It is tempting to some to engage in endless games of “I told you so” regarding Afghanistan. I am not immune. I like to think that a lot of good common sense emerges from Col. Langs blog, not that I provide any.
In looking through the archives I came across a post by our dear departed colleague, if I may be permitted to say that; Brigadier General F B Ali. On 22 June 2011 – ten years ago, he wrote a post entitled “Afghan Endgame : Current state of play “‘ that is worth rereading.
It finished with the speculation: “There is a distinct possibility that the final end of the US’s Afghan war will be similar to that of its Vietnam war (even unto the helicopters taking off from the roof of its embassy). It will then have learnt the lesson that the Soviet, the British, and many other empires have learnt earlier to their cost ─ there is neither victory nor glory to be had in the parched plains and barren hills of Afghanistan.”
Let us now concentrate on what we can do to make Afghanistan and the world a better place.
A friend in the UK had this linked on his blog when I checked this early morning:
Nobody’s going to learn anything. A neocon genius will shortly realize that the solution is to invade Cuba. Grenada on steroids. Of course we were nearly defeated by Cubans in Grenada, but this time it will be different.
“we were nearly defeated by the Cubans in Grenada”!!???
Really? That must mean the Cuban Brigade long rumored to be there has surfaced
I Ireland, we call that, ‘egg on the face’……..
Looks like the Taliban got its shit together.
I am grieved to hear of this, I was not aware. He had many good writings besides that, I remember his excellent paper on the treaty of hudaybiyyah in particular. Does anyone have the link to the website he posted last year or the year before? The one he planned to release upon his passing, but decided to release earlier.
Here you are, Serge.
Walrus et al
“Let us now concentrate on what we can do to make Afghanistan and the world a better place.” Pious, mealy mouthed bullshit! Yes, Furrukh understood Afghanistan, do you all? Or do you hide behind the empty crap you were taught in college about nation states and borders?
Agreed. The more “we” stay out, the better.
you beat me to that comment! Get out, stay out……leave it to them, if there turns out to be someone, or something we want to kill, then kill them and be quiet about it.
I came across a most interesting book my last year in the Marine Corps (1972) – “Asian Frontiers Studies in a Continuing Problem” by Alastair Lamb (a geographer).
What I took away from this book was that a belt of “countries” having “borders” that ran from the Mediterranean to the Pacific whose “borders” primarily reflected the need of competing empires (Russian, British, French, etc.) to avoid direct geographic contact and conflict, and that the “borders” of these countries did not typically reflect the cultures of their populations or typical “Western” views of what “borders” mean. Kashmir was treated in depth as a case study and the impression this book left on me was that we were likely to see ongoing conflict in the future across this belt.
This insight was part of why I told the 2nd Lt’s I was teaching at basic School that they were far more likely to be deployed in combat in the greater Middle Eastern portions of this belt than back in “jungles” anywhere. So pay attention in the anti-armor class I taught!
Colonel, we can add the free world and the international rules-based order.
How many refugees will you be housing at your ranch?
I’ve already opened the Kabul Cafe, just waiting for the staff to arrive. Shouldn’t be long now.
I reduced the humanities lecturers who tried to teach me “pious mealy mouthed bullshit” literally to tears in the early nineteen seventies when I was in favour of nuking North Vietnam.
My question stands; how do we engage with the new government of Afghanistan in a way that is least harmful to ourselves and perhaps beneficial to others? We will have to engage. We must learn. Life moves on. I wasted far too much time over Vietnam and I refuse to get drawn in to some breast beating crap over Afghanistan.
I was dragged kicking and screaming, to Vietnam in 2016 by SWMBO and I found that there was much to like about the people. The traces of the war are old soldiers and military equipment in parks. Even the arch corporate Halliburton has offices there. I had wasted forty years time and nervous energy for nothing. The only thing: I refused to go to were the tunnels and the shooting ranges. “Communist country”? With wall to wall golf courses, beach resorts and condos? Don’t make me laugh! Afghanistan will go the same way if sufficiently seduced. In the early 1970’s British kids used to travel through Afghanistan by bus and land rover on their wat to Australia, and they weren’t drug addled hippies either. Those days may return.
