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The Problem with Afghanistan

Discussion in 'Geostrategic Issues' started by gree0232, Nov 4, 2015.

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  1. John Fedup

    John Fedup Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps the Donald should have read this article to remind himself why leaving Afghanistan might be the right course. The article's assumptions may or may not be correct and if India did feel the need to get more involved it could increase nuclear tensions in the region. That being said, leaving seems like a reasonable option compared to another 16 years of the same stuff.

    It's Time To Make Afghanistan Someone Else's Problem - Defense One
     
  2. Toblerone

    Toblerone Banned Member

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    So his suggestion is to abandon the impotent afghan government to its fate, strengthening the Taliban, Al Qaeda and IS forces to create a thorn in the sides of neighboring countries. Oh and as for USA's afghan collaborators, no worries, let's give them US immigration permits :D

    Personally, I believe the US are locked in Afghanistan for a long time. The first step for solving USA's geopolitical misadventures is to recognise that some of their "allies" are undermining US interests to further their own. I am talking about Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Israel etc. America needs policy makers that put US interests above the interests of their faux allies. That means that lobbying needs to play a much smaller factor in politics and "Pentagon/CIA politics", so that the people in charge put US interests first.

    People that don't understand this will always be asking the same questions: "Why can we not win? Why do our enemies have so much local support? Why aren't our partners competent enough to solve their own troubles and pay for their own meals? Why do we cut off one head and two more pop out?"
     
  3. John Fedup

    John Fedup Well-Known Member

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    The article suggests that the neighbours competing interests will make Afganistan their problem and they will have to prevent the terrorists from causing problems for them. Seems to be reasonable alternative.
     
  4. Tsavo Lion

    Tsavo Lion Banned Member

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    Last edited: Aug 23, 2017
  5. STURM

    STURM Active Member

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    Apologies, double post.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2017
  6. STURM

    STURM Active Member

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    Trump spoke of "killing terrorists"; the problem here is that irrespective of how many are killed, it doesn't make a difference as long as certain political and economic conditions are not met. If it was just a matter of killing; which the U.S. does very very well; Iraq wouldn't have been such a disaster and Afghanistan would be at peace now. It's not surprising that the U.S. hasn't been keen on nation building which is harder than killing but the fact remains that killing the enemy and nation building go hand in hand.

    Trump's mention of the role India is playing was certainly intended for Pakistani years given how insecure and suspicious the Pakistanis are about India's growing influence in Afghanistan. There is also the problem that those the U.S. views as "terrorists" may not be viewed as such by some of the locals and it's the locals which count; not the number of "terrorists" killed, the amount of cash given to the Afghan government by the U.S. or the extra U.S. "boots on the ground".

    On paper yes but ''reasonable'' for whom exactly? For the U.S. or for the Afghans? Granted the U.S. can't be expected to stay indefinitely but given that the U.S. gave its word that it wouldn't leave prematurely and that mistakes made by the U.S. [and also by others of course] have contributed to the fact that the Talibs are not defeated and are still a major player; is it right for the U.S. to leave?

    - If the U.S. does leave can we expect the status quo to be maintained - a Taliban with strong support but unable to take control of the whole country -
    or will the Afghan government eventually collapse?

    - If the U.S. does leave will it change its approach on Pakistan or is Trump unwilling to do more beyond publicly criticising Pakistan? There's a limit as to how far the U.S. is willing to pressure Pakistan given that the U.S. will want to ensure it has some level of leverage or influence on a country that is nuclear armed and a Chinese strategic partner.

    - If Russian decides to get more active in the country as a result of the U.S. leaving; will the U.S. be willing to just sit back and watch? As it is Russia has been accused of arming the Talibs.

