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Afghanistan 2021 Onwards

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Afghanistan 2021 Onwards

Old 10th Jul 2021, 10:44
  #41 (permalink)  
 
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"Return of a King" - William Dalrymple

Having travelled around Afghanistan in the 70s whilst Zaher Shah was still present and having read many books about the country's history, I can strongly recommend to anyone interested that they read the above book. The historical parallels with the current situation are nothing short of astonishing.

The core problem is that "Afghanistan" is a faulty notion, not a country. It never has been a unitary entity and never will be. It's a tribal region that has been intermittently (and mostly continually) in a state of internal conflict since the time of Alexander the Great. One of the original phases of "nation building" this time around was the stated objective of creating a national army / security apparatus which comprised a demographic which is representative of the Afghan population - ie about 40% Pashtun. This was never achieved even at officer level, with a high proportion being Tajiks - who had previously been at war with the Pashtun/Taliban. In consequence the National Army would always be seen as occupiers in the Pashtun region. Add to this the fact that the country has long been a proxy for the conflict between India and Pakistan, the latter having a vested interest in maintaining Pashtun/Taliban dominance.

During the long running civil war in the post-Soviet period the only effective counterbalance to the Taliban was the Tajik army based in the Panshir Valley under the command of Ahmad Shah Massoud (whose comrade Dr. Abdullah has since been a constant presence in the national government). Shortly before "9/11" Massoud visited Europe where he attempted to warn us about the peril represented by the presence of Bin Laden in Afghanistan. European politicians simply ignored him. Before the 9/11 attacks could be implemented, Bin Laden made sure that Massoud was assassinated. What might have been if only we'd listened?

The current withdrawal from the lost war in Afghanistan really does resemble the US debacle during withdrawal from Vietnam. Afghans of various ethnicities who believed that the West could drag this primitive region kicking and screaming into the 20th century are being abandoned to the tender mercies of the obscurantist mullahs of the Taliban. TV news programs are already recounting the appalling situation of translators who have been denied even provisional asylum - often for completely absurd reasons. Tens of thousands of people are even less able to obtain asylum.

The country will be largely under Taliban control within a matter of weeks and they will be utterly merciless to the "collaborators"..

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Old 10th Jul 2021, 10:50
  #42 (permalink)  
 
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Aside from drug money who is funding the Taliban?
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Old 10th Jul 2021, 10:57
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Originally Posted by skridlov View Post
Having travelled around Afghanistan in the 70s whilst Zaher Shah was still present and having read many books about the country's history, I can strongly recommend to anyone interested that they read the above book. The historical parallels with the current situation are nothing short of astonishing.

The core problem is that "Afghanistan" is a faulty notion, not a country. It never has been a unitary entity and never will be. It's a tribal region that has been intermittently (and mostly continually) in a state of internal conflict since the time of Alexander the Great. One of the original phases of "nation building" this time around was the stated objective of creating a national army / security apparatus which comprised a demographic which is representative of the Afghan population - ie about 40% Pashtun. This was never achieved even at officer level, with a high proportion being Tajiks - who had previously been at war with the Pashtun/Taliban. In consequence the National Army would always be seen as occupiers in the Pashtun region. Add to this the fact that the country has long been a proxy for the conflict between India and Pakistan, the latter having a vested interest in maintaining Pashtun/Taliban dominance.

During the long running civil war in the post-Soviet period the only effective counterbalance to the Taliban was the Tajik army based in the Panshir Valley under the command of Ahmad Shah Massoud (whose comrade Dr. Abdullah has since been a constant presence in the national government). Shortly before "9/11" Massoud visited Europe where he attempted to warn us about the peril represented by the presence of Bin Laden in Afghanistan. European politicians simply ignored him. Before the 9/11 attacks could be implemented, Bin Laden made sure that Massoud was assassinated. What might have been if only we'd listened?

The current withdrawal from the lost war in Afghanistan really does resemble the US debacle during withdrawal from Vietnam. Afghans of various ethnicities who believed that the West could drag this primitive region kicking and screaming into the 20th century are being abandoned to the tender mercies of the obscurantist mullahs of the Taliban. TV news programs are already recounting the appalling situation of translators who have been denied even provisional asylum - often for completely absurd reasons. Tens of thousands of people are even less able to obtain asylum.

