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


J.C.MacSwell
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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
fading keyboard, must repaint
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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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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. 

Edited by iNow
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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
  • $10,000  2001 stock purchase ($2,000 of each stock) today: $97,294.80

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)

https://theintercept.com/2021/08/16/afghanistan-war-defense-stocks/

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2 hours ago, Alex_Krycek said:

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

Dig deeper. This is just the first level. Make a list of the owners of these companies. And the owners of the owners..

Edited by Sensei
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23 hours ago, iNow said:

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

My doubt was well placed. Biden has rejected calls from other world leaders to extend the removal deadline and remains committed to being out by next week.

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It was never clear to many of us in the US how "rebuilding" a country that's a patchwork of five different nationalities that didn't much like each other was worth soaking American taxpayers for two trillion dollars because of terrorists who can melt across remote borders whenever things get sticky. 

As @Alex_Krycek  and others note,  the war certainly provided a nice welfare program for what Pres. Eisenhower called "the military-industrial complex, "  with companies like Halliburton and the defense contractors (listed above) doing quite well.   Everything else was window-dressing for gullible Americans,  a fairy tale about promoting liberal democracy and protecting our citizens.   

 

Edited by TheVat
Tpyo
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I suspect the profit motive was tertiary. First, something had to be seen to be done, by all those Americans shaking their impotent little fists at the sky on September 12, 2001.

Secondly, Little Boots wanted to be "the war president" - without offending or inconveniencing his oil-brothers in the Saudi aristocracy. And there were his spirit guides, Cheyney and Rumsfeld, leading him to the answer.

Some civilian crimes and most war crimes are status motivated.

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2 hours ago, TheVat said:

It was never clear to many of us in the US how "rebuilding" a country that's a patchwork of five different nationalities that didn't much like each other was worth soaking American taxpayers for two trillion dollars because of terrorists who can melt across remote borders whenever things get sticky. 

As noted before, the vast majority of the trillions went to military/police and related expenses. It was clear that rebuilding seemed a bit of an afterthought if at all. Moreover, as some outlets reported, those few initiatives could fall under infrastructure or other forms of rebuilding were often not properly supervised and often fell prey to corruption. Which further supports the notion that these initiatives were more window dressing compared to the military project, where the big bucks were.

Moreover, it appears that the military contracts were also not done with sustainability in mind, where US soldiers, companies and contractors ran most of the show (and consumed the money).

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Here is an interesting take from the viewpoint of the Afghan forces

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/25/opinion/afghanistan-taliban-army.html

The author (Commander in the Afghan National Army) counters the narrative of the Afghan unwillingness to fight.

Quote

It was in response to those scenes that Mr. Biden said on Aug. 16 that the Afghan forces collapsed, “sometimes without trying to fight.” But we fought, bravely, until the end. We lost 66,000 troops over the past 20 years; that’s one-fifth of our estimated fighting force.

The author highlights three factors resulting in the collapse:

Quote

First, former President Donald Trump’s February 2020 peace deal with the Taliban in Doha doomed us. It put an expiration date on American interest in the region. Second, we lost contractor logistics and maintenance support critical to our combat operations. Third, the corruption endemic in Mr. Ghani’s government that flowed to senior military leadership and long crippled our forces on the ground irreparably hobbled us.

The article is worth a read and provides an interesting perspective.

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https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/08/26/world/afghanistan-taliban-biden-news

Live Afghanistan Updates: ‘We Will Not Forgive,’ Biden Says, Vowing Retaliation for Kabul Attack

The president spoke out after the attack that killed scores at the Kabul airport, among them 13 U.S. service members. He vowed to continue the evacuation of Americans.

 

Here’s what you need to know:

 

https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/western-nations-race-complete-afghan-evacuation-deadline-looms-2021-08-25/

 

A Taliban spokesman described the attack as the work of "evil circles" who would be suppressed once foreign troops leave.

Western countries fear that the Taliban, who once sheltered Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda, will allow Afghanistan to turn again into a haven for militants. The Taliban say they will not let the country be used by terrorists.

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9 minutes ago, beecee said:

The Taliban say they will not let the country be used by terrorists.

Unfortunately right now, they’re a bit like the dog who caught its own tail (taking Kabul far sooner than even they expected).

They will not let the country be used by terrorists? That’s EXACTLY what happened yesterday. Their country was used by terrorists.

 Hell, they aren’t even able to let the country be used by airplanes at this point.

