The Afghanistan Papers – Part 2

“President Barack Obama had promised to end the war, so on Dec. 28, 2014, U.S. and NATO officials held a ceremony at their headquarters in Kabul to mark the occasion. A multinational color guard paraded around. Music played. A four-star general gave a speech and solemnly furled the green flag of the U.S.-led international force that had flown since the beginning of the conflict.

In a statement, Obama called the day “a milestone for our country” and said the United States was safer and more secure after 13 years of war.

“Thanks to the extraordinary sacrifices of our men and women in uniform, our combat mission in Afghanistan is ending and the longest war in American history is coming to a responsible conclusion,” he declared.

Army Gen. John Campbell, the commander of U.S. and NATO forces, also hailed the purported end of the “combat mission” and embellished some of its achievements. Since the start of the war, he asserted falsely, life expectancy for the average Afghan had increased by 21 years.

“You times that by about 35 million Afghans represented here in the country, that gives you 741 million years of life,” he added, crediting U.S., NATO and Afghan forces for what sounded like a remarkable improvement. (A federal audit later discredited the figures as based on spurious data; life expectancy for Afghans had actually increased by about seven years, not 21).

But for such a historical day, the military ceremony seemed strange and underwhelming. Obama issued his statement from Hawaii while he relaxed on vacation. The event took place in a gymnasium, where several dozen people sat on folding chairs. There was little mention of the enemy, let alone an instrument of surrender. Nobody cheered.

In fact, the war was nowhere near a conclusion, “responsible” or otherwise, and U.S. troops would fight and die in combat in Afghanistan for many years to come. The baldfaced claims to the contrary ranked among the most egregious deceptions and lies that U.S. leaders spread during two decades of warfare.” Whitlock

Comment: I hope the Chinese do better than NATO or the Soviets. The brass hats never understood counterinsurgency. Obama let his ego (on display on MV) be flattered by them. They understood him and brownosing, and nothing else. Americans are ill suited to the task of comprehending alien cultures. pl

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13 Responses to The Afghanistan Papers – Part 2

  1. fakebot says:

    Obama spent part of his childhood as a Muslim in Indonesia at a time when they were purging the Chinese and communists. This seemed to inform much of his misguided understanding of the conflicts in that part of the world.

  2. Babeltuap says:

    CCP can’t coexist with a marginally loud voice in their AO. Falun Gong, Didi rideshare, Alibaba and now some phone game company. Taliban is more than loud. I just don’t see this quasi pre-truce working out at all because there is no example of it ever happening. The US was building roads as well, really beautiful one in fact to include running water. Didn’t work out so well.

  3. Lelush says:

    Pepe Escobar reports through his vk account that Kandahar and Ghazni have already fallen to the Taliban….Ammounting as much as 10 capitals already under their dominion…

    Also he reports that increasing numbers of desperate people seeking for refuge are packing in and around Kabul…

    • Lelush says:

      Wondering whether, as happened during the take over of Jerusalem by Salahuddin, when entering Kabul, the Taliban’s will show clemence with all those people…

      Have you idea what is going on in the capitals that were previouslt taken over, I mean, how the people there is doing under the new rule?

      • jerseycityjoan says:

        I have read they are having lists of females prepared to serve as human booty starting as young as 12. I expect the opposite of mercy to be shown.

  4. Leith says:

    “The Taliban want to show China good will,” said Qian Feng, head of research at the National Strategy Institute of Tsinghua University in Beijing. “They hope that China can play a more important role, especially after America pulls out its troops.”

    But I suspect all the Chinese may not be convinced. Back in 1998 the Uyghur Terrorist Group, Turkestan Islamic Party TIP, was hosted in Kabul by the Taliban and the Chinese have long memories. Surely they are concerned about Taliban presence in the Wakhan Corridor. Or perhaps the total control of that corridor by the Talibs is incorrect on that BBC map. I also understand the PLA has leased a military base in Tajikistan close to the Afghan border overlooking the corridor. And there have been Chinese made mechanized vehicles seen in Badakhshan province.

  5. A. Pols says:

    Maybe the Chinese will do better because they only want to do business and don’t care about internal affairs of the country (If you can actually call Afghanistan a “country”)

  6. Richard Morchoe says:

    “Americans are ill suited to the task of comprehending alien cultures. ”

    Agree Colonel.

    Maybe a neutralist foreign policy would work better.

    We seem to forget what John Quincy Adams taught us as we seek “monsters to destroy.”

    • Pat Lang says:

      Richard Morchoe

      Any idea which infantry battalions? I imagine there will be an Aerial Port Unit as well. The offered bribes will be spectacular.

  7. JohninMK says:

    Whilst there is mention of 3000 US and 600 UK soldiers going in the extract their respective embassy workers, plus key hangers on, there is no mention of the associated air support. Were the Taliban to get hold of medium SAMs they could keep the USAF ‘honest’ in this operation.

    By the time we make a comment it seems another city has been taken over. At the rate the Taliban are going they could be surrounding Kabul by the middle of next week. There is an outside chance that they will control the whole country by September 11th. Not sure what Biden will make of that.

    So far on social media, as opposed to the unbiased Western MSN, there seems to be little slaughter other than to Government forces that continue to fight them or systemic abuse of civilian populations. Its a bit like any civil war, join the winners and walk away and live or fight and you and yours are far game. This comment follows reports of Taliban abducting females, which when dug deeper turned out to be the families of Government officials and police. Also, with different Taliban warlords taking different approaches.

    The amount of US supplied military hardware that they are taking over is astonishing. A photo I saw today was of a pair of Scan Eagle UAV still in their crates, goodness only knows where they will end up dismantled.

    If the Taliban take over by the end of September, without wanton slaughter (other than perhaps the holdouts and corrupt officials who couldn’t get out), both of which seem possible on current experience, then there must be a pretty good chance that peace will return.

  8. re silc says:

    “Americans are ill suited to the task of comprehending alien cultures”. pl This is a brilliant statement that sums up what should be learned by all “leaders” , Ivy students, military college students and their associated political tribes in this country. A+++ Col. Lang.

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