Afghanistan Papers – Part 3?

Hang ’em high

‘For almost two decades, U.S. military commanders have assured the public they are making progress on the cornerstone of their war strategy: to build a strong Afghan army and police force that can defend the country on their own.

“We’re on the right track now,” Marine Gen. Jim Mattis told Congress in 2010.”

Comment: Culprits. Tucker Carlson points out with laughing cruelty that Austin is an EEO politician and Milley is the epitome of the tin-pot phonies who made their way “training” the untrainable, Afghan soldiers and police who now are revealed as men who in their heart of hearts believe that the jihadis know God’s will. They will march in the forefront of the occupation of Kabul. Before the rout began the Afghan military and police outnumbered the Tullab and ISIS, 3 or four to one. As TC says the Taliban have defeated “our” forces using WW2 weapons wielded by ragged goatherds.

Men like Major Jim Gant, USSF, who argued that villagers should be organized for local defense were silenced and destroyed because the striped pants cookie pushers in the State Department, CIA and military officer corps lied to each other, the American people and truth be told to themselves that Afghanistan could be made into Switzerland or New Jersey.

The Green Berets (so pitifully few in number because their intelligence and empathy is so seldom found) are pushed aside so that the “perfumed princes” of the “big army” can find their places in the sun and then lie, and lie and lie.

Sour grapes? Think what you like. pl

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36 Responses to Afghanistan Papers – Part 3?

  1. BillWade says:

    10 klicks to Kabul now, might have to stay up and watch the 11 PM news.

  2. Barbara Ann says:

    THEY shall not return to us, the resolute, the young,
    The eager and whole-hearted whom we gave:
    But the men who left them thriftily to die in their own dung,
    Shall they come with years and honour to the grave?

    They shall not return to us; the strong men coldly slain
    In sight of help denied from day to day:
    But the men who edged their agonies and chid them in their pain,
    Are they too strong and wise to put away?

    Our dead shall not return to us while Day and Night divide–
    Never while the bars of sunset hold.
    But the idle-minded overlings who quibbled while they died,
    Shall they thrust for high employments as of old?

    Shall we only threaten and be angry for an hour:
    When the storm is ended shall we find
    How softly but how swiftly they have sidled back to power
    By the favour and contrivance of their kind?

    Even while they soothe us, while they promise large amends,
    Even while they make a show of fear,
    Do they call upon their debtors, and take counsel with their friends,
    To confirm and re-establish each career?

    Their lives cannot repay us–their death could not undo–
    The shame that they have laid upon our race.
    But the slothfulness that wasted and the arrogance that slew,
    Shell we leave it unabated in its place?

    • Bill Roche says:

      Your poem by Kipling stopped me cold. It reminded me that America could take an 18 year old, give him 6 months of Basic/AIT and ship him to Nam. With good leadership he’d do well. Despite 12 years of training and support when the American military was pulled out ARVN collapsed. The north offered Vietnamese rule, peace, but slavery to the state. The people chose peace over liberty and we took people off the roof of the Embassy in Saigon. Are we really going to do this again. Despite 20 years of training and support when we left apparently the Afghan army left too. The Taliban will give native rule, peace, but slavery to fundamental Islam. Does it matter if it’s Sunni or Shiite? Individual liberty seems less important idea to a tribal people who live in a large region not a sovereign state. Will America ever realize that some people d/n want to be “just like us”? Under the circumstances I think Kipling’s poem about troops in Afghanistan is equally fitting.
      “and when the women come out to cut up your remains
      roll onto your rifle and blow out yer brains
      and go to your death like a soldier.
      Go, go , go to your death like a soldier, a soldier of the Queen.”
      Why oh why did we stay b/y Osama bin Ladens killing. Wasn’t that our objective? I am “old school”. Winning means making the other guy sue for peace. If we don’t go to win, we shouldn’t go.

    • JerseyJeffersonian says:

      Thank you, Barbara Ann, for bringing this poem by Kipling to the fore. The burden of this angry song is, unfortunately, timeless; in the hands of ambitious politicians, perfumed princes among the military command, and a time-serving bureaucracy, such imperial structures often lead to outcomes such as these for those tasked with discharging their feckless directives.

