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DUNBAR last won the day on September 1

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    Boring people to death with tales of how we did things back in 1992, dagnabbit.

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  1. Lots of great insights, Dirk. I think where we will agree to disagree is: 1. I suspect this will hurt our long-term national security more than we want to admit. Securing the cooperation of NATO partners and regional partners in peacekeeping operations and small-to-mid-scale conflicts is going to be more challenging. This was a truly embarrassing sequence of events, and our friends and allies are giving us a well-deserved WTF. Can you imagine trying to depose the next Saddam or Al Qaeda? "Hey! Who's with us? France? Brits? Canada? C'mon everybody! Follow us! Guys? Hello?" 2. I harbor no illusions a president will ever resign (unless the impeachment votes are there). But I do wonder how catastrophic something can be before Senators and Congressmen gently nudge a president out the door. 3. I certainly don't expect our government to know exactly where every American is or was in a place like AFG, but if you followed the numbers coming from the administration, it was borderline absurd. How many Americans were there in mid-August? 4,000? 8,000? 12,000? Who the heck knows? 4. I don't believe this failure is comparable to Pearl Harbor, or Desert One, or Beirut, or any of the others. So many of those were diabolical surprise attacks, or immediate, short-term military setbacks. AFG was such a series of appalling failures that it's little wonder the conservative blogosphere is half-jokingly accusing the administration of working directly for China. This was simply horrible. In the end, though, history never seems to follow that predictable, logical arc we expect it to.
  2. Point taken. I'm not trying to be adversarial; you are correct that this was always going to be a horrific band-aid to tear off. But holy sh!t. This did not have to be like this.
  3. I find it weird that we accept the fact that we're allegedly the world hyperpower, and the Taliban are the ones giving all the orders. I find it weird that the withdrawal was planned in such an appallingly catastrophic fashion. I find it weird that the administration was absolutely obsessed with meeting some meaningless deadline. I find it weird that no one can seem to nail down how many Americans were in Afghanistan, how many were airlifted, and how many were truly left behind. I find it weird that the Taliban allegedly offered us the opportunity to police and secure Kabul, and we said, "No thanks." I find it weird that leaving any number of Americans behind is acceptable to this administration. I find it weird that so little effort was made to disable or destroy the military hardware left behind. I find it weird that we seemingly made so little effort to prioritize American evacuees ahead of Afghanis. I find it weird that a presidential administration could survive this calamity. I find it weird that the administration claims they had no inkling the AFG government would collapse in this manner, but that is constantly being proven false. I find it weird that the President told the press we are not leaving until every American who wants to leave is airlifted, and today...meh. What can you do? Americans are stranded overseas all the time. I find it weird (no offense meant) that people like you think there is nothing weird about all of this.
  4. It's all so unbelievable it's just beyond words. Something very very weird is going on in Washington, and it's giving me the heebie jeebies.
  5. I am trying to find some sliver of optimism in all of this catastrophe. Is this our "Suez moment?" If I wanted to be an optimist, I guess we can say few things were more humiliating than Saigon, but less than 20 years later, the Soviet Union was dead, Saddaam was spanked, and they had to coin a new phrase since "superpower" didn't seem adequate - "hyperpower." Similarly, Yorktown must have been pretty humiliating for the Brits back in the 1780s, but they had a helluva good run for the next 170 years or so. But man, oh man. I am racking my brains to try and find a more horrific month for American prestige and national security. I honestly think it's worse than Pearl Harbor, because AFG was so self-inflicted, and Japan was a helluva lot more formidable than goat herders yearning to live in the 7th century. I guess it doesn't quite rise to the torching of Wash DC during the War of 1812, or the Union incompetence circa 1862, but this is all absolutely unbelievable. If all this somehow puts the brakes on wokey wokey wokiness/defund the police/COVID tyranny/southern border/$3.5T "infrastructure" bills, as the left's appalling incompetence and callousness becomes obvious and indisputable, and "orange man bad" starts to ring really, really hollow, then at least that's something.
