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Thread: How will Afghanistan end?

  1. #1
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    Default How will Afghanistan end?

    Not with a bang, but a whimper.

    There wasn't a clear objective for an occupation, which is why victory hasn't been and won't be achieved by an occupation.

    Meanwhile Karzai & Co have seen which way the wind is blowing and are trying to ingratiate themselves with the Taliban, and the more extreme Arab elements behind them. More fool Karzai & Co if they think those bastards won't slit their throats the moment those bastards think they have the upper hand. Although by then Karzai & Co should be out of Afghanistan and living on the vast amounts of money they've creamed off the Americans and others pouring money into their fairly useless country.

    Instead of the Americans and others not falling for Pakistan, shitting itself at the well-deserved prospect of being lumped in with the Taliban as an enemy, purporting at the start to be an ally, which has allowed the Taliban to survive, prosper and expand in Pakistan so it can increase its thrusts into Afghanistan and eventually recover power in Afghanistan.

    Until Pakistan is dealt with, Afghanistan is not going to be dealt with.

    And Pakistan is not going to be dealt with, so we're long past time to pull out of Afghanistan.

    The military picture has **** all to do with the political picture.
    Last edited by Rising Sun*; 11-14-2010 at 07:31 AM.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

  2. #2
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    Default Re: How will Afghanistan end?

    Bloodily, it usually does.
    "There is no country on the face of the earth to which the principle of citizen-soldiership is so well adapted as our own, for the freedom possessed by Britons is of so general and real a character as to cause the humblest in the land to feel deeply the neccessity of preserving the safety and independence of the nation of which he is a part"

    The Volunteer's book of facts 1863

  3. #3
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    Default Re: How will Afghanistan end?

    It will probably end as all the attempts to subjugate by force, or commerce contract have ended. The locals take you for everything you've got, accept your gifts of modernity, allow you to take out their trash, then when you figure it all out, you leave, and they continue as they have throughout time. No one has ever taken Afghanistan, no one ever will. My beloved homeland will in time leave, having taken out a boatload of Baddies, made a few friends (who will very soon forget us) but actually having changed nothing. Then shortly a fresh crop of Baddies will come along.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: How will Afghanistan end?

    How will Afghanistan end? Badly usually.


    Part of the answer lies in Pakistan. Closing down the militant supply routes in Waziristan and similar tribal areas will have a major impact of Taliban operations in Southern Afghanistan. Sadly the Pakistani army is not entirely capable for the job, though has made significant inroads in the last two years. It is also having success using the armed tribal militias that are ideologically opposed to the Taliban. Several of them have inflicted heavy defeats on Taliban forces in the last six months. Generally small gains, but gains all the same. Trouble is there are plenty of other border routes into Afghanistan... Not just through Pakistan.

    Part of Pakistans military problem though will always be that it is looking over its shoulder at India. It will never fully commit forces on the Afghan border as it will keep its premier formations ready for possible fighting against its arch enemy.

    As for Afghanistan itself, progress is being made, though mainly limited to the urbanised areas (and I use that term loosely). But once again the only way to make real progress is to win over the tribal warlords and their militias and use them to fight the Taliban. The ANA is too challenged ethnically to ever be a representative Afghan army, but that too has made marked improvements in the last year or so. They will never be as militarily capable as the West but they are improving.

    The main problem will always be corruption in the military and political ranks, at all levels, and Afghanistans deep tribal divides. For the last 500 hundred years Afghanistan has been fighting itself when not fighting an invader! I dont believe this will ever be sorted out until they have a ethnically representative government and military that truly reflects the diversity of the Afghan national identity.

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    Default Here's the 'official' answer...

    US plan aims to end combat mission in Afghanistan by 2014
    By Peter Baker and Rod Nordland
    New York Times / November 15, 2010

    WASHINGTON — The Obama administration has developed a plan to begin transferring security duties in select Afghan areas to that country’s forces over the next 18 to 24 months, with an eye toward ending the American combat mission there by 2014, officials said yesterday.

    The phased four-year plan to wind down American and allied fighting in Afghanistan will be presented at a NATO summit meeting in Lisbon, Portugal, this week, the officials said. It will reflect the most concrete vision for transition in Afghanistan assembled by civilian and military officials since President Obama took office last year.

