opiate production is.  I do not believe we even attempted it - it amazes me that in all the political rhetoric that the opiate trade as an problem  is never mentioned by either political party.  What does that tell you????

The other element basic to a proxy war is who is supplying economy and war supplies to our enemies in Afghanistan that obviously does not have the means themselves to fight a war?  Just look at how easily the Afghanistan military on its own failed to protect any of its citizens.   Perhaps I can make a list for those interested in Opium and wining a proxy war.  I would suggest Russia, China, Iran and North Korea.  The theory behind proxy wars is to divert attention away from the engines causing the war and to expose weaknesses in one's enemies to win conflicts.   I believe we have suffered losses in every way possible.  Some are saying our loss is because of current incomitance.  I have no doubt concerning current incomitance but as long as we are concerned about incomitance it goes much deeper than the current administrations.  I see no effort to win anything in Afghanistan for USA interests - ever.  I could be wrong but the only military objectives that make any sense to me are all initiated by political objectives - none of which could ever possibly benefit our country, our liberties or our freedoms.

 

The Traveler

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3 hours ago, mikbone said:

Children born out of wedlock from foreign soldiers is one of the greatest tragedies of wars that has been ignored since war on earth was invented.  If any child in this world is more deserving of amnesty to come to the USA - I would like to know why anyone thinks so.  This tells us all how cold and cruel our politics surrounding our immigration policies currently actually are!!!!

 

The Traveler

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11 hours ago, Just_A_Guy said:

I’m also seeing reports claiming Biden, as a senator, opposed attempts to rescue South Vietnamese allies when Saigon fell.

If that’s true, then it’s hard not to wonder whether Biden actually enjoys this stuff.  


I believe you are onto something here…

A pattern begins to emerge when reading through some of his past comments. Wow. 

Edited by Colirio

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11 minutes ago, Traveler said:

It is interesting that some have attempted to compare Afghanistan to Vietnam.  I do not think there is a better example of trying to compare apples to oranges. 


I don’t believe anyone has tried to compare one war to another, only the method of withdrawing our troops and people. 
 

Having to send 3,000 troops BACK in order to create a safe withdrawal for our folks is leaving everyone scratching their heads. Was there so little forethought put into this withdrawal? Especially considering they had to do the same thing in Iraq when he was Vice President, the optics of this are terrible… 

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I’m starting to see photos from the Kabul airport, as well as photos of transports full of Afghanis; and the question that just occurred to me is:

Where are the women and children?

Crowd photos from the airport show the refugees to be nearly all relatively young men.  The Daily Mail just ran a photo apparently taken from within a C-17 full of Afghanis sitting on the floor; 4/5 or more of them are men.

These men have mothers.  Sisters.  Wives.  Daughters.  And we know—we know—that the Taliban are requiring local imams to provide them the names of every unmarried female from 15-40 years old in the villages that they take.

As horrendous as these men’s situation is and as gut-wrenching as their choices must be—it appears substantial numbers of them have pulled a King Noah, abandoning their wives and daughters to the barbarians in order to save their own skins.

I hope I’m wrong.  But if I’m not—that is illuminative.

Where are the women and children?

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4 hours ago, Just_A_Guy said:

I’m starting to see photos from the Kabul airport, as well as photos of transports full of Afghanis; and the question that just occurred to me is:

Where are the women and children?

Crowd photos from the airport show the refugees to be nearly all relatively young men.  The Daily Mail just ran a photo apparently taken from within a C-17 full of Afghanis sitting on the floor; 4/5 or more of them are men.

These men have mothers.  Sisters.  Wives.  Daughters.  And we know—we know—that the Taliban are requiring local imams to provide them the names of every unmarried female from 15-40 years old in the villages that they take.

As horrendous as these men’s situation is and as gut-wrenching as their choices must be—it appears substantial numbers of them have pulled a King Noah, abandoning their wives and daughters to the barbarians in order to save their own skins.

I hope I’m wrong.  But if I’m not—that is illuminative.

Where are the women and children?

That's a very good observation. I had seen such footage and didn't think enough on it to notice, but once I read your post it registered as completely true, almost exclusively young men.

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Politicians fight wars.   

As a Soldier, when planning a mission you start with clear objectives.  You build your mission step by step, commit to success, and always have a "what next".   You accomplish your objective, now "what next".   Something throws a wrench in your mission, so "what next".   

I swear politicians never plan their "what next".   They either never set realistic objectives or never commit to them.   What was the goal for Afghanistan?   What was the "what next"?   

