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UA857
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US military bases in Afghanistan after drawdown?

Thu Apr 15, 2021 5:58 am

With Joe Biden's recent announcement to withdraw US forces in Afghanistan what will become of the remaining bases will they become commercial airports or will they be handed over to the Afghan military? Any thoughts?
 
RetiredWeasel
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Re: US military bases in Afghanistan after drawdown?

Thu Apr 15, 2021 1:21 pm

UA857 wrote:
With Joe Biden's recent announcement to withdraw US forces in Afghanistan what will become of the remaining bases will they become commercial airports or will they be handed over to the Afghan military? Any thoughts?


US Air Bases in foreign countries are not owned by the US. They are usually leased and arrangements are made with the current governments for use. When the US leaves, the bases simply are turned over to the foreign government. That nation's government will determine whether it be used commercially or only military. Bases in Vietnam and Thailand went both ways and some simply abandoned. Clark AB, PI is now mainly a commercial airport although their are some elements of the Philippine AF there. Several bases in Germany were completely closed and made into industrial areas. In Afghanistan, determining who's in charge to make that decision will be a challenge.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: US military bases in Afghanistan after drawdown?

Thu Apr 15, 2021 2:31 pm

The Taliban AF will operate them eventually.
 
texl1649
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Re: US military bases in Afghanistan after drawdown?

Thu Apr 15, 2021 5:27 pm

No Afghan government will be able to maintain control vs. the Taliban. They will be mortared/shelled and over-run. It will be sad to see their nascent AF destroyed but it is inevitable now.
 
mxaxai
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Re: US military bases in Afghanistan after drawdown?

Thu Apr 15, 2021 7:18 pm

texl1649 wrote:
No Afghan government will be able to maintain control vs. the Taliban. They will be mortared/shelled and over-run. It will be sad to see their nascent AF destroyed but it is inevitable now.

It will not be destroyed. The equipment will simply be handed over to the new government formed by the Taliban, and the crews will be given the choice to join them or 'retire'.

After the forced reunification of Vietnam, the Vietnamese air force continued operating plenty of F-5, C-130 and UH-1 that had been given to the South by the US. Afghanistan will be no different.
 
889091
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Re: US military bases in Afghanistan after drawdown?

Thu Apr 15, 2021 7:31 pm

mxaxai wrote:
texl1649 wrote:
No Afghan government will be able to maintain control vs. the Taliban. They will be mortared/shelled and over-run. It will be sad to see their nascent AF destroyed but it is inevitable now.

It will not be destroyed. The equipment will simply be handed over to the new government formed by the Taliban, and the crews will be given the choice to join them or 'retire'.

After the forced reunification of Vietnam, the Vietnamese air force continued operating plenty of F-5, C-130 and UH-1 that had been given to the South by the US. Afghanistan will be no different.


I assume any US military class radar/equipment will first be downgraded to their equivalent civilian version(s) pre handover?
 
texl1649
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Re: US military bases in Afghanistan after drawdown?

Fri Apr 16, 2021 4:24 pm

In the process of over-running Bagram pretty great odds a lot of equipment is lost. It happened to the Soviet era equipment as well. It’s basically target 1A for the Taliban to eliminate. Shindland is probably target 2. I doubt any A-29’s or Mi-8’s etc. survive, ultimately.

It’s not a political statement but the possibility a chieftain/government etc. could use these types of resources against a rival are basically what makes their destruction highly likely. Maybe a couple of Hercs won’t be hit, but that’s also doubtful as they are such huge targets. It will just fracture into the disaster it has been for millennia, or at least the past 500 years.
 
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LyleLanley
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Re: US military bases in Afghanistan after drawdown?

Thu Apr 22, 2021 2:34 am

I hope the Taliban Air Force keeps the boardwalk at Kandahar! It may not all be halal, but it's not bad at all
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: US military bases in Afghanistan after drawdown?

Fri Apr 23, 2021 2:06 pm

889091 wrote:
mxaxai wrote:
texl1649 wrote:
No Afghan government will be able to maintain control vs. the Taliban. They will be mortared/shelled and over-run. It will be sad to see their nascent AF destroyed but it is inevitable now.

It will not be destroyed. The equipment will simply be handed over to the new government formed by the Taliban, and the crews will be given the choice to join them or 'retire'.

After the forced reunification of Vietnam, the Vietnamese air force continued operating plenty of F-5, C-130 and UH-1 that had been given to the South by the US. Afghanistan will be no different.


I assume any US military class radar/equipment will first be downgraded to their equivalent civilian version(s) pre handover?


It’ll be removed
 
mxaxai
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Re: US military bases in Afghanistan after drawdown?

Fri Apr 23, 2021 2:47 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
It’ll be removed

Anything owned by the current Afghan forces or used by civilian Afghan organisations will likely remain as it is. Stuff that is still owned by the foreign militaries will either be airlifted home or destroyed, depending on the value and cost to move it.
 
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LyleLanley
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Re: US military bases in Afghanistan after drawdown?

Fri Apr 23, 2021 4:07 pm

You know that scene on Lord of War where the old Soviet airlifter was picked apart piece-by-piece on the road? That's gonna be happening all over that country in a few months...
 
mxaxai
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Re: US military bases in Afghanistan after drawdown?

