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Emissary
 
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Post 18 Aug 2021, 6:57 am

There are no words to describe the pathetic imbecile that Joe Biden is, nor his many incompetent handlers, nor the complicit media who support him, nor his "women and children last" Afghan foreign policy.

After Trump I didn't think anyone could embarrass the country as badly.

I was wrong.
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Post 18 Aug 2021, 11:09 am

Well, yeah, youre wrong now. First of all, this is mostly the fault of the military and intelligence for not properly planning this withdrawal. Presidents usually dont get down into the weeds and plan this kind of thing. You dont think the military game plans how to withdraw from a hostile deployment? Where was their contingency plan for getting out quickly, requests for more troops to secure the airport and withdrawal as a whole if things went bad in a hurry?

The other failure was in not identifying Afghans we needed to get out, getting them vetted, and providing them visas. I think the Administration could have provided more urgency there. But again intelligence was saying the Afghans were going to hold out for months.

The other aspect here is that Trump made a terrible agreement allowing 5,000 Taliban soldiers out of jail and he was the one that agreed to us withdrawing in the first place and agreed to keeping only 2,500 soldiers there until withdrawal, which probably contributed to this complete collapse.

Biddn ratified that withdrawal. Getting out of Afghanistan was popular as most Americans were sick of us being there and 20 years was long enough. It was the right decision. But are the tactical elements of withdrawal really at the level of a president's purview,? Look the buck stops here and all that, he is ultimately responsible for this embarrassing withdrawal, but come on. Presidents dont get into the weeds on planning on HOW to withdraw. They decide TO withdraw.

There should be consequences for those who failed at their jobs here. I dont think you really expect a president to plan mililtary withdrawals or how to facilitate process visas, though...

And no matter what comparing Biden negatively to Trump is out of bounds. Trump attempted a coup to end our democracy. His name will always live in infamy. A botched withdrawal is nothing compared to that.
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Post 18 Aug 2021, 10:38 pm

Nah.

It happened and is happening on your president's watch. It is absolutely his fault. If you are that incompetent or out to lunch from dementia that you can't know what your military is doing you have no right to have the office in the first place. Here's an idea for you, conjure up Harry Truman's ghost and explain to him your line of bullshit about the office of the Commander and Chief. "Here boys, here's the keys. Just try not to break anything." Your man Obama knew better. He micromanaged our generals ad nauseam. They couldn't take a piss without his consent. Yet you give Biden a pass?

"Women and children last" say you. I don't. We could just as easily maintained a military presence and issued a mandatory exit date for Americans and our allies. If after that date an American decides to stay, so be it. Simply put, Afghanistan is a waning priority for American foreign policy. And by the way, sound arguments abound on why that strategy is the wrong strategy.

I am not surprised you would attempt to somehow place blame on Trump. I was waiting for that one. Cue smoke screen! Not one real syllable of criticism for your president on this one? Here's the best you could muster?

Look the buck stops here and all that, he is ultimately responsible for this embarrassing withdrawal, but come on.


Mystifying.

Your man is not right in his head. He's not there. But by God it was sure good of him to find the time to pay Boris a visit. Are you kidding me? This is the first time he's met with a foreign leader and it's August of 2021? Can't you see that something is wrong with this picture? Is that how a healthy man goes about being POTUS? Not at all and you know it.

Please don't hide his dementia and absolute failure to understand the situation in Afghanistan by putting up a pathetic smoke screen of blaming generals and military strategists. Please stop with that. You sound like a parrot quoting soundbites from CNN and MSNBC talking heads. Redscape is better than that.

There should be consequences for those who failed at their jobs here


This is rich. Yeah, so long as it's not Biden.

In typical left fashion, you are actually going to attempt to convince grown men and women on this site that your man is a victim here? Have you lost your mind? This victimhood approach to fending off any and all criticisms of "progressive" policies is so tired and so worn and so pathetic that it's just sad to see someone still trying to fit into a suit from the 1970s 3 sizes too small.

Trump attempted a coup? Sure. And big foot has allied himself (or herself or himself who identifies as a her or herself who identifies as a him or it identifying as non binary) with the aliens at long last.

Put the Kool Aid down.

Had it been a real coup, it would have looked a lot different than a crowd of pissed off people who felt their system of democracy was rigged and had betrayed them running around the capitol with flags and cheers for Dixie. The nation was fortunate that a more sinister plan was not organized on multiple levels that might have had lasting staying power.

But why digress with yet another smokescreen?
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Post 19 Aug 2021, 5:10 am

Freeman:
First of all, this is mostly the fault of the military and intelligence for not properly planning this withdrawal.


I don't know if you are right about that. There are reports that the military advised against getting out this way and this quickly and that Uncle Joe overrode them. It's the key issue to assess.
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Post 19 Aug 2021, 11:21 pm

First, Dags, I never said women and children last so please dont put words in my mouth. I never said that.