    In many respects, the concept follows the precedent set in Iraq, where a similar troop surge and strategy shift under President George W. Bush in 2007 enabled American-led coalition forces to eventually hand over security duties to the Iraqis region by region. By last summer, Obama was able to pull out two-thirds of US forces from Iraq and declare America’s combat mission there over.

    “Iraq is a pretty decent blueprint for how to transition in Afghanistan,’’ one American official said yesterday, insisting like others on anonymity to discuss the strategy before its presentation. “But the key will be constructing an Afghan force that is truly capable of taking the lead.’’

    The new transition planning comes as prospects for last year’s troop increase in Afghanistan and reformulated strategy there remain uncertain. American forces in Afghanistan have tripled under Obama, and General David H. Petraeus, the commander, has expressed confidence that they are making progress. But officials in Washington have said it is too early to say whether the strategy will work.

    The American government is assessing which areas could be safely handed over to Afghan security forces and will be ready to identify them late this year or early next year, officials said. Every few months, more areas will begin the transition, with the last at the end of 2012. Those will almost certainly include the toughest areas, like Khost in the east and Kandahar in the south.

    By the end of 2014, American and NATO combat forces could be withdrawn, although tens of thousands likely will remain for training, mentoring, and other assistance, just as 50,000 American troops are still in Iraq.

    © Copyright 2010 Globe Newspaper Company.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Here's the 'official' answer...

    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdfresh View Post
    US plan aims to end combat mission in Afghanistan by 2014
    By Peter Baker and Rod Nordland
    New York Times / November 15, 2010

    WASHINGTON —

    In many respects, the concept follows the precedent set in Iraq, where a similar troop surge and strategy shift under President George W. Bush in 2007 enabled American-led coalition forces to eventually hand over security duties to the Iraqis region by region. By last summer, Obama was able to pull out two-thirds of US forces from Iraq and declare America’s combat mission there over.

    © Copyright 2010 Globe Newspaper Company.
    Oh, goody!

    Another triumph!


    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

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    Default Re: How will Afghanistan end?

    ^Sorry, but lol at the picture.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: How will Afghanistan end?

    How will Afghanistan end?

    It won't.

    Iraq as a blueprint for success?

    I doubt it, but, in my opinion, it is far too early to judge.

    Western attempts at nation building in this region are wasteful. They waste resources, both human and supply. Furthermore, they dupe us into believing that there is a strategy that can work. The policies which we seem to employ - dare I say muddle through until we can come up with a viable exit plan? - distract our planners from focussing on the strategy they hsould be working on. That is the neutralising of Al Quiaeda.

    Some time ago, when the question was: can we win, I put forward my opinion that Afghanistan was merely a containment operation. Last week we saw the head of the Army (British), saying pretty much the same thing.

    Sooner or later the politicians will catch up with the generals. I think that, in Britian, the recent Defence Review is, in part, indicative that this is happening.

    I would say that victory in Afghanistan is not only a non-event - strategically, it doesn't really matter.

    As RS said, some time ago, these operations should be conducted as a quick in-and-out clinical strike. The idea of building a nation that will be sympathetic to the West is misguided and wasteful in myriad ways.


    "Although God cannot alter the past, Historians can"


    Samuel Butler


  9. #9
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    Default Re: How will Afghanistan end?

    Quote Originally Posted by 32Bravo View Post
    The idea of building a nation that will be sympathetic to the West is misguided and wasteful in myriad ways.
    Forget about building a nation sympathetic to the West. (And why should they be sympathetic to the West, any more than the West should be sympathetic to the various and, by local standards as legitimate as Western local standards, quite legitimate local ideologies in places where it tries to impose Western views for its own purposes?)

    The fatal mistake by all Western powers so far has been to think that a foreign power and culture can come in and impose its culture and values upon the entrenched culture and values of another nation or people, and expect them to accept it without resistance, never mind being grateful for it.

    That makes about as much sense as Hitler succeeding in invading Britain in 1940-41 and expecting Britons to be delighted by the imposition of Nazism on them, and expecting them not to resist a Nazi occupation.

    But in Afghanistan there is a much greater problem, being that it is not a nation and that it does not have anything remotely resembling Western institutions of nationality, government, and the underpinning social, cultural, and political attitudes and institutions which are a pre-condition to ‘nation to nation’ dealings, including things of a warlike nature.

