The end approacheth …

Districts over time

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2021/08/11/kabul-could-fall-within-month-taliban-push-closer-afghanistans/

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65 Responses to The end approacheth …

  1. TV says:

    Another war tha the “best” military in the world couldn’t win.
    And I don’t mean the troops.
    The best troops available cannot prevail under inept and corrupt “leadership.”
    Can anyone imagine George Patton talking to Congress about “white rage?”

  2. Joe100 says:

    The US embassy just told Americans to “get out of Dodge” immediately ..

    https://www.rt.com/news/531872-us-embassy-afghanistan-citizens-leave/

  3. Barbara Ann says:

    A month looks wildly optimistic at this point.

  4. Pat Lang says:

    all – Understand the US is sending more troops in to handle evac of Americans. Mob scene to follow.💀

  5. roberto says:

    Herat, Kandahar, and Ghanzi now added to the list of cities conquered by the Talib.

    • Artemesia says:

      Am I correct that Herat is very close to Mashhad, one of Iran’s holiest and most conservative cities. It is the site of the largest mosque in the world, the shrine to Imam Reza.
      Iranian friends tell me it is a transit point for opium into Iran, a plague upon young Iranians. Tehran is undoubtedly watching events very closely.

  6. Lelush says:

    I was watching this footage by Ruptly of recently taken over Ghazni, and found some details quite strange…Well, I have no a deep knowledge of the Taliban and their varied ethnicities, just suffer of photographic memory and sometimes there are details that haunt me, I mean, which I find as not fitting the scene..It happens to me even in my own life….

    I refer to the people in dark clothes, in brown mostly, who mostly have no beard, are quite pale, and even seem as if they would be in costume, not your usual pashtun people, they not even move themeselves like Afghani people, may be because they have a quite different siluete, quite tall, thin people.
    Moreover, some of them wear a full face covering turban…Why do Taliban need to cover their face when they are taking over their own country and even seat at the negotiating table with greatest international powers? It has no sense…

    Who this people could be?

    Pay attention to the two guys near the check point post house at 00:30 footage and the tall one in beige at around 00:34 footage…

    Those turban totally covering the face remind me of some scarce people, one here, one there, who accompanied uncovered and quite primitive ISIS operatives in Irak in their Toyotas when they took over cities there…Mercenaries?
    On whose payroll?

    https://twitter.com/Ruptly/status/1425850061536350209

    May be it is that this astoundingly fast take over of the country implies something fishy…

  7. BillWade says:

    It would be supremely ironic if they roll into Kabul on Sep 11th.

  8. Lelush says:

    Read reports that two more capitals have fallen to this hour, Cala-e-Naw, capital of Baghdis province, and Lashkar Gah, capital of Helmand province…

  9. Fasteddiez says:

    Loan Americans to get a flight out of Kabul on Bugout Air Lines? Will they evacuate all the military translators In time? I vote no. Will the translators’ families get out? Will the translators, their families, the Afghan hired hands for the embassy be able to repay the banks for the loans gratefully proffered by the Sugarmeister for their selfless service?
    Small businesses catering to the foreigners? And last and not certainly not least what will be the fate of the modernized, non-Burka-wearing women?

    Yes, the president of Afghanistan-Bananistan, and his retinue of kiss-asses will skate away to Lebanon and other places, where bunkers are stashed with pallets of dollars, ensuring a luxurious lifestyle in Qatar or the UAE. After all money rules.

    The absolute worst thing about this fiasco is that the US generals foolishly thought that the Taliban would not achieve the strategic, operational, and tactical gains they have since the crash-test-dummy, in a fit of common sense, decided to pull chocks.
    Through all these years, one buffoonish US general after another ensured that the
    Nato forces adequately trained the Afghan government soldiers to effectively neuter any Taliban gains. As for other opinions, read the Sigar reports.

    Finally, that POS Brezhinsky gloated over the pullout of Russian forces from Afghanistan. Hilariously enough, their training of government forces and the existing
    government at the time lasted a tad longer. This having occurred as the dissolution of the
    The Soviet Union and the introduction of the drunken, Clinton pal Yeltsin occurred.

    Read how long the Afghan government lasted post-Russian withdrawal.
    https://mepc.org/commentary/lessons-soviet-withdrawal-afghanistan

    • Pat Lang says:

      Fasteddiez

      There do not seem to be any military installations left. There is Karzai International (soon to be occupied by the magic 3,000 and the embassy defended by 650 infantry. There will be outposts and patrols in between. How many airlines are operating from KIA? That will end soon. As the Taliban approach the city the civilians will do a CYA for the benefit of the Taliban assorted and other medieval freaks.

