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Thread: The Afghanistan Papers

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    Default The Afghanistan Papers

    After a 3 year long legal battle, the Washington Post has won the release of government documents compiled by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, containing more than 2000 pages of unpublished transcripts and notes of 428 interviews concerning the war in Afghanistan. In it, many senior U.S officials and others frequently gave a very pessimistic view of the Coalition war effort, citing massive problems with it such as


    • Widespread corruption within the Afghan government at all levels with much of it stemming from the $133 billion dollars given as aid by the U.S for nation building, flooding the country with far more aid than it can handle
    • The general incompetence and ineffectiveness of the Afghan police and military
    • Trying to impose a strong centralised government on a country that was much more accustomed to tribalism
    • The $9 billion dollar effort by the U.S to curb the thriving opium industry, a massive source of income for the Taliban and other insurgents in Afghanistan being a complete failure
    • The war goal for the Coalition becoming less clear as the conflict dragged on


    Despite this, the U.S government throughout the 18 year long conflict had consistently spinned and manipulated information to make it seem like the war was a success, for example portraying the Taliban suicide bombings in Kabul as a sign of desperation and that they were too weak to engage in direct combat.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/graph...ial-documents/

    Also peace talks between the U.S and Taliban have resumed but have been paused after a major suicide car bomb and gun attack on Bagram Airfield, the largest American military base in Afghanistan, mostly striking a nearby clinic which killed 2 civilians and injured 80 others.
    https://www.voanews.com/south-centra...pause-few-days
    Last edited by RandomPerson2000; December 13, 2019 at 02:06 PM. Reason: Fixing up typos

  2. #2

    Default Re: The Afghanistan Papers and

    The war serves its purpose admirably, so it will continue in perpetuity.
    Optio, Legio I Latina

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    Default Re: The Afghanistan Papers and

    I think this excerpt from the WaPo interviews sums up the situation well:

    ďWe donít invade poor countries to make them rich,Ē James Dobbins, a former senior U.S. diplomat who served as a special envoy to Afghanistan under Bush and Obama, told government interviewers. ďWe donít invade authoritarian countries to make them democratic. We invade violent countries to make them peaceful and we clearly failed in Afghanistan.Ē

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    Ἀπολλόδοτος Α΄ ὁ Σωτήρ's Avatar Yeah science!
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    Default Re: The Afghanistan Papers and

    Quote Originally Posted by Gromovnik View Post
    The war serves its purpose admirably, so it will continue in perpetuity.
    Wonderfully put... Excellent place for both testing weapons on live targets whose lives are clearly held as... not quite valuable, but also for corrupt construction deals... build a one gas station, charge 43 million dollars for it. In Pakistan same size gas station costs around half a million...

    Quote Originally Posted by Legio_Italica View Post
    I think this excerpt from the WaPo interviews sums up the situation well:

    “We don’t invade poor countries to make them rich,” James Dobbins, a former senior U.S. diplomat who served as a special envoy to Afghanistan under Bush and Obama, told government interviewers. “We don’t invade authoritarian countries to make them democratic. We invade violent countries to make them peaceful and we clearly failed in Afghanistan.”
    I know that this requires a sophisticated understanding of psychology and sociology that US policy makers sadly lack, however, droning mothers who had given birth a few hours before being vaporized tends to make people very sad or very angry, or both. Angry people living in harsh conditions tend to be a bit more prone to resolving their grievances in an violent manner. Lots of people subjected to these kinds of actions might not be too much of a zealous Muslim, but if Taliban are the only ones who can provide them a means to kill those they hold responsible for the deaths of people they cared about they might just join the Taliban, unless they're an avowed atheist, communist or a liberal, not sure if there are many of those in Afghanistan.
    "First get your facts straight, then distort them at your leisure." - Mark Twain

    οὐκ ἦν μὲν ἐγώ, νῦν δ' εἰμί∑ τότε δ' ούκ ἔσομαι, ούδέ μοι μελήσει

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    Default Re: The Afghanistan Papers and