      N.B.: Reders, I recommend going to the link, and then clicking on “background notes” at the foot of the poem for illuminating background information about the situation which led Kipling to compose this poem. Bungling, indifference to consequences for the soldiery, and then, sickeningly, the incompetents failing upwards. Boy, does that sound familiar.

      And speaking of Kipling, I leave here a link to a post from Steve Sailer at Unz Review which recalls a post he wrote 20 years ago as the whole debacle in Afghanistan was getting underway. He reposts to the conclusory section of his post which had been inspired by his review of the 1975 movie by John Huston, The Man Who Would Be King, based on the short story of the same title written by Kipling.

      • Barbara Ann says:


        I chose that link because it also has a 2 minute audio reading of the poem.

        Huston’s adaptation of The Man Who Would Be King was magnificent, it was the source of my recent comment about buzkashi in “Kafiristan”. Steve Sailer’s analogy of Daniel Dravot’s fate with that of America’s hubristic enterprise in the Hindu Kush is spot on. Kipling’s story was a cautionary parable, but I think even he would be aghast at the monumental scale of the tragedy currently unfolding.

  3. Leith says:

    What do you all make of the speech by Taliban Commander of the Faithful, Hibatullah Akhundzadah, just a few weeks ago on the eve of Eid al Adha? If the Fars News translation is correct, in that speech he said the Taliban: ”wants good diplomatic, economic and political relations with the whole world, including the US”.

    He also implied that a Taliban governed Afghanistan will not be a haven for al Qaeda or TIP such as Mullah Omar allowed two decades ago. Akhundzadah wanted Afghanistan’s neighboring countries and the entire world to know that the Taliban ”will not allow anyone to use its territory to threaten the security of other countries”. He added that the group ”will continue to provide a suitable educational environment for women under Islamic law.” and that ”scholars, professors, doctors and other educated people, as well as businessmen and investors, can be assured that they will not be harmed because Afghanistan needs their talent.”

    So, questions – 1] Did he speak with forked tongue looking for non-interference in the post-Eid offensive against the provincial capitals?

    2] If he means what he says can he constrain the zealots or is he just a figurehead for the Haqqanis and other hardline factions?

    3] Will he be able to eliminate the splinter groups such as the one led byMuhammad Rasul who claims to be the legitimate leader of the Taliban and who has proclaimed friendship to both al Qaeda and Daesh?

  4. TTG says:

    We screwed the pooch in Iraq, too. Most of that army disintegrated in the face of ISIS. We were out of that country and had to go back in to try to unscrew what we screwed up. The same with our training and equipping of the “moderate jihadis” of Syria. The YPG only worked because they were an effective force before we got there. A handful of Green Berets got the equipment and support they needed without succumbing to the urge to reshape them into something they were not. The longer we stay there, the more likely we’ll screw that up as well. It’s probably too late.

    Lebanon was a partial success. There, Green Berets were involved from the inception of the plan to rebuild the Lebanese Army. That army mostly stayed together although there were still whole brigades that disintegrated into their respective sectarian factions. Even before those brigades fell apart, I thought it was a mistake to have basically Christian brigades, Druze brigades and moslem brigades. But if they were fully integrated, they probably would have just fallen apart in finer pieces. In the end, the Lebanese Army can’t hold a candle to Hezbollah. We trained the Iranian Green Berets. Maybe we got that one right.

    • Pat Lang says:

      In Syria deluded and corrupt US policy run by Israel has put us on the side of the jihadis. What do you think US Army helicopter crews think of transporting jihadi leaders. Joltin’ Jack Keane describes the Syrian Army as Iranian auxiliary forces. You like that? How much Zionist money in ISW?

      • TTG says:

        I consider our siding with the jihadis in Syria to be the lowest thing we have done in the region. Our early assistance to the YPG is one of the best things we’ve done. The way we’re using them now is going back to our worst.

  5. Joe100 says:

    I just saw a report that the Taliban are now using some of the attack helicopters they captured recently as the Afghan army pilots have simply defected to the Taliban..

  6. Lytenburgh says:

    Talibs breaking their fast in Dostum’s palace, while the owner chose to flee (as he is famous for):

    Tasteless. Utterly tasteless.

