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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thoughts , opinions especially from those that have been there. But all are free to post. I don't know the details just taking a guess from open source articles. Baghram is supposed to be cleared out this week. Not sure if Kandahar is the same. But if they plan to do the final withdrawal from Kabul. I tend to think that's a bad idea. Everytime I had to go to the Embassy or the Airport in Kabul I always thought it was a great place for the Taliban to Ambush us.
 

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I have not served in the military so I have not been there. I am respectful of those that have. When we pull out, I am afraid that the Taliban and other elements will move right back in and set up shop. It will turn out to be a big waste of resources on our part. Our military has performed admirably and many sacrificed.

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We should have declared victory and left by the early summer of 2002.

I was there for the first year. The place was gift wrapped and ready to have a bow tied on it. TF Dagger/TF Bowie. The nation building thing was a mistake and I realized that early on. No hope of ever winning the long term insurgency as long as Pakistan provided nearly inviolate Sanctuary to the Taliban. Something most thinking SOF/OGA guys realized from the very get go. It was a fun war while it lasted... up until Big Conventional Forces & DoS took over the steering wheel.

I expect a rapid collapse/capitulation of the ANA & Kabul government. It will happen swiftly. Much quicker than predicted. Just as soon as our combat power vacates and we withdraw meaningful tactical air & logistical support. All the diplomatic-speak about negotiated peace, power sharing, & truces is beyond delusional. The Muj are after nothing less than total victory.

Changing sides is the national sport of Afghanistan. It's been that way for centuries. Like Americans, Afghan warriors are pragmatic. Not given to futile or suicidal last stands. Easier to surrender & switch sides than to be exterminated. Most of them will do exactly that.

When you see the rats abandon Kabul (political & military leaders fleeing to other countries), the end won't be far off.
 

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Swirl Herder
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Several of my friends were killed there - some were shot and others were blown up.

In 2001, going in there had 90% public support.

In 2021, leaving there has 90% public support.

By the begining of next year, Afghanistan will be effectively back to where all that started again.

Democracies don't seem to be able to win wars anymore - even with overwhelming technological and material superiority.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Several of my friends were killed there - some were shot and others were blown up.

In 2001, going in there had 90% public support.

In 2021, leaving there has 90% public support.

By the begining of next year, Afghanistan will be effectively back to where all that started again.

Democracies don't seem to be able to win wars anymore - even with overwhelming technological and material superiority.
And tptb wonder why we has in Veterans despise established politicians!
 

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Several of my friends were killed there - some were shot and others were blown up.

In 2001, going in there had 90% public support.

In 2021, leaving there has 90% public support.

By the begining of next year, Afghanistan will be effectively back to where all that started again.

Democracies don't seem to be able to win wars anymore - even with overwhelming technological and material superiority.
I can't think of a single war in which the politicians WANTED to win.

Wolf
 

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Swirl Herder
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I can't think of a single war in which the politicians WANTED to win.

Wolf
Maybe not since Korea anyway.

Hey we were/are all volunteers - but as you get older, you start to realize that we should take less notice of the day to day action and more notice of who sends us where and why.

Anyway, I think the age of optional wars the West gets involved in, is almost over. I think the wars coming up are going to be much more compulsory.
 

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I feel somewhat qualified to discuss as a multiple tour veteran of the other theater, OIF.

Our military served admirably overall, for the most part. Our civilian and military leadership were mostly inept. I've seen the absurdity, the stupidity, the waste, the lies, the frauds, the cowards in leadership.

I supported both wars, and joined at the early stages, and both were done initially for the right reasons, both were swiftly won, and we should have handed over power to the people, helped them set up government, and left in the first years. And then monitored from afar with aid, sufficient resources to hold power, and aerial support. Costs would have been measured in fewer American lives, and trillions less dollars.

Unfortunately, we never learn from our mistakes or those of others. Vietnam, the Russian's failures in Afghanistan, our failures in Iraq, etc.
Sadly, a few terrorists brought this nation to its knees, destroyed us economically in the process by luring us into a trap - an endless financial disaster we proved we are unable to win because we are unable to do what it takes to win. We have never been able to win an insurgent war, because it takes a level of ruthlessness we do not morally or legally possess.

When we entered these wars our GDP to Debt ($5.6 Trillion) was 55%. (In 1980, it was ~35% and $1 Trillion by comparison.) We then spent nearly $7 trillion on a two front conflict, representing more than our prior centuries combined. Today our national debt pushes $28 trillion, and is one of the biggest threats to our survival as a nation. Hyper inflation is at our doorstep.

In exchange, we achieved little, and not much beyond what some well placed cruise missiles couldn't have achieved. Our cost was many thousands of Americans killed, tens of thousands injured. I know many of those dead, and injured, from these conflicts. I've represented hundreds of war veterans, and many have very sad tales, whether injured or due to misconduct as a result often of war. The GWOT goals were just but the execution really poor. Veterans were treated like cannon fodder, but thankfully not like we'd seen in Vietnam or prior wars.

You don't need a crystal ball to predict a rapid dissent into total chaos and violence for Afghanistan. I was just sadly reminded of what happened in Iraq when we finally cut and ran. Humiliating disaster, humanitarian crisis, our equipment was all stolen by ISIS, and massacres. In 2014 one of the worst singular terrorist massacres occurred in Tikrit, very close to where I deployed and spent a lot of my life on COB Speicher. Between 1100 and 1700 allies were massacred by insurgents in 2014 on that base, on the very ground I often walked on.