  10. Barbara Ann says:

    “Taliban were secretly reaching out to ANDSF commanders and important leaders at village, district and provincial levels through tribes, through family, through friends striking deals in secret” – Bilal Sarwary

    The soon-to-be-defunct Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is a $1 trillion Potemkin state.

    • Mark Logan says:

      Barbara,
      I recall several years ago reading about Mullah Omar’s long term strategy included the deep embedding of his people within the Afghan Army. The way it looks in the press I’ve seen is the Afghan Army is surrendering the moment the Taliban knocks on their door.

      My guess is the Taliban is telling the Afghan Army soldiers they are free to go the moment they drop their weapons or join them, and that pump has been well-primed, so that is what is happening in the provinces, almost immediately after the Talibs show up. Wouldn’t be shocked if Kabul fell in a week.

  11. Teddy says:

    The Pentagon announced Thursday it will deploy three infantry battalions, or roughly 3,000 troops, to assist with the reduction of American civilians at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, and the evacuation of Afghan Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) applicants from the country.

    The battalions are already in the region, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said during a press conference. They will move to the Hamid Karzai Airport in Kabul within the next 24-48 hours. Two of the battalions are Marine battalions while the third is an Army battalion. They will join the 650 U.S. troops already in Kabul.

    https://www.breitbart.com/asia/2021/08/12/pentagon-deploying-3000-us-troops-back-afghanistan-temporary-mission/

  12. jerseycityjoan says:

    Here is a comment with a question at the end that I left at the Washington Post yesterday about things collapsing earlier than expected in Afghanistan. I would be interested in knowing your responses, too. I should say when I talk about “protecting” ourselves I don’t just mean militarily:

    ““Everything is moving in the wrong direction” — isn’t that the story of our time there, with a few exceptions?

    When I think back it seems that nothing there was ever what we thought and we are wrong again now, too. It seems that there were always puppet masters controlling what went on while the Coalition partners and the decent people there were essentially helpless. Yes, helpless despite all our money, manpower and equipment and the hopes of millions of people around the world that a better Afghanistan would emerge from the devastation of years of war and the history of corruption and the domination of the few.

    I have been thinking about this and I cannot see how we and the Coalition were not made fools of by the Taliban and their supporters like Pakistan and the liars and the thieves there the whole time. We made fools of ourselves too by not facing facts and as the Post has chronicled, lied about so much to the public year after year.

    I feel so heartbroken about the opportunities lost — which of course is so easy for me to say in the safety of America.

    But I will tell you I am not feeling as safe these days. This past week of reflection has made me realize how vulnerable we are if we and the Coalition could be hoodwinked and manipulated for 20 years by the likes of the people we dealt with in Afghanistan.

    If we couldn’t protect ourselves from the scum of Afghanistan, how can we protect ourselves from the Chinese and the Russians, who are far smarter and richer and have actual and well equipped militaries?

    This is what I want to know. What do you all think?”

    • Deap says:

      I know you can never out-bargain an Arab rug merchant. Time for America to move beyond its irrepressible adolescence and become a more mature and wily player.

      Fewer than a few hundred years of global presence is no match against survivalist cultures who have honed their skills over the past few thousand years. I think we often forget how young we are as Nation.

      In fact we were a child prodigy Nation, and a darn good one at that. But even Shirley Temple had to find new skills later in life.

      • Pat Lang says:

        Deap

        They ARE NOT fucking Arabs.

        • Deap says:

          No they are not. Right to correct me. And I do know the differences in this part of the world so I should have said more generically perhaps “Middle Eastern” and definitely added …….with all due respect. Though even “Middle Eastern” is too muddled for these lands twixt and between.

          • jld says:

            The Arabs sport is Camels race, the Afghanis Buzkashi, not the same league. 🙂

          • Deap says:

            Kicking goat heads around while on horseback does offer a different cultural aesthetic, in this netherworld between Europe and Asia.

            While visiting Gilgit Pakistan a number of years ago, we were treated to a special polo match between the local police force and the local army teams – wild string and gourd instrument ensemble music played in the back ground during the entire match. They explained up front there were really no formal rules when they played, more “Calvin Ball” than Queensbury.

            But alas, no goat head either. Just your standard polo equipment. And it all ended with everyone joining the group “chicken dance” on the playing field. Cameras were there to record the return of American tourists to this strife torn part of the world. Good times had by all.

            Also got the impression a big part of both the Pakistani army and police force was to field polo teams.

          • Barbara Ann says:

            Deap

            I enjoyed the exchange between Peachey Carnehan and Billy Fish on Buzkashi Kafiristan style.

            Peachey: Do they always use such a big ball?