  7. blue peacock says:

    Col. Lang,

    Of course the perfumed princes and their nominal bosses as in Yes, Prime Minister, now have $12 million abodes on Martha’s Vineyard and $100 million Netflix show deals for #BringOurGirlsHome symbolism, that our woke masses love to consume.

    For those who have been around the government house decades ago, was it ever like this when no one cared a shit about national interests other than as rhetoric or this is how its always been?

    • Lelush says:

      The single fact that he chosed to spend a fortune in a Martha´s Vineyard mansion speaks volume of the probability of any emergence caused by “climate change” his administration so much scare the word population with, by coordinated efforts through the mass media and the unpayable help of arsonists setting the world on fire… ate several locations at once

      The same probability of catching Covid by celebrating your birthday along several hundreds people, without masks ans social ditancing….and for sure “unvaccinated”….btw…

    • Sam says:


      Not to worry. There’ll be another multi-trillion boondoggle. Oh! Wait. The Rona. Between Trump & Biden we’ve surpassed Afghanistan in just a year with $5+ trillion in borrowed money spend.

      Amazing video of your tax dollars at work. I am mostly surprised that after decades of embezzlement, no one has figured out how to gild a space heater.

      If Gen. Dostum could make this kinda moolah, then imagine how much the stateside bandits made?

  8. Babeltuap says:

    Nobody can seem to learn any lessons from this God forsaken wastleland. We did learn one thing; The USSR, most of their deaths were not from fighting. It was from poor hygiene in Afghanistan.

    US Military had the nicest showers, latrines, living quarters, good food, stores and trailers of fast food and cafes. Even figured out how to defeat IED’s by and large. Valiant effort and elite living conditions but the results were the same; defeated. Who’s next?

  9. Fasteddiez says:

    William Shakespeare

    This story shall the good man teach his son;
    And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
    From this day to the ending of the world,
    But we in it shall be remember’d;
    We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
    For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
    Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
    This day shall gentle his condition:
    And gentlemen in England now a-bed
    Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
    And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
    That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.
    William Shakespeare

    None of the super-rich:
    “Shall think themselves accursed they were not there,
    And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
    That fought with us upon Korea, Vietnam, Lebanon, Iraq II, Afganistan, Syria, etc, etc,
    Ad infinitum, Ad Barfisumus Maximus.”

    Well, there are bright spots, after the Lebanon Kaboom, The president was urged to invade the military colossus of Grenada, “Mon!” They succeeded after an Iwo Jima
    Island-like struggle. Later, the same was achieved in Panama. Well, welly well well that sure as hell should have equaled the balance. One should remember the word of Obama when he uttered that “The United States armed forces are the best, most powerful in the history of the world. At the risk of sounding like a cretinous, combat-shirking defeatist, I would like to throw out a few names alongside those of Austintatious and Milley Vanilli. How about: Genghis Khan; Tamerlane; Atilla the Hun; Julius Caesar; Scipio Africanus; Arminius;

    And in modern times: Smedley Butler; William Slim; Georgy Zhukov; Erich Von Manstein; Hermann Balck; Ted Riley; Heinz Guderian; Dwight Eisenhower; Anthony McAuliffe; Mathew Ridgeway; Raymond Davis. Yup, I left some out cuz it’s too early and I need another cup of Java. However, all y’all get the drift

    • Leith says:

      Fast Eddie – Agree generally with your list. Except please educate me about Ted Riley. Is that the Ed Riley that was CO of 1/5 at An Hoa?

  10. Harlan Easley says:

    I decided to play the NPR game. I turn on NPR and see how long before they call me a racist or a white supremacist.

    Luckily, I tuned in right when they began interviewing General Petraeus. Of course, the Generals were being betrayed by the Biden administration according to him. He actually said we should give the Taliban an ultimatum and if they do not desist, deploy the full force and might of the United States. Completely delusional. This is actually a bipartisan moment in the US. Americans do not want our troops to be in Afghanistan risking their lives for a culture that doesn’t want it. Not worth one soldier.

    • Pat Lang says:

      He was always a pompous little prick.