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On 8/16/2021 at 9:10 AM, Still_Small_Voice said:

No one has conquered Afghanistan in over 1,000 years I heard.  We should never have had our troops stay there that long there in my opinion.

I think the rapid fall of Kabul  became an inevitability on the day the last Australian troops left in June. To imagine that anyone could hold the country together without strong Australian support is just ridiculous. :) 

On another note, in the 19th century, Afghanistan saw off the British, the dominant global military force of the time. In the 20th century, they saw off the Russians. In the 21st century, they waved goodbye to the Americans, and others. And now, finally, they have been defeated - by themselves. 

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22 hours ago, Just_A_Guy said:

Where are the women and children?

I'm hardly an expert, but from what I understand, Islamic culture is quite different from western culture in a number of ways.  It would be utterly scandalous to have unaccompanied women out in a throng of men.  A better question might be "where are the families?"

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I place the way it happened completely on President Biden. 

The REASON we went to Afghanistan was because Al-Qaeda attacked the US on 9-11.  We went there (basically for revenge) to kill of those who planned the attack and helped carry it out.

I feel that mission was accomplished in 2011...10 years ago (actually a little over 10 years ago).

That's when we should have figured out a way out of there and left it to the Afghani people to do what they felt they should.  We plan a complete withdrawal in an organized way, and then leave.

At that point, what happened in the past few weeks probably would have still occurred, maybe with less money spent on things there and less giving away things to the Taliban, but a similar result most likely.

Instead, we have the Embassy being evacuated by Helicopter, something that happened in Vietnam and is drawing comparisons.

The other alternative is that we could have accepted the peace brokerage from the Taliban offered over 20 years ago, with the addendum that to accept it we needed to be able to get Osama Bin Ladin and other leaders that were with him.

Alternatively, we don't botch Tora Bora and kill and capture them all when we had the chance rather than succumbing to Administrative fiat disallowing insertion of troops at certain locations which could have blocked off their escape.

That said, We WENT to Afghanistan for a reason, and we accomplished that reason.  What happened over the past 10 years is that we added nation building to that reason instead of simply sticking to the original reason we were there and leaving when we were done.

A better way of doing it would probably have left enough troops there to hold until we got all those who wanted to leave away, and then withdrawn.  But we didn't, and this is one that I think is completely on Biden.

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A couple of thoughts about the war in Afghanistan. (or anywhere else)

1. The constitution clearly states that congress alone has the power to declare war.  This was never done - technically (legally) this was never done but is not new.  Biden, nor any previous president should not be accountable alone for anything that happened or is currently happening in Afghanistan.  If we want to blame anyone - Congress must be Number One the first on the list of whose at fault.  Lets be clear; congress are cowards when it comes to war.  Not just by their refusal to declare ware but more so their refusal to stop and end undeclared conflicts.  There is a term in LDS lore - "The Blood and Sins of this Generation".  Congress is responsible to the American citizens.

2. The next in line for blame, in my mind, are the American people that for decades have allowed their congress and other elected officials to ignore our laws.  Mostly we do this through a political tribe mentality; thinking that whatever the other tribe must be criticized and what ever is done by our political tribe must be overlooked and excused.  I have already mentioned the concept of the blood and sins of this generation - we have a great deal to repent of.

3.  There is no reason why the conflict in Afghanistan should have been allowed to continue as long as it has.  One of the problems in declaring war is that such a declaration extends towards any other country that aids the enemy.  Any country allowing arms into Afghanistan should have been dealt with.  Afghanistan is land locked and any war goods reaching our enemies had to pass through another countries.  There just are not enough routes and means to supply those fighting that the US could not have easily dealt with.  For example we could have declared a 100 mile buffer zone around Afghanistan and required that any settlements be evacuated and any movements of any vehicles or any transportation be registered with the USA and if it was not it would be destroyed.  Then the war of attrition and time favors us.

In general war is not a good thing.  It ought to and must be a last resort but once it has been decided to engage in a conflict of war it should and must be fought in such a manner to best insure whatever is done favors us - especially our personal sent to end the conflict.  Somewhere we have developed the concept that war should be fought humanly.  For those that so think I would quote Winston Churchill that said, "There are worse things than war and they all come from loosing one."

 

The Traveler

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There is a charity group now that is trying to get 3,000 to 5,000 people out of Afghanistan to a safe place outside the country where they will not be hunted and murdered.  If you wanted to donate to the cause look at this website:

https://thenazarenefund.org/

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