    What hope is there for ‘nation to nation’ dealings when, for example, a so-called warlord extracts millions of dollars from the occupying but still not controlling American etc force to give them security from attack when travelling on roads in his region? (And guess who, Mafia protection-like, might be the one who launches such attacks if not paid? Der!!!!) Or acceptance of attacks on schools which dare to educate girls, purely because educating women threatens the dominant male theocracy. Christ (and I say that deliberately), even the Catholics never stooped that low.

    Would the natives have converted to the invader's dictates in Britain if Hitler succeeded in WWII or if America was occupied now?

    No. Because Britain, America and other countries involved in Afghanistan have a concept of national identity and 'democratic' (whatever that means) notions which are absent from the largely tribal areas under local control of people not answerable to or controlled by any national government, largely because there is no national government but just a façade put up by the invaders and willingly supported by the privileged locals who benefit from it. The ‘Mayor of Kabul’ is a well deserved title for a President who can’t visit most of his country without risk. Meanwhile, the people who control the unstable areas can be, and often have been, bought by various elements hostile to the invaders to support them, even if they were supporting the other side a couple of weeks ago.

    And here’s why Afghanistan ain’t ever going to work under Western occupation after the foolish decision to occupy it after flattening it. The essential problem is that the invader is not equal to the enemy in the way the invader conducts its ‘war’. The ‘enemy’ is ruthless and unfettered in its operations way beyond anything that the Western powers could begin to contemplate with the modern bullshit of lawyers at the Western operational commanders' right hand advising on rules of engagement etc and determining what operations may be undertaken. There will never be a mine which destroys a village in retaliation for an IED which kills however many were in the vehicle. Whether that is effective is debatable, given the German practice in the Balkans and elsewhere of retaliatory execution of civilians, but we'll never know because in the modern world the good guys always fight with one or both hands tied behind their back.

    Then again, the Soviets didn't restrain themselves with legalistic Western restrictions like those now in Afghanistan. And they still lost.

    Places like Afghanistan (or Yemen or Somalia etc) and other ‘nations’ not approximating Western nations' identity and values really do little more than comprise random assemblages of sundry cultural and other groups under the guise of a nation left over from the arbitrary lines drawn by now defunct colonial powers half a century or a century or more ago.

    We ain’t comparing apples with apples, and there ain’t no point expecting an apple resolution when we’re dealing with lemons on the other side.

    [P.S. 32Bravo, Good to see you back.]
    ..
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    Montesquieu

  10. #10
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    Default Re: How will Afghanistan end?

    Yes!

    Now how do we get the rest of the world to get with the programme?

    Nice synopsis, by the way.


    "Although God cannot alter the past, Historians can"


    Samuel Butler


  11. #11
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    Default Re: How will Afghanistan end?

    The problem here is that the U.S. and NATO cannot win someone else's civil war, same as in Vietnam...

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    Default Re: How will Afghanistan end?

    Shouldn't be trying to. It was never the mission.

    Nato and its politicians should get their heads out of the box.


    "Although God cannot alter the past, Historians can"


    Samuel Butler


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    Default Re: How will Afghanistan end?

    Quote Originally Posted by 32Bravo View Post
    Shouldn't be trying to. It was never the mission.
    But the mission gets lost as time passes and circumstances change. After a while nobody remembers what the mission was, beyond 'winning', whatever that means. It's not unlike setting up a committee, where after a while the purpose for which the committee was set up becomes obscured by the committee's primary aim of ensuring its own survival which it must do to enable it to achieve its, by now largely forgotten, original purpose.

    Vietnam is the perfect example. The mission, being the purpose of the initial commitment of US and allied troops, was to maintain the status quo by keeping the SVN hierarchy in control and denying control to the communists / NVN. Nobody in the US and its allies had the remotest intention of bombing Hanoi or Cambodia at the outset, but as time passed and circumstances changed those and other things which had nothing to do with the original mission seemed like good ideas, and just diverted everyone even further from the original mission and ensured it would not be achieved by creating a new set of problems caused by those actions.

    If anyone with half a brain had looked at what NVN had done to the French and the circumstances and attitudes leading to and surrounding that overthrow of an external power and the division of VN in NVN and SVN, the original US mission was unachievable unless NVN / the communists had a complete change of heart. Which wasn't likely to be achieved by another external power telling them how to behave in their own country and using military power to try to get compliance.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

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    Default Re: How will Afghanistan end?

