Afghanistan War

STURM

Well-Known Member
The U.S. also - in most cases - has refused to acknowledge the deaths of civilians in UAS strikes (a practice also followed by others which have conducted similar strikes - the U.K, UAE, Pakistan, etc - all who have also adopted the U.S. “double tap” system). In the few cases where the military admits to civilians deaths; a measly USD5,000 is paid out as compensation. Military commanders are also allowed to undertake a strike even if its confirmed that civilians are there; e.g. a “high value” target travelling in a mini van can still be taken out even though there are civilians [including children] in the van.

The U.S. pulling out of the country is long overdue as the Afghans have to sort out their own affairs [much easier said than done] without outside meddling but the danger is other outside powers filling the void and meddling for their own self interests: to the detriment of ordinary Afghans.
The Talibs have made it this far despite all that was thrown at them and despite their enemies writing them off on many occasions. For years they’ve been demanding a place in the peace process and a legitimate part of a future Afghan government. We can only hope that by some miracle; some kind of accommodation is reached between the Taliban and the Kabul government [not to mention the various warlords who have their own interests and are not beholden to the government] and that civil war can be averted.

For many Afghans its a Catch 22 situation; they may not have subscribed to the Taliban's ideology but they saw the Talibs as being a legitimate form of resistance against the foreign troop presence which backed a largely unpopular Afghan government; now the Talibs have been considerably strengthened and emboldened by the peace deal with Uncle Sam.
 
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John Fedup

The Bunker Group
No miracle is possible. It will be a total cluster if no other power steps in. A couple of decades worth of old scores to settle won’t be pretty.
 

STURM

Well-Known Member
No outside power has the ability, intent or the patience to ensure that outright civil war doesn't break out and that all the different ethnic groups can sit down and develop the needed trust and confidence to make things work. It has to be done by the Afghans.

The problem is that there are certain outside powers/groups who don't desire a totally peaceful and stable Afghanistan. Hardliner Talibs will be quick to revert back to war if the Kabul government won't make political concessions and IS will welcome a war torn and unstable Afghanistan. Others want different things : Pakistan desires an Afghanistan where the majority Pashtuns play a dominant political role and where Indian influence can be kept to a minimum; Iran desires an Afghanistan where Sunni fundamentalism can be kept at bay and where the Shia Hazaras will be protected, India won't complain if Pakistan is kept busy in Afghanistan and China desires the mineral reserves the Afghans have.

Trump saying that the Taliban could possibly take power in 1-2 years after the U.S. withdrawal is possibly true but a shortsighted and stupid thing to say. It sends the wrong message to the Kabul government, the Talibs and ordinary Afghans.
 
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ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Problem is Afghanistan has been a pawn in the great game since Alexander the Great went walkabout with his army and dealt to some Persians. The Mongols swept through, Britain had a go and failed gloriously, Russians had a go which turned into their Vietnam, and the US has fared no better than all of its predecessors bar one; Alexander the Great who is the only outsider to have conquered Afghanistan.
 

weaponwh

Member
wow didn't realized Pompeo say US will shield potential war criminal from been investigate by

international criminal court.

Pompeo says US will take 'all necessary measures' to bar war crimes probe of military

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Thursday the Trump administration would take "all necessary measures" to shield U.S. military and other personnel from a war crimes investigation by the International Criminal Court.
The international court, based in the Hague, Netherlands, ruled Thursday that its prosecutors could move forward with an investigation into possible war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the Taliban, Afghan forces and American military and CIA personnel.
 

STURM

Well-Known Member
To me its hardly surprising. Why would he have said otherwise? What kind of message does this send?

By right everyone; regardless of which country they're from; should be held accountable for war crimes and if accused; should provide their fullest cooperation.

Whether it's troops in a war zone or troops on exercises in a foreign country; the U.S. has traditionally insisted that crimes committed by service members be tried and punished internally rather than by the host nation or others. If I’m not mistaken some of the reasons used to justify this is that service members wouldn’t be tried fairly by others and that investigations would be politically driven.
 
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OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
A gentle reminder to all and directed to no one in particular.

(i) In September 2001, NATO formally invoked Article 5 (its mutual defence clause) after receiving “clear and compelling” evidence from the US that Osama Bin Laden’s Al-Qaida terrorist network was behind the 11 September attacks in the US.

(ii) This was the first time in NATO’s history that the alliance reaffirms its founding principle that an attack upon one is an attack upon all.

(iii) The current legal framework for the Resolute Support Mission (RSM) is provided by a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) and the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA), which were signed in Kabul on 30 September 2014, and ratified by the Afghan Parliament on 27 November 2014. The SOFA defines the terms and conditions under which NATO forces will be deployed in Afghanistan as part of Resolute Support, as well as the activities that they are set to carry out under this agreement.