Fri Jul 09, 2021 12:03 am

With the US 'handing over' Bagram air base to the Afghans this week:
General Asadullah Kohistani told the BBC that the US left Bagram at 03:00 local time on Friday, and that the Afghan military found out hours later.

Bagram also contains a prison, and there are reportedly up to 5,000 Taliban prisoners left in the facility.
General Kohistani said on Monday that Afghan forces were expecting the Taliban to attack Bagram.
...
The Americans left behind about 3.5 million items, Gen Kohistani said, including tens of thousands of bottles of water, energy drinks and military ready-made meals, known as MREs. They also left behind thousands of civilian vehicles, without keys, and hundreds of armoured vehicles, the Associated Press reported.
...
Within 20 minutes of the US's departure on Friday night the electricity was shut down and the base was plunged into darkness, the AP reported - a signal to looters who smashed through barriers and ransacked the abandoned buildings. Leftover items from the base have ended up in nearby scrap yards and second hand shops.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-57682290

Exactly what everyone predicted. Journalists should start planning for the rooftop evacuation of the US embassy. The photos might win them a prize or two.
 
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smithbs
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Re: US military bases in Afghanistan after drawdown?

Fri Jul 09, 2021 10:21 pm

mxaxai wrote:
With the US 'handing over' Bagram air base to the Afghans this week:
General Asadullah Kohistani told the BBC that the US left Bagram at 03:00 local time on Friday, and that the Afghan military found out hours later.

Bagram also contains a prison, and there are reportedly up to 5,000 Taliban prisoners left in the facility.
General Kohistani said on Monday that Afghan forces were expecting the Taliban to attack Bagram.
...
The Americans left behind about 3.5 million items, Gen Kohistani said, including tens of thousands of bottles of water, energy drinks and military ready-made meals, known as MREs. They also left behind thousands of civilian vehicles, without keys, and hundreds of armoured vehicles, the Associated Press reported.
...
Within 20 minutes of the US's departure on Friday night the electricity was shut down and the base was plunged into darkness, the AP reported - a signal to looters who smashed through barriers and ransacked the abandoned buildings. Leftover items from the base have ended up in nearby scrap yards and second hand shops.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-57682290

Exactly what everyone predicted. Journalists should start planning for the rooftop evacuation of the US embassy. The photos might win them a prize or two.


Wow, never thought I'd see my old base be closed down. Not surprised about the waters and energy drinks: those were everywhere. My living quarters had been near the Korean Gate, not far from the Russian buildings.

All other bases I served at have closed down: Shank, Sharana, Lightning. The only one I don't know about is Mazar-e-sharif, but I bet the Europeans are long gone from there by now. RIP to the Norwegian DFAC.

I thought the justice center at Bagram had been shut down some time ago, and also it had been under Afghan ownership. But it's hard to find out about such details on this side of the world.
 
mxaxai
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Re: US military bases in Afghanistan after drawdown?

Fri Jul 09, 2021 11:15 pm

smithbs wrote:
All other bases I served at have closed down: Shank, Sharana, Lightning. The only one I don't know about is Mazar-e-sharif, but I bet the Europeans are long gone from there by now. RIP to the Norwegian DFAC.

Mazar-e-sharif was formally handed over to Afghanistan on June 6th and the last German troops left on June 29th. Several of the consulates in the city were subsequently closed due to security concerns (Germany, Russia, Turkey and Iran).
 
texl1649
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Re: US military bases in Afghanistan after drawdown?

Sat Jul 10, 2021 12:09 am

mxaxai wrote:
texl1649 wrote:
No Afghan government will be able to maintain control vs. the Taliban. They will be mortared/shelled and over-run. It will be sad to see their nascent AF destroyed but it is inevitable now.

It will not be destroyed. The equipment will simply be handed over to the new government formed by the Taliban, and the crews will be given the choice to join them or 'retire'.

After the forced reunification of Vietnam, the Vietnamese air force continued operating plenty of F-5, C-130 and UH-1 that had been given to the South by the US. Afghanistan will be no different.


Still feel confident about that?
 
mxaxai
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Re: US military bases in Afghanistan after drawdown?

Sat Jul 10, 2021 12:29 am

texl1649 wrote:
mxaxai wrote:
It will not be destroyed. The equipment will simply be handed over to the new government formed by the Taliban, and the crews will be given the choice to join them or 'retire'.

After the forced reunification of Vietnam, the Vietnamese air force continued operating plenty of F-5, C-130 and UH-1 that had been given to the South by the US. Afghanistan will be no different.


Still feel confident about that?

Well, a lot of equipment is being handed over right now, though perhaps less orderly than some might have hoped. With the exception of some equipment with classified US content, nothing of value is being destroyed. Much of that will end up in Taliban hands sooner or later.

Taliban forces are rapidly advancing through Afghanistan with the help of army defectors and local civilian support, many other members of the Afghan army are fleeing to neighbouring countries (again a striking similarity to Vietnam). Though the Afghan air force is honestly very small to begin with.
 
texl1649
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Re: US military bases in Afghanistan after drawdown?