    - There is also the role that Iran plays. Given that the Talibs have issues with the Shia Iranians and that Iran will want to continue protecting the Shia Hazaras and preventing the Talibs from creating any mischief along the common border; Iran will have no choice but to increase its level of involvement following a U.S. withdrawal. Will the U.S. welcome this or will it accuse Iran of creating trouble in Afghanistan? Or will be like it was previously with the U.S. publicly declaring Iran as a threat but also quietly cooperating with Iran in areas of common interests?
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2017
  7. Tsavo Lion

    Tsavo Lion Banned Member

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    US Has Thousands More Troops in Afghanistan Than Official Figure
    Is Trump planning permanent occupation of Afghanistan?
    NATO Chief 'Fully Committed' to US War in Afghan
    Pakistan Rejects Role of 'Scapegoat for US Failures' in Afghanistan
    16 Years Into War, Taliban's Presence Across Afghanistan Growing
    Trump's Challenge: A Wall of Public Skepticism on Afghan War- And justifiably so! This is a hybrid & illegal war, as it was never officially declared by Congress. The 2001 Authorization Of The Use Of Military Force open ended extension is an affront to the Constitution & it created nothing but waste, fraud & abuse, incl. of power. Cue Bono? To me, the latest "strategy" is a damage control measure to salvage a bad situation "we are not winning" from getting worse with time, which isn't on the US side, as some Talib commander said: "The Americans have watches, but we have the time". BTW, as in the SE Asia in the '60s, the French are keeping their SOF in the theater (as if they'll make a huge impact) after the main force withdrew in disgrace. The only success before complete withdrawal we'll likely to see is farther prolongation of agony & misery. OTH, the RF & other Stans may & probably will get more involved, especially in the N. Afghanistan. Time will tell!
     
  8. STURM

    STURM Active Member

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    Even after the French completed their military withdrawal from Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos in the late 1950's; they still maintained training/advisory teams [not ''SOF'' per say] in these countries yet they left after the Americans started getting involved in a big way.

    We can expect Iran to get more involved by aiding those fighting the Talibs; especially the Shia Hazaras. In 1998 after they took Mazar i Sharif the Talibs killed a few diplomats and Iran thretened to invade. Not many are aware but in 1863 British troops landed on Kharg Island as a warning to Persia which was involved in border clashes with the Afghans.

    As for Tajikstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan; if the Americans really leave and the Talibs gain an upper hand; we can expect these countries to supply arms to their ethnic brethren in Afghanistan but nothing more than that. Tajikistan in the past played a vital role as a supply hub in the 1990's for the Tajik dominated Northern Alliance.
     
  9. SABRE

    SABRE Super Moderator Verified Defense Pro

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    Times have changed. Iran has began forging relations with Taliban. The Shia-Sunni argument is increasingly becoming meaningless for Taliban as it pursues common interest with most Afghan neighbors (predominantly China, Iran, & Central Asian Republics under the umbrella of Russia). Taliban's vehement anti-Shia agenda is on a slow creep nowdays.

    The fact is, all of the Afghan neighbors have began forging relations with Afghan Taliban. There today is a possibility that Russia might become Taliban's main supporter. The American generals in Afghanistan have already mentioned Russia providing weapons to Taliban. Assuming that Haqqani network does enjoy all forms of support from Pakistan & that Pakistan does give them up under the American pressure they would simply fall into Putin's lap - which would be lot worse for the US.

    Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan & Tajikistan are highly influenced by Kremlin. There is a possibility that groups from these ethnicity would join Afghan Taliban in large numbers in coming days. In Pakistan when the military operations were conducted against the militants many of them turned out to Uzbek.

    America has to come to terms with these realities:

    * For as long as US is in Afghanistan the Taliban would continue to fight. They are very relentless.

    * The Afghan Army is on the verge of collapse.

    * Afghan government with its dubious legitimacy, high corruption rate & incompetent administrative ability could follow soon. It exists only because of the US presence, not because of any popular support.

    Additionally, you can not expect help from Pakistan while:

    a) Empowering India in Afghan affairs
    b) Ignoring the Indian support for the TTP
    c) Ignoring the NDS & Raw sponsored terrorism inside Pakistan through Afghanistan.
     
  10. Tsavo Lion

    Tsavo Lion Banned Member

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    Taliban Tried To Surrender and the US Rebuffed Them My conclusion is that the US is better at making enemies, not friends! Trump’s Afghanistan policy is riddled with flaws
    The UK isn't far behind.
    Earlier, Russia expressed the desire to join NATO, but the offer was also rejected. Now it'll be a lot harder to get much smaller Ukraine to join it, for many different reasons. Afghanistan may become even more of a US weapons proving ground, unfortunately for the locals there. Their neighbors need those minerals too.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2017
  11. Preceptor

    Preceptor Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Please provide reputable proof that Russia and/or the Soviet Union ever made a formal request or bid for NATO membership, otherwise retract the above claim.