If this thread goes down the route of law-fare arguments, the thread will be closed.

Please note that law-fare is about more than just delegitimizing a state's right to defend itself; it is about the abuse of the law and western judicial systems to undermine the very principles they stand for: the rule of law, and the sanctity of innocent human life. Law-fare is not something in which persons engage in the pursuit of justice; rather it is a negative undertaking and is a counter-productive perversion of the law. Because that is the essence of the issue with law-fare arguments as applied to Afghanistan, how do we distinguish between that which constitutes a constructive, legitimate legal battle (even if the legal battle is against us and inconvenient) from that which is a counterproductive perversion of the law?
 
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MickB

Active Member
To me its hardly surprising. Why would he have said otherwise? What kind of message does this send?

By right everyone; regardless of which country they're from; should be held accountable for war crimes and if accused; should provide their fullest cooperation.

Whether it's troops in a war zone or troops on exercises in a foreign country; the U.S. has traditionally insisted that crimes committed by service members be tried and punished internally rather than by the host nation or others. If I’m not mistaken some of the reasons used to justify this is that service members wouldn’t be tried fairly by others and that investigations would be politically driven.
I have been told that one of the reasons cited is that the U S citizens under the constitution have the right to a trial before their peers eg jury trial.
The International Court is a judicial trial, 3 judges no jury.
Not sure if this is true or not.
 
I have been told that one of the reasons cited is that the U S citizens under the constitution have the right to a trial before their peers eg jury trial.
The International Court is a judicial trial, 3 judges no jury.
Not sure if this is true or not.
My understanding is that was one of the reasons cited. other reasons were involved also. Here is an analysis of why: US Opposition to the International Criminal Court

Art
 

seaspear

Active Member
If a definition of peer is someone of your own status in society then this article states that the on military courts the jury members are senior or non commisioned officers to the accussed
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Be very careful because the conversation is entering the realm of law-fare which another has already warned posters about. Secondly because the current US Administration has politicised the topic, the conversation is now entering the dark realm of politics. So for everyones peace of mind just stay away from it and treat it like the plague.
 
I have been reading this topic from the very first post with amusement and mostly question marks. Most of the input in this topic has predominantly come from one side. I think it is time to have a Pakistani perspective. Particularly a Pakistani Pashtun perspective. I feel it is important for Pakistani Pashtun, who have bore the brunt during the WoT, to record their statement in this important topic. This post is not meant to argue or point fingers at any individual.

The topic started as it almost always does with Pakistan being the biggest negative with regards to Afghanistan. There is also the age old perception that Pakistani modus operandi always revolves around Indian actions in Afghanistan. The usual complaint is that Pakistani ISI is the evil that gave birth to Taliban and is solely responsible for messing up Afghanistan.

Let me start off by saying that like any other country Pakistan too has interests. Pakistan will always put its national interests first. The record needs to be put straight. Pakistan or the ISI did not create the Taliban all by itself. The Taliban and Al Qaeda for that matter was created the day the US and particularly the CIA decided to pin down the former USSR in Afghanistan. Many commentators fail to acknowledge that the Mujahideen fighters broke into various factions after the US left during the Cold War. This is well documented history. We also know who these fighters were and among them influential figures who went on to lead various militant groups.

There is no denying that Pakistani intelligence community has used the Taliban to balance out Indian support for the Northern Alliance. It is important to mention that both sides have used proxy groups against each other. To single out one at the expense of the other is duplicitous.

Taliban is often portrayed as the only monster in Afghanistan. This is obviously not true. Afghanistan is a complex tribal society where almost all rival groups have always been at each other's throat. The Northern Alliance is no different. If Taliban record against women is abhorrent, other groups are no different. The Northern Alliance which has enjoyed considerable support from Western nations has an abysmal record of human rights. Often these abuses are not mentioned because the Taliban is singled out as the sole main threat.

The US lost the war after neglecting and sidelining the majority ethnic group in Afghanistan i.e. the Pashtun. That is the crux of the problem. The US strategy of appeasing the minority over the majority was always going to backfire. The popular notion that Pakistani support for Taliban against the US being the major cause for loss is ridiculous and farfetched. The US is a superpower with unprecedented resources. Pakistan doesn't have the ability to take on US prowess in Afghanistan. This excuse is often used to blame various sides.
 
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ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
G'day @Maximuswarrior, welcome to the forum.