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12 minutes ago, iNow said:

Unfortunately right now, they’re a bit like the dog who caught its own tail (taking Kabul far sooner than even they expected).

They will not let the country be used by terrorists? That’s EXACTLY what happened yesterday. Their country was used by terrorists.

 Hell, they aren’t even able to let the country be used by airplanes at this point.

Coincidently, the gate where some of the US forces were killed, was earlier being manned by Australian defence forces. Deepest sympathies to those US forces killed and of course the many civilians....So sad, so  distressing!

2 minutes ago, beecee said:

Coincidently, the gate where some of the US forces were killed, was earlier being manned by Australian defence forces. Deepest sympathies to those US forces killed and of course the many civilians....So sad, so  distressing!

I may have that wrong re the manning of that gate.....

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-08-27/kabul-airport-suicide-bombing-australian-soldiers-depart/100411880

Australian troops had left Afghanistan before a deadly suicide bombing attack that killed soldiers and civilians at Kabul's international airport, Defence Minister Peter Dutton says. 

At least 60 people including 13 US troops were killed in two bomb blasts orchestrated by Islamic State group (IS) offshoot ISIS-K.

Mr Dutton said the blasts occurred at the Baron Hotel and Abbey Gate airport entrance, where Australians were being brought through, but that Australian soldiers were safe.

"I can confirm that not too long before the attack Australian troops and the rest of our personnel were wheels up and out of Kabul," Mr Dutton said.

"I'm just so grateful they are safe."

The Defence Minister confirmed Australia's military evacuation mission has ended.

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If you're wondering who is responsible for all this s*....

(the answer is always the same, but through a couple of sockpuppets..)

 

https://news.sky.com/video/afghanistan-taliban-leader-mullah-baradar-returns-12384306

"Afghanistan: Taliban leader Mullah Baradar returns after release from prison

Baradar was arrested in 2010 in Pakistan but was released from prison in 2018 at the request of former US President Donald Trump's administration so he could participate in peace talks."

(one might wonder about the objectivity of the August 2021 news, so one must go back to earlier records)

 

News from 2018:

https://www.outlookindia.com/newsscroll/taliban-leader-baradar-released-at-us-request-for-political-settlement-in-afghanistan-pak/1417930

"Islamabad, Nov 8 (PTI) Pakistan on Thursday said the Afghan Taliban's former deputy chief Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar was released from jail at the request of the US as part of efforts to pursue a political settlement in war-torn Afghanistan."

 

Search engine query:

https://www.google.com/search?q=Abdul+Ghani+Baradar+released+from+prison+trump+"2018"+-2021+-2020

 

Abdul Ghani Baradar and Mike Pompeo (ex-CIA director, ex-Secretary of State) meeting in Doha 2020:

1951668159_AbdulGhaniBaradar.thumb.jpg.3e2a94737e4d3bfc2c4880370bb49caf.jpg

https://www.timesofisrael.com/who-is-abdul-ghani-baradar-the-man-who-led-the-taliban-takeover-of-afghanistan/

 

Edited by Sensei
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  • 3 weeks later...

Here is Francesca Fiorentini's reporting from early July, prior to Kabul's surrender.  Afghanistan is 50:00 onward, and the finance angle is from 90 onward.  (Empire Files is good for Israel Palestine.)

From a scientific perspective, one might analogize that the Taliban, a supposedly "primitive" culture, pushed out the foreign invader like it was influenza, a naturally occurring viral infection.  All the Taliban needed was a real boogeyman like what humans have evolved to detect.  Although agnostic atheists are only pushing for what seems like the next logical step (i.e. why not ditch the God too?), it is worth noting how we've wandered, or carelessly stumbled, into a supposedly modern culture of hyper-individualism and continual oligarchy.  What do the Taliban have that we have willingly surrendered to the marketing and propaganda that have mangled/modernized our values into accomodating whatever corrupt, lying oligarchs they propped up?  Trump started the withdrawal, Biden carried through with it, and neoliberal imperialists and war racketeers were all-along profiting from mediocre work.  Meanwhile, communist China actually seems to be adopting the empirial strategy of bolstering its allies through infrastructure projects of the sort that we cannot even commit to here in the continental USA.

On 8/25/2021 at 10:28 AM, Alex_Krycek said:

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
  • $10,000  2001 stock purchase ($2,000 of each stock) today: $97,294.80

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)

https://theintercept.com/2021/08/16/afghanistan-war-defense-stocks/

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.

Lockheed Martin.  "U.S. Military Admits Trillion Dollar Mistake" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbzEMdJBagg

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