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The Problem with Afghanistan

This is a discussion on The Problem with Afghanistan within the Geo-strategic Issues forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; Originally Posted by Boer Kommando The only countries not to have been colonized in Africa are Ethiopia and Liberia, lovely ...


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Old March 26th, 2017   #61
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The only countries not to have been colonized in Africa are Ethiopia and Liberia, lovely places.

South Africa had the highest life expectancy in Africa, along with many other measures.The Africans in South Africa were by far the most advanced on the continent in 1964 and by 75 were the only stable African middle class in Africa. These are just facts.

What many people do not know is that the old Nationalist government of South Africa gave the tribes the most fertile land in SA to create their own nation states, with the aim of full recognition and Independence. About 30% of tax revenue went into building infrastructure for them ..
"Gave" people their own land? And how do you create a nation state made up of multiple fragments surrounded by the territory of another state? 13% of the land for 80% of the people, & it most definitely wasn't the most fertile 13%, while 20% of the population got 87% of the land - with all the gold, diamonds, etc.

Come off it!
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Old March 27th, 2017   #62
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The only countries not to have been colonized in Africa are Ethiopia and Liberia, lovely places.

South Africa had the highest life expectancy in Africa, along with many other measures.The Africans in South Africa were by far the most advanced on the continent in 1964 and by 75 were the only stable African middle class in Africa. These are just facts.

What many people do not know is that the old Nationalist government of South Africa gave the tribes the most fertile land in SA to create their own nation states, with the aim of full recognition and Independence. About 30% of tax revenue went into building infrastructure for them like the best hospital in Africa, Baragwana. The South African doctor who made the first hart transplant, Dr. Barnard 64, was a resident.

I have some friends in Afghanistan, mostly security for US contractors. Sux not to see family, but the pay is not so bad. 6 on and 2 off. Dollars. Damn, wish I was was free.
Most colonies fell into one of two major groups. Either mostly resource extraction/agriculture by natives under colonial oversight, or outright extermination/displacement of the natives and resettlement by European colonists. South Africa is a rare example of a state caught in between the two. Had they been colonized sooner or more aggressively, they'd look more like the other 1st world ex-colonies today (USA, Canada, Aus, New Zealand). Had they been colonized later and less aggressively, and they'd be a typical African country by now, with most of the white population gone.
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Old March 27th, 2017   #63
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I think the difference with South Africa is the vast wealth deep down in hard rock. This required lots of labour so displacement or elimination of the natives was never an option for either the Dutch or British empires. Had the the British abandoned South Africa after the Boer War perhaps the Boers would have done things differently in 1900 as opposed to their British colonial descendants decades later.
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Old March 27th, 2017   #64
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The exploitation of North America required lots of hard labor, too. But that didn't stop colonists from going there by the shiploads. Rather the other way around. The abundance of labour encouraged the colonists of europe to seek their opportunities in the vasr expanses of the North American continent. And all that ready for grap with just a few indians in the way...

I am with Feanor on that. South Africa could have gone the same way with an earlier and more agressive settlement.

Good for the natives that it didn't. It was difficult enough for them as it went.
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Old March 27th, 2017   #65
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North America offered much greater agriculture and livestock opportunities, extensive river ways for early transportation, and easily accessible coal and iron ore. NA colonies had better access to Euro markets as well. Although these endeavours require labour, the labour is not as demanding as deep hard rock mining in South Africa. As for more aggressive settlement in South Africa, I think the reasons above made NA a more viable option.
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Old March 27th, 2017   #66
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This is a thread about Afghanistan and its problems. Time to get it back on topic.
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Old April 1st, 2017
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Old April 1st, 2017   #67
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Admin: We've got a fair idea already of your feelings on this issue. It's time to push the discussion into other areas where you think things can be discussed further

otherwise we're going over old ground and its not contributing

Last edited by gf0012-aust; April 1st, 2017 at 08:03 PM.
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Old April 3rd, 2017
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Old April 8th, 2017   #68
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@Admin - I am sorry that I keep on injecting SA into it. Given our situation it is hard not to. I will keep SA out of this Afghan thread, and other threads. I am sure that if people really want to really know what is going on that they can google it.

Back to OP

How in bloody hell did Russia lose in Afghanistan, the mujaheddin and a few stingers? Terrain, yes, but really should have given a better show. No air, limited in every quantifiable measure. David and Goliath.

But this is not unique, what about Chechnya-1 ?
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Old April 8th, 2017   #69
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How in bloody hell did Russia lose in Afghanistan, the mujaheddin and a few stingers?
These are excellent books on the topic.

The Wars of Afghanistan: Messianic Terrorism, Tribal Conflicts, and the Failures of Great Powers [Peter Tomsen]

The Bear Went Over the Mountain: Soviet Combat Tactics in Afghanistan [Lester Grau]

The Other Side of the Mountain: Mujahideen Tactics in the Soviet-Afghan War Paperback [Ali Ahmad and Lester W. Grau Jalali]

Behind Russian Lines: An Afghan Journal Hardcover [Sandy Gall]

Charlie Wilson's War: The Extraordinary Story of How the Wildest Man in Congress and a Rogue CIA Agent Changed the History of Our Times [George Crile]

Even without the Stingers the end result would eventually have been the same.
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Old April 8th, 2017   #70
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@STRUM - Thank you for those books (if you have a link to PDF's ?). You have read these works and as such may I ask what you feel explains it. What is the crux, obviously I would like much more technical details, but what is your block&tackle understanding/explanation?
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Old April 8th, 2017   #71
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To keep it short; the Soviets entered a country which they had little understanding of; with regards to the Afghan mindset, their culture, history, etc. The Soviet army was ill equipped - in mindset, organisation, etc - to quell an insurgency which was not only determined to repel the invader but also received a tremendous amount of support externally.

Other works worth reading on Afghanistan are -

Farewell Kabul: From Afghanistan To A More Dangerous World [Christina Lamb]

The Lion's Grave: Dispatches from Afghanistan Paperback [Jon Lee Anderson]

Taliban: Islam, Oil and the New Great Game in Central Asia [Ahmad Rashid]

Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden [Steve Coll]

War Against the Taliban: Why It All Went Wrong in Afghanistan [Sandy Gall]

The Wrong Enemy: America in Afghanistan, 2001-2014 [Carlotta Gall]

Islam and Resistance in Afghanistan [Oliver Roy]

Years later, when they went in; the Americans made quite a few of the same mistakes that the Soviets and other invaders did. The Americans also unfortunately failed to heed some of the lessons learnt from Afghanistan in the 2001-2003 period when they went into Iraq.
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Old April 8th, 2017   #72
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They even gave Alexander a good go - on his way to the Indus.

We were only there to look after engineers.They loved us, but we could not help them. Sunni vs Shiite is the real war nobody talks about.
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Old April 8th, 2017   #73
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Sunni vs Shiite is the real war nobody talks about.
As presently seen in Syria, Iraq and Yemen and of course the Iran/Iraq war in the 1980's - what all these wars share in common is the deep involvement of other countries for their own ends. Granted there are well documented cases of Hazaras being massacred but by and large the Sunni/Shia issue was less of a problem in Afghanistan compared to other places.
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Old April 8th, 2017   #74
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Quite right. They killed all the Shiite a long time ago.
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Old April 8th, 2017   #75
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You mean in Afghanistan? There's still a Hazara community there.
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