Please take the time to read the rules, because we are a profession defence forum and we have little time or tolerance for politics.
  • We require our posters to write a minimum of two lines of text explaining their position on something. Cutting / copying and pasting without commentary is not acceptable.
  • Sources must be reliable and that is why Wikipedia, Fox News, RT, Xinhua and some other sources are not acceptable as legitimate, reliable sources.
  • You are required to supply sources, preferable html links, but if that can't be supplied then the source as in Author, year / date of publication, title, publication, publisher, city published in, pages; so basically an academic reference. This protects both you and us from accusations of plagiarism, something that we do take seriously.
We look forward to your input to our ongoing discussions which are many and varied.

I have read with interest you first post and the only problem that I do have with it is a lack of sources for your material. Having said that it is an informative post and yes I agree that what we do have is mostly one sided because we rarely get access to the other side of the story. Sometimes, thanks to @Feanor, we may get a glimpse of Russian material. I agree that the US has lost the war but not just for the reason you claim. To me it's the same reason that they were beaten in Vietnam and they have forgotten the lesson of that war. Hearts and minds, as well as arrogance, pure and simple. Not enough of one and far to much of the other.
 

STURM

Well-Known Member
Let me start off by saying that like any other country Pakistan too has interests. Pakistan will always put its national interests first.
Naturally..... Every country has its own selfish interests to watch out to for; the reason why various countries [Pakistan included] are involved in Afghanistan. At major problem for Pakistan is that quite a few things the U.S. wanted it to do; would have been good for the U.S. but disastrous in the long run for Pakistan.



The US lost the war after neglecting and sidelining the majority ethnic group in Afghanistan i.e. the Pashtun. That is the crux of the problem.
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It goes way beyond that. Namely the lack of a coherent and and workable strategy and the lack of a combined civil/military approach; there was little thought as to 'what next'; after the AQ and the Taliban had been driven off. The hope was that [like later in Iraq] after the bad chaps had been driven off; things would work themselves out and both countries would get back on their feet without the major need for costly and time consuming outside help.

It didn't help that in the 2002 period; at a time when the Talibs had been largely driven off and when many ordinary Afghans welcomed the presence of foreign troops in the hope of lasting peace and stability; the U.S. and the U.K started focusing on Iraq. This diverted resources and attention from Afghanistan at a time when it was badly needed to consolidate on what had been achieved following the overthrow of the Taliban. The result was that the Talibs came back and various other things started going wrong.

The popular notion that Pakistani support for Taliban against the US being the major cause for loss is ridiculous and farfetched. The US is a superpower with unprecedented resources.
Nobody here has that 'popular notion'. The fact does remain that having a sanctuary across the border and having the help of certain segments of the Pakistani military behind it [a well documented fact]; was of immense benefit to the Afghan Taliban.

I'm reading a very interesting book at the moment which deals in detail much of what has been discussed in this thread.


Some other books I would highly recommend :





Various countries are at fault for things going rat shit in Afghanistan but the fact remains that Pakistan had a leading role and like others; did things that were for its interests but were detrimental to the interests of ordinary Afghans.
 
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Projectman

New Member
Pakistans involvement in afghanistan is just to keep its army in a cushy position , both politically and financially in Pakistan. Pakistan army requires conflict in its neighborhood to maintain its image of a saviour and justify its funding on a large scale.
The link is to a book written by a prominent Pakistani journalist, who subsequently had to leave Pakistan.
I am not saying anything new as over the last 70 years , Pakistan has proven to be a useful tool for the western world, no questions asked. I was watching bbc world live on tv as the American lift to Afghanistan was starting and a retired British general started of the panel discussion by saying that it's good that the army was incharge in Pakistan as a democratic government would have been unpredictable. This was edited out in subsequent broadcasts.
And the beneficiaries of the US 33 b usd aid , since 2002 , from the USA to Pakistan was mostly its defence agencies, 14 b usd to be exact.
Pakistan has managed to get paid billions by the Americans while supporting the Taliban. It's quite astounding. And the Pakistanis are known to refer to the Afghan Taliban as the good Taliban.
I doubt the Pakistanis really want the Americans to leave fully ,as they will be in danger of becoming irrelevant with the Pakistan land route becoming unimportant for the Americans.
 
This is an old topic, but the opinions presented are still relevant today. In fact many of the accusations are popular belief to this day. There are always two sides to a story.

The Western and particularly the US think tanks always believed that Pakistan needed to support the Taliban in order to gain "strategic depth" to counter India in Afghanistan. Whilst this is certainly true to a certain extent, the commentators often forget that the opposing side had also effectively used various proxy groups such as the Northern Alliance to undermine Pakistan.