Do we **** about and engage in an orgy of self pity over Afghanistan or do learn our lesson and move on quickly for once? We got done over by experts with a thousand years experience in dealing with invaders. Exactly as predicted. We are in good company.
Fred, I am looking forward to a good goat curry from the soon to open Karzai chain of Afghan restaurants. The Afghan refugees will settle with their co religionists close to their mosques in the western suburbs of Sydney and Melbourne. We have had an Afghan community in Australia since the 1850’s when they were imported with their camels for desert exploration. There are at least three heritage protected remains of their original mosques. We export wild camels to Saudi Arabia. They are not comfortable rides.
“We have had an Afghan community in Australia since the 1850s”…. 170 years and still not assimilated. Australians are on thier 6th lockdown – with police enforcement to keep them in line – and you are looking forward to refugee restauranteurs being settled into the country so you can have some good curry. God help your country.
yeah, what the hell is going on there? Have they lost their minds and backbones?
They are destroying their middle class as a matter of political policy. Look at what they are doing in New Zealand. One ‘case’ one more lockdown nationwide.
Dunno what koolaid they’re drinking down under?
Sam, Larry Page has been granted New Zealand residency. He is not noted for being stupid.
Larry Page is noted for being woke. He lives on an island in Fiji. He used NZ for medical care for his kid and got the residency to be exempt from their “rules”. He’s not subject to their authoritarianism.
But…that’s the woke for you. Rules for you. Not for me.
Very interesting what the retired chief scientific officer and Vice President of Pfizer has to say;
It’s perfectly reasonable to shut things down aggressively if you see a single clinically significant case. That implies a nontrivial number of nonsymptomatic cases, all of which are going to be communicable; the Delta variant has an R0 of 5 – 9.5. Spread of an infection is nonlinear, following a logistic curve, which means that initially it doubles quickly. Given that New Zealand only has 17% (single dose)/29% (fully vaccinated), they have absolutely no choice but to shut down hard preemptively, or face a much worse set of choices in a few weeks. (Which is where Vietnam is right now, although they look to be pulling it out by sheer force of will and widespread lockdowns that have been going on since mid-May and will continue at least until mid-September.)
This is simply the only choice they have right now – buy the chance at normalcy in two – three weeks with a smaller disruption now.
Well, the government types should drink the Jim Jones special “Jolly Olly Orange, with a few drops of Guianan liqueur.” Just like Brylcreem, “A little dab’ll do ya.”
Fred, thank you for asking.
I thought you knew australia has always been a melting pot.
“ Although Afghans without camels are reported to have reached Australia as early as 1838, in the latter part of the 19th century several thousand men from Afghanistan, Baluchistan, Kashmir, Sind, Rajasthan, Egypt, Persia, Turkey and Punjab, but collectively known as “Afghans”, were recruited during initial British development of the Australian Outback, especially for the operation of camel trains in desert areas. The first Afghan cameleers arrived in Melbourne in June 1860, when three men arrived with a shipment of 24 camels for the Burke and Wills expedition. They continued to work in the arid interior of the continent from the 1860s to the 1930s, until finally being superseded by the development of railways and motorised road transport. The Afghans played an important supportive role in the exploration and economic development of the interior through carting water, food and materials to remote pastoral stations and mining settlements, as well as for the construction of the Overland Telegraph, and the Port Augusta to Alice Springs railway. They also had an important role in establishing the Muslim faith in Australia.”
We are trying to deal with the delta variant of Covid and lockdowns are the only weapon we have until we get enough people vaccinated to stop it from exploding. We are not prepared to sacrifice our elderly and infirm or immuno compromised just to keep somebody’s tanning salon open.
Our town is not locked down….for now.
I was completely unaware of the elderly Australians extensive use of tanning salons. Perhaps you should have the elderly remain at home and let everyone else get on with living, rather destroy your nation’s economy.