  6. Nice. Of course, we could have 10,000 B-1 bombers dropping 1,000,000 GBU-39s, and our political class would still lose the war to a psychotic band of illiterate, fanatical goat herders.
  7. It's being reported the State Department intended to charge evacuees >$2K each, and only scrapped the plan after being met with collective outrage. I am just living in the Twilight Zone now. How pathetic, incomprehensible, and incompetent can these people be? What the f&%k is going on?
  8. I think the Hitler videos are best suited for the Dallas Cowboys losing or someone not getting a AUAB BPC dorm room. Not for something of this magnitude. Are there "Hitler finds out the World Trade Center was destroyed and 3,000 people are dead" videos? I guess there are.
  9. The more I observe the news media and their minimal interest on this topic, the more I'm convinced the answer is a resounding "option C", and everybody knows it. I suspect arrangements have already been made for colossal and astounding ransom payments. But that's just pure speculation on my part.
  10. Ah, yes. The infamous, rarely-employed self-quote. Seriously. Someone intelligent please walk me through the possibilities. How do we evacuate 10-15K Americans? Here is what I can muster, along with my own half-assed probabilities. A. The Taliban permits unfettered, free access to the airport. Perhaps they are tired as hell after living in caves and dodging airstrikes for 20 years. Perhaps they think an international show of goodwill will be more valuable in the long run. Perhaps they consider it even more humiliating for America if the Taliban takes the high road. Probability: 10% B. Biden and company watch a Clint Eastwood or George C Scott movie, grow a pair, and get the fever. They announce if Americans are harmed, we're bringing back the Rangers, the Marines, and more B-f^cking-52s than you thought possible. Rules of engagement: Anyone with a beard and old-timey clothes gets killed. If some non-Taliban get caught up in it, well, they threw down their arms and basically joined the Taliban. Oh well. Probability: 5% C. More C-17s filled with gold bullion, weapons, and ammo then you thought possible. The Taliban publicly announce that any nation that can spend $3.5 trillion on "infrastructure" can easily pay $10M per hostage. The ransom is paid secretly, or publicly. Probability: 55% D. Weeks and months of the worst humiliation imaginable. Woman and girls become "brides." Forced religious conversions. Decapitations. Torture. Probability: 10% E. Weeks and months of gruesome house-to-house fighting. Thousands of civilian casualties, both Afghani and American. Probability: 20% What am I missing?
  11. Why am I getting the feeling that, regarding American humiliation, the next few weeks are going to be worse than 9/11, the Iranian Hostage Crisis, and Saigon '75 combined? x10?
  12. https://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/nb/pj-gladnick/2021/08/17/brian-williams-slapped-unwelcome-afghanistan-truth-bomb-guest
  13. Jeesh, we're allegedly up to 7,000 troops going in. Any more and we may as well just reset the clock to 2002 and start over. And God bless and protect anyone serving over there, including that young lady.
  14. Good lord. The only thing missing in the instructions is the requirement for a negative COVID test.
  15. As a total REMF who could recite the AUAB DFAC menu back in the day, I've always felt a little unworthy speaking up about AFG. I've barely set foot there, and never outside Bagram. So I respectfully defer to all those who genuinely expended their blood, sweat and tears for years in that God-forsaken landscape trying to train the locals and make something out of nothing. I have a hard time believing, however, that somewhere, somehow, there wasn't a better COA than this. I want to believe that with approx 10K troops and a few fighter squadrons, we could have held Kabul/Bagram and a few cities in perpetuity as a sanctuary for those who didn't want to live under these lunatics, especially the women. Yeah, being there forever sucks, and it's expensive, but there's a lot to be said for having a huge spec ops footprint right there in the belly of the beast. I guess if the Taliban realized we didn't intend to leave, however, the last few years would have looked a lot different.
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