Sat Jul 10, 2021 12:53 pm

mxaxai wrote:
texl1649 wrote:
mxaxai wrote:
It will not be destroyed. The equipment will simply be handed over to the new government formed by the Taliban, and the crews will be given the choice to join them or 'retire'.

After the forced reunification of Vietnam, the Vietnamese air force continued operating plenty of F-5, C-130 and UH-1 that had been given to the South by the US. Afghanistan will be no different.


Still feel confident about that?

Well, a lot of equipment is being handed over right now, though perhaps less orderly than some might have hoped. With the exception of some equipment with classified US content, nothing of value is being destroyed. Much of that will end up in Taliban hands sooner or later.

Taliban forces are rapidly advancing through Afghanistan with the help of army defectors and local civilian support, many other members of the Afghan army are fleeing to neighbouring countries (again a striking similarity to Vietnam). Though the Afghan air force is honestly very small to begin with.


It seems much of the crews aren't being given any choice at all. Very tragic story.

https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-paci ... 021-07-09/

https://nypost.com/2021/07/05/bagram-ai ... ghan-base/
 
MohawkWeekend
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Re: US military bases in Afghanistan after drawdown?

Wed Jul 14, 2021 12:33 pm

I'm not sure why the US isn't hitting the Taliban hard now. Just like after 9/11, they (Tailban and Al Quida) are out in the open. A handful of Special Ops guys marking targets would be able to remind the bad guys to behave.

The bad guys always wanted our ground forces there because they were going to fight us like they did the Russians. Recall what Nixon did to North Vietnam Christmas 1972 when the NVA began to misbehave. The Tailban does not have SAM-2 and SAM-3's.
 
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smithbs
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Re: US military bases in Afghanistan after drawdown?

Thu Jul 15, 2021 3:25 pm

MohawkWeekend wrote:
I'm not sure why the US isn't hitting the Taliban hard now. Just like after 9/11, they (Tailban and Al Quida) are out in the open. A handful of Special Ops guys marking targets would be able to remind the bad guys to behave.

The bad guys always wanted our ground forces there because they were going to fight us like they did the Russians. Recall what Nixon did to North Vietnam Christmas 1972 when the NVA began to misbehave. The Tailban does not have SAM-2 and SAM-3's.


That's not the game anymore. The "1973" period (negotiation, agreement and pull-out) of Afghanistan is over, now it's getting on "1974" (final positioning and start of the end game). The US has effectively left the war, but the final war with the resident government is not quite yet started. Any sides that still care are grabbing up what they can in preparation for the next phase. To take a parting shot, the US would risk scrapping the agreements and negotiations that pave its exit. And besides, why would the US need to take a parting shot? What helpful purpose would that serve?

I was there in 2012, and we observed that if ISAF left, the Afghan socio-political terrain would be a shambles and the Taliban, being the most coherent force in the area, would be the likely winner: a repeat of the mid-1990s. Nine years later, it appears that is still the case. I admit, in 2012 I wouldn't have thought the Taliban would advance so quickly, but I would not have been surprised at their initiative. My money would have been on them then and now.

And that's a weird statement to make, since I was a USAF officer. If me as a USAF officer lands on the ground, looks around, and says "long money is on the Taliban," that's a problem. I'm pretty sure the Italian team didn't land at Euro 2020 finals and say "my money is on England."
 
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Phosphorus
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Re: US military bases in Afghanistan after drawdown?

Fri Jul 16, 2021 9:46 am

texl1649 wrote:
mxaxai wrote:
texl1649 wrote:

Still feel confident about that?

Well, a lot of equipment is being handed over right now, though perhaps less orderly than some might have hoped. With the exception of some equipment with classified US content, nothing of value is being destroyed. Much of that will end up in Taliban hands sooner or later.

Taliban forces are rapidly advancing through Afghanistan with the help of army defectors and local civilian support, many other members of the Afghan army are fleeing to neighbouring countries (again a striking similarity to Vietnam). Though the Afghan air force is honestly very small to begin with.


It seems much of the crews aren't being given any choice at all. Very tragic story.

https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-paci ... 021-07-09/

https://nypost.com/2021/07/05/bagram-ai ... ghan-base/


The word is, the "no choice" situation for pilots is just that: they are not offered to surrender or switch sides; they are on a "death list" no matter what, and Taliban are comfortable with pilots knowing that. Either a gambit on Taliban's side to demoralize the pilots even more, or they are just awfully confident that central government will not hold it together for long.
 
MohawkWeekend
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Re: US military bases in Afghanistan after drawdown?

Fri Jul 16, 2021 10:46 am

understand from various news reports that supporting the Taliban are numerous foreign fighters. Haven't we seen this movie before?

There are no easy answers - but US airpower would help those remaining Afgan units hold and reconstitute. Otherwise there will be a slaughter and an ISIS state. We could probably get the Chinese and Russians to help as they don't want that either.
 
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Phosphorus
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Re: US military bases in Afghanistan after drawdown?

Fri Jul 16, 2021 9:40 pm

MohawkWeekend wrote:
understand from various news reports that supporting the Taliban are numerous foreign fighters. Haven't we seen this movie before?

