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Afghanistan 2021 Onwards

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Afghanistan 2021 Onwards

Old 25th Aug 2021, 20:35
  #521 (permalink)  
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I don't quite understand how Boris Johnson, or ORAC, can be under the impression that Biden is free to extend the evacuation deadline
I don’t - I just question how he got himself into this position in the first place….

And contrary to the media narrative, the Taliban haven't strictly broken the terms
The majority of the experts seem to disagree with you - perhaps you can provide a link to the text of the agreement supporting your assertion?

And, of course, as the Taliban arent a country or internationally recognised organisation, just a terrorist group, he could always have just walked away - as he did from his allies.

https://apnews.com/article/bagram-af...251aaaa167e623

Regardless, going back to Biden’s election broadcast where he castigated Trump and stated emphatically, no matter what his predecessor said, in his administration, “the buck stops here”….

But perhaps he can’t remember that…

However this is diverging from the future of Afghanistan into US politics. What’s done is done, and there is no way of rewinding it.

Last edited by ORAC; 25th Aug 2021 at 21:01.
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Old 25th Aug 2021, 21:04
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Spent wee bit of time there....... his/her point is correct though. By politicians or otherwise it's still a loss. But then its always politicians or some other bollocks that throw good people into no win situation.
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Old 25th Aug 2021, 21:08
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Originally Posted by ORAC
And, of course, as the Taliban arent a country or internationally recognised organisation, just a terrorist group, he could always have just walked away - as he did from his allies.
Realisitically he couldn't. The casualties on US side would immediatley have started to rise again massively, looking at the position the Taliban are in. At home this would have been considered his fault as well. So in that regard he was between a rock and a hard place.
Buuuut: What's really bad is the simply the practical execution of this whole thing (leaving Bagram overnight, pulling out troops first, just to remember the next moment: sh*t there are civillians and local forces left behind, not informing the allies sufficiently- although they also were deeply asleep, the list goes on...). And the buck for this fact rightfully stops with him, although re realistically didn't have a viable option to organise the retreat in the slow fighting winter season. At least not without taking flak for casualties between end of August and the winter.
hat could also be done better in my eyes is to put a little more pressure on the Taliban. He could threaten them with Drone killings also of high ranking members of the new "Government" post retreat. This is something they can hardly defend against and would be a viable instrument for putting pressure on them over the next years. Once in office it's not so easy to hide an more as it was in the Pakistani mountains.
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Old 25th Aug 2021, 21:14
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Could the remaining Chinooks, Apache, etc not be flown out, I realise what is being said about no inflight refuelling, but couldn’t they say meet say a Herc put down somewhere as a refuelling station on route? Remember there were a couple of KC 130J floating about recently.
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Old 25th Aug 2021, 21:32
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Originally Posted by ExAscoteer2
Rubbish!

You forget that Trump wanted withdrawl by May 2021. It was Trump that did not negotiate with allies.

Your revisionist history is utterly pathetic.
Rot, Trump may have started the ball rolling, but Biden was under no obligation to follow that through, he has cancelled so much of Trumps programmes there was nothing to stop him declaring the Trump withdrawal as negotiated was a none starter and bringing the Taliban back to the table. You can blame Trump all you want and quite rightly, but at the end of the day the buck stops with the person in charge at the time it is planned and carried out, that IS one man, Biden and boy did he f*ck it up against all the advice he was given
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Old 25th Aug 2021, 21:34
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Originally Posted by ORAC
I don’t - I just question how he got himself into this position in the first place….
You wrote "Then he [Biden], no one else, decided the timetable for the pull-out without consultation with allies." Wrong. Trump and Pompeo signed the timeline into the Doha Agreement, on behalf of the Coalition, without consultation. See below. Thanks to that signature, the Taliban have had an effective veto on the matter ever since given the US's clear intent to disengage. (NutLoose, this remains true however much you exclaim otherwise.)

The majority of the experts seem to disagree with you - perhaps you can provide a link to the text of the agreement supporting your assertion?
Doha Agreement 2020

I forgot, there was one other firm commitment, which was that the Taliban wouldn't allow Afghanistan to be used as a base for terror attacks. Read the text and weep: the condition relating to peace talks merely follows on from the Coalition ceasefire and withdrawal, and commits the Taliban to precisely no progress in peace talks, which is what happened. Whatever the 'experts' say, there's been no breach.