    • PRC90 says:

      Harlan, I’ve given up on TV years ago; not that it isn’t fun, just that the joke keeps repeating and the talking head comedians can’t beat Don Rickles.
      Petraeus would know that his suggestion of running Op Linebacker III is preposterous, but he was doing a paid interview and that’s the product he was paid to deliver and why would he argue ? Petraeus sounds like he isn’t up to Don Rickles either.
      All that’s missing now is a 30 second spiel from John Bolton – eventually the MSM will work it’s way through the list of usual payees.

      The next stage is the Taliban’s formation of a government. I’m waiting for some rational questions about how Taliban2021 will be different to it’s previous version of twenty years ago.

  11. walrus says:

    The latest news suggests to me that the situation has all the hallmarks of a rout.

    I pray that the news regarding our redeployment of troops is lagging by at least 24 hours and that our forces, with the embassy staff, have already left Kabul.

    If this is not the case, then I believe that the Taliban will prevent them from leaving and use them and the embassy staff as bargaining chips in a negotiation process which will take months and destroy the Biden Presidency.

    All the Taliban have to do is:

    1. Allow troops to arrive.
    2. Close the Airport and keep it closed.
    3. Profit.

    The Afghans have a history of doing this.

    As an aside, I hope their are no women among our troops in Kabul. It there are, be prepared to watch the girls of the 2/6th Gender equity company get paraded on National TV.

    • blue peacock says:

      The Taliban would be stupid to impede the evacuation of the embassy. The R2P & neocon crowd are braying and bawling right now. There’s the R2P campaign with images of women in complete burqa. There’s the neocons screaming strategic defeat & stabbed in the back. A mistake like that would be costly for the Taliban as this is a highly politically influential group among the liberal set that is Team Biden. The Taliban shouldn’t want to wait another 20 years before they can be back running the show in Kabul.

    • Fasteddiez says:

      The Embassies’ Marines have, as one of their missions, to host the bonfire of the vanities’ documents. Hot dogs or Marshmallows anyone?

    • PRC90 says:

      Walrus, I disagree. They may or may not, but I suspect that the current era Taliban is more likely to round up any intact elements of the ANA Catering Corp (or equivalent) and Engineers and send them up to the airport to provide food and sanitation to the chaotic mobs arriving there.

  12. Bobo says:

    With Dostrum now out of the way the Taliban are on to Kabul! Hopefully our State Department folks are already on their flights out, they should of gone when the military left in the middle of the night. Hopefully this 3,000 soldiers to assist in evacuation is/was a feint as why even announce something like that. It will not be nice and will be another sore to be picked at for years to come.
    We accomplished everything we needed to within the first three years in Afghanistan…..the money we waste is uncountable and a burden we pass to our future citizens. It’s not just the perfumed princes and defense industry but just look at our CDC who still say oh, watch your temperature, take some ibuprofen, buy a pulse oximeter and not much else after over 600,000 pass us by. What they have not said is there are another 4,000 variants on the way. Our educators are trying to tell us, oh, equity is the most important thing while we scratch our heads, what happened to the three R’s. On and on we go but what is actually working well from our government outside of my monthly check and decent roads.

  13. Teddy says:

    The ANA is surrendering all over the place. Out of the 7 Corps that they had, all but one has been dispersed or surrendered. The last one in Kabul is crumbling.

    One of the Jamiat warlords is the Tajik Ismail Khan from Herat near the Iranian border. Khan was the governor of Herat when the Taliban last week took the city and province and arrested him.

    In other times one would have expected that the Taliban would kill Ismail Khan. But that did not happen. Instead Ismail Khan received a phone call from Amir Khan Motaqay, a senior Taliban leader:

    بدري ۳۱۳ @badri313_army – 15:48 UTC · Aug 13, 2021
    This is a very historic call Essentially the TB rep greets Ismail Khan and asks him to ask the other Jamiat-i-Islami members like Atta, Salahuddin, Ahmad Massoud, Qanuni Saib to make a reconciliatory deal with the TB so that we can have peace after 40 years and give no reason for outsider to get involved in Afg affairs. Or even internal forces to start be dissatisfied. He also mentions that the TB have a policy not to insult any figures. Overall spoke to him in a respectful tone. Inshallah this leads to peace

    Bilal Karimi(بلال کریمي) @BilalKarimi21 · Aug 13
    Muttaqi Sahib’s telephone contact with Ismail Khan
    That the phone call was published proves that this is an official Taliban offer and request.