            Billy Fish: Depend on size of man’s head. Big head, big ball, small head, small ball. That Bashkai man. Oh big damn head.

          • Pat Lang says:

            Barbara Ann

            They use a headless goat.

    • Barbara Ann says:

      I am sorry for your loss.

    • Andrey Subbotin says:

      Define “protect”. We Russians are very unlikely to launch an invasion of CONUS

      • jerseycityjoan says:

        I don’t imagine a direct attack by Russia will happen either but then I am naive American. I rely on others to keep their eyes open and make the proper responses. The proper responses were not made in Afghanistan for 20 years and I have to wonder about future responses.

        The US-Russia relationship is not good now but of course it has been worse. There are the cyber issues. Our greatly increased NATO obligations mean we could get dragged into all kinds of things over there.

        I see increased aggression in general from both Russia and China and it worries me a lot. I certainly see China as the much bigger potential problem. I hear the very interesting things they have said to Australia recently and assume these comments are meant for us, too.

        I don’t want us to be perceived as a sitting duck. I don’t want another arms race either but I don’t think we will be able to avoid one.

  13. asx says:

    Col., We need a new thread for the new and not really improved beginnings after the inevitable full take over by the Taliban.

    Will the US still launch airstrikes at targets? To what objective? The admin is not much worried about the optics.

    There is some jockeying to control the terror tap aka Kabul airport and Turkey is in the running using its NATO credentials with Pakistan as facilitator. The Chinese want the ETIM to have no breeding grounds whereas the neo-Ottoman will try to funnel his assets from Syria. There is lot of monies to be made by playing all the sides here. And something more vile than either the Taliban or the ISIS will emerge from this cauldron.

  14. blue peacock says:

    Will there ever be an investigation on the amount of money made by the Beltway Bandits and their cohorts around the world who took in several hundred billion dollars on the Afghan “project”? Nah!

    Looting future American generations and the evisceration of the bottom 90% of current generations is a feature of the rule by the Party of Davos. Of course none among the ruling class will be held to account for the debacles in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and of course domestically in the dismantling of our industrial infrastructure and the financialization of our economy.

    Yet, the vast majority of Americans prefer the bread & circuses to the loss of their natural rights.

    • Sam says:

      Afghanistan

      20 years of nation-building

      2,312 US soldiers killed, 20k + wounded

      $2.4 trillion spent — $114,285 for every person in the country, at the time we arrived

      Collapses immediately upon the start of withdrawal

      https://twitter.com/johnrobb/status/1425942108482019330?s=21

      Dunno if the numbers are correct. Either way a sad testimony of the management skills of government and military officials and Congress across both political parties. The American people gave them the management reins and continue to give the same guys all levers of power. We are responsible for the sorry state of affairs.

      • Deap says:

        Add one more to the list of Afghan stats:

        On (Congressman) Dan Crenshaw’s third deployment in 2012, his life changed forever. After six months of combat operations, he was hit by an IED blast during a mission in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

        He was evacuated and awoke from his medically induced coma learning that his right eye had been destroyed in the blast and his left eye was badly damaged.

  15. Teddy says:

    The U.S. asked the Taliban to spare its embassy in the coming fight for Kabul.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/12/us/politics/taliban-afghanistan-us-embassy.html

  16. Personanongrata says:

    The end approacheth …

    The entire endeavor was stillborn at it’s inception (ie Oct2001).

  17. Sam says:

    THE U.S. JUST PULLED 2,500 TROOPS OUT OF AFGHANISTAN ONLY TO LOSE THE ENTIRE FUCKING COUNTRY TO THE TALIBAN—AND THEN STILL HAVE TO SEND 3,000 TROOPS RIGHT BACK IN TO EVACUATE THE AMERICAN EMBASSY.

    PULLING TROOPS OUT OF AFGHANISTAN BY SENDING MORE TROOPS TO AFGHANISTAN.

    AUFKM?

    What happens when generals spend far too much time reading CRT and pushing wokeism and licking boots of MIC CEOs. And promotions only for politically astute. The levels of incompetence is only growing.

    • Pat Lang says:

      Sam
      AND they are moving the ready brigade (3500 soldiers) of the 82nd forward to Kuwait in reserve. I hope those spitshined paratroop hoodlums get to do their thing. I see that the Tullab are taking the women as booty in the occupied towns. Kamala might like that. My art historian Germen neighbor once told me that living under jihadi versions of sharia was not so hard for a woman. She had never been anywhere but Germany, Italy (high school trip) and Switzerland. Oh yes, the US.

    • Deap says:

      Biden says they are only downsizing the US embassy, not evacuating it. Downsizing it by 100%?