Regarding those 'experts', see this piece in The Week about the ideological battle getting under way in Washington. It's striking how pro-intervention (hawkish) academics, diplomats and generals are writing polemics and appearing on TV in defence of their pet ideologies, their army budgets, and/or their past decisions. The many attacks on Biden and misrepresentations of the Doha Agreement are part of that. However there are plenty of dissenting expert voices (mainly restrainer/realist academics) out there: @PatPorter76 for instance is doing hard yards on Twitter and has an article supporting Biden's decisions in The Critic. On the skewing of viewpoints in the MSM, here's the international relations professor some might recognise from his 'child in background during BBC interview' moment (text pasted from the Twitter thread linked below):

The biggest surprise, revelation even, of Afghanistan’s fall is not that the Taliban are bad or that the departure is messy. We knew that already. It’s how belligerent, even militaristic, the American and British media are, how totally captured by blob talking points about the 'necessity’ that America fight all over the place and that it’s always ‘defeat’ rather than retrenchment or cutting your losses. Two weeks ago, there was almost no reporting on Afghanistan. Suddenly a few days of inevitability chaotic imagery, and America is abandoning its responsibilities in a fiasco.

And it was all hawks all the time on-air to comment. No retrenchers or restrainers to place the withdrawal in greater context. Even in academia, a lot of international relations scholars have deeply soured on the war for more than a decade. But no one ever called them to be on TV. The blob-ish, keep fighting indefinitely framing of this whole thing has been remarkable. No wonder Obama and Trump were afraid to withdraw.

So I'm treating expert views on this subject with extreme caution: the MSM is giving priority to largely the same people that got us here. I certainly don't recommend uncritically citing Telegraph or Times articles...

Last edited by Easy Street; 25th Aug 2021 at 22:42.
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Old 25th Aug 2021, 21:35
  #527 (permalink)  
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Could the remaining Chinooks, Apache, etc not be flown out, I realise what is being said about no inflight refuelling, but couldn’t they say meet say a Herc put down somewhere as a refuelling station on route? Remember there were a couple of KC 130J floating about recently.
See my post #519

Afghanistan 2021 Onwards

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Old 25th Aug 2021, 21:38
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Originally Posted by NutLoose
Rot, Trump may have started the ball rolling, but Biden was under no obligation to follow that through
Drivel. There was no way Biden could have overturned Trumps idiocracy without a troop surge, which the USA would not support.

Why are you so blind to the facts?
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Old 25th Aug 2021, 22:10
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It's not the leaving, it how it was done. I'm repeating myself her, but the missteps and many and blatant. Biden and company did the fundamentals completely backwards - removing the military before the civilians. Any rational withdrawal would be the other way around, including leaving Bagram open and operational until the civilians were out - not abandoning it in the middle of the night without bothering to tell anyone - including our allies.
Trump had nothing to do with botched execution of the withdrawal. Biden owns this cluster lock, stock, and barrel. The buck stops with the current administration and the related execution - Trump's been out of the loop for six months.
Biden's surrender to the Taliban - asking them nicely to let us get our people and friends out rather than telling them they damn well better let us get them out or face severe consequences - just makes it worse.
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Old 25th Aug 2021, 23:44
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Originally Posted by ExAscoteer2
Drivel. There was no way Biden could have overturned Trumps idiocracy without a troop surge, which the USA would not support.

Why are you so blind to the facts?
Opinion masquerading as fact. You have an opinion and I respect that, it doesn’t make it fact however.
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Old 26th Aug 2021, 00:04
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Originally Posted by West Coast
Opinion masquerading as fact. You have an opinion and I respect that, it doesn’t make it fact however.
OK EXPLAIN to me how Biden could have overturned Trump's stupidity? Go on. I can wait.