    There is unconfirmed news that Ismail Khan is traveling to Kabul today to convince the other Jamiat members to agree to peace with the Taliban and to form a government with them.

    The Taliban’s only condition, as far as known, is to remove President Ashraf Ghani and his immediate followers. Everyone, including the U.S., will by now be ready to support that. Ghani has been a roadblock during the negotiations in Qatar. He is an academic and former World Bank bureaucrat who has spent most of his life in the U.S. He has little support in Afghanistan.

  14. BillWade says:

    oh oh
    They just busted open the Kabul prison. It’s 2:05 AM in Kabul. Is it:

    Saigon moment?
    Tehran moment?
    Dien Bien Phu moment?
    or Dunkirk?

  15. Lelush says:

    Some idea where the US taxpayers money have ended…

    After taking over Mazar i Sharif, Talbian took over Dostum´s luxurious residence, hallucinating while finding thrones almost for everybody….

  16. Sam says:

    To put it another way, we could have given the Taliban billions of dollars and a fleet of American military hardware in October 2001 to get the same outcome we bought with 20 years of war. This is not a time to close ranks and heal, but a time to investigate the hell out of DoD

    The feature not a bug. Version 2021.

    Investigate by whom? Pelosi? Maybe her husband who has a better stock trading IRR compared to the best Wall St hedge fund trader.

  17. A. Pols says:

    The Afghan Army was always a chimera. They took our pay and pretended, but once the tide turns, they immediately defect to the other side. This was easy to foresee; their real loyalties were always on display when one of them turned on us and shot some of us. How dumb we were about the whole thing with our pretense of forming a quisling government there with our fantasies that they weren’t just “going along to get along” while waiting for us to tire of the whole thing and leave. Hopefully the Taliban will be wise enough to just let our people get on their planes and leave and will make it clear they won’t interfere as long as we just GTFO. I’ve seen this coming since the very beginning.

  18. Leith says:

    We trained the ANA on weapons and tactics. But why did we never deal with officer education, merit promotion, pay accountability, morale, logistics, personnel, and corruption? Many of our training teams, junior officers and NCOs, spent only six months to a year in country. Meanwhile they had to watch their backs for Gray on Blue attacks from some of the very same ANA soldiers they were instructing.

    From 2001 until today there were at least 24 different Commanders in Afghanistan averaging approximately nine months each in command. And there were 13 different Ambassadors/Chiefs of Mission. High turnover, probably because of career progression and giving everyone a shot at command.

    I guess we have no sense of history. Ike was Commander in North Africa and Europe for the duration. Ditto for MacArthur and Nimitz in the Pacific. After the surrender Mac spent over five years as Supreme Commander in Japan. Lucius Clay spent three years as Military Governor of the American Zone in Germany. Over 70 years later, MacArthur and Clay are still venerated in Tokyo and Berlin. Why did we never install a long term military governor in Kabul advised by a Loya Jirga perhaps? Why instead did we install puppets? One of whom was involved with financial ties to the CIA, nepotism, corruption, electoral fraud, and reputedly with a brother in the drug trade? And the current one who attended high school in Oregon, went to universities in Beirut and NY, is a former American citizen, has a Lebanese Christian wife and American children, and has little or no understanding of the Afghan man in the street or in the village.

  19. Suresh Syed says:

    Brigadier General Sir Harry Flashman would feel right at home in Kabul now

  20. Question: Who wrote this, way back in 2004? :

    The reestablishment of an Islamic regime in Kabul
    is as close to an inevitability as exists.

    One hopes that Karzai and the rest of the Westernized, secular, and followerless Afghan expatriates we installed in Kabul
    are able to get out with their lives.

    Answer: Michael Scheuer, at the end of Chapter Two of his book Imperial Hubris.

    For the full context of that quote, and much more of Scheuer’s wisdom on Afghanistan, see:

    I don’t agree with many of Scheuer’s current views.
    On the one hand they rely too much on threats of violence and physical force;
    on the other hand they don’t acknowledge the reality contained in the quotation “The pen is mightier than the sword.”

    But I certainly respect many of his views, particularly on Afghanistan.
    Can anyone challenge his views on Afghanistan?

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