      Words do have meaning you see, since Biden promised there would be no Saigon Embassy evacuation scenes on his watch. Overlooking the iconic Saigon helicopter photo was not even taken at the US Embassy. Whatever.

  18. Artemesia says:

    All I know about Afghanistan as a nation rather than a military venture is what I learned from The Kiterunner and follow-up, A Thousand Splendid Suns. Haunting stories that put a human face on the people: Afghanistan was a real and somewhat stable place, once upon a time. How extraordinary to think that more than one generation has known nothing but turmoil.

    • Deap says:

      James Michener’s “Caravans”, back in the 1960’s hippie-dippy pilgrimage days seeking eastern enlightenment, had Afghans laughing at Americans and their failed good intentions, even back then when relations where a bit friendlier.

  19. TV says:

    The vast majority of Americans have no idea of “natural rights.”

    • Sam says:

      Nazi Germany exemplified the banality of evil. We are seeing that here in the USA. The vast majority of Americans have forgotten the raison d’être for the Declaration of Independence and the ratification of the Constitution by the states. It clearly is no longer internalized by contemporary Americans as the bedrock principle. The US is the only country in world history where the inalienable rights endowed by the Creator is the central founding principle. And the first in history to voluntarily relinquish it for bread & circuses after a scant few centuries.

  20. Poul says:

    Ismail Khan got caught in Herat.

    https://twitter.com/bsarwary/status/1426095464336830465

    It will be interesting to see what the Taliban will do with him. Make an example or send him into exile in return for his people making no trouble.

  21. Pat Lang says:

    John Joyce et al

    I have deleted three comments today for bulletin boarding. i.e,, posting links without commentary.

  22. walrus says:

    3000 troops plus the embassy staff will make a very attractive group of hostages for the Taliban. They would be worth diplomatic recognition, a seat at the U. N. and a very large chunk of compensation from the U.S.

    I hope there is an air extraction plan is being executed right now. If we are stupid enough to try and drive through the passes then we deserve the same fate as previous generations. The Taliban will try and “negotiate” in an effort to keep us in Kabul until the weather breaks.

    And one more thing; I pray we have physically destroyed every hard drive, iphone, iPad, printer, photocopier and paper record.

    • Eric Newhill says:

      In addition to the two USMC and one Army Battalions going in country (3,000 troops), there is apparently also a brigade (?) consisting of 82nd AB units on standby as a QRF, in Kuwait.

      If those troops are only going to secure the embassy and surrounding urban environment long enough to evacuate civilian personnel, then that troop level should be sufficient, if they move fast to accomplish the mission.

      If they are going outside the wire, driving through the passes, etc., then God be with them.

  23. Babeltuap says:

    Humiliating for us Soldiers who cleared those roads of IED’s, installed water wells in remote villages, built roads, treated children with tape worms and lost our best friends in the process. All for nothing.

    The most humiliating for me however was being in Brooke Army Hospital from a suicide car bomber to find out Nidal Hasan was staying one floor directly below me receiving exceptional care with armed guards. I only found out by asking a close friend who worked in the hospital.

    Now the same people are telling me to take a non approved vaccine or me an my wife will lose our jobs and be banned from society. Yeah, no. We are done here.

  24. Joe100 says:

    Every day there are several good updates in some depth and many photos of Afghanistan transition at the Colonel Cassad website – https://colonelcassad.livejournal.com/

    English translation is available

    He also likes science fiction films..

  25. Barbara Ann says:

    A few lines from a fellow Cassandra for you Colonel:

    What man hears aught except the groaning guns?
    What man heeds aught save what each instant brings?
    When each man’s life all imaged life outruns,
    What man shall pleasure in imaginings?
    So it hath fallen, as it was bound to fall,
    We are not, nor we were not, heard at all.

    From Kipling’s The Fabulists.

  26. Leith says:

    I have for a long time thought that outside of the big city dwellers, the Hazara, and the Ismailis the average Afghan doesn’t care who rules in Kabul. As long as it is not overly corrupt, protects Islamic beliefs, and keeps out foreigners.

  27. roberto says:

    Time lapse map of Taliban gains.
    https://twitter.com/billroggio/status/1425168463635570688
    Now only 30 miles from Kabul.