There are no easy answers - but US airpower would help those remaining Afgan units hold and reconstitute. Otherwise there will be a slaughter and an ISIS state. We could probably get the Chinese and Russians to help as they don't want that either.

Correction. Taliban is an Al Qaeda affiliate, not ISIS. None are good, but Al-Qaeda accepts national self-identification, and as a result an Al-Qaeda affiliate, in principle, is statutorily capable of running a nation-state. It would probably not be a pleasant nation-state to live in, nor be a neighbor of, but a peace with such a state is not impossible -- though there's never a guarantee of "no revolution export".

For an ISIS affiliate, a national self-identification is an abomination, and end goal is a worldwide caliphate; thus running a country in a peace with neighbors is a ruse of war, and is acceptable only for a limited period of time. Any peace treaty with infidels and/or heretics is by definition null and void at will, any border is a temporary stabilizing line, before further expansion. A nation-state is thus never an acceptable solution for an ISIS-led group.

Russians know this, and already position for new reality. A Taliban delegation was in Moscow recently, and was received by minister of foreign affairs of Russia.
 
MohawkWeekend
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Re: US military bases in Afghanistan after drawdown?

Fri Jul 16, 2021 11:36 pm

I can tell by your answers that you know way more than the average American on this issue.
But why couldn't the Afghan troops we trained prevail if we continued air support? Is it that bad and hopeless? Are we not recreating Iraq's disintegration and the rise of ISIS? Are the foreign fighters going to leave Afghanistan? The Russians hope they are not heading back to Chechnya.

If our allies in Afghanistan fall, I pray that this turnover is more like South Vietnam then what the Khmer Rouge did in Cambodia.
 
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Phosphorus
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Re: US military bases in Afghanistan after drawdown?

Sat Jul 17, 2021 7:39 am

MohawkWeekend wrote:
I can tell by your answers that you know way more than the average American on this issue.
But why couldn't the Afghan troops we trained prevail if we continued air support? Is it that bad and hopeless? Are we not recreating Iraq's disintegration and the rise of ISIS? Are the foreign fighters going to leave Afghanistan? The Russians hope they are not heading back to Chechnya.

If our allies in Afghanistan fall, I pray that this turnover is more like South Vietnam then what the Khmer Rouge did in Cambodia.

I might know more, but definitely not enough to solve the matrix of this size.
Why couldn't they prevail? I'm afraid that's a superimposition of several failures. First echoes back to endless wars Afghanistan has fought over centuries (nay, millennia). It's not for nothing Afghanistan is called a "graveyard of empires", back to Alexander the Great time. Afghanistan is not too difficult to overrun, and so far not really possible to subjugate.
Second failure, as you allude to South Vietnam, is similar, in my humble opinion, to that. US failure in Vietnam was in a countdown mode since assassination of Ngo Dinh Diem. He might not have been the best or most liked fellow in South Vietnam, but there was no doubt in the populace that he was one of them, running the country to his vision of the best. After that, presidents were a string of nobodies, and populace became disenchanted with leadership (rather stooges to the US policy). You don't go out and fight well, if you don't have much to fight for, do you?

In Afghanistan, this time, current government apparently is not really considered something to go out and die for (from what little I read about it, corruption and disconnect from the populace are most often mentioned malaise). So again, the war is being lost in "hearts and minds", not on the battlefield.

Regarding future -- without any current specific knowledge, mind you -- well, it's fairly obvious that Taliban future policy can take two shapes -- it can try to return to its Pashtun nationalist core. That can lead to intra-Afghanistan conflict, as a huge chunk of Aghanistan population are of different ethnicity, with millions being Tajiks, Uzbeks and Turkmens (each of these has a "mother nation" north) and tensions with Pakistan -- there are more Pashtuns is Pakistan than in Afghanistan, and an ethnic nationalism of Pashtuns will be a problem for Pakistan government.

Alternatively, Taliban can try to morph into "Afghanistan state inclusive nationalist" movement, and try to include Tajiks, Uzbeks and Turkmens and others into the leadership and mainstream membership. This kind of leads to opportunity to stabilize things within existing border footprint. However, there are two future problem sets arising. First is for Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan (and by proxy, Russia, who has border protection assets in the area, by treaty with Tajikistan). "Taliban Uzbeks" and "Taliban Tajiks" would eventually try to creep up north, to "mother countries", either by government decision, or of their own volition. Secondly, Afghanistan border with Pakistan is contested (loudly or quietly) by ALL Afghan governments for a century or so. Afghanistan believes the current line to be forced on them by Pakistanis, and believes that it's entitled to a strip of land along Iranian border, all the way to the sea and ports.

It will not be dull, that's for sure. Not the kind of "fun" one would like, though...
 
MohawkWeekend
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Re: US military bases in Afghanistan after drawdown?

Sat Jul 17, 2021 12:03 pm

Americans never learn - our luck in nation building ended with the success of W Germany, Japan and South Korea.

Your line of thinking must now be the prevalent one in the US DOD and State Department. Cut our losses and live to fight another day. It was really just one battle in the long war.

America needs to get out the Afgan's who supported us. Perhaps this diaspora will be the continual problem for the Taliban that Cuban American's and Iranian Americans are for their despot home countries.
 
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Phosphorus
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Re: US military bases in Afghanistan after drawdown?