    Quote Originally Posted by Ἀπολλόδοτος Α΄ ὁ Σωτήρ View Post
    I know that this requires a sophisticated understanding of psychology and sociology that US policy makers sadly lack, however, droning mothers who had given birth a few hours before being vaporized tends to make people very sad or very angry, or both. Angry people living in harsh conditions tend to be a bit more prone to resolving their grievances in an violent manner. Lots of people subjected to these kinds of actions might not be too much of a zealous Muslim, but if Taliban are the only ones who can provide them a means to kill those they hold responsible for the deaths of people they cared about they might just join the Taliban, unless they're an avowed atheist, communist or a liberal, not sure if there are many of those in Afghanistan.
    The Taliban was formed in the 1980s. They captured Kabul in 1996. The first US drone strike in Afghanistan was in 2002.

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    Default Re: The Afghanistan Papers and

    Quote Originally Posted by Legio_Italica View Post
    The Taliban was formed in the 1980s. They captured Kabul in 1996. The first US drone strike in Afghanistan was in 2002.
    That, genuinely, has absolutely no relevance to my post. In my post Taliban were mentioned as an avenue for those wanting to attack US and allied troops for whatever reason.
    Also there is no need for informing me of Afghan History, I didn't learn of it by solely watching cable news, therefore I'm well aware, in quite detail, who, as a group or as an important individual, did what, and with whose support, pretty much from the overthrow of Zahir Shah.

    In addition to this I don't see the point in arguing about this. If one knows that putting out fire caused by burning oil with water causes the flames to go up and keeps doing it repeatedly then that someone is either insane, or not really interested in putting out the fire. The fact that they claim to wanting to extinguish fire really doesn't matter.

    The matter of fact is that the current way of "solving" the Afghan issue is going to cost a lot of US taxpayer's money, as well as lives of Afghan civilians, for those who care about that.
    Last edited by Ἀπολλόδοτος Α΄ ὁ Σω December 13, 2019 at 09:35 AM.
    "First get your facts straight, then distort them at your leisure." - Mark Twain

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    Default Re: The Afghanistan Papers and

    Quote Originally Posted by Ἀπολλόδοτος Α΄ ὁ Σωτήρ View Post
    That, genuinely, has absolutely no relevance to my post. In my post Taliban were mentioned as an avenue for those wanting to attack US and allied troops for whatever reason. Also there is no need for informing me of Afghan History, I didn't learn of it by solely watching cable news, therefore I'm well aware, in quite detail, who, as a group or as an important person, did what, and with whose support, pretty much from the overthrow of Zahir Shah.

    In addition to this I don't see the point in arguing about this. If one knows that putting out fire caused by burning oil with water causes the flames to go up and keeps doing it repeatedly then that someone is either insane, or not really interested in putting out the fire. The fact that they claim to wanting to extinguish fire really doesn't matter.

    The matter of fact is that the current way of "solving" the Afghan issue is going to cost a lot of US taxpayer's money, as well as lives of Afghan civilians, for those who care about that.
    You quoted my post regarding a US diplomatís assessment of the Afghanistan war, and commented that US leaders ďlack understandingĒ that droning civilians is what pushes people to join the Taliban. Given that enough people joined the Taliban for them to seize control of Afghanistan well before the first US drone strike occurred there, your snarky tankie bumper sticker has a basic chronology problem, to say the least, and it is relevant to point that out. There are also groups and tribes other than the official Afghan government who are not affiliated with the Taliban. If you donít want me to point these things out, donít quote my post and pretend to have something smart to say about it.

    So far, Afghans are wary of US withdrawal and fear the Taliban. The US isnít going to solve this problem for them and never was. US forces got bin Laden, so as long as US adversaries donít gain any leverage in Afghanistan as a vital geopolitical crossroads, Iím fine with US leadersí increasingly likely decision to abandon the Afghans like they abandoned the Kurds. If US voters want to try on this new ďidk not my problemĒ approach to foreign policy, that is their right.

