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Afghanistan Poll


vcczar
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Afghanistan poll  

21 members have voted

  1. 1. Who is to blame for the US failure in Afghanistan?

  2. 2. Should the Afghanistan War be considered a failure in the same way the Vietnam War was?

  3. 3. Will Taliban taking control lead to more worldwide terrorist attacks?



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4 minutes ago, ConservativeElector2 said:

It's definitely a failure but not to the degree Vietnam was. Vietnam was an even greater failure, even though the country on the whole had a better perspective I believe.

I'd say there are some key differences in the losses. 1) Far lower US fatality count for ---2k in Afghanistan to 200k in Vietnam. 2) The Vietnam loss was more embarrassing because it was indirectly against our global foe the USSR. 

I do think Vietnam, post-war, is better off than Afghanistan will be under the Taliban again. The Taliban is going to be in retribution mode. Expect a lot of terrible things to happen to anyone in the country that aided the US or opposed the Taliban. It's going to be an awful place. 

I do put this Afghanistan War with the Vietnam War in the same kind of loss. It's a long-lasting US engagement that was likely unwinnable, and the US had to withdraw, ceding the land to the organization the US hoped to destroy. 

Taliban "winning" in Afghanistan will probably see, at least, a short-term morale boost for terrorist organization. It's going to embolden such groups, that if if they are patient enough, victory will eventually occur. 

I think Bush opened this Pandora's box by putting boots on the ground in both Afghanistan and Iraq. There was no reason to go into Iraq. Afghanistan had some justification, but it would likely have been better to stick to airstrikes and diplomacy. I think getting fully engaged just made things worse, giving them more cause to lash out at the Western world. 

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16 minutes ago, vcczar said:

I'd say there are some key differences in the losses. 1) Far lower US fatality count for ---2k in Afghanistan to 200k in Vietnam. 2) The Vietnam loss was more embarrassing because it was indirectly against our global foe the USSR. 

I do think Vietnam, post-war, is better off than Afghanistan will be under the Taliban again. The Taliban is going to be in retribution mode. Expect a lot of terrible things to happen to anyone in the country that aided the US or opposed the Taliban. It's going to be an awful place. 

[...]

Taliban "winning" in Afghanistan will probably see, at least, a short-term morale boost for terrorist organization. It's going to embolden such groups, that if if they are patient enough, victory will eventually occur. 

I agree on everything here. Your two reasons given are among those for why I wouldn't consider Afghanistan as bad for the US as Vietnam.

I'd also add that if South Vietnam (and the US) had won, the entire of Vietnam or at least the southern part had a great potential to be a thriving nation today. Just like South Korea. I'd argue that even the US had ''won'' in Afghanistan, the nation itself had little hope to transform soon into something we would call a successful or peaceful nation. 

22 minutes ago, vcczar said:

It's a long-lasting US engagement that was likely unwinnable, and the US had to withdraw, ceding the land to the organization the US hoped to destroy.

I think Bush opened this Pandora's box by putting boots on the ground in both Afghanistan and Iraq. There was no reason to go into Iraq. Afghanistan had some justification, but it would likely have been better to stick to airstrikes and diplomacy. I think getting fully engaged just made things worse, giving them more cause to lash out at the Western world. 

I disagree on this part. I don't think the US had to withdraw. I can see why one wouldn't spend even more ressources on aiding a nation in which the majority is just fine with being governed by radical islamists. On the other hand maybe the engagement wasn't won, because the US wasn't aggressive enough.

For Bush going into Iraq I'd also see the point in saying that Iraq's none of the US's business. However, their ruler was a brutal dictator and a threat to world peace. It doesn't seem wrong to take such people out, but of course it's difficult to determine whether it's worth sacrificing your own people for those thousands of kilometres away.

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1) I think all are to blame, as none of them have been able to handle the situation well--it's probably a very difficult, complicated situation. I don't know the situation in Afghanistan, but I question if the Western governments know the situation in Afghanistan sufficiently. 

Also...

"My dear boy, as long as you don’t invade Afghanistan you’ll be absolutely fine.” - Harold McMillan

But again, America did have the justification to go into Afghanistan.

2) I think they are different situations.

3) I lean no, but I could be wrong. I tend to think the Taliban as regional (but I may be wrong here).

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The war itself was not a failure (as the US accomplished its purpose of taking out those who attacked us). The occupation (and attempted rebuild) was a failure. The fact that after over two decades of occupation the Taliban is able to sweep through easily is enough evidence on that front. Buch and Obama are to blame for getting us stuck in the attempt to rebuild.

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On question 1, They're all to blame. Bush got us there, but there was wide bipartisan support when it happened. Obama and Trump kept us in, and despite getting us out, Biden still is to blame for his acceptance when he was in Congress and his role in the Obama administration in letting it go on. The war was absolutely a failure, 20 years of wasted time, people, and resources, and for nothing except for the death of Bin Laden. There may be a small uptick in terrorist attacks after the Taliban takes over, but if they remain in power, that will long-term be a decrease in terrorist attacks as the lack of an American/Western presence in the region will lead to less anti-American sentiment from the people.

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All are to blame, but that's a boring answer so I chose Bush as the most to blame. Looking at it from either direction, he is the culprit. He got us into Afghanistan in the first place, and the impetus was on him as the one who did it to figure out what we actually wanted to do there. Then he got us into Iraq, which required resources to be pulled and not given to Afghanistan, which could give more money to shore up Afghanistan when it most counted - the very beginning.

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13 hours ago, vcczar said:

 but it would likely have been better to stick to airstrikes and diplomacy. 

Neither one was possible.