And just like what happened to our allies - whether Vietnamese, Kurds, Turks, Iraqi Army, Iraqi Police, and the Afghani forces, they'll be put in an impossible life/death situations. Many will die, others will lose families, be tortured, and have to switch allegiances. Oh, and all that training and equipment will simply arm our enemies.

Thousands of American lives and trillions of dollars wasted. What did we get for our $7 trillion and tens of thousands of US casualties? Not much.
  • We removed, tried and executed Saddam. We could have done that with a snipers bullet or well placed cruise missiles. It's good he is gone. what does the future hold for Iraq?
  • We had no good plan to leave either of these fronts, and there's nothing remarkably better in place today IMO. Iraq, who knows that the future holds.
  • We accomplished nothing tangible in 20 years in Afghanistan. Things we built were destroyed by terrorists. I am not an expert on OEF but I've learned of nothing lasting there that won't be stolen, captured, killed, or destroyed by terrorists when we depart.

When will we learn?
 

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I spent almost a year there, 2011-12. I am no geo-political expert, but I could see no way to "win", in the sense that we would define it. You're not dealing with a homogeneous group of people with a shared culture and identity like "Germany" or "France", with a central government that has control over its entire nation. It's like a game of whack-a-mole, except there the moles hit back. But time is on their side, and they just wait until you wear down.

We sat back and gloated while the Soviet Union wasted 10 years there, finally leaving in defeat. And then, what did we do ourselves 10 years later? Spend 20 years doing the exact same thing. I will say this, the Soviets left behind some pretty tough concrete buildings, which we used for ourselves whenever possible.
 

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Several of my friends were killed there - some were shot and others were blown up.
Sorry man. I served, I managed to fit in between all the BS, even got recalled, but never got deployed. I’ll drink one to your friends, and all the others that got spent over there by the freaking politicians.



In 2001, going in there had 90% public support.

In 2021, leaving there has 90% public support.
And yet, in 2020 the DNC was 100% against it when Trump said he wanted to bring troops home. Crazy, right?




By the begining of next year, Afghanistan will be effectively back to where all that started again.

Democracies don't seem to be able to win wars anymore - even with overwhelming technological and material superiority.
That’s because the democratic politicians and media are all asshats.
You are 100% right...all those lives didn’t change anything for that country, but it sure affected ours.
 

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America needs to learn from our mistakes in places like this. Limited military action, air power, special operations, CIA involvement, and support for a central government, that should be the limit of our engagement. So what if the countryside is the Wild West? If we can keep some semblance of a government in power in the cities, we can claim some type of progress, look at Iraq.

We can't really win open ended, vaguely defined fights like this, at least not the way we fight. One of our biggest assets as a nation is our ability to project our power to protect allies. Our ability to whip almost any other military in a conventional fight is what makes us so powerful. We can sure fight insurgents too, but anyone can tell that the US doesn't really have the desire to pick that type of fight long term, and we look stupid when we try. The more we pick long term fights that can't be won like this, the more we squander our reputation, not to mention international goodwill and the lives of our service members.
 

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America needs to learn from our mistakes in places like this. Limited military action, air power, special operations, CIA involvement, and support for a central government, that should be the limit of our engagement. So what if the countryside is the Wild West? If we can keep some semblance of a government in power in the cities, we can claim some type of progress, look at Iraq.

We can't really win open ended, vaguely defined fights like this, at least not the way we fight. One of our biggest assets as a nation is our ability to project our power to protect allies. Our ability to whip almost any other military in a conventional fight is what makes us so powerful. We can sure fight insurgents too, but anyone can tell that the US doesn't really have the desire to pick that type of fight long term, and we look stupid when we try. The more we pick long term fights that can't be won like this, the more we squander our reputation, not to mention international goodwill and the lives of our service members.
American Blood and treasure. That needs to stop !
 

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It's going to be a **** show. As it has been for MANY generations. The well funded Taliban will return to majority control. The country will return to being an excuse for outside elements to sell arms. It's a win/win for the Taliban and arms dealers/nations. The people will suffer, many will die, it will become a training ground for Muslim extremists.
 

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America needs to learn from our mistakes in places like this. Limited military action, air power, special operations, CIA involvement, and support for a central government, that should be the limit of our engagement.
Baloney.

That's EXACTLY what is causing the failure
ESPECIALLY the CIA involvement, in fact, they’re usually the ones starting the whole freaking thing. They should be neutered if not 100% defunded.

Limited military action will NEVER “win” anything worth spending lives on. We have seen that in every conflict we’ve been in, from Korea to the present day.

Air power is great. But it won’t do anything lasting, if the politicians then limit the ground forces‘ ability to win the freaking war.
Look at the original Desert Storm, air power won, ground forces won right up to the border, but politicians stopped short of doing what needed to be done.

Support for the central government? You mean the gangsters and corrupt drug dealers the CIA wants to run the show? Or the communists or political zealots the people elected because they didn’t have a choice?

Nope. Sorry...in most of the conflicts over the last 60 years, the central government was either our own puppet, or they were the enemy of the people, and the CIA was pulling the strings to manipulate things for their own benefit in both cases.

Shoot, we can’t even win our own freaking hearts or minds or manage a non-rigged election anymore right here at home. We need to simply stay the heck out of people’s crap, and figure out our own crap.
 
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