  8. #8

    Default Re: The Afghanistan Papers and

    The Taliban was founded in '94.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Legio_Italica View Post
    I think this excerpt from the WaPo interviews sums up the situation well:

    “We don’t invade poor countries to make them rich,” James Dobbins, a former senior U.S. diplomat who served as a special envoy to Afghanistan under Bush and Obama, told government interviewers. “We don’t invade authoritarian countries to make them democratic. We invade violent countries to make them peaceful and we clearly failed in Afghanistan.”
    If only those self-proclaimed "spreaders of peace" spent trillions on doing that from their own dime.

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    Default Re: The Afghanistan Papers and

    Quote Originally Posted by Heathen Hammer View Post
    If only those self-proclaimed "spreaders of peace" spent trillions on doing that from their own dime.
    Iím not sure who ďtheyĒ is, but the top 50% of taxpayers by income paid 97% of federal income taxes in 2018. The top 10% paid 70%. Income taxes and corporate taxes account for virtually all federal funds which Congress and the Executive can appropriate for things like defense. Payroll taxes are allocated specifically to social safety net programs as a public trust. Ergo, ďtheyĒ are paying for it tax wise. The reason the US can afford to spend trillions on anything is because of her global dominance that largely shields her from the consequences of debt, a shield that is cracking as America weakens and rivals rise. Canít have cake and eat it too.

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    Default Re: The Afghanistan Papers and

    Quote Originally Posted by Legio_Italica View Post
    You quoted my post regarding a US diplomat’s assessment of the Afghanistan war, and commented that US leaders “lack understanding” that droning civilians is what pushes people to join the Taliban. Given that enough people joined the Taliban for them to seize control of Afghanistan well before the first US drone strike occurred there, your snarky tankie bumper sticker has a basic chronology problem, to say the least, and it is relevant to point that out. There are also groups and tribes other than the official Afghan government who are not affiliated with the Taliban. If you don’t want me to point these things out, don’t quote my post and pretend to have something smart to say about it.
    You can point whatever you like, chances are I already now of it. Also my previous post still stands, I neither said US created the Taliban, nor did I say that the Taliban are the only group apart from the Afghan government, hostile or aligned to the US. I know there are tribes and different ethno-linguistic and even religious groups.

    Therefore your information about the Taliban being formed in the 80s isn't relevant at all because I did not state: Taliban are the only problem in Afghanistan and they are the result of the US invasion of that country. I thought that was self-evident from my previous post stating: "In my post Taliban were mentioned as an avenue for those wanting to attack US and allied troops for whatever reason.". One potential avenue, one of which I neither stated when was it created or by whom, or who might have knowingly or unknowingly aided or supported it.

    If you do choose to reply to this please read it carefully so that you might counter the actual statements I made instead of what I did not state.

    As for your statements about the Taliban prompted by things I haven't said about the Taliban I will say this:

    The US did indirectly support the Taliban via Pakistani ISI, whether knowingly or unknowingly. One of several indications of Pakistani assistance to the Taliban, which the US intelligence services ought to have known at the time would be the fact that Sami Ul Haq, member of the Pakistani Senate from 1985 to 1997 was dubbed the "Father of the Taliban".

    The US support for the Mujahideen certainly did have a degree of impact on the creation of an environment where radical Islamist groups could be formed. The notion that none of the Mujahideen groups friendly to the US didn't have members ready to splinter and form an anti-US terrorist group seems an unreasonable assessment to me, which leads me to believe that at least some folks at the US intelligence agencies did predict that fighters against "Godless Communism" might potentially become hostile to the US with its not so much "God-Fearing" general culture.
    "First get your facts straight, then distort them at your leisure." - Mark Twain

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    Default Re: The Afghanistan Papers and

    Quote Originally Posted by Ἀπολλόδοτος Α΄ ὁ Σωτήρ View Post
    If you do choose to reply to this please read it carefully so that you might counter the actual statements I made instead of what I did not state.
    You accused US leaders of ďlacking understandingĒ of something based on your own ignorant comment, and I called you out for it. I donít really care about how much you know or how smart you think you are. If you want to spout ignorant opinions, you may want to avoid posing them as a response and just post them as stand alone comments. That way you donít have to spam walls of text telling me all the things you know and all the things you did not say while accusing others of making irrelevant statements.