The country will be largely under Taliban control within a matter of weeks and they will be utterly merciless to the "collaborators"..
And “ The Great Game “ by Peter Hopkirk circa 1990.
Sadly our political masters don’t read history.
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Old 10th Jul 2021, 11:42
  #44 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Less Hair View Post
Aside from drug money who is funding the Taliban?
Sunni fundamentalists of many stripes. Pakistan - through political and logistical support. The Saudis via many proxy fig-leaves, like the Deobandi movement. Deobandi mosques in our towns. And, although they would usually deny it to "kufars", much of the Islamic world's population.
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Old 10th Jul 2021, 12:00
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Warmtoast View Post
The Russians invaded Afghanistan in 1978, but the whole thing was too much for them and they left the country ten-years later in February 1989.
Photos show Soviet troops in Kabul and as they departed the country in February 1989. (Photos from US Dept. for Defence and Novosti).


Soviet Troops in Kabul



Soviets Departing February 1989
They left because the US were weaponising the mujahideen (Charlie Wilson), the Soviets were actually doing a lot of building in the country and its infrastructure, more importantly people were employed and had a decent living. You can still see it in Kabul today, tram tracks in the roads, massive grain mills, and the bog standard off the shelf soviet apartment blocks, which are locally known as macroyans... etc.. Now if Ahmad Shah Massoud had lived it might have been a very different situation today, Karzai should never have been put into power..
And yes, sadly I personally think things will deteriorate quickly
FYI the lower photo of the USSR leaving is actually on a bridge that they built, a vital link that is still in use today..
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Old 10th Jul 2021, 13:28
  #46 (permalink)  
 
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Looking at what's left from soviet days not much will be left from the western episode. Bound for stone age again and drug clans.
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Old 10th Jul 2021, 13:42
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I must have been reading the wrong news reports about the Russian time in Afghanistan....as somehow the use of poison gas on civilians does not seem an effective way to win their Hearts and Minds?

Bombing and strafing villages also seems to be an odd way to provide full employment for workers.

If the Russians were doing such a grand job of "Nation Building" why were they engaged in combat with such ferocity as they were by the Taliban?

For those who only know of Charlie Wilson via Tom Hanks.....it was Congressional Legislation that funded support for the Muji's that Wilson was able to get passed into Law that he deserves credit for doing.

He was a sleazy guy personally.....but at least he saw a need to support those who were actively fighting a hostile Communist takeover of their own Country.

One that had no respect for Islam or its followers.

That wonderful bridge was built to facilitate the logistical support of Russian forces.....and not for the betterment of the Afghan people.

In no way can the Russians be seen as being in Afghanistan except for a perceived benefit to the Russians....and their support of a Communist Government in Afghanistan.



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Old 10th Jul 2021, 13:58
  #48 (permalink)  
 
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It would have been the first step towards the Indian Ocean for CCCP.
However stingers ended their air dominance.
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Old 10th Jul 2021, 15:01
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Originally Posted by SASless View Post
I must have been reading the wrong news reports about the Russian time in Afghanistan....as somehow the use of poison gas on civilians does not seem an effective way to win their Hearts and Minds?

Bombing and strafing villages also seems to be an odd way to provide full employment for workers.

If the Russians were doing such a grand job of "Nation Building" why were they engaged in combat with such ferocity as they were by the Taliban?

For those who only know of Charlie Wilson via Tom Hanks.....it was Congressional Legislation that funded support for the Muji's that Wilson was able to get passed into Law that he deserves credit for doing.

He was a sleazy guy personally.....but at least he saw a need to support those who were actively fighting a hostile Communist takeover of their own Country.

One that had no respect for Islam or its followers.

That wonderful bridge was built to facilitate the logistical support of Russian forces.....and not for the betterment of the Afghan people.

In no way can the Russians be seen as being in Afghanistan except for a perceived benefit to the Russians....and their support of a Communist Government in Afghanistan.
LOL,, I'm glad I didn't say it was a good thing they did,, just pointed out a few things,, those apartments are still very popular maybe even prestigious dwellings to some of the poorer Afghans,, and there are a lot of them, !! And yes there is a lovely irony in the "peace" bridge !! Just glad I'm not there anymore..
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Old 10th Jul 2021, 23:51
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Having had the opportunity to speak with Charlie Wilson a couple of years after the Tom Hanks movie was released, I understand the movie is largely a documentary and only a few of the scenes are there for the benefit of the movie goers.