Here we are being told the ‘vaccine’ does not protect against the ‘delta’ varient. Which is very convenient for pharmacuetical companies, and even more so for authoritarian politicians and bureaucrats.
Better be locked up in your house. Can’t even take a drive to get some fresh air. You’ll get an “infringement notice”. Wow!
There’s Sweden that’s been air-brushed from corporate media and Big Tech media.
No lockdown. No mask mandate. No vax passport. Schools and businesses open. Throughout this pandemic.
“Here we are being told the ‘vaccine’ does not protect against the ‘delta’ varient”
If that’s what you were told, then get the hell out from that “echo chamber”.
“Hospitalizations, severe disease, and death from COVID-19 continue to occur almost entirely among people who are unable or unwilling to get vaccinated. “
Thanks so much for the Arstechnica link. I loved the “state A and state B” chart and wonder when they were admitted to the union. Equally valuable was the CDC “cases!” In Florida. Sadly the fine, not fake news, reporter didn’t clarify if that was the erroneous cases report the CDC had to correct the days later or if it was some other “health experts” data. Nor could I finnd the “daily death count” that was so important while Cuomo was killing all those nursing home patients by following the advice of “health experts”.
Whatever happened to that guy? I heard he won an Emmy.
“Do we **** about and engage in an orgy of self pity over Afghanistan or do learn our lesson and move on quickly for once?”
IMO we can’t beat ourselves over our abject failure to understand Afghanistan enough. It is not the West’s responsibility to treat foreign peoples in foreign countries better than they treat each other. We don’t exist to prevent external crimes. I don’t have a problem with relocating/absorbing people who risked their lives and their families lives to help us, but no more. We can barely manage to govern ourselves and the Bill of Rights has been a suggestion long before anyone knew who Ashli Babbitt was.
i have seen the look on tribesmen’s faces when I visited Jinnahs tomb in Karachi as well as their stares at Western women in the airport. Do you want to kill them all?
Would WrongThink get you into a “quarantine” detention center in Australia?
Kabul Has Fallen – But Don’t Blame Biden
by Ron Paul Posted on August 17, 2021
This weekend the US experienced another “Saigon moment,” this time in Afghanistan. After a 20 year war that drained trillions from Americans’ pockets, the capital of Afghanistan fell without a fight. The corrupt Potemkin regime that the US had been propping up for two decades and the Afghan military that we had spent billions training just melted away.
The rush is on now to find somebody to blame for the chaos in Afghanistan. Many of the “experts” doing the finger-pointing are the ones most to blame. Politicians and pundits who played cheerleader for this war for two decades are now rushing to blame President Biden for finally getting the US out. Where were they when succeeding presidents continued to add troops and expand the mission in Afghanistan?
The US war on Afghanistan was not lost yesterday in Kabul. It was lost the moment it shifted from a limited mission to apprehend those who planned the attack on 9/11 to an exercise in regime change and nation-building.
Immediately after the 9/11 attacks I proposed that we issue letters of marque and reprisal to bring those responsible to justice. But such a limited and targeted response to the attack was ridiculed at the time. How could the US war machine and all its allied profiteers make their billions if we didn’t put on a massive war?
So who is to blame for the scenes from Afghanistan this weekend? There is plenty to go around.
Congress has kicked the can down the road for 20 years, continuing to fund the Afghan war long after even they understood that there was no point to the US occupation. There were some efforts by some Members to end the war, but most, on a bipartisan basis, just went along to get along.
The generals and other high-ranking military officers lied to their commander-in-chief and to the American people for years about progress in Afghanistan. The same is true for the US intelligence agencies. Unless there is a major purge of those who lied and misled, we can count on these disasters to continue until the last US dollar goes up in smoke.
The military industrial complex spent 20 years on the gravy train with the Afghanistan war. They built missiles, they built tanks, they built aircraft and helicopters. They hired armies of lobbyists and think tank writers to continue the lie that was making them rich. They wrapped their graft up in the American flag, but they are the opposite of patriots.