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    Default Re: The Afghanistan Papers and

    Quote Originally Posted by Legio_Italica View Post
    You accused US leaders of “lacking understanding” of something based on your own ignorant comment, and I called you out for it. I don’t really care about how much you know or how smart you think you are. If you want to spout ignorant opinions, you may want to avoid posing them as a response and just post them as stand alone comments. That way you don’t have to spam walls of text telling me all the things you know and all the things you did not say while accusing others of making irrelevant statements.
    Like in your previous post, your tone is insulting and you allow yourself to make assumptions about me. My comment is no more ignorant than yours. This is the main point of "disagreement" here. You know I'm not ignorant, you just don't like my opinion because yours is that US leaders is always right and benevolent, who ever disagrees is either wrong or evil.

    The US is, at least until recently, please forgive me for not bothering to check if things changed with the election of Trump, blocking the investigation of war crimes in Afghanistan committed by local warlords, allied with the US, who happen to be pro-Sharia law, and are members of Afghan government, still generally not adhering to human rights principles. I find the US stance on this this wrong and malevolent. Instead of insulting me you could just say, it's not wrong and malevolent, but pragmatic, and explain how that actually doesn't erode the support of the civilian population towards Afghan government and their allies.

    If you don't want to address me in a polite manner have the "decency" of calling me a imbecile or immoral for stating a stupid or immoral opinion, and not ignorant since I certainly know the facts despite not interpreting them as you do. Don't worry this is the last of "spamming wall of text". I'm done with this thread. Reply if you want, whatever you like I won't challenge your assertion no matter how insulting it may be.
    "First get your facts straight, then distort them at your leisure." - Mark Twain

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ἀπολλόδοτος Α΄ ὁ Σωτήρ View Post
    Like in your previous post, your tone is insulting and you allow yourself to make assumptions about me. My comment is no more ignorant than yours. This is the main point of "disagreement" here. You know I'm not ignorant, you just don't like my opinion because yours is that US leaders is always right and benevolent, who ever disagrees is either wrong or evil.


    The US is, at least until recently, please forgive me for not bothering to check if things changed with the election of Trump, blocking the investigation of war crimes in Afghanistan committed by local warlords, allied with the US, who happen to be pro-Sharia law, and are members of Afghan government, still generally not adhering to human rights principles. I find the US stance on this this wrong and malevolent. Instead of insulting me you could just say, it's not wrong and malevolent, but pragmatic, and explain how that actually doesn't erode the support of the civilian population towards Afghan government and their allies.