  28. Walter says:

    Col, my recollection is that u called it right with Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, I can’t remember any predictions u got wrong since I’ve been reading your blog at the start of the Iraq war…. you said it was a mistake for Syria to herd the fundamentalists into Idlib and that has proven to be correct analysis… I know there’s a lot more but I just can’t remember everything but I really do appreciate your insights of analysis on military matters in the politics also….. Oh yeah I also remember that you predicted that despite overwhelming financial military and intelligence power on the side of Saudi Arabia that the leather thong footed Houthis would kick their asses which shocked me… but u have turned out to b correct there too… One of the main things I’ve learned from this blog is that money and military mate are not the most important factors in winning militarily… Heart and soul can b more important… hard to explain intangible human factors…
    This is unreal and fascinating to me

    It is also fascinating to me that the US government seems to promote and listen to the people who lose and get things wrong rather than the people who have the correct predictions and analysis.

    What a crazy world we live in

    • Pat Lang says:

      Walter

      One must understand these people in the context of their folk ways and culture. I did that on the ground and in the library. Bonaparte wrote that “In war the spiritual (moral) is greater than the physical.” We are a material people. We do not understand what Napoleon meant. He was the god of war. Le petit Corse.

    • blue peacock says:

      “…the US government seems to promote and listen to the people who lose and get things wrong rather than the people who have the correct predictions and analysis.”

      Fail upwards has been the promotion policy within the US government bureaucracy for decades. Actually, it appears that it is all about, is the person a loyal member of the groupthink & perfect at playing the internal political game to advance the groupthink agenda. It is not about getting policy, strategy and execution right.

      The question that we ought to contemplate based on the outcomes of the past several decades is, do the people that staff the US government from the top leadership to the middle manager to the actual guy doing something even focused on policy, strategy & tactics? Or are policy, strategy, tactics designed to obfuscate the real agendas which have nothing to do with national interests but the narrow & immediate personal interests of those at the highest echelons of power?

  29. ISL says:

    Dear Colonel,

    Seems like a significant intel failure (or failure to listen to the intelligence) or cherry picking. Clearly the US leadership thought they had six months. Pepe Escobar called it when he noted that the current Taliban is not the old Taliban which allowed them to capture the North which is ethnically different. Additionally, it is widely reported that deals were made with governors and warlords and so on – yet did not make its way into the intel or at least into the assessment.

    Institutional inertia?

    In which case, are similar intel distortions informing other (much much more important) decisions, such as in the S China Sea, or recently with Ukraine where the west completely misjudged how rapidly Russia could move forces, or the strategic implications of Russian and Chinese hypersonic missiles.

    Meanwhile

    • Pat Lang says:

      ISL
      “Not every doctor graduates at the head of the class.” I was a threat to the IC analysts because I had not failed the Foreign Service exam.

  30. Poul says:

    Journalist for Danish State Television tweets that the Taliban are at Maidan Shar. Half hours drive from Kabul.

    https://twitter.com/PukDamsgaard/status/1426402870711275522

  31. Lelush says:

    I am seeing that these Taliban spokepersons say all their diatribes by heart, I mean they do not use, by the velocity of their claims, not need, any teleprompter, seem to have their ideas, goals and vision very clear…

    https://twitter.com/RT_com/status/1426513938179571716

    Mate, these people have had 20 years to rise these cadres…..and they seem to have committed to the task quite thoroughly…Oh, wait…

    In clear contrast with the guy who gave the presser to communicate US DoS statements, who seemd to have not been read them even once, to give it a better intonation, coordination and clarity…A communication disaster which implies improvisation… or worst…

  32. Poul says:

    The Taliban appears to have taken Kunar province, NE of Kabul at the border of Pakistan. The noose is tightening. Taliban’s advances right now has probably less to do with fighting and more with local deals with tribal leaders etc.

    https://twitter.com/bsarwary/status/1426508452860399619

  33. Serge says:

    “..What is clear is that “breakthrough” cases are not the rare events the term implies. As of 15 August, 514 Israelis were hospitalized with severe or critical COVID-19, a 31% increase from just 4 days earlier. Of the 514, 59% were fully vaccinated. Of the vaccinated, 87% were 60 or older. “There are so many breakthrough infections that they dominate and most of the hospitalized patients are actually vaccinated,” says Uri Shalit, a bioinformatician at the Israel Institute of Technology (Technion) who has consulted on COVID-19 for the government. “One of the big stories from Israel [is]: ‘Vaccines work, but not well enough.’”
    https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2021/08/grim-warning-israel-vaccination-blunts-does-not-defeat-delta

    These companies screwed us. They all pocketed billions to develop a vaccine that doesn’t work. There is no “delta surge”. It’s a surge caused by the waning efficacy of vaccines. It’s the same disease. They instilled this quasi-religious belief in both the government and the general population that these vaccines were the only path back to “normal life”. This religious fixation and the false tale of the “delta surge” is the biggest obstacle to what actually needs to be done: go back to the drawing board and create a vaccine that works.

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