Sat Jul 17, 2021 12:35 pm

MohawkWeekend wrote:
Americans never learn - our luck in nation building ended with the success of W Germany, Japan and South Korea.

Your line of thinking must now be the prevalent one in the US DOD and State Department. Cut our losses and live to fight another day. It was really just one battle in the long war.

America needs to get out the Afgan's who supported us. Perhaps this diaspora will be the continual problem for the Taliban that Cuban American's and Iranian Americans are for their despot home countries.

Well, I'm not American, nor privy to US DOD and State thinking. However, if I were them, and try to play the long game, pitching Taliban's attention against Pakistan-China axis is a promising line of inquiry, if you consider China-US conflict to be a long-term item on the world scene. Either China would have to put assistance to Pakistan into higher gear -- thus diluting its attention and resources elsewhere. Or Pakistan would have to seek support from the US; and thus getting too cozy with China would be not as possible as before.

Also, Taliban threat is suddenly making Uzbekistan a pillar of strength in Central Asia (Uzbekistan maintains a disciplined and motivated army, unlike most of its fellow 'stans in Central Asia), and US is on good terms with them, while Uzbek leadership has been showing unease with China becoming too comfortable in Central Asia, for more than a decade.

There are threats and opportunities for "great game" style of setup, as a result. And probably a river of blood. Again.
 
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Phosphorus
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Re: US military bases in Afghanistan after drawdown?

Sat Jul 17, 2021 9:57 pm

Things on the ground appear to be deteriorating even faster than expected.
In the meantime, Taliban and Afghan government talks in Qatar resumed (they seem to be on/off for some time now).

It isn't beyond imagining that it's actually Taliban that wants these talks to succeed, and some form of provisional/handover/coalition government is set up, before some more eager Taliban field commander just waltzes into Kabul, with army dropping their arms and walking home.

Key difference with Saigon 1975 -- North Vietnam (actually Democratic Republic of Vietnam, AFAIR) did NOT need power transfer. Their modus operandi was that THEY (plus VC) were the legitimate government of whole of Vietnam, and liquidating Saigon regime with no succession was good enough.

Taliban does not have existing statehood, and they MIGHT need some sort of legitimate arrangement for power transfer. Otherwise, they should be prepared for a "government in exile", assets freeze, embassies and other government properties abroad under control of government in exile, other unpleasantries.

A coalition/handover/provisional government might solve that issue. If so, it needs to be agreed upon before Kabul falls to Taliban. This is one of the few strong cards Afghan government actually holds. Incredible, is it not?
 
Eiszeit
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Re: US military bases in Afghanistan after drawdown?

Sun Jul 18, 2021 10:07 am

MohawkWeekend wrote:
Americans never learn - our luck in nation building ended with the success of W Germany, Japan and South Korea.

Your line of thinking must now be the prevalent one in the US DOD and State Department. Cut our losses and live to fight another day. It was really just one battle in the long war.

America needs to get out the Afgan's who supported us. Perhaps this diaspora will be the continual problem for the Taliban that Cuban American's and Iranian Americans are for their despot home countries.


Calling West Germany or Japan an american success in nation building ist plain wrong, Germany and Japan were nation states long before. The thing achieved was a switch of government model, in Germanys case more like a return and of course disposing of genocidal governments... Leaves Korea, yeah sure South Korea was a shining symbol of democracy for most of its life.
 
MohawkWeekend
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Re: US military bases in Afghanistan after drawdown?

Sun Jul 18, 2021 11:54 pm

Eiszeit wrote:
MohawkWeekend wrote:
Americans never learn - our luck in nation building ended with the success of W Germany, Japan and South Korea.

Your line of thinking must now be the prevalent one in the US DOD and State Department. Cut our losses and live to fight another day. It was really just one battle in the long war.

America needs to get out the Afgan's who supported us. Perhaps this diaspora will be the continual problem for the Taliban that Cuban American's and Iranian Americans are for their despot home countries.


Calling West Germany or Japan an american success in nation building ist plain wrong, Germany and Japan were nation states long before. The thing achieved was a switch of government model, in Germanys case more like a return and of course disposing of genocidal governments... Leaves Korea, yeah sure South Korea was a shining symbol of democracy for most of its life.



Perhaps you should speak to a East German who tried to cross the wall. I suggest that you read up on the early post war years and the role the US and the other Allies played in de-Nazifying and strengthening democracy in a country that had very little experience with a republic. Japan was never a democracy and was a feudal state. Run by the military and an Emperor. Suggest you research that one too.

Dont believe me? Literally Google "Did America help Japan and Germany set up democracies after WWII
 
Eiszeit
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Re: US military bases in Afghanistan after drawdown?

Mon Jul 19, 2021 5:16 am

MohawkWeekend wrote:
Eiszeit wrote:
MohawkWeekend wrote:
Americans never learn - our luck in nation building ended with the success of W Germany, Japan and South Korea.

Your line of thinking must now be the prevalent one in the US DOD and State Department. Cut our losses and live to fight another day. It was really just one battle in the long war.

America needs to get out the Afgan's who supported us. Perhaps this diaspora will be the continual problem for the Taliban that Cuban American's and Iranian Americans are for their despot home countries.


