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Afghanistan 07:22 - Aug 13 with 3220 viewsGuthrum

The situation is turning into a dreadful shambles. But should surprise nobody.

The US (and UK) have for two decades been propping up a partisan and fantastically corrupt regime far more interested in lining their own pockets than providing good government for the country. As a result, there isn't even the semblance of national unity - or an effective military, for all the money that's been invested in trying to create one.

It was always a house of cards, ready to collapse unless we continued to pour in our own treasure and lives. The moment we pull out, it has done so. Whether hasty or slow, the end result would have been the same.

Again, much suffering has been caused by an unwillingness to heed the lessons of history. Of the Soviet occupation, or the British efforts in the 19th century. Indeed of their own internal history. Afghanistan is a notoriously difficult place to control.

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Afghanistan on 07:47 - Aug 13 with 2186 viewsbluelagos

It's so depressinng. From the ordinary Afghani who faces the oppressive life under the Taliban to the relatives of killed British soldiers who must be questioning why their sons were sent to fight in a war that seemed unwinnable.

The only winners here are the fundamentalist Taliban, their fighters and supporters. The people who deny girls the rights to go to school and who keep order using some of the most barbaric methods ever seen.

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Afghanistan on 07:51 - Aug 13 with 2172 viewsLord_Lucan

The whole thing is very complicated.

Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

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Afghanistan on 08:05 - Aug 13 with 2114 viewsTractorWood

Agree. All very naive and entirely predicable.

I know that was then, but it could be again..
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Afghanistan on 08:34 - Aug 13 with 2024 viewsLord_Lucan

Afghanistan on 08:05 - Aug 13 by TractorWood

Agree. All very naive and entirely predicable.


You can't change 1000 years of history and culture in 20 years and don't forget The Taliban were once supported by the west when it suited them.

Now we are looking to the old warlords to step in - who are just as bad or worse.

There is no easy solution to this.

Ultimately I think more pressure should be put on Pakistan to help with this, but they won't.

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Afghanistan on 08:36 - Aug 13 with 2008 viewsitfcjoe

Afghanistan on 08:34 - Aug 13 by Lord_Lucan

You can't change 1000 years of history and culture in 20 years and don't forget The Taliban were once supported by the west when it suited them.

Now we are looking to the old warlords to step in - who are just as bad or worse.

There is no easy solution to this.

Ultimately I think more pressure should be put on Pakistan to help with this, but they won't.


It's incredible that *only* 2,500 US service men/women were able to keep the country relatively stable and free from the Taliban, and within weeks of the population of a small village leaving the whole country has gone to sh*t.

Tom Tugendhat and Johnny Mercer been very good on this, as those who have been on the ground there - this was predictable, you can't train people these skills in just 20 years. And now the money and lives wasted becomes even starker

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Afghanistan on 08:43 - Aug 13 with 1974 viewsbluelagos

Afghanistan on 07:47 - Aug 13 by bluelagos

It's so depressinng. From the ordinary Afghani who faces the oppressive life under the Taliban to the relatives of killed British soldiers who must be questioning why their sons were sent to fight in a war that seemed unwinnable.

The only winners here are the fundamentalist Taliban, their fighters and supporters. The people who deny girls the rights to go to school and who keep order using some of the most barbaric methods ever seen.


A short thread and observation from AT. He seems fully aligned with Guther's comments around the unpopularity of the govt ref corruption.


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Afghanistan on 08:57 - Aug 13 with 1908 viewsLord_Lucan

Afghanistan on 08:43 - Aug 13 by bluelagos

A short thread and observation from AT. He seems fully aligned with Guther's comments around the unpopularity of the govt ref corruption.



Predictably simplistic.

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Afghanistan on 09:06 - Aug 13 with 1868 viewsGuthrum

Afghanistan on 07:51 - Aug 13 by Lord_Lucan

The whole thing is very complicated.

Damned if you do, damned if you don't.


Quite. Once you've got involved, it's very difficult to let go without causing (or taking) damage. But it also hurts to hold on.

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Afghanistan on 09:12 - Aug 13 with 1843 viewsGuthrum

Afghanistan on 08:43 - Aug 13 by bluelagos

A short thread and observation from AT. He seems fully aligned with Guther's comments around the unpopularity of the govt ref corruption.



The biggest issue with corruption is that it has gobbled up much of the resources which were aimed at construction of a stable society. While creating a gravy train for rapacious factions to fight over (all the time paying no attention to looming threats).

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Afghanistan on 09:14 - Aug 13 with 1823 viewsEdwardStone

Afghanistan on 09:06 - Aug 13 by Guthrum

Quite. Once you've got involved, it's very difficult to let go without causing (or taking) damage. But it also hurts to hold on.


