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gowlerk

How long till Kabul falls?

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(edited)
10 minutes ago, brenthutch said:

The withdrawal could have taken place when the mountain passes and Taliban strongholds were snowbound and bought the time necessary to complete our withdrawal in a less chaotic manner than we are witnessing now.

There are a lot of "could haves" when it comes to Afghanistan over the last 20 years.

Edited by SkyDekker

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I'm feeling a bit conflicted over this. I agree with the decision to pull out troops, for the reasons that Biden, and some others, have said.

However, this is probably not good news for Taiwan if the 'world police' are standing down from foreign engagements. I wouldn't be totally surprised if China takes them within a year. 

 

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From Heather Cox Richardson this morning:

According to an article by Susannah George in the Washington Post, the lightning speed takeover of Afghanistan by Taliban forces—which captured all 17 of the regional capitals and the national capital of Kabul in about nine days with astonishing ease—was a result of “cease fire” deals, which amounted to bribes, negotiated after former president Trump’s administration came to an agreement with the Taliban in February 2020. When U.S. officials excluded the Afghan government from the deal, soldiers believed that it was only a question of time until they were on their own and cut deals to switch sides. When Biden announced that he would honor Trump’s deal, the process sped up.

Letters from an American: August 16, 2021

The article she references:

WaPo: Afghanistan’s military collapse: Illicit deals and mass desertions

 

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2 hours ago, metalslug said:

However, this is probably not good news for Taiwan if the 'world police' are standing down from foreign engagements. I wouldn't be totally surprised if China takes them within a year. 

TSMC.

Taiwan is very, very different to Afghanistan. Much better motivated, much better organised, much better armed. And technologically advanced.

You're making China = Taliban in this lesson, but in this situation China will be more like the US.

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19 hours ago, brenthutch said:

I don’t know why they didn’t wait until the end of “fighting season” to initiate the withdrawal. 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afghanistan_fighting_season
 

The failure to appropriately react to the changes on the ground is unforgivable.

No, see below.

28 minutes ago, ryoder said:

From Heather Cox Richardson this morning:

According to an article by Susannah George in the Washington Post, the lightning speed takeover of Afghanistan by Taliban forces—which captured all 17 of the regional capitals and the national capital of Kabul in about nine days with astonishing ease—was a result of “cease fire” deals, which amounted to bribes, negotiated after former president Trump’s administration came to an agreement with the Taliban in February 2020. When U.S. officials excluded the Afghan government from the deal, soldiers believed that it was only a question of time until they were on their own and cut deals to switch sides. When Biden announced that he would honor Trump’s deal, the process sped up.

Letters from an American: August 16, 2021

The article she references:

WaPo: Afghanistan’s military collapse: Illicit deals and mass desertions

 

Just as tribal leaders have done for hundreds of years. They just as easily could have walked from their posts in the middle of January to allow the Taliban takeover.

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58 minutes ago, olofscience said:

You're making China = Taliban in this lesson, but in this situation China will be more like the US.

Taiwan will be controlled by Beijing eventually. It is only a matter of time. You are correct about their capabilities to defend themselves, but only with US support. If that is withdrawn the writing would be on the wall and the motivation would change to self preservation. The world does not even recognize Taiwan as an independent nation because of China's power. Which is growing rapidly.

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27 minutes ago, gowlerk said:

Taiwan will be controlled by Beijing eventually. It is only a matter of time. You are correct about their capabilities to defend themselves, but only with US support. If that is withdrawn the writing would be on the wall and the motivation would change to self preservation. The world does not even recognize Taiwan as an independent nation because of China's power. Which is growing rapidly.

How much time have you spent in the Far East?

I lived there for years, have several Taiwanese and mainland Chinese friends, yet I'm nowhere near as certain as you seem to be about this.

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2 minutes ago, olofscience said:

How much time have you spent in the Far East?

I lived there for years, have several Taiwanese and mainland Chinese friends, yet I'm nowhere near as certain as you seem to be about this.

None at all. However the position of CCP and the history of the conflict can only lead to a take over at some point. It may be a bloody invasion or it may be a forced agreement. But clearly Taiwan is not capable of defending itself if China is determined. And just as clearly it is. Nearly all of their military build up is aimed at achieving this goal.

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(edited)

Things the GOP hopes you'll forget:

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/rnc-trump-kabul-taliban-deal-b1903364.html

Republicans delete webpage celebrating Trump’s deal with Taliban

Page touting former president’s ‘historic peace agreement’ disappeared over the weekend

 

Edit - sorry, it was already reported here.

Edited by kallend

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13 minutes ago, gowlerk said:

None at all. However the position of CCP and the history of the conflict can only lead to a take over at some point. It may be a bloody invasion or it may be a forced agreement. But clearly Taiwan is not capable of defending itself if China is determined. And just as clearly it is. Nearly all of their military build up is aimed at achieving this goal.

I think it's a lot more complicated than that.