If you remember the movie (or take some time to watch it again) Congressman Wilson's plea for funds for education, shown almost at the end of the movie and rejected by his peers, may well have been a game changer.

Too late now: the teaching medium will be Mandarin. .

MJG

Last edited by mgahan; 10th Jul 2021 at 23:52. Reason: Usual typos
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Old 17th Jul 2021, 12:23
  #51 (permalink)  
 
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In The Times.

Pakistan threatened to shoot down our planes attacking Taliban, claims Kabul

Afghanistan has alleged that Pakistan has threatened to shoot down Afghan aircraft if they attacked a border crossing seized by the Taliban, an incendiary claim that has prompted a furious denial from Islamabad.

Amrullah Saleh, the Afghan vice-president, made the allegation on Twitter as government forces fought to retake the Spin Boldak crossing, in the southern province of Kandahar.

“Pakistan air force has issued official warning to the Afghan Army and Air Force that any move to dislodge the Taliban from Spin Boldak area will be faced and repelled,” Saleh tweeted. “Pakistan air force is now providing close air support to Taliban in certain areas.”

He later claimed that Afghan jets approaching the border were “warned to back off or face air-to-air missiles”.

The claim was echoed in a report by Tolo News, a local news station, which said that Afghan planes had been forced to abort a mission over Spin Boldak after a warning from Pakistan.
Not very neighbourly if true.


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Old 17th Jul 2021, 15:20
  #52 (permalink)  
 
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Maybe they are scared the Fakirs will redraw the map back to its pre British India lines . A very large part of Pakistan used to belong to Afghanistan .
No wonder they are getting nervous .
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Old 6th Aug 2021, 19:30
  #53 (permalink)  
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Things degenerating back to a warlord driven civil war - with air support…

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/u...iban-pmf3j7wqq

US sends gunships and bombers to beat back Taliban

American B-52 bombers and Spectre gunships bristling with cannon have been sent into action against the Taliban in an attempt to stop the insurgents’ march on three key cities in Afghanistan….

Aircraft used by the Afghans, many of which were supplied by the US, are running out of spares, munitions and pilots. At least seven pilots have been targeted and killed by the Taliban and the rest are reported to be exhausted by the relentless bombing and troop-carrying missions.

The air force is also suffering a repair backlog because of the withdrawal of thousands of American contractors. More than a third of the force’s 162 aircraft and helicopters are inoperable.

In response, US defence sources told The Times that B-52s, a stalwart of US air power for 70 years that can each carry up to 32 tonnes of bombs, were flying from al-Udeid airbase in Qatar over southwest Pakistan and into Afghanistan to hit Taliban targets around Lashkar Gah in Helmand province, Kandahar and Herat.

The two other main US aircraft being used are AC-130 Spectre gunships, a heavily armed ground-attack version of a transport aircraft designed for low-altitude, close-air, cannon-firing support, and armed Reaper drones. Both aircraft are also based in Qatar, 1,000 miles away. At least five missions are being flown a day, the defence sources said.

The USS Ronald Reagan, an aircraft carrier in the Arabian Sea, is also contributing its F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jets to the missions….

Added to the growing expense of the post-withdrawal period will be the challenge of keeping the Afghan air force flying and combat-ready after the last of the 16,000 US contractors have left Afghanistan.

Captain Bill Urban, spokesman for US Central Command, which is in charge of the “over-the-horizon” operations in Afghanistan, said the maintenance of Afghan aircraft was being carried out in three ways. First, by the few hundred contractors still present in Afghanistan; second, by “virtual assistance” involving Zoom calls from the Gulf to Afghan mechanics; and third, by flying out aircraft to be checked “in a third country”, the location of which is secret.

Several aircraft have already been flown out by Afghan pilots, and flown back to rejoin the strike missions.