Obviously, you believe that Biden is senile. You believe that before this withdrawal but I dont see any evidence that Biden is senile here. Withdrawals are messy and dont go well. But that doesnt mean the president is s senile. I think he was let down by the military, CIA, and perhaps state department.

As for Trump, I dont think it has been clearly reported about how bad of a deal this was. Of course, there was the release of 5,000 Taliban soldiers. But there is also the fact that Trump agreed for the US to check out of the war in February, 2020. We were not supposed to attack the Taliban and the Taliban was not supposed to attack us. The Taliban kept their word and I dont believe a single American soldier has been killed since then. But weve left the Afghan army on their own since February, 2020 and it was clear the Taliban was winning.

In reference to RJ's point the military suggested keeping 2,500 troops until we got everyone out. Well, first of all, was 2,500 enough? Before the agreement we had 10,000 troops. If we were going to start fighting again then 2,500 was not enough. 10,000 was not enough if the Afghan army was surrendering around us. But again to have a difference in the collapse we would have needed to break the agreement and engage with the Taliban again. And now we would be facing a hostile Taliban force.

It does seem that when the US military mostly withdrew most of the last 2,500 troops that seemed to have a negative psychological effect...or maybe it was just the Taliban's agreements with Afghan leaders only went into effect when we were clearly gone and couldnt change our minds. We vacated Bagram and other bases. The question is...why was our intelligence so very bad?

According to the WSJ as if June 23, 2020 the intelligence estimate was it was "possible" the Afghan government would fall in six months. Essentially, thst was the worst case scenario.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.wsj.co ... 1624466743

Obviously, that was way off. I believe the Afghans knew the war was lost. We had not been fighting for almost 18 months because of that terrible Trump agreement. And so when we were finally gone they capitilated almost immediately. And the CIA had no idea those agreements had made. So what we could have done was escalated to 10,000 troops and just kept fighting. But that was not an option--Bden wanted to leave and it was a popular decision. To avoid an embarrassing exit we would have to have kept our bases and upped our troop levels until we got out Americans and Afghans we wanted out. Then in an orderly fashion had our military withdrew last. But only 2,500 with us already not fighting for 18 months the situation could deteriorate quickly. And what would those 2,500 troops have done if Kabul had been lost?

I just think there is a lot of monday morning quarterbacking about a very difficult situation Trump put us in. By the way, to show one example of how difficult it was the Afghans needed american mechanics to maintain some of their planes. What happens when we pull those mechanics out?

We should have kept fighting with the Afghans, possibly even pushed a little harder, kept our troop levels high, slowly withdrew civilian Americans and got Afghans out, and then quickly withdrew our military while the Afghan army had a good position. But drawing down our troops, not fighting for 18 months, letting the Taliban take control of most of the country while we tried to withdraw Americans and Afghans quickly...of course it was going to be bad. Such an agreement could only have been made by a traitor: Trump.
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Post 21 Aug 2021, 5:55 am

Freeman:

In reference to RJ's point the military suggested keeping 2,500 troops until we got everyone out. Well, first of all, was 2,500 enough? Before the agreement we had 10,000 troops. If we were going to start fighting again then 2,500 was not enough. 10,000 was not enough if the Afghan army was surrendering around us. But again to have a difference in the collapse we would have needed to break the agreement and engage with the Taliban again. And now we would be facing a hostile Taliban force.

It does seem that when the US military mostly withdrew most of the last 2,500 troops that seemed to have a negative psychological effect...or maybe it was just the Taliban's agreements with Afghan leaders only went into effect when we were clearly gone and couldnt change our minds. We vacated Bagram and other bases. The question is...why was our intelligence so very bad?


That's not really the point I'm making. Yes, we should have gotten out many years ago. The question is one of logistics and timing. There are people in the DOD who spend their lives understanding how you do complicated stuff like withdraw forces without leaving people and equipment behind. This is not my area of expertise, but I suspect that in addition to awful symbolism, the date of 9/11 was poor planning. They sequenced it incorrectly. Closing Bagram early was a huge mistake. Not mobilizing individuals who needed to get out ahead of time was also a huge mistake. Perhaps intelligence was way off on the timeline (or perhaps that's Whitehouse spin or just hearing what they want to hear), but I'm guessing that the new administration overrode its generals on best practice, and the generals deferred. Uncle Joe has been against the war for many years and he may not have patiently listened to their arguments and advice. He probably didn't trust them. It's not unusual for military mistakes to be made in the 1st year of the presidency as the top generals and President still don't know how to work with each other.
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Post 21 Aug 2021, 7:19 am

