Good Riddance to Afghanistan *Updated*

The inevitable happened a bit earlier than anticipated. Kabul and the Ghani regime, have fallen to the Taliban.

We invaded Afghanistan in 2001 for revenge. I’m fine with that. We stayed for 20 goddamn years, for no discernible purpose….losing American men, women and trillions in the process. And the inevitable still happened. And we should be ashamed.

I’ll borrow some apt words from John Cole at Balloon Juice:

We’ll see a lot of blame thrown at Joe Biden over the next couple of months, and no doubt right-wingers will blame him for “losing” Afghanistan, but most of it is bullshit. Are there some things that could possibly have been done better? Sure. Much of the bitching by our warrior class is focused on the timing of the withdrawal (often ignoring the fact that it was Trump who set the original date), saying we should have waited until the winter when the majority of the Taliban will be at home and it won’t be “the fighting season,” the name for what you and I know as summer and fall. And I suppose he could have. And then we would be reading all of these headlines next spring and summer instead of right now. That’s the thing about delaying the inevitable, it is, in fact, just a delay. This was going to happen no matter when we left and there is nothing anyone can say that will convince me otherwise.

The inevitable happened for a variety of reasons, all known and prophesied by rational and astute people……instead of the faux patriots and armchair commandos that are garnering much of the online and media attention today.

Those who seek to blame certain politicians [in the interest of their party’s narrative], conveniently forget about the ‘peace process’ with the Taliban [thought we didn’t negotiate with ‘terrorists’?], where we saw said Taliban receive 5000 of their captured fighters back into their fold…….and a reneging on nearly every aspect of the process. Those who would wail about us ‘abandoning’ the Ghani regime…..also seem to forget that we negotiated with the Taliban unilaterally, without the partnership of the Kabul regime, at the behest of the Taliban. Nice.

The Taliban, as horrific an entity they are…..are not a national security threat to then U.S. homeland, and never have been. Our Afghan satrapy [and our likewise fools errand in Iraq] has largely denuded our armed forces of the ability to resist actual threats, whether in the form of ISIS worldwide, as well as that of Russia and China.

Good riddance, to a misadventure that should have expired 19 years ago.

*Update* A worthy link from 2014 Iraq that explains well the inevitability of the fall of Kabul: Investing in Junk Armies: Why American Efforts to Create Foreign Armies Fail

Worth your time……

5 thoughts on “Good Riddance to Afghanistan *Updated*

  1. They enjoyed our writing checks for twenty years. They refused to take up the mantle, it was fun to do when someone else was in charge, but not a priority at all.
    I jokingly had talked about the ANA being a hobby for young men in their country.
    The Taliban didnt have to do much, just bomb and do a minimal amount of killing.
    The Taliban is now the defacto political element there. It may not be 35% in a few years but they will have a decent plurality.
    Props on your work

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Comparisons with the Vietnam exodus are cropping up everywhere on social media.
    Which is hardly surprising.
    Yet the real culprits of this fiasco will never face trial.
    They being politics and the money.
    Although it seems religion always gets a pass as they only answer to a higher authority.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. There’s an article in The Atlantic blaming our poor efforts to set up the Afghan military. It says we concentrated on field operations but…

    “larger systemic problems were never truly addressed. We did not successfully build the Iraqi and Afghan forces as institutions. We failed to establish the necessary infrastructure that dealt effectively with military education, training, pay systems, career progression, personnel, accountability—all the things that make a professional security force. ”

    https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2021/08/how-america-failed-afghanistan/619740/

    Could this have gone better? Could we have helped them build a military capable of defending their nation?

    Liked by 1 person

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