The mainstream media has uncritically repeated the propaganda of the military and political leaders about Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and all the other pointless US interventions. Many of these outlets are owned by defense industry-connected companies. The corruption is deep.
American citizens must also share some blame. Until more Americans rise up and demand a pro-America, noninterventionist foreign policy they will continue to get fleeced by war profiteers.
Political control in Afghanistan has returned to the people who fought against those they viewed as occupiers and for what they viewed as their homeland. That is the real lesson, but don’t expect it to be understood in Washington. War is too profitable and political leaders are too cowardly to go against the tide. But the lesson is clear for anyone wishing to see it: the US global military empire is a grave threat to the United States and its future.
Afghanistan has never turned a profit in mineral resources. CCP will will lose 100’s of billions trying to get this thing off the ground. All they will earn in the end is the same as everyone else; defeat. The kicker however will be when the slave making battery and chip maker can’t supply the world with their new found crush on electric cars. Nobody can.
It was inevitable that the we would tire and leave Afghanistan. The “nation building” was just a PR front for the Swamp Racket. No nation building was ever done. We didn’t build any local administrative structures. Instead we got some westernized Afghans with no natural support among the various tribes and ethnicities to be the front man. When the shit hit the fan he ran the hell out of dodge. He had to leave behind bags full of dollar bills on the tarmac because it wouldn’t fit in the helicopter. Of course what Karzai and Ghani and Dostum made were a pittance compared to the Pakistani generals, which was a pittance compared to what the Beltway Bandits made. Of course they recycled a pittance into the PACs, campaign coffers and bestselling books of our political leaders in both parties.
Afghanistan like the Covid & Infrastructure plans with the multi-trillion dollar spend borrowed from future generations is the perfect self-licking ice-cream cone.
Yeah, I know the Ph.Ds and the military and intelligence “analysts” like Brennan, Clapper and Petraeus will give all kinds of theories and postulations to setup for the next Swamp Racket.
We’re done as a global hegemon. Gen Z and the following generations will try and pass the buck on to the next suckers that follow them. At some point the gig will be over!
Let China and Russia deal with the new Emirate and its medievalist rulers. A far more pressing danger are the fanatical believers in a post-Westphalian system who presently rule in America.
Not post Westphalian. It never existed there among them and they think it is a joke that our framework for the world can be used to deceive us.
I was referring to the Biden Administration’s unholy alliance of neo-Marxist Progs and WEF inspired believers in technocratic global government. Such people seem to share with the jihadists a disdain for artificial constructs like “America”.
One of the weirdnesses I remember in the Cdn govt when we started to get involved was the sudden and simultaneous appearance of two “ideas”. The first was that somehow, in some never articulated way, we, the West, had failed Afghanistan after the Soviets left and we had to somehow make up for it. A wisp of an idea with no substance, just floating around in the air. The other was “whole of government” — every govt department should be doing something in Afghanistan. Again, no specifics or indications of any strategy or planning. So people were sent to sit around in Kabul or Kandahar — box-ticking. Add to that the “three block war” stuff coming up from the USA. What struck me at the time was how suddenly these notions arrived and how quickly all the “in” people were knowingly referring to them.
Besides what I see as a major failure of the Joint Staff and CentCom staff (post Goldwater-Nichols, wasn’t this supposed to be the solution to our problems?) I have to question the whole “NATO-ization” of this. I guess the Clintons saw Kosovo as the model for the “new” NATO, but what did NATO actually bring to the table?
Did any of those Afghan-Australians serve with the Imperial Camel Brigade at the Battles of Magdhaba, Beersheba, and Gaza?
” A fool lies here who tried to hustle the East”………………….Rudyard Kipling over a hundred years ago.
Walrus, here is a column which you might find of interest:
Australian Police Beating More People in the Streets Than the Taliban
The Conservative Treehouse, 2021-08-22
I am posting this comment to this most recent column of yours simply to bring the matter to your attention.
Obviously, your views on this matter would be of interest.