Calling West Germany or Japan an american success in nation building ist plain wrong, Germany and Japan were nation states long before. The thing achieved was a switch of government model, in Germanys case more like a return and of course disposing of genocidal governments... Leaves Korea, yeah sure South Korea was a shining symbol of democracy for most of its life.



Perhaps you should speak to a East German who tried to cross the wall. I suggest that you read up on the early post war years and the role the US and the other Allies played in de-Nazifying and strengthening democracy in a country that had very little experience with a republic. Japan was never a democracy and was a feudal state. Run by the military and an Emperor. Suggest you research that one too.

Dont believe me? Literally Google "Did America help Japan and Germany set up democracies after WWII


What does the "Did America help Japan and Germany set up democracies after WWII" have to do with nation building in the context of this thread. I'm German I know the history of this country and I also know some japaneese history pre war. Both peoples had a national identity long before the nations of the later 19th century were even formed and these ideas where forged in bloody wars between those same peoples, not from outside. Establishing and supporting a democratic governments because of fear of communism (can't establish a rightwing dictator when you just got rid of one.... unlike south/central america..) is not nation buidling. Democratization is what you are looking for. And that is the problem with americas "nation building" process, you can't establish democratic structures into a tribal society that lacks any sense of connection to the people even to a village 30 km away. Most rural Afghans couldn't care less who rules because they have not much to lose and even less to gain from it.
 
MohawkWeekend
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Re: US military bases in Afghanistan after drawdown?

Mon Jul 19, 2021 1:12 pm

You missed the context of my post. It is correct to say that America(and it's allies) did not create the nations of Japan and Germany Of course they were nations prior to their complete destruction during the war. What America and the Allies did post-war was both physically rebuilding and setting up democracies. West Germany thrived (after it was put back together from 3 sectors ruled by France, Great Britain and America) , East Germany did not. Japan's Constitution was written (for the most part) by American scholars selected by General McArthur.

You are also right that America has not been successful in nation building (or nation stabilizing if you like). And America needs to quit trying to do it after spending billions in treasure and human life in Afghanistan, Iraq and Somali. Unlike the peaceful rebuilding like that occurred in Japan and West Germany, the map of the world will be redrawn by as poster Phosphorus put it "probably a river of blood. Again."
 
FlapOperator
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Re: US military bases in Afghanistan after drawdown?

Mon Jul 19, 2021 3:49 pm

Eiszeit wrote:
Calling West Germany or Japan an american success in nation building ist plain wrong, Germany and Japan were nation states long before. The thing achieved was a switch of government model, in Germanys case more like a return and of course disposing of genocidal governments... Leaves Korea, yeah sure South Korea was a shining symbol of democracy for most of its life.


Do you care to compare the track record of the transition to more democratic forms of government from US supported states to say, Soviet ones?

Disparaging the accomplishments of the South Koreans might seem glib to you, but I doubt you live in a capital routinely threatened by its neighbor to be shelled into a parking lot and facing regular commando raids. Of course, the transition to a more representative form of government in the ROK did take until the the 1950s to 1980s, but since then (now well over 30 years ago) even your "most of its life" claim is pretty spurious.

Or, if that isn't enough, let's compare and contrast the relative value of voting in say, Beijing or Vietnam with Taipei or Manila.
 
FlapOperator
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Re: US military bases in Afghanistan after drawdown?

Mon Jul 19, 2021 4:00 pm

Eiszeit wrote:
And that is the problem with americas "nation building" process, you can't establish democratic structures into a tribal society that lacks any sense of connection to the people even to a village 30 km away. Most rural Afghans couldn't care less who rules because they have not much to lose and even less to gain from it.


While I generally agree with your sentiment, much of the blame in the specific Afghan context for really foreign to Afghan government formation requirements came from our European partners.

There has been lots of ink spilled on this topic.

Another significant issue in the Afghan context was the failure to recognize and clear state to whom the makeup of the Afghan central government did matter. That was Pakistan, who consistently directly and indirectly supported a number of players operating both kinetically and non-kinetically against the interests of the Afghan government and international coalition. Pakistan, in my opinion is the big victor in the withdrawal of international forces from Afghanistan, and ultimately will dictate the direction the Taliban government, as long as they are able.

Why the Pakistani government would prefer a Taliban (Pashtun) dominated Afghanistan to generally broadly represented GIRoA is another question. That the Paks have and do I think is past reasonable debate at this point.
 
FlapOperator
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Re: US military bases in Afghanistan after drawdown?

Mon Jul 19, 2021 4:06 pm

MohawkWeekend wrote:

You are also right that America has not been successful in nation building (or nation stabilizing if you like). And America needs to quit trying to do it after spending billions in treasure and human life in Afghanistan, Iraq and Somali. Unlike the peaceful rebuilding like that occurred in Japan and West Germany, the map of the world will be redrawn by as poster Phosphorus put it "probably a river of blood. Again."


"Has not been successful" is a term that generally ignores lots of history. Its not a history popular with the political left, but that's very different question.