Ray Jay wrote:
That's not really the point I'm making. Yes, we should have gotten out many years ago. The question is one of logistics and timing. There are people in the DOD who spend their lives understanding how you do complicated stuff like withdraw forces without leaving people and equipment behind. This is not my area of expertise, but I suspect that in addition to awful symbolism, the date of 9/11 was poor planning. They sequenced it incorrectly. Closing Bagram early was a huge mistake. Not mobilizing individuals who needed to get out ahead of time was also a huge mistake. Perhaps intelligence was way off on the timeline (or perhaps that's Whitehouse spin or just hearing what they want to hear), but I'm guessing that the new administration overrode its generals on best practice, and the generals deferred. Uncle Joe has been against the war for many years and he may not have patiently listened to their arguments and advice. He probably didn't trust them. It's not unusual for military mistakes to be made in the 1st year of the presidency as the top generals and President still don't know how to work with each other.


Agreed. Lack of of presidential military expertise, and lack of trust and cooperation between Military and Executive.

I HAVE seen it before. Not fun...

The Military does not care what date it would be. That is a political issue, leave that to POTUS. Tactical and area strategic planning is the military expertise and should be their responsibility, NOT the POTUS.
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Post 21 Aug 2021, 12:52 pm

Whats clear is that Biden in April overruled top military who wanted to keep a small permanent force essentially permanently while Biden wanted to be totally out. Did Biden or top administration officials step on the toes of the military in how to do that logistically? That seems unlikely they would get that much into the weeds. I dont know though. I dont think Biden cared how it was done, but just that we had to be out by August. Who decided to close Bagram? I seem to recall reading that was a military decision but im not sure. I guess the facts will come out and if Biden or his top officials ignored advice from the military on how to go about totally withdrawing the troops, then they are subject to criticism for that. There is an article behind a paywall in the NY Times that discusses the withdrawal, maybe there are some revelations there.

I think keeping a small force for a while to give a free Afghanistan a chance (maybe another year)-- centered in Bagram-- might have been worth it. But that would have meant engaging the Taliban and American dead. But maybe/probably not. The slide from the Trump agreement was likely too much to reverse.

I still put most of the blame on Trump. We would have likely had to have suffered a lot of casualties to stop the Taliban from taking over and I just dont think that was worth it. We should have had a better exit from Afghanistan but Trump/Pompeo foreclosed thst possibility.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.politi ... tan-481556
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Post 21 Aug 2021, 3:02 pm

Once again, Freeman, we agree! We should have NOT been there for 20 years. We should have went in, DESTROYED everything and left; telling them we will be back if their government EVER chooses to support terrorism. There should not be any military supplies, foreign aid or humanitarian projects. We were there to ensure that terrorism is never state supported without total and widespread destruction. I support the Theodore Roosevelt theory of "Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far".

It was Bush's fault for staying, Obama's fault for staying, Trump's fault for staying and Biden's fault for his lack of ability or trust in the military.
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Post 21 Aug 2021, 8:00 pm

I think we actuallly do mostly agree though I think the jury is still out on how much fault lies with Biden. See how the incentives are there to keep a war going even with a continuing cost of casualties and money? There are always reasons to stay, the president who withdraws and "loses" is going to get blamed, but regardless 20 years is enough.
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Post 26 Aug 2021, 9:29 am

The shitty surrender deal Trump cut unilaterally with the Taliban ensured that the Afghan government was going to fall. Once it became evident to the Afghans that they were going to be on their own, the local military commanders and tribes all cut deals with the Taliban. Leading to a total collapse in 11 days. US Intelligence is responsible for not understanding this, and Biden responsible for not anticipating the need for an urgent evacuation.
There was one major party that understood what was coming . The French. (see below from Politico).
If they evacuated intelligently, so should have the US, UN and everyone else... (There are something like 15 nations flying people out...)


FRENCH DO IT DIFFERENTLY: We hear constantly that leaving Afghanistan was going to be a mess no matter which way it was done. While it’s true that both the U.S. and U.N. would have struggled to justify earlier mass evacuations while also expressing confidence in the former government, that doesn’t explain why the U.S. government processed Afghan special interest visas more slowly in 2021 than in recent years, which could have allowed more Afghans to get out on commercial flights while they still operated. The example of the French government demonstrates that there were other ways to evacuate.

The French government began evacuating its local Afghan staff on May 10, including cooks, drivers and cleaners. Full story by Jac Follorou in Le Monde. The aim was to have only French staff remaining by July — and indeed a final evacuation flight for non-essential staff took off July 17, when the Taliban already controlled large parts of the country, four weeks before the fall of Kabul.

France has continued to be involved in evacuating Afghans and nationals who refused the government’s advice — but has had spare capacity to, for example, evacuate more than 250 staff from the EU’s mission in Kabul, per Ambassador David Martinon.