    And no, a "declassified note" Putin claims the Soviet Union sent to Western leaders in 1954 doesn't count, without confirmation by Western nations that it was received and/or what the response was.

    Remember, that was only a year after Soviet and GDR forces crushed protests in East Berlin and elsewhere within East Germany, and two years before the Soviets invaded and crushed the Hungarian Revolution in 1956. In fact, there were a number of reform movements which occurred during the 1950's and 1960's in Soviet satellite states in Europe which were either ended directly by Soviet troops, or by the armed forces of one or more Soviet satellite states.

    The same situation exists for a claim by Putin that he asked then SecState Albright about Russia joining NATO. Absent confirmation from her or her staff, and/or their reply, the claim can't be considered as having been serious, if it even happened at all.

    Going forward, put more into making your posts coherent and factually supported. Rambling rants which are factually questionable or have information taken so far out of context as to change the meaning leaves others unable to understand what points are trying to be made and brings down the quality of discussion here at DT. Bring you game up, as there is a finite amount of patience.
    -Preceptor
     
  12. Tsavo Lion

    Tsavo Lion Banned Member

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    The idea was floated informally, just as the later offer to build a joint BMD system with US & NATO; as the Russians later admitted, it was done to see, in case it was greenlighted, if it was really not going to be aimed at them. So if the official proposal was never submitted, it doesn't mean it was never proposed by Putin &/ RF diplomats in Brussels or elsewhere in private conversations. Why go to the trouble drafting official proposals that had high probability of being rejected anyway? OTH, had those ideas been accepted, both sides would start drafting official documents concerning their implementation. Anyone can google "Russia offered/wants to join NATO" & "Russia offered/wants to join BMD" to see for himself!
     
  13. Preceptor

    Preceptor Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Within 24 hours and before posting anything else, provide confirmation from a party in the West/NATO that would've received a request from Russia or the Soviet Union seeking permission to join NATO. Directions to 'Google' a topic aren't sufficient, and neither is having Putin or some other Russian or Soviet official as the source of the claim. This isn't a suggestion or a request, it's a requirement.
    -Preceptor
     
  14. Tsavo Lion

    Tsavo Lion Banned Member

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    I'm happy to oblige! Soviets tried to join Nato in 1954:
    Russia: Why has Russia never joined NATO?:
    Why NATO Has Not Permitted Russia to Join:
    Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, former Director of Policy Planning at the Bush/Powell State Department:
    If this isn't enough, pl. contact the relevant parties for official confirmations. Submiting FOIA requests may also be considered. Have a nice day!

    Mod edit: Permanent ban for failing to follow Moderator instructions, in this case it was failing to provide a confirmation from a NATO/member-state source that Russia had requested membership in NATO. The 'sources' provided to confirm Putin's claim amounted to Putin (which the member was specifically advised against) and discussion among Western circles about the potential for Russia to join NATO. Western discussion involving Russia joining NATO is quite different from Russia requesting membership. This was also not the first time the member was banned for their posting behavior following Mod team directions concerning posting quality and sources.
    -Preceptor
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 3, 2017
  15. STURM

    STURM Active Member

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    Interesting video on Steve Coll's new book. He previously wrote 'Ghost Wars' which is essential reading for anyone interested in the Afghan war fought against the Soviets, the rise of the Taliban and AQ and the roles played by the CIA, ISI and other players.

    In 1.25 of the video there is a Western soldier armed with what appears to be a PKM. Can anyone identify which country he's from?

     
  16. FoxtrotRomeo999

    FoxtrotRomeo999 New Member

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    In 1.25 of the video there is a Western soldier armed with what appears to be a PKM. Can anyone identify which country he's from?

    Googled pictures "Afghanistan nato pkm" and got, not unexpectedly, heaps of hits. Chased down a couple of 'western' looking soldiers on page 1 and one was identified as a Georgian.
    • Georgian troops still use the PKM (one article said in July 2017 that they were in the process of replacing them with US kit)
    • Georgia still regularly deploys troops to Afghanistan.
    • U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE > Photos > Photo Essays > Essay View uniforms look similar to US and seem to deploy jointly with US troops.
    • Ammo pouches look like the one in the video.
    Finland also uses the PKM but the ammo pouches look quite different.

    Have a great day, FR