I think they call it "Riding the Tiger"

Hop on the back of a Tiger and hold on tight

But how do you then get off without getting eaten?
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Afghanistan on 09:16 - Aug 13 with 1811 viewsbluelagos

Afghanistan on 08:57 - Aug 13 by Lord_Lucan

Predictably simplistic.


It is of course a tad simplistic. But what seems to be undeniable is the western model of 'democratising' societies in their own models is a recipe for failure.

The humanitarian argument and security argument for invention in Afghanistan was and remains very strong. Yet the actual invention has evidently failed.

I don't subscribe to the no intervention type arguments, rather that we need to be so much better at considering what comes next as/when we do intervene.

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Afghanistan on 09:20 - Aug 13 with 1800 viewseastangliaisblue

No doubt Opium production will vastly increase, adding more problems to the region.
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Afghanistan on 09:20 - Aug 13 with 1797 viewsmidastouch

The first segment of Newsnight last night was all about the current situation in Afghanistan.
For anybody interested see here:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000yppw/newsnight-12082021

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Afghanistan on 09:21 - Aug 13 with 1786 viewsnoggin

Questions must be asked as to how The Taliban have regrouped so quickly and why the Afghan army seem to be laying down their arms without a fight. It must have all been predictable before the withdrawal of NATO forces.
[Post edited 13 Aug 9:23]

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Afghanistan on 09:24 - Aug 13 with 1759 viewsmidastouch

Afghanistan on 09:20 - Aug 13 by midastouch

The first segment of Newsnight last night was all about the current situation in Afghanistan.
For anybody interested see here:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000yppw/newsnight-12082021


And some of you might enjoy this book.

The Road To Kandahar (Simon Fonthill Series Book 2)
The year is 1879, and Captain Simon Fonthill is ready for another challenge. Having survived the Zulu onslaught at Rorke's Drift, he is sent to the North-West Frontier - India's border with Afghanistan - and charged with a dangerous mission. Fonthill must infiltrate the warlike Pathan tribes and pass vital intelligence back to the British camp. He swiftly discovers a plot to massacre the regiments, but when his cover is blown, Fonthill steels himself for the harrowing consequences...

Worth reading part 1 beforehand though.

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Afghanistan on 09:28 - Aug 13 with 1731 viewschicoazul

“May God keep me from the teeth of the Tiger, the venom of the Cobra, and the vengeance of the Afghan.”

However, the most dangerous leftists of all may be certain oversocia- lized types who avoid irritating displays of aggressiveness and refrain from advertising their leftism, but work quietly and unobtrusively to promote collectivist values, “enligh- tened” psychological techniques for socializing children, dependence of the individual on the system, and so forth.
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Afghanistan on 09:31 - Aug 13 with 1693 viewsGlasgowBlue

This is a massive stain on what has been an impeccable first year as President for Biden. And it will get worse for him when the first images of young girls with their eyes gouged out for trying to get an education are all over our TV screens.

Rory Stewart is a vital read on this subject. It’s a country he knows well and understands the politics behind what’s going on.

He points out that NATO did not need to leave so recklessly and suddenly. And that air support was vital, relatively low risk, and sustainable.

Edit. Should have pointed out that it was Trump who set the ball rolling by setting a date of May 1 for all US troops withdrawing but Biden could have and should have reversed this policy. As he has so many other of Trumps lunacy.
[Post edited 13 Aug 9:40]

“A man must be excessively stupid, as well as uncharitable, who believes that there is no virtue but on his own side, and that there are not men as honest as himself who may differ from him in political principles”.
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Afghanistan on 09:34 - Aug 13 with 1684 viewsGuthrum

Afghanistan on 09:21 - Aug 13 by noggin

Questions must be asked as to how The Taliban have regrouped so quickly and why the Afghan army seem to be laying down their arms without a fight. It must have all been predictable before the withdrawal of NATO forces.
[Post edited 13 Aug 9:23]


They didn't regroup, the Taliban never really went away. They were pushed out of the main population centres, but the tribal militias which form most of their strength simply went home and hid their weapons until the opportunity arose. Their leadership hid out in the mountains or across the border in Pakistan.

The Afghan army is largely a sham, as far as I can tell. Poor morale, funds sucked away by corruption, lacking the long-term professionalism and leadership of a developed military, attacked by everybody. They lack the cohesion and powerful political allies of the tribal and regional militias which make up most of the armed strength of Aghanistan. Also, there is some evidence they have been infiltrated by pro-Taliban agents anyway (e.g. the number of attacks carried out by soldiers upon US/UK/Contractor troops).