The Taliban is just one of many groups competing for power. In fact, the Taliban mainly consist of ethnic Pashtun who have been sidelined for years in the Afghan political process. We can agree or disagree with the Taliban approach, but denying political space amounts to armed conflict. Common knowledge is that the Taliban became victorous after the Cold War and took power. This doesn't mean that the Northern Alliance wasn't supported or didn't strive to defeat the Taliban.

The US approach in Afghanistan was dubious from the very start in my opinion. Instead of involving and negotiating with all parties the US decided to alienate one side and handover power to the other. Some might argue that both Karzai and Ghani are Pashtun, but they weren't accepted among ordinary Pashtun as credible leaders, but rather symbolically installed puppets.


The Pakistan Afghanistan conflict is more complicated than most understand. Pakistan Afghanistan conflict predates Indian involvement. The crux of the problem is the Durand Line. Afghanistan doesn't recognise the Durand Line border even when this border is officially recognised internationally. Afghanistan till this day claims a large portion of Pakistani territory which stretches from the Hindu Kush to parts of Balochistan. A lot of bad blood between Pakistan and Afghanistan is due to territorial dispute. For Pakistan this is a non-starter and understandably so. Both Afghanistan and India claim territory under control of Pakistan. It makes both convenient allies.




US war in Afghanistan has complicated an already tense relationship between Afghanistan and Pakistan. As the US decided to ditch Pakistan and include India as its main regional partner the disagreements grew only larger. Of course US decision to provide India a greater role in the region was also aimed at China. A country which didn't even share a border with Afghanistan now had a primary role to shape the political process as it deemed right. Not only that, this was going to happen at the expense of a country which did share a border with Afghanistan and was impacted by every decision made. It isn't very hard to imagine why Pakistan made the decision to stay on course despite all hardships and losses.

Even as the US felt it had the right to extract revenge after 9/11 attacks, it should have included all stakeholders in the political process. By putting the entire blame on one side and aiding the other made the situation more volatile on the ground.
 
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Pakistans involvement in afghanistan is just to keep its army in a cushy position , both politically and financially in Pakistan. Pakistan army requires conflict in its neighborhood to maintain its image of a saviour and justify its funding on a large scale.
The link is to a book written by a prominent Pakistani journalist, who subsequently had to leave Pakistan.
I am not saying anything new as over the last 70 years , Pakistan has proven to be a useful tool for the western world, no questions asked. I was watching bbc world live on tv as the American lift to Afghanistan was starting and a retired British general started of the panel discussion by saying that it's good that the army was incharge in Pakistan as a democratic government would have been unpredictable. This was edited out in subsequent broadcasts.
And the beneficiaries of the US 33 b usd aid , since 2002 , from the USA to Pakistan was mostly its defence agencies, 14 b usd to be exact.
Pakistan has managed to get paid billions by the Americans while supporting the Taliban. It's quite astounding. And the Pakistanis are known to refer to the Afghan Taliban as the good Taliban.
I doubt the Pakistanis really want the Americans to leave fully ,as they will be in danger of becoming irrelevant with the Pakistan land route becoming unimportant for the Americans.
The US doesn't pay a penny to Pakistan in economic or military aid since Trump took office. Trump has halted all forms of economic aid to Pakistan. That includes military and economic aid.


Only military training exchanges between the US and Pakistan armed forces were reinstated. Intially the military training exchanges too were banned, but Trump had to review his decision due to US military pressure.


The Pakistan army doesn't seek conflict or otherwise it wouldn't have mediated and organised an Afghan led Taliban negotiations. Remember that the Taliban are on a winning streak and controlling large swathes of Afghan territory before sitting at the negotiating table. Taliban had no incentive to sit at the negotiating table.


The Pakistani army is far from perfect. In fact it has made serious blunders throughout its history, but who is perfect? The US military has made serious blunders during the Afghan war.

Pakistan was reimbursed by the US for using its supply route. The US was also involved in intel sharing and using military bases on Pakistani soil. The billions weren't free lunch. Expenses were incurred during the war. The US wasn't paying Pakistan free money.


Ahmed Rashid is just one individual and I respect his opinion, but I differ with his analysis. Ahmed Rashid chose to leave Pakistan by his own freedom. Whether he believes that his life is in danger for whatever reason is a different debate. Ahmed Rashid is wrong to paint a one-sided picture. The complete picture is more complex.

Pakistan has invested in its relationship with China. The CPEC project between Pakistan and China has priority. Whether the US stays or leaves Afghanistan is now irrelevant for Pakistan.

 
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Feanor

Super Moderator
Staff member
Not to throw gasoline on the fire, but I found this interesting report, that essentially accuses the CIA of operating death squads. I was sure what to make of this material. I've never before heard of a journal called "The Intercept" but a quick google search turned up a HRW report too... They seem to focus fairly clearly on the NDS strik

 
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