In Somalia in particular, much of the failure of the international community to build a capable Federal Government of Somalia rides on the back of the international community (AMISOM/AU, EU and US) blueprint for security. Again, its a way broad topic, but modern nation building often views things like national elections as the first step towards national reconciliation, legitimacy and effectiveness when in fact there is LOTS of European and American history, ironically enough that suggests that such elections are the FINAL result, not the cause or even first goal.

US failures in Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan need to be clearly stated to be failures, and examined at every first premise. I'd start with the idea that the first step should be the conditions for some national plebiscite/legislature.
 
Eiszeit
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Re: US military bases in Afghanistan after drawdown?

Mon Jul 19, 2021 4:20 pm

MohawkWeekend wrote:
You missed the context of my post. It is correct to say that America(and it's allies) did not create the nations of Japan and Germany Of course they were nations prior to their complete destruction during the war. What America and the Allies did post-war was both physically rebuilding and setting up democracies. West Germany thrived (after it was put back together from 3 sectors ruled by France, Great Britain and America) , East Germany did not. Japan's Constitution was written (for the most part) by American scholars selected by General McArthur.

You are also right that America has not been successful in nation building (or nation stabilizing if you like). And America needs to quit trying to do it after spending billions in treasure and human life in Afghanistan, Iraq and Somali. Unlike the peaceful rebuilding like that occurred in Japan and West Germany, the map of the world will be redrawn by as poster Phosphorus put it "probably a river of blood. Again."


I think we both unserstand that "peaceful rebuilding" can't occure without the total (most of times non peaceful) destruction of the old structures, and I believe that american support for germany and europe, yes eastern europe was offered a participation in the marshal plan before (then nonexistend) germany rightfully so was one of the most rational and humane acts in human existence. My only take is on the term of nation building... That (in the sense of a somehow coherent feeling of bonding) can only develope from within and most of the arab or central asian states of today are to divided to achieve this. So dictators and kings (the same but saudi) are what we have to deal with.
 
Eiszeit
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Re: US military bases in Afghanistan after drawdown?

Mon Jul 19, 2021 5:26 pm

FlapOperator wrote:
Eiszeit wrote:
Calling West Germany or Japan an american success in nation building ist plain wrong, Germany and Japan were nation states long before. The thing achieved was a switch of government model, in Germanys case more like a return and of course disposing of genocidal governments... Leaves Korea, yeah sure South Korea was a shining symbol of democracy for most of its life.


Do you care to compare the track record of the transition to more democratic forms of government from US supported states to say, Soviet ones?

Disparaging the accomplishments of the South Koreans might seem glib to you, but I doubt you live in a capital routinely threatened by its neighbor to be shelled into a parking lot and facing regular commando raids. Of course, the transition to a more representative form of government in the ROK did take until the the 1950s to 1980s, but since then (now well over 30 years ago) even your "most of its life" claim is pretty spurious.

Or, if that isn't enough, let's compare and contrast the relative value of voting in say, Beijing or Vietnam with Taipei or Manila.


Let's compare this to voting republican in CA... yeah you get it :twisted:
 
MohawkWeekend
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Re: US military bases in Afghanistan after drawdown?

Mon Jul 19, 2021 7:50 pm

Eiszeit wrote:
MohawkWeekend wrote:
You missed the context of my post. It is correct to say that America(and it's allies) did not create the nations of Japan and Germany Of course they were nations prior to their complete destruction during the war. What America and the Allies did post-war was both physically rebuilding and setting up democracies. West Germany thrived (after it was put back together from 3 sectors ruled by France, Great Britain and America) , East Germany did not. Japan's Constitution was written (for the most part) by American scholars selected by General McArthur.

You are also right that America has not been successful in nation building (or nation stabilizing if you like). And America needs to quit trying to do it after spending billions in treasure and human life in Afghanistan, Iraq and Somali. Unlike the peaceful rebuilding like that occurred in Japan and West Germany, the map of the world will be redrawn by as poster Phosphorus put it "probably a river of blood. Again."


I think we both unserstand that "peaceful rebuilding" can't occure without the total (most of times non peaceful) destruction of the old structures, and I believe that american support for germany and europe, yes eastern europe was offered a participation in the marshal plan before (then nonexistend) germany rightfully so was one of the most rational and humane acts in human existence. My only take is on the term of nation building... That (in the sense of a somehow coherent feeling of bonding) can only develope from within and most of the arab or central asian states of today are to divided to achieve this. So dictators and kings (the same but saudi) are what we have to deal with.



On this we agree totally. I enjoy the debate. Unfortunately in America, Afghanistan is far from the minds of most. Especially considering the cost borne in blood by our soldiers (and those of our Allies including Germany) and treasure. FYI - my family immigrated to the States from Germany in the early 1800's.
 
Reddevil556
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Re: US military bases in Afghanistan after drawdown?

Tue Jul 20, 2021 3:16 am

LyleLanley wrote:
I hope the Taliban Air Force keeps the boardwalk at Kandahar! It may not all be halal, but it's not bad at all


Hey I bought my wife some nice rubies from Habib on the boardwalk. Great deal!
 
Reddevil556
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Re: US military bases in Afghanistan after drawdown?

Tue Jul 20, 2021 3:18 am

My entire military career has been encompassed by Afghanistan...we should have left in 03. What a bloody waste.
 