A bloody invasion would trigger a much wider conflict - drawing in countries who normally hate each other and unifying them against China - for example Japan, South Korea and several Southeast Asian countries, not to mention some western countries who have an interest, not just the US. It could be a WW3-level conflict. Not to mention opposition within China itself - a lot of their pop culture and technology comes from Taiwan and flattening it would be counterproductive, as Taiwan isn't very resource-rich anyway.

There's no oil or any significant mineral resource in Formosa. It's all about soft power and a bloody invasion would destroy a lot of that. The military build up is all about perception and intimidation, kind of like how nukes are for MAD (mutually assured destruction) rather than for actual use. They prevent Taiwan from declaring independence, but at the same time Taiwan's combined military/soft power prevents the mainland from invading. And soft power is a lot more difficult to obtain than economic or military power.

I don't know how long this will last, but your certainty seems to be based on extremely simplified assumptions (and possibly an exceedingly US-centric view) of the current situation.

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2 minutes ago, olofscience said:

I don't know how long this will last, but your certainty seems to be based on extremely simplified assumptions (and possibly an exceedingly US-centric view) of the current situation.

I agree about the complexity of the situation as it stands. I disagree about the probability of other SE Asian nations standing up to China. The only thing stopping China today is the US ability to project power through its naval power. The nuclear power is not even a consideration as no POTUS would risk a conflagration over it. Yes, the relationship is best described as a stalemate at this point. A stalemate is only a temporary condition, in the long term that island belongs to China and they will take it. Unless the CCP loses control of the nation and it devolves into the fractious regionalism that has marked a lot of its history. It seems far more likely that the US will lose enough of its resolve to maintain the status quo via enormous expenditures of resources. It will not be a world level conflict because the stakes are not that high for any nation other than the two principals.

The "US centric" aspect of my thinking comes from the fact that the US is at the centre of Taiwan's ability to maintain a semblance of independence. 

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9 hours ago, metalslug said:

However, this is probably not good news for Taiwan if the 'world police' are standing down from foreign engagements. I wouldn't be totally surprised if China takes them within a year. 

The US have lost or pulled out of a lot of wars and conflicts since Taiwan's split from mainland China. I don't see why this one should be a major catalyst for global change.

Afghanistan was never anything more than a half arsed side project for Washington DC anyway, if it even counted as that.

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56 minutes ago, airdvr said:

If you've never seen it.  In the end Charlie was right.

Well... he got the government invlved in an Afghan war when there was clearly no planning, enthusiasm or resolve for building a better Afghanistan in the aftermath. Isn't that exactly what's been happening for the last 20 years?

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The US was in Afghanistan for 20 years, Russia was there for 9.  Afghanistan came in first but lost.  The US came in second and lost, Russia came in third and lost.  It seems like the only winners were the bomb and bullet makers.  We were involved in Viet Nam from 1955 to 1973 with things really heating up around 1965.  We still have troops in Korea.  In the TV series MASH about the Korean War, Hawkeye Pierce basically said "The war will never be over, they will just take it on the road"  So the question is "what country is next" or has the US finally learned their lesson...NOT.

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2 hours ago, Bigfalls said:

The US was in Afghanistan for 20 years, Russia was there for 9.  Afghanistan came in first but lost.  The US came in second and lost, Russia came in third and lost.  It seems like the only winners were the bomb and bullet makers. 

Dwight D. Eisenhower had something to say about that in his farewell address.

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6 hours ago, millertime24 said:

 

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Come on dude. I don’t know how self absorbed you need to be to see the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan only as an opportunity for domestic partisan backbiting.

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3 hours ago, jakee said:

Come on dude. I don’t know how self absorbed you need to be to see the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan only as an opportunity for domestic partisan backbiting.

 

9 hours ago, millertime24 said:

So I guess we aren't talking about any of this...

 

 

 

Remembering** that it was Trump who brokered the deal with the Taliban, what exactly do you think he would have done differently when the Afghan army, trained at great US expense over the past 20 years, abruptly collapsed?

 

** You did remember that, right?

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Excerpted from an article by David von Drehle:

“You have been in Afghanistan, I perceive.”

Thus Dr. Watson met Sherlock Holmes.

Given their mutual interest in Afghanistan, the famous detectives may have absorbed a few years later the work of an eager young journalist named Winston Churchill, who traveled with British troops some 125 years ago as far as the northwestern limit of British India — land that would become Pakistan. There, at a line Britain had drawn between its dominion and the mountainous lands beyond, Churchill observed tribal fighting that had gone on for all recorded time. Through countless feuds and truces, bargains and betrayals.

Churchill recognized that the Pashtun tribes would never honor a Western line through their ancient territories. Observing the fighters known as Talibs — passionate and violent young men afire with religious fervor — he concluded that their holy wars were endless.

Talib. Taliban. Endless.

Everything the United States should have known was knowable before we plunged without planning into the graveyard of empires. It is a gift to be able to learn from the mistakes of others. The original authors of the American engagement in Afghanistan — with names like Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld — were not gifted in this way. They chose not to learn, or to ignore what they learned, or to think that they were somehow different.

 

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