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Finally done in Afghanistan?


FourFans130

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As has been discussed in many posts in the thread there will be many second and third order effects of our decision to leave Afghanistan.  A great read below captures some of the impacts and how China will step in to fill the leadership void. 

Evacuation Operations, Great - Power  Competition, and External Operations  Terror Threats in Post- Drawdown  Afghanistan Mapping Out the Path Ahead

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5 hours ago, ClearedHot said:

As has been discussed in many posts in the thread there will be many second and third order effects of our decision to leave Afghanistan.  A great read below captures some of the impacts and how China will step in to fill the leadership void. 

Evacuation Operations, Great - Power  Competition, and External Operations  Terror Threats in Post- Drawdown  Afghanistan Mapping Out the Path Ahead

https://afghan-report.com/sigar/sigar-quarterly-report-oct-2021/

 

Really good executive summary of the most recent SIGAR report which is the first one to be given to congress since the collapse. 

Also noteworthy is several former officials from SIGAR have gone public that concerns about Afghan readiness and capability were forwarded to DoD and DoS for years but we're ignored. 

 

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On 11/2/2021 at 7:21 AM, ClearedHot said:

As has been discussed in many posts in the thread there will be many second and third order effects of our decision to leave Afghanistan.  A great read below captures some of the impacts and how China will step in to fill the leadership void. 

Evacuation Operations, Great - Power  Competition, and External Operations  Terror Threats in Post- Drawdown  Afghanistan Mapping Out the Path Ahead

I skimmed over it and it seems like a good read. Interestingly I recall there was a brand new 10 story hospital built by the Chinese some years back in Kabul not far from the Ministry of Education that was standing empty because there was no way to equip or staff it. I have no idea if it was a case of "if you build it they will come" and if it ever was put into service. Seems like more than a few projects fell into this category.

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I like how they keep suggesting they might go after the operators in the future…

Like any person in a cockpit or box is the one accepting and granting clearance of fires in this situation. Somebody with a Star gave the word to execute. If we want heads on a spike start with that one.


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Yeah I agree, something stinks here. There was one person who was given authority to make PID. The investigation needs to square in on that person and the comm chain from the PED to that person. You can't just say we fucked up but everything worked the way it was supposed to. 

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On 11/2/2021 at 7:21 AM, ClearedHot said:

As has been discussed in many posts in the thread there will be many second and third order effects of our decision to leave Afghanistan.  A great read below captures some of the impacts and how China will step in to fill the leadership void. 

Evacuation Operations, Great - Power  Competition, and External Operations  Terror Threats in Post- Drawdown  Afghanistan Mapping Out the Path Ahead

I thought this was a very well written and researched article and while I have a huge amount of respect for General Elton as both a leader and a person, I don't agree with several points in the article.

1. In their first point, I agree we should continue all efforts to get any remaining US and SIV individuals out of Afghanistan (no brainer).  I disagree with the importance/focus on the human rights/humanitarian situation in Afghanistan (they dedicate 3 full pages to it).  A good segment of the population either overtly supported the Taliban or passively allowed them to take control (several news reports from Afghanistan post-withdrawal have documented the rural area populace support for the Taliban).  People get the government they deserve and quite frankly I don't care if the people of Afghanistan want to live in the stone age.

2.  The issue of Afghanistan becoming a competitive space in Great Power competition between us and China (return to the Great Game as it were) is interesting and I'm honestly not sure how it will play out.  It's somewhat ironic that the issue of REEs has almost caused a return to industrial age thinking about conflict and critical mineral supply (quest for autarky in some ways by China and now the US).  If history informs us about anything involving Afghanistan it's that no foreign power looking to exploit the country fairs well in the end (except maybe the Mongols).  I just read an article about a direct legal shipment of pine nuts from Afghanistan to China, I'll be curious to see where the Chinese-Afghan relationship goes.  I personally didn't/don't feel that continuing our presence in Afghanistan was worth it to counter China's influence in that part of world.  Additionally, none of the infrastructure is currently in place to exploit the REEs in Afghanistan and the security situation in-country continues to be extremely volatile.

3.  I would probably agree there will be the possibility that there could be an increased terrorist threat from Afghanistan due to several groups now having increased/uncontested freedom of maneuver.  That being said, I think the possibility of Ex-Ops emanating from Afghanistan can be countered by the vast increase in intelligence gathering we've put in place post 9-11.   I don't agree with their premise that ISIS-K is/is becoming a terrorist proxy of the Taliban.  See article below for the most recent example of why I don't think the two groups will be buddies anytime soon:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/afghanistan-kabul-hospital-bombing-attack-taliban-isis-deaths-2021-11-02/

I think going forward there will increased fighting between the Taliban and ISIS-K, not less.

  Several of the policy recommendations going forward are good, especially regarding the CTF piece (always follow the money).  I also agree with not recognizing the Taliban as the legitimate rulers of Afghanistan (for a variety of reasons).  I think officially recognizing the NRF is probably futile at this point (they've been defeated militarily and I don't know what the long term value in supporting them is). 