MohawkWeekend
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Re: US military bases in Afghanistan after drawdown?

Tue Jul 20, 2021 2:27 pm

I say earlier than that - once the 100 or so special forces and Northern Alliance routed the Tailban. Getting Bin Laden at that point wasn't accomplished but you could have kept the hunt for him and his cohorts going with the CIA.

You'd think we'd have a plan to reconstitute the Northern Alliance as a place were these pilots, aircraft, and special forces we trained can go. Saw an interview with the son of the Northern Alliance leader who was assassinated by the Taliban just prior to 9/11. He doesn't want US troops on the ground bit he will be a formidable adversary to the Taliban. Especially if he has airpower.
 
FlapOperator
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Re: US military bases in Afghanistan after drawdown?

Tue Jul 20, 2021 2:38 pm

Eiszeit wrote:

Let's compare this to voting republican in CA... yeah you get it :twisted:


I would tend to agree, which is why I think the US lecturing people about democracy plays well for the crowd and makes political points but is a dual edged sword.

Fact is that people will often accept a high degree of autocracy in society, as long as there is a fair level of justice.

Indeed, I’d argue democracy without strong institutional support often becomes either one man/one vote/one time or a form of ritualized autocracy.
 
Reddevil556
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Re: US military bases in Afghanistan after drawdown?

Wed Jul 21, 2021 1:12 am

MohawkWeekend wrote:
I say earlier than that - once the 100 or so special forces and Northern Alliance routed the Tailban. Getting Bin Laden at that point wasn't accomplished but you could have kept the hunt for him and his cohorts going with the CIA.

You'd think we'd have a plan to reconstitute the Northern Alliance as a place were these pilots, aircraft, and special forces we trained can go. Saw an interview with the son of the Northern Alliance leader who was assassinated by the Taliban just prior to 9/11. He doesn't want US troops on the ground bit he will be a formidable adversary to the Taliban. Especially if he has airpower.



We should have never brought conventional forces to Afghanistan, non uniformed special operations guys with stellar beards should have been the extent of US military forces in Afghanistan. Sadly we are doing the EXACT same thing right now in Somalia and expecting different results.
 
MohawkWeekend
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Re: US military bases in Afghanistan after drawdown?

Wed Jul 21, 2021 2:01 am

Smarter people than I see parallels to the fall of the Roman empire. Division at home, bled to death on a thousand battle fields overseas. And competitors who grow stronger by the day.
 
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LyleLanley
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Re: US military bases in Afghanistan after drawdown?

Thu Jul 22, 2021 12:18 am

How we expected to turn a landlocked "country" already in utter ruins, with one or two barely functioning cities encompassed by a wild west whose population has no education and whose loyalties lie not to country but only to clan, surrounded by hostile or not-openly-hostile nations into something resembling a stable nation is surely in the running for an addition into Merriam-Webster dictionary under hubris, "see Afghanistan, War on Terror"
 
MohawkWeekend
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Re: US military bases in Afghanistan after drawdown?

Fri Jul 23, 2021 7:56 pm

Well it appears US air power has not be completely removed from the theatre

U.S. escalates airstrikes on Taliban, officials say, as Afghan military loses ground

One quote from story - Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid said the airstrikes violated terms of the ongoing peace accord discussions and “would have negative consequences.”

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/us ... li=BBnb7Kz
 
MohawkWeekend
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Re: US military bases in Afghanistan after drawdown?

Mon Jul 26, 2021 6:07 pm

More airstrikes over the weekend. Does anyone know what packages are being used for these airstrikes and where they may be from?
 
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LyleLanley
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Re: US military bases in Afghanistan after drawdown?

Mon Jul 26, 2021 7:01 pm

MohawkWeekend wrote:
More airstrikes over the weekend. Does anyone know what packages are being used for these airstrikes and where they may be from?


Yes.
 
MohawkWeekend
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Re: US military bases in Afghanistan after drawdown?

Mon Jul 26, 2021 8:27 pm

As soon as I wrote that I thought of the poster from WWII - Loose Lips sink Ships.

It certainly was a tactical blunder by the Tailban.
 
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LyleLanley
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Re: US military bases in Afghanistan after drawdown?

Mon Jul 26, 2021 11:22 pm

MohawkWeekend wrote:
As soon as I wrote that I thought of the poster from WWII - Loose Lips sink Ships.

It certainly was a tactical blunder by the Tailban.


It’s all good. I don’t believe it’s secret or anything, but it does fall under OPSEC. That being said, with a little sleuthing on google maps in the usual gulf coast countries you’ll figure it out pretty quickly.
 
MohawkWeekend
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Re: US military bases in Afghanistan after drawdown?

Tue Jul 27, 2021 8:26 pm

“The United States has increased airstrikes in the support of Afghan forces over the last several days, and we’re prepared to continue this heightened level of support in the coming weeks if the Taliban continue their attacks,” wrote U.S. Marine Corps Gen. Frank McKenzie in a statement.
https://www.cnbc.com/2021/07/27/us-airs ... rawal.html

I haven't read about recent Taliban attacks on the remaining US forces. I believe those 700 soldiers are at Kabul airport and the US Embassy. We can expect one soon.

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