I mean, start with: Diplomacy with WHO?  The Afghani Government in 2001 was the Taliban, and they were actively protecting Al Qaeda and it's leader Osama Bin Laden.  They made their bed, and they made it intentionally.  Who exactly were we supposed to engage with diplomatically, when they refused to stop shielding those who had attacked us and killed thousands of our people?

As for airstrikes -- sure, we did, to the best of our ability.  But Aghanistan is mountains and it is exceptionally difficult to get meaningful, accurate intelligence about where the enemy is in the mountains, without "boots on the ground" exploring every nook and cranny.

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10 hours ago, jvikings1 said:

The war itself was not a failure (as the US accomplished its purpose of taking out those who attacked us). The occupation (and attempted rebuild) was a failure. The fact that after over two decades of occupation the Taliban is able to sweep through easily is enough evidence on that front. Buch and Obama are to blame for getting us stuck in the attempt to rebuild.

I mean...at what point do we blame the Afghani people?  We gave them twenty years, equipment, training, and billions of dollars.  Why was that not enough?

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30 minutes ago, MrPotatoTed said:

I mean...at what point do we blame the Afghani people?  We gave them twenty years, equipment, training, and billions of dollars.  Why was that not enough?

The US didnt invest early and properly. We pulled significant resources to Iraq rather than focusing on building the civilian control in Afghanistan. That was four to five years down the drain alone.

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1 minute ago, Hestia said:

The US didnt invest early and properly. We pulled significant resources to Iraq rather than focusing on building the civilian control in Afghanistan. That was four to five years down the drain alone.

We couldn't invest early, we were in the middle of a war.  Hard to assess which businesses and leaders would be the most stable while being shot at.  We have to bring some sense of reality into this conversation, if we're going to seriously assess lessons learned.

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29 minutes ago, Patine said:

It did not require toppling the whole Afghan Government and rebuilding, restructuring, and stabilizing the country (or attempting to in vain - an endeavour I remind you I've pointed out the pitifully low success rate of doing so in the Post-WW2 era by the U.S. or any other major Western nation) to fulfill the mission. The mission was to capture the leadership of Al Qaeda - nothing else. Now why don't you tell me why those vaunted commandos weren't sent in from the start - and finishing the whole things quickly and cleanly rather than turn it to a catastrophic mess by yet another botched and ill-thought-out invasion? The location of the Al Qaeda leadership was better known to U.S. intelligence in October 2001, and would have been a much simpler issue.

Would it surprise you to learn that war is difficult?  

"Why didn't they just capture Osama Bin Laden on September 12th and be done with it?"

Man, I wish you'd been in the Situation Room that day.  That's exactly the kind of thinking we could have really used!

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27 minutes ago, Patine said:

Because Western values, ideals of Governance and law, economics, society, etc. are not popular with the Afghan people, and they don't want to live under a paternalistic Western tutelory state - and not every Third World nation has an obligation to accept one, perhaps?

Yep, you're right.  We're definitely the bad guys in this story.  Taliban rule is the best!

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Just now, MrPotatoTed said:

We couldn't invest early, we were in the middle of a war.  Hard to assess which businesses and leaders would be the most stable while being shot at.  We have to bring some sense of reality into this conversation, if we're going to seriously assess lessons learned.

Three to four years in is plenty of time. It also conveniently ignores the scale of what we committed from Afghanistan to Iraq. It's unfair to say that it's completely the fault of the Afghans for not being able to defend their country. After all, they were working from scratch. I read this article which is quite informative. 

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theatlantic.com/amp/article/619740/

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Just now, Hestia said:

Three to four years in is plenty of time. It also conveniently ignores the scale of what we committed from Afghanistan to Iraq. It's unfair to say that it's completely the fault of the Afghans for not being able to defend their country. After all, they were working from scratch. I read this article which is quite informative. 

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theatlantic.com/amp/article/619740/

I didn't say it's "completely their fault".  I asked at what point any of it becomes their fault.  

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Just now, MrPotatoTed said:

I didn't say it's "completely their fault".  I asked at what point any of it becomes their fault.  

It's silly to argue over percentages, but of course there is fault to go around. There always is in these cases. But the impetus was on us to train them correctly, if we weren't, then they obviously couldn't just figure it out.

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17 minutes ago, Hestia said:

It's silly to argue over percentages, but of course there is fault to go around. There always is in these cases. But the impetus was on us to train them correctly, if we weren't, then they obviously couldn't just figure it out.

In what way did we train them incorrectly?

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1 minute ago, Patine said:

 

What, suggesting sending in the Navy SEAL's and those other commando teams right from the start to apprehend the Al Qaeda leadership and avoid the whole monstrous and bloody war outright? I actually think it's a stellar idea, actually, and I wonder if anyone in that Situation Room did suggest such a thing with any sincerity and persistence, and, if so, what line of bullshit they must've been fed as a counter.

You’re just...you are so wildly in over your head here that it is embarrassing to watch.

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Just now, Patine said:

Why, because I'm viewing this from outside the troped, and - statistically in majority - failed military and political doctrine and suggesting something that resources existed for and could have spared a mountain of unnecessary death, destruction, hatred, and the spawning of more terrorist groups?

I think what Ted is saying is that no one knew where Al Qaeda's leadership was to be exact, so sending teams of SEALs wouldn't work because no one knew where to look in the first place. 

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Just now, Patine said:

I don't think a full-fledged invasion would have nearly been required to gain that intel, though.

And leave the country under the control of the very terrorists that caused 9/11? That's political suicide and incredibly stupid in the first place - you have to look at it from the reality that was being faced at that time. In hindsight, we can argue the details, but the fact of going into Afghanistan to get rid of those who did 9/11 is not one of them. 

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