There is concern, however, that none of the US contractors will be in Kabul after August 31 as they are reluctant to stay without American back-up. If they were to stay longer, Urban said, it would also require a change of policy in Washington……

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/a...iban-zkhv7tts5

Afghan warlords rejoin the fight to defeat the Taliban

…Scores of districts throughout Afghanistan have been overrun by the Islamists as government forces buckle. More than a dozen cities are under siege, with bitter fighting on the outskirts of provincial capitals to the north, south and west. One of them, Zarranj, fell yesterday.

In an attempt to stave off total collapse, President Ghani has turned to the warlords and their militias. Local fighters who register with the government are paid a salary and supplied with weapons to defend their homes against the Taliban.

The move has drawn some infamous characters back to the fray, with ominous echoes of the Afghan civil war of the 1990s that spawned the Taliban.

Many of the warlords who emerged after the Soviet withdrawal in 1989 also have brutal reputations and their return has raised fears that Afghanistan could once again implode as local powerbrokers vie for dominance…..

Khan was a former comrade of many Taliban commanders in the mujahideen that fought the Soviet Union during the 1980s. He gained notoriety for supporting US forces as the Taliban were routed in 2001. Now aged 75, he has made a point of appearing on the battlefield with his men as the battle for Herat has raged from street to street.….

Another notorious warlord from the civil war era, Abdul Rashid Dostum, also announced his return to Afghanistan to join the battle against the Taliban this week.

While the politicians manoeuvre, however, many on the front lines in Afghanistan’s war-torn cities are fighting for survival. Word of Taliban atrocities has spread throughout the country as tens of thousands flee the Islamist advance…..

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Old 6th Aug 2021, 20:10
  #54 (permalink)  
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https://news.sky.com/story/britons-w...phase-12374649

Britons warned to leave Afghanistan immediately as war enters 'deadlier and more destructive phase'

British nationals in Afghanistan are being told to leave immediately as the country's war moves into what the UN has described aIs a "deadlier and more destructive phase".

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office on Friday evening issued an advisory against all travel to Afghanistan. It added: "If you are still in Afghanistan, you are advised to leave now by commercial means because of the worsening security situation."….

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Old 6th Aug 2021, 20:40
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
https://news.sky.com/story/britons-w...phase-12374649

Britons warned to leave Afghanistan immediately as war enters 'deadlier and more destructive phase'

British nationals in Afghanistan are being told to leave immediately as the country's war moves into what the UN has described aIs a "deadlier and more destructive phase".

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office on Friday evening issued an advisory against all travel to Afghanistan. It added: "If you are still in Afghanistan, you are advised to leave now by commercial means because of the worsening security situation."….
Not exactly a ringing vote of confidence in the current Afghan government.
I'd expect the Taliban to be back in charge by fall.
The good news is that the US removed its people early, so no Viet Nam style helicopters off the roof scenes.
Just an all round disaster, where the worst thing is that no one is actually held responsible.
I've no idea how we will defeat insurgencies in Africa or Latin America if we cannot figure our how we screwed this one up.
Coming in after the Soviets should have been a cakewalk. Instead, we alienated everybody.
That takes real skill and determination. Unlearning those skills will be critical.
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Old 6th Aug 2021, 21:03
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Originally Posted by etudiant View Post
Not exactly a ringing vote of confidence in the current Afghan government.
I'd expect the Taliban to be back in charge by fall.
The good news is that the US removed its people early, so no Viet Nam style helicopters off the roof scenes.
We got the US citizens out, but we left most of those who assisted the US Forces behind - giving them effectively a death sentence once the Taliban is back in charge (and like not a quick death).
Shame on us - and yet the US Government will wonder why people are reluctant to help us...
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Old 6th Aug 2021, 21:06
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Says it all

https://www.insider.com/afghanistan-...ed-to-today-15
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Old 6th Aug 2021, 22:10
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Originally Posted by NutLoose View Post
really?

added some extra letters to make post long enough
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Old 7th Aug 2021, 13:23
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Originally Posted by Lyneham Lad View Post


This is also one major reason why the Taliban haven't really been defeated. Pakistan is backing them massively and giving them Shelter when being attacked. And has been doing so for years.
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Old 7th Aug 2021, 13:29
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Originally Posted by Mr N Nimrod View Post
really?

added some extra letters to make post long enough
It was a peaceful country slowly developing until outside forces came into play.
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