# Looks like Afghanistan is in Taliban hands...or VERY soon to be

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41 minutes ago, Peterkin said:

Of course he's struggling. Each new president inherits the bass-ackward incompetence and crappy decisions of the six or seven preceding administrations, and the same brass-bound, uncommunicative, recalcitrant military hierarchy that leaves all the messy splats on the ground and swaggers away. This president is at least doing something, even if he was pushed into it unprepared.

Do you know what he's doing behind the scenes? I don't. What do you think he should do that's within his power to do? I have no frickin idea.

Actually I would like to add that Biden (and the whole senate at that time) voted for the invasion. While it is possible that he and other lawmakers where misled by the respective administrations (one of which he was part of as vice-president), it only highlights that seemingly no one really knew what was going on, or particularly cared about it, either. It was rather clear that whoever does anything, would make it fall apart.

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17 minutes ago, CharonY said:

Biden (and the whole senate at that time) voted for the invasion.

He also has been advocating leaving for over a decade. Even former chairman of the joint chiefs, admiral Mike Mullen, has applauded him for being right on this the whole time when the admiral and other generals were wrong.

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It's hard to say no to army brass. It's hard to understand very different cultures. It's hard to decide whether a war of choice is a good or bad choice. It's hard to extricate oneself from a fraught relationship of any kind (You've all been there, right?) It's hard to know the most politically advantageous thing to do. When you're in one of the many seats in a great big room full of democratically elected representatives of 30-some percent of the people, it's easy to go with the flow. When you're in that badly designed office, all alone, you make some very difficult decisions.

1 hour ago, J.C.MacSwell said:

You seem to have quoted and taken exception to my preamble. (despite probably agreeing with it?)

Agreeing, certainly. Taking exception, no. Just wondering what you imagine doing in his place. It's kind of an uncomfortable thought-experiment.

Edited by Peterkin
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Uhm. Ok. It’s hard. What point are you trying make other than adding to your post count?

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10 minutes ago, iNow said:

What point are you trying make

No points. Just discourse on the situation. If we can't or don't want to think about what our political leaders face once we put them in office, on what basis can we decide which ones to elect next time?

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17 minutes ago, Peterkin said:

No points.

Thx for confirming

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1 hour ago, iNow said:

He also has been advocating leaving for over a decade. Even former chairman of the joint chiefs, admiral Mike Mullen, has applauded him for being right on this the whole time when the admiral and other generals were wrong.

I believe he hit the nail fair square on the head in the first moment of the Interview...The capitulation of the Afghan forces for their own survivability.

Mistakes were made, not simply by the Americans but by all the allied forces that invaded the country, initially and rightly to prevent a haven for terrorists and of course to eliminate Bin-Laden, after 9/11.

I have a sneaking suspicion that if the new breed of Taliban do not live up to their word, that other actions, sanctions and repuccusions maybe in the pipeline. While that will be detrimental for the average Joe Blow in the streets, the facts are that if this is still the old Taliban in disguise, then things will be 100 times worse for the average Afghan.

On Biden, and speaking as an outsider, I sort of thought he was too old for the job, but then again, anything was acceptable in place of the former redneck ratbag Trump. Otherwise, I feel rather sorry he is confronted with such a scenario. Will he maintain forces after the 31st August? That also will be interesting.

Edited by beecee
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8 hours ago, beecee said:

I believe he hit the nail fair square on the head in the first moment of the Interview...The capitulation of the Afghan forces for their own survivability.

That resonated with me, too. They could've fought, but knew they'd be overtaken soon and their decision to battle would lead to consequences / retribution for them and their families. They made a rational calculation to just lay down arms now and increase likelihood of surviving.

8 hours ago, beecee said:

Otherwise, I feel rather sorry he is confronted with such a scenario. Will he maintain forces after the 31st August? That also will be interesting.

He'll have a video teleconference with other world leaders today where many (including Boris Johnson from UK) are expected to push him to keep troops in longer. I'm doubtful he'll agree, though might be willing to share the burden if other countries add troops of their own... as you mention... we'll see.

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Let's also not willfully ignore the principle driver of the war: profit.

For the defense contractors who made billions during this crusade, the current result, shambolic as it may appear, is actually fairly promising for their industry.  It means then can do it all again some time in the future.

### S&P 500

• Total return: 516.67 percent
• Annualized return: 9.56 percent
• $10,000 2001 stock purchase today:$61,613.06

### Basket of Top Five Contractor Stocks

• Total return: 872.94 percent

### Boeing

• Total return: 974.97 percent
• Annualized return: 12.67 percent
• $10,000 2001 stock purchase today:$107,588.47
• Board includes: Edmund P. Giambastiani Jr. (former vice chair, Joint Chiefs of Staff), Stayce D. Harris (former inspector general, Air Force), John M. Richardson (former navy chief of Naval Operations)

### Raytheon

• Total return: 331.49 percent
• Annualized return: 7.62 percent
• $10,000 2001 stock purchase today:$43,166.92
• Board includes: Ellen Pawlikowski (retired Air Force general), James Winnefeld Jr. (retired Navy admiral), Robert Work (former deputy secretary of defense)

### Lockheed Martin

• Total return: 1,235.60 percent
• Annualized return: 13.90 percent
• $10,000 2001 stock purchase today:$133,559.21
• Board includes: Bruce Carlson (retired Air Force general), Joseph Dunford Jr. (retired Marine Corps general)

### General Dynamics

• Total return: 625.37 percent
• Annualized return: 10.46 percent
• $10,000 2001 stock purchase today:$72,515.58
• Board includes: Rudy deLeon (former deputy secretary of defense), Cecil Haney (retired Navy admiral), James Mattis (former secretary of defense and former Marine Corps general), Peter Wall (retired British general)

### Northrop Grumman

• Total return: 1,196.14 percent
• Annualized return: 13.73 percent
• $10,000 2001 stock purchase today:$129,644.84
• Board includes: Gary Roughead (retired Navy admiral), Mark Welsh III (retired Air Force general)

Another war finance story: we wasted trillions beefing up bulky fighter jets rather than improving on an older, lightweight design.  It was TYT.  I'll find it.

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