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Afghanistan on 09:37 - Aug 13 with 1649 viewsnoggin

Afghanistan on 09:34 - Aug 13 by Guthrum

They didn't regroup, the Taliban never really went away. They were pushed out of the main population centres, but the tribal militias which form most of their strength simply went home and hid their weapons until the opportunity arose. Their leadership hid out in the mountains or across the border in Pakistan.

The Afghan army is largely a sham, as far as I can tell. Poor morale, funds sucked away by corruption, lacking the long-term professionalism and leadership of a developed military, attacked by everybody. They lack the cohesion and powerful political allies of the tribal and regional militias which make up most of the armed strength of Aghanistan. Also, there is some evidence they have been infiltrated by pro-Taliban agents anyway (e.g. the number of attacks carried out by soldiers upon US/UK/Contractor troops).


That's kind of my point. It was all so predictable.

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Afghanistan on 09:41 - Aug 13 with 1631 viewsGuthrum

Afghanistan on 08:36 - Aug 13 by itfcjoe

It's incredible that *only* 2,500 US service men/women were able to keep the country relatively stable and free from the Taliban, and within weeks of the population of a small village leaving the whole country has gone to sh*t.

Tom Tugendhat and Johnny Mercer been very good on this, as those who have been on the ground there - this was predictable, you can't train people these skills in just 20 years. And now the money and lives wasted becomes even starker


Well, they were able to keep the Taliban out of the main poulation centres. Mainly through a massive disparity in sensors, heavy weapons and air support.

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Afghanistan on 12:13 - Aug 13 with 1441 viewsRyorry

Afghanistan on 09:31 - Aug 13 by GlasgowBlue

This is a massive stain on what has been an impeccable first year as President for Biden. And it will get worse for him when the first images of young girls with their eyes gouged out for trying to get an education are all over our TV screens.

Rory Stewart is a vital read on this subject. It’s a country he knows well and understands the politics behind what’s going on.

He points out that NATO did not need to leave so recklessly and suddenly. And that air support was vital, relatively low risk, and sustainable.

Edit. Should have pointed out that it was Trump who set the ball rolling by setting a date of May 1 for all US troops withdrawing but Biden could have and should have reversed this policy. As he has so many other of Trumps lunacy.
[Post edited 13 Aug 9:40]


Rory Stewart gave an excellent interview on R4 ('Today' prog I think (?)) this morning, which is probably available on iPlayer by now.

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Afghanistan on 12:19 - Aug 13 with 1411 viewsGlasgowBlue

Afghanistan on 12:13 - Aug 13 by Ryorry

Rory Stewart gave an excellent interview on R4 ('Today' prog I think (?)) this morning, which is probably available on iPlayer by now.


We’d be living in a much better country had Rory Stewart won the leadership election rather than Johnson.

“A man must be excessively stupid, as well as uncharitable, who believes that there is no virtue but on his own side, and that there are not men as honest as himself who may differ from him in political principles”.
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Afghanistan on 12:32 - Aug 13 with 1384 viewsRyorry

Afghanistan on 12:19 - Aug 13 by GlasgowBlue

We’d be living in a much better country had Rory Stewart won the leadership election rather than Johnson.


That's probably the most undeniable thing I've ever seen posted on here outside of "Sir Bobby Robson was a top manager and human being"!

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Afghanistan on 13:55 - Aug 13 with 1293 viewsDeano69

'Well, I wasn't expecting this to happen', says absolutely nobody.

Pretty much as you have said, but getting a little frustrated at comments going back at the US and UK governments saying they caused and need to do more. Probably the same people saying we should not be involved and get our guys out of there.

Listening to an interview on the TV last night with a leader of the Taliban who when questioned about the possibilities of a joint/shared/coalition government was suggesting they have learnt from their mistakes. Then went on to say girls could attend girls only schools to be educated but finish at 11 or 12. Severed hands for thieves, stoning women wearing inappropriate clothing, really learned a lot by the sounds of things...

What a mess. No real wish to govern or defend themselves, huge amount of human suffering, and already the current young generation are going to grow up with conflict and oppression as a default state of mind.. Dear oh dear.

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Afghanistan on 14:30 - Aug 13 with 1216 viewsNthsuffolkblue

Afghanistan on 08:43 - Aug 13 by bluelagos

A short thread and observation from AT. He seems fully aligned with Guther's comments around the unpopularity of the govt ref corruption.



Whilst it may be a little simplistic and it is a complicated situation, there is a lot to be said for "The West did not end corruption." I wonder why that would be.

If only we could put our own house in order.

We live with the most corrupt Government in modern times and the electorate do not appear to care.

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