    Well, yes.

    I would suppose the corporations that make up the U.S. arms industry were the ones that engaged the correct half of their brains brains during that Asian conflit.

    Then, of course, there were the upholders of the American Way, which promoted the Domino Theory ( not necessarily a different set from the above) as they increased their market share in goods an comodoties in the region.
    Tuchman, refers to the U.S. involvement in Vietnam as The March of Folley. That being when governments pursue policies whiich are contrary to their self interest.
    From a purely war, no war point of view she's probably right, but there were lots of winners in the U.S.

    Easy to lose sight of the mission when there is no real mission other than some abstract description that is 'War on terror'.

    When the electorate from a culture of good guys and bad guys, winners and losers, demand explanations for bodybags, the politicians have to engineer something which loosely describes a mission and an opportunity for one wininng, and pray that their people do not become informed enough or have enough of an attention span to challenge what thy are doing as they continue to fumble with unachieveable goals.

    There's always Reality-TV
    Last edited by 32Bravo; 11-21-2010 at 10:23 AM.


    "Although God cannot alter the past, Historians can"


    Samuel Butler


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    Default Re: How will Afghanistan end?

    Quote Originally Posted by 32Bravo View Post
    Then, of course, there were the upholders of the American Way, which promoted the Domino Theory ( not necessarily a different set from the above) as they increased their market share in goods an comodoties in the region.
    The Domino Theory made a lot of sense in Australia as it replicated with communism the Japanese advance in WWII. It was even more compelling because we would be the last domino to fall. (Assuming, as was probable, that nobody wanted New Zealand. )

    Quote Originally Posted by 32Bravo View Post
    Easy to lose sight of the mission when there is no real mission other than some abstract description that is 'War on terror'.
    Which flows from failing to identify the enemy, and what had to be done to defeat it. The enemy in Afghanistan was the Al Qaeda training camps. What had to be done to defeat them was (a) to wipe out the training camps and, ideally, everyone in them, and (b) demonstrate to the Afghan rulers, being the Taliban at the time, that giving sanctuary to that ilk would result in more attacks, so it would be a very good idea not to make the same mistake again.

    However, the Taliban per se were not the enemy and there was no need to defeat them or displace them by occupying their country and inserting a puppet regime, regardless of how abhorrent the Taliban's principles and practices might have been to the West.

    The end result in Afghanistan is going to be that the Taliban will come back into significant power, maybe full control, after doing deals with Karzai and Co who are presently shitting themselves at the bleak prospects facing them when the US and its allies pull out in a few years and leave them at the mercy of the Taliban.

    Quote Originally Posted by 32Bravo View Post
    When the electorate from a culture of good guys and bad guys, winners and losers, demand explanations for bodybags, the politicians have to engineer something which loosely describes a mission and an opportunity for one wininng, and pray that their people do not become informed enough or have enough of an attention span to challenge what thy are doing as they continue to fumble with unachieveable goals.
    The other thing that politicians do, by suicidal instinct it seems, is refuse to admit that they have made a monstrous mistake that is causing needless deaths and suffering on both sides with no prospect of a 'win'. Then they compound that error by throwing more lives and resources into a clearly failed enterprise, until finally even the public they try to dupe realises that it is a lost cause and the domestic political tide turns against the politicians, who inevitably succumb to political reality (i.e. trying to maintain political survival) and finally withdraw or are voted out.

    The sad point is that there is a gulf between the political and military objectives and potentials. The Vietnam War could have been won militarily if the US and its allies didn't pussyfoot around refusing to advance beyond the DMZ but instead took the fight to the enemy at its heart, but the political imperative was to avoid doing that as it might provoke conflict with China or the USSR. So the politicians handed the military a bag of shit the military could never fight its way out of because the military wasn't allowed to fight an unrestricted war. Grafting notions like civil aid and hearts and minds etc onto the bag of shit didn't change the fact that the attack was coming from NVN and that that was where it had to be met.

    As for Afghanistan, that 'war' was won in the first few days of the assault so far as getting rid of the enemy was concerned. Bogging down in an occupation was self-defeating ; self-destructive; unnecessary; pointless; doomed to failure; and, worse, by allowing the Taliban to think they have ejected the invader has diminished the power of the invader to intimidate them with the threat of future attacks if they misbehave again. Unlike the crushing raid.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

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