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Clark Griswold

How to leave Afghanistan

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58 minutes ago, HossHarris said:

So stay there forever with predominantly conventional forces. Got it. 

No sir not at all. Only enough conventional force for the battlespace in and around the base to maintain security. Sorry I wasn't clearer. The downside to having discussions online versus in person. My overall goal would be to deny  sanctuary/freedom of movement in the area to isis and their ilk with the minimum footprint. Keep them looking over their shoulder. I think if we had done more of this at the conclusion OIF rather than a complete withdrawal we might have stopped their takeover in the first place. That said I somewhat understand the SOFA agreement or lack of one forced our hand.

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7 minutes ago, fire4effect said:

No sir not at all. Only enough conventional force for the battlespace in and around the base to maintain security. Sorry I wasn't clearer. The downside to having discussions online versus in person. My overall goal would be to deny  sanctuary/freedom of movement in the area to isis and their ilk with the minimum footprint. Keep them looking over their shoulder. I think if we had done more of this at the conclusion OIF rather than a complete withdrawal we might have stopped their takeover in the first place. That said I somewhat understand the SOFA agreement or lack of one forced our hand.

But this means we’ll have boots on the ground indefinitely. We’ve injected ourselves into a region that’s been fighting each other for 1000’s of years over who they think was Muhammad’s rightful successor....This is a losing battle, but a geopolitical crisis that we ultimately created ourselves. 

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I can't quite put my finger on it, but it feels like we've seen this before...  

Goat fuckers are going to fuck goats...nothing we can do to change that.

graveyard.jpg

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1 hour ago, M2 said:

No argument here. Google the Pub Money as a Weapon System. IMHO too much went to the Ministries in Kabul to distribute to the provinces not to the Provincial Governments directly. That meant that the kingmakers were the ministers in Kabul who funneled the money to the ones they favored. Of  course giving it the to the Provincial Governments directly would have shifted the responsibility and headaches more on the US's shoulders but it would likely allow a little better oversight on where the money went. I seem to recall somewhere that about 60-70 percent of Afghanistan's budget came from foreign donors. Even India gave to curry some favor in Afghanistan and stick a finger in Pakistan's eye. Of course Congress here is anything but perfect with the power of the purse but we have a little better judicial system to stop the more blatant abuses. I do vividly recall an FBI agent who stated bribery is an acceptable business practice in Afghanistan but we in the US military will get the long course courtesy of the Federal Bureau of Prisons/Leavenworth if we do it.

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On 12/13/2019 at 2:18 PM, fire4effect said:

No sir not at all. Only enough conventional force for the battlespace in and around the base to maintain security. Sorry I wasn't clearer. The downside to having discussions online versus in person. My overall goal would be to deny  sanctuary/freedom of movement in the area to isis and their ilk with the minimum footprint. Keep them looking over their shoulder. I think if we had done more of this at the conclusion OIF rather than a complete withdrawal we might have stopped their takeover in the first place. That said I somewhat understand the SOFA agreement or lack of one forced our hand.

So you pretty much just described the status quo, except right now there’s the intermediate step of hoping they’ll assist us with security responsibilities. 

As for ISIS moving around, they’re already looking over their shoulders...for the Taliban. I’m surprised we haven’t better-embraced the “enemy of my enemy” position a little better with regard to the two factions and their hatred for each other. 
 

In the end, the best thing for Afghanistan is our departure. I’ve seen how capable these guys actually are when we’re not around. It isn’t that different from when we are, except they receive a lot less stuff that they don’t actually NEED. 

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2 hours ago, war007afa said:

. It isn’t that different from when we are, except they receive a lot less stuff that they don’t actually NEED. 

“But sir...”

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4 hours ago, war007afa said:

So you pretty much just described the status quo, except right now there’s the intermediate step of hoping they’ll assist us with security responsibilities. 

As for ISIS moving around, they’re already looking over their shoulders...for the Taliban. I’m surprised we haven’t better-embraced the “enemy of my enemy” position a little better with regard to the two factions and their hatred for each other. 
 

In the end, the best thing for Afghanistan is our departure. I’ve seen how capable these guys actually are when we’re not around. It isn’t that different from when we are, except they receive a lot less stuff that they don’t actually NEED. 

They do need to stand on their own two feet. Whatever that does or doesn't amount to. I don't LIKE us there either.  I guess I worry that a complete washing our hands leaves it open to someone else moving in to fill the space whether that's ISIS or more radical Taliban elements or another nation-state. I like the enemy of my enemy as far as that goes but those loyalties can change like the damn wind.  I've seen that first hand. Quoting an SF (Special Forces) troop  helping the enemy of my enemy was called "Pimping the Flintstones" and it was one delicate balance. Speaking of Nation-states in the region I'm sure Iran would be very happy to see us leave too whether anyone talks about that out loud or not. I certainly can't prove it but having us on two sides of their country can't make them too relaxed. And yes I've comingled two AOs namely Iraq/Syria Afghanistan somewhat in this discussion as I've been to both and I recognize there are similarities and differences. I like deterrence/prevention as much as possible and I like to say nobody remembers the attack/ambush/mishap/random Sh!tstorm that never happens. Even if/when do completely pull out I do hope we keep a sizable RPA force overhead to keep an eye on things.

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Make a deal with China, since they share a border with Afghanistan. We can get out quick and leave chaos and a power vacuum or let them take over piece meal. I'm sure they don't want a basket case on their border after they are trying to take economic advantage of the mineral wealth there. 

 

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13 minutes ago, fire4effect said:

I guess I worry that a complete washing our hands leaves it open to someone else moving in to fill the space whether that's ISIS or more radical Taliban elements or another nation-state...

...Speaking of Nation-states in the region I'm sure Iran would be very happy to see us leave too whether anyone talks about that out loud or not. I certainly can't prove it but having us on two sides of their country can't make them too relaxed...

...Even if/when do completely pull out I do hope we keep a sizable RPA force overhead to keep an eye on things.

So if we let someone else move in, but gain the same strategic effects (checked terrorism, an influence, access [increasingly less necessary as technology improves], and “the devil I know), what is the true disadvantage? I view it like the Starbucks coffee bagged by Costco/Kirkland: tastes pretty good to me!

Let Iran police Afghanistan (they won’t; Persians don’t like hardly anyone but Persians); hell, let nearly any regional partner assist in the region. Let India and Pakistan compete over who can buddy up to Afghanistan more (already happening). I’d rather US aid go to India where some accountability for spending can occur than the black hole it current funnels through. 

I like RPA CAPs, but the need won’t exist anymore. I can’t provide a statistic, but I’d willingly bet >60% of the global intelligence apparatus operates in/around CENTCOM. The holistic solution to prevent another 9-11 takes into account where the mastermind sought refuge, but that’s only one portion of it. The rest of the win comes from all of the other products and reforms which rose from the ashes. Regardless, if CAPs keep us home, let’s follow some of the models of the other AOs we use RPA in and press. 

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