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Old 26th Aug 2021, 00:27
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Ascoteer, as has been repeatedly pointed out, the issue here is the execution of the withdrawal, not the fact of the withdrawal itself. Accountability for that execution falls on Biden (who was inaugurated 7 months ago), not Trump. (Although personally I don’t believe things would’ve gone any better under Trump, but that’s just my opinion.)
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Old 26th Aug 2021, 00:54
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Originally Posted by ExAscoteer2
OK EXPLAIN to me how Biden could have overturned Trump's stupidity? Go on. I can wait.
You’re the one making the claims, the onus is on you to explain why he couldn’t.
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Old 26th Aug 2021, 01:33
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Originally Posted by itsnotthatbloodyhard
(Although personally I don’t believe things would’ve gone any better under Trump, but that’s just my opinion.)
Somehow I don't think the Taliban would be dictating the terms of the withdrawal if Trump was still in charge - he doesn't like taking orders from anyone.
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Old 26th Aug 2021, 05:11
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This is an interesting thread explaining the withdrawal:

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Old 26th Aug 2021, 05:52
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It could, of course, also be a means of trying to getting the crowds to disperse as no more are going to be processed and admitted to the airport. The window has closed.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/n...mits-t8sqkwzg9

Western allies issue statements warning people to stay away from Kabul airport

Western governments issued what appeared to be co-ordinated statements last night warning their citizens to avoid Kabul airport and advising anyone not inside the perimeter as dawn was breaking in the Afghan capital to “leave immediately”.

The Foreign Office said: “Do not travel to Kabul Hamid Karzai international airport. If you are in the area of the airport, move away to a safe location and await further advice”…..

The US embassy in Kabul, now stationed at the airport, said: “Because of security threats outside the gates of Kabul airport, we are advising US citizens to avoid travelling to the airport and to avoid airport gates at this time unless you receive individual instructions from a US government representative to do so.”

The statement warned: “US citizens who are at the Abbey Gate, East Gate, or North Gate now should leave immediately”.

The Australian government issued a similar statement. Canberra described “an ongoing and very high threat of terrorist attack”…..

The new guidance from the Foreign Office warns of a terrorist threat and advises people near the airport to “move away to a safe location”.

The out-of-bounds area includes the Baron Hotel, where officials have been processing Afghans and Britons before they board RAF flights. New arrivals are likely to be turned away as the government focuses on trying to process those already in the hotel compound…….


Today is expected to be the final day for evacuating civilians.…..

Sources had also previously appeared confident that they could evacuate all British citizens as well as those on the Afghan relocation programme (known as Arap) which helps interpreters and other support staff.

Forces had been optimistic of taking 1,500 people on the Arap who are already at the airport processing centre waiting for evacuation in the final day or so of the airlift.

But defence sources conceded that they significantly underestimated the numbers requiring evacuation and could do little about those still struggling to reach the airport…..

The Arap scheme has had 4,000 emails in 24 hours from people applying late or asking for updates, while British citizens, Afghan civil society groups and western nationals are also coming forward through other routes.…..

It comes as the CIA and US military sent out secret snatch squads to rescue more than 1,500 Americans who are believed to still be in the country…..


Getting to Kabul airport, which is surrounded by the Taliban, has become increasingly difficult. The rescue operations, many of them clandestine, are using helicopters and ground troops under the direction of the CIA.

Priority is being given to American citizens over the many thousands of Afghans and their families who have worked with the US military, according to the Wall Street Journal…..

The CIA, the US foreign intelligence agency, has not commented on the rescue missions, while defence officials say that they airlifted “less than 20” Americans to Kabul airport on Tuesday night.….
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Old 26th Aug 2021, 06:27
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Originally Posted by tdracer
Somehow I don't think the Taliban would be dictating the terms of the withdrawal if Trump was still in charge - he doesn't like taking orders from anyone.
I suggest you read the brief text of the Doha Agreement for yourself, rather than relying on the partisan post-hoc interpretations being advanced by others. Worth reflecting while reading it that Trump authored 'The Art of the Deal' ...

Have you had a chance to read it, ORAC? Any comment on my earlier assertions?
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Old 26th Aug 2021, 06:29
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Originally Posted by tdracer
Somehow I don't think the Taliban would be dictating the terms of the withdrawal if Trump was still in charge - he doesn't like taking orders from anyone.
They wouldn't have to dictate terms, he would have given them exactly what they wanted in the first place.
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Old 26th Aug 2021, 06:37
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Originally Posted by Mil-26Man
They wouldn't have to dictate terms, he would have given them exactly what they wanted in the first place.
He did dictate/negotiate terms with them. 'We' should have been out by May 31st by his timescale.
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Old 26th Aug 2021, 06:39
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