  The focus on revamping/increasing our IO efforts towards China and Pakistan is spot on, but unless the US drastically changes it's approach to IO, its unlikely to happen anytime soon or be effective.

  Finally, I believe that a cross-GCC effort towards countering China would absolutely have benefit.  Taking this from concept to execution in the real world is very difficult.  I've been out of the staff world for going on 3 years now, but in my albeit limited experience, getting the GCCs to cooperate/coordinate/share resources is a royal pain in the ass.  They tend to get stovepiped into dealing with the problems specific to their respective AOs, and mostly view the competition for resources as a zero sum game.  Coordinating authorities are only of limited use, because they can't actually order anyone to do anything.

  Overall though very good, reasoned article, thanks for posting.             

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On 11/9/2021 at 8:38 AM, slc said:

Taking a play from North Korea. Population is starving but they can put together a military parade to appear all is well. I'm surprised they can muster the fuel at this point.

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3 hours ago, HeloDude said:

They’re transitioning to green energy to create jobs, so it’s all good.

Now that's funny. Especially since they're supposedly sitting on a huge lithium deposit. If they would quit worrying about what the women are wearing and who's rocking to the 80s hits they might actually be able to exploit their natural resources. We'll see if China can make a go of it.

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Meanwhile in the Army…

All awards for the 64 pilots who were herding people off the runway or the CAB for the crew that got shot/hit by small arms… still sitting at division. 29 hours continuous operations in one case (crews swapping twice with the aircraft going waaaay past prescribed maintenance checks)

….yeah we will get to that when we feel like it.


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42 minutes ago, Lawman said:


Meanwhile in the Army…

All awards for the 64 pilots who were herding people off the runway or the CAB for the crew that got shot/hit by small arms… still sitting at division. 29 hours continuous operations in one case (crews swapping twice with the aircraft going waaaay past prescribed maintenance checks)

….yeah we will get to that when we feel like it.


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That’s unfortunate, the Army did awesome work and helped prevent a true calamity.  I’m sure it looked bad on the news, it was absolutely insane on the ground and there was a period where things could have gone either way as Taliban C2 decided how to play their victory.  Ultimately they determined a tentative truce was in their interest, but their decision not to escalate was based on heroic actions by several military members between 14-17 Aug.  Multiple Tb infantry attempted to mix it up.  The AH-64 pilots displayed bravery, and I sincerely hope they are recognized for it.

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That’s unfortunate, the Army did awesome work and helped prevent a true calamity.  I’m sure it looked bad on the news, it was absolutely insane on the ground and there was a period where things could have gone either way as Taliban C2 decided how to play their victory.  Ultimately they determined a tentative truce was in their interest, but their decision not to escalate was based on heroic actions by several military members between 14-17 Aug.  Multiple Tb infantry attempted to mix it up.  The AH-64 pilots displayed bravery, and I sincerely hope they are recognized for it.

Having relieved the rest of that unit in Iraq, the general attitude by everyone who wasn’t there was one of, “And…?”

Seriously, the Battalion Commander seemed to completely dismiss it as any sort of heroic action or show of exemplary performance. If your own boss is barely your advocate, good luck getting anything justified and through the F’d up rewards system that is the status quo.


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9 hours ago, Lawman said:

all awards for the 64 pilots who were herding people off the runway or the CAB for the crew that got shot/hit by small arms… still sitting at division

That's because division is backed up processing all of the "other" awards for our S1 and MPF warriors!!

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14 hours ago, Lawman said:

Meanwhile in the Army…

That sucks, but honestly par for the course. Happens all the time in the AF…seen many DFC-worthy things go down, but not even a mention past a “good work, see you tomorrow.” Meanwhile someone else gets a DFC for doing something that amounts to standard daily ops. It seems to not matter much what happened, but if the boss and their bosses are hopped up to do paperwork and give out a medal. Personally, fuck it, your bros know the guy you are and what you’ve accomplished - their assessment means more than any mil award.

Caveat: I know several people with legit DFCs, this is not an attack on those who did some seriously great shit and actually got officially recognized. 

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1 hour ago, brabus said:

That sucks, but honestly par for the course. Happens all the time in the AF…seen many DFC-worthy things go down, but not even a mention past a “good work, see you tomorrow.” Meanwhile someone else gets a DFC for doing something that amounts to standard daily ops. It seems to not matter much what happened, but if the boss and their bosses are hopped up to do paperwork and give out a medal. Personally, fuck it, your bros know the guy you are and what you’ve accomplished - their assessment means more than any mil award.

Caveat: I know several people with legit DFCs, this is not an attack on those who did some seriously great shit and actually got officially recognized. 

I don't want to sound jaded by my guess is a good deal of these medals go out when there is significant media spotlight on these events. 

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