    If you don't want to address me in a polite manner have the "decency" of calling me a imbecile or immoral for stating a stupid or immoral opinion, and not ignorant since I certainly know the facts despite not interpreting them as you do. Don't worry this is the last of "spamming wall of text". I'm done with this thread. Reply if you want, whatever you like I won't challenge your assertion no matter how insulting it may be.
    Refer back to post #7. You havenít even bothered to defend or explain your initial commentary you posited as a response to my post, so Iíve nothing further to say about it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Legio_Italica View Post
    I’m not sure who “they” is, but the top 50% of taxpayers by income paid 97% of federal income taxes in 2018. The top 10% paid 70%. Income taxes and corporate taxes account for virtually all federal funds which Congress and the Executive can appropriate for things like defense. Payroll taxes are allocated specifically to social safety net programs as a public trust. Ergo, “they” are paying for it tax wise. The reason the US can afford to spend trillions on anything is because of her global dominance that largely shields her from the consequences of debt, a shield that is cracking as America weakens and rivals rise. Can’t have cake and eat it too.
    Elites draw their profits from the population, so at the end of the day endless wars in Middle East are funded by average American Joe.
    America's "global dominance" is the reason... why those trillions went into pointless and unwinnable wars instead of something useful for taxpayer - like healthcare, scientific research, infrastructure, etc. Seems like "global dominance" is useless and harmful to interests of American population.
    Military-industrial complex is little more then a parasite at this point. Whichever administration dismantles it will be remembered as one of the greatest in American history, as isolationism would benefit majority of population greatly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Heathen Hammer View Post
    Elites draw their profits from the population, so at the end of the day endless wars in Middle East are funded by average American Joe.
    America's "global dominance" is the reason... why those trillions went into pointless and unwinnable wars instead of something useful for taxpayer - like healthcare, scientific research, infrastructure, etc. Seems like "global dominance" is useless and harmful to interests of American population.
    Military-industrial complex is little more then a parasite at this point. Whichever administration dismantles it will be remembered as one of the greatest in American history, as isolationism would benefit majority of population greatly.
    I mean sure, you can continue to assert your unfounded personal opinions and call them objective facts the way you normally do. Iíve already made it clear thatís not gonna fly with me, so Iím not sure what your goal is in pretending to respond to my posts in good faith.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Legio_Italica View Post
    I mean sure, you can continue to assert your unfounded personal opinions and call them objective facts the way you normally do. I’ve already made it clear that’s not gonna fly with me, so I’m not sure what your goal is in pretending to respond to my posts in good faith.
    Projecting your own inability to make a counter-argument on me didn't work before, and won't work now. Come back to us when you have something other then your unfounded opinion.

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    Default Re: The Afghanistan Papers and

    Quote Originally Posted by Heathen Hammer View Post
    Projecting your own inability to make a counter-argument on me didn't work before, and won't work now. Come back to us when you have something other then your unfounded opinion.
    This coming from a guy who insists your opinions are objective facts just because you say so. I presented sourced evidence directly contradicting your false narrative about taxation and the cost/benefit of US superpower to Americans, and your response was to repeat yourself. Then, because I decline to accept your premise that your opinions are facts, you claim Iím the one who hasnít made a counterargument. So again, it makes me wonder what your goal was in pretending to respond to my post in good faith to begin with.

  19. #19

    Default Re: The Afghanistan Papers and

    Quote Originally Posted by Legio_Italica View Post
    This coming from a guy who insists your opinions are objective facts just because you say so. I presented sourced evidence directly contradicting your false narrative about taxation and the cost/benefit of US superpower to Americans, and your response was to repeat yourself. Then, because I decline to accept your premise that your opinions are facts, you claim I’m the one who hasn’t made a counterargument. So again, it makes me wonder what your goal was in pretending to respond to my post in good faith to begin with.
    Another strawman. Why is it so hard to address the actual post you quoted? All I pointed out is that there is no correlation between increase of standards of living and extensive funding of military industrial complex. If you have evidence of the opposite (like real evidence not some CIA official saying that), you are welcome to post that. Instead you went on with some weird rants full of ad hominems and buzzwords that had nothing to do with the post you quoted.
    Last edited by Heathen Hammer; December 15, 2019 at 04:01 PM.

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    Default Re: The Afghanistan Papers and

    Quote Originally Posted by Legio_Italica View Post
    This coming from a guy who insists your opinions are objective facts just because you say so. I presented sourced evidence directly contradicting your false narrative about taxation and the cost/benefit of US superpower to Americans, and your response was to repeat yourself. Then, because I decline to accept your premise that your opinions are facts, you claim I’m the one who hasn’t made a counterargument. So again, it makes me wonder what your goal was in pretending to respond to my post in good faith to begin with.
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