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Sunday, 15 August 2021

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Good to see the Monday humour pieces have returned.

It's a terrific hobby, BOE. It takes you away.

It's people, face-to-face social, military history, reading, gaming, gambling, painting (or buy the armies ready painted on eBay), and just rock up to your local club.

As we, the Farnborough Wargames Society, crawl out from under the rock of incarceration, it's great to see the glorious new armies of gamer friends marching onto the field of glory for the first time. "Look, my xxxx Covid army!" on the lips of every gamer, where xxxx is anything between the Sumerians and, errr, the Taliban!

Vive l'empereur!

SoD

Nice piece of work all around SoD...

John Bolton nails most of it ...

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/08/16/joe-bidens-bungled-afghan-exit-calamity-america-west/

Hope y'all can read that with the JavaScript tip I have you.

It was the Don's plan, but like in Syria, he's the kinda guy who's mindful of Von Moltke's adage, "No plan survives first contact with the enemy". Or, "When the circumstances change, I change my mind, sir. What do you do?" - Winnie, Keynes, Samuelson, delete as applicable.

The Don would've ducked and dived as needed for the implementation, exactly as he did in Syria.

But Sleepy Joe went on holiday. And Dominic Raab (UK Foreign Minister) too. And Ben Wallace (UK Defence Secretary) burst into tears ...

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2021/08/16/ben-wallace-breaks-admits-will-left-behind-afghanistan/amp/

It's beyond any fiction script-writer's realm of possibilities to pen this without ridicule. We'll have to leave it for the historians.

SoD

This fiasco is beyond infuriating. Approaching vomit inducing.

Over 3,500 dead from the coalition forces, over 20,00 physically wounded and who knows how many mentally scarred. Afghan casualty figures are unknown really. So the big question is, after all the blood shed and dollars invested, how the Taliban could just walk in and take over so quickly?

Were the coalition strangled by unrealistic rules of engagement? Was the "hearts and minds" campaign unrealistic? Was Afghanistan, the graveyard of empires since Alexander, worth the expenditure of both lives and finance? What is to be done about Pakistan where the hairies found refuge, training and funding?

The West has some serious thinking to do.

Yep OzD, the Great Game of Thrones is back on - or really it never switched off, it's just entering a more open, fluid, dynamic phase! The neural network of politics sparking up nicely with a whole new set of colourful players to join the old!

You've got Barader, Akhundzada, Haqqani, and all their sons, in-laws and God knows who else, a cast of 100's!

And ducking and diving from the outside now with fresh opportunities for outrageous behaviour and adventures, the old faithfuls - roughly clockwise from North: Vlad, Ping-a-Ling, "It's not cricket" Khan, the Mad Mullahs, Uncle Sam (a minor bit part player in the next series?), but sadly no Blighty whatsoever (last seen exiting stage left, sobbing into his handkerchief)!

Can't wait!

What on earth will we do for entertainment when the the anti-pol-gene vaccine comes along?!

Well in the meantime at least I can save a bob or two by cancelling my Netflix subscription for a couple of decades!

SoD

The West was going to leave this year no matter what. It only mattered how and how it looked on tv. It had to look one way to Western audiences, another way to China and yet another way to the Muslim world. This Bay of Pigs/Saigon fiasco is the last thing we needed. China wins and Taiwan shudders. Sell out Joe Biden still has his job.

We should've stayed.

A tiny force holding down the centre four squares of the chess table of the Asia / ME: screwing up the intentions of Vlad, Ping-a-Ling, "It's not cricket" Khan, the Mad Mullahs, and, how could I forget, dear old Dirty Erdy!...

- No Belt and Road
- No jihadi camps for AQ and ISIS
- Right next to Iran and Pakistan to keep us breathing down their necks.
- A constant live firing exercise to keep our militaries on their toes in the asymmetric warfare world
- Our allies in the region convinced of our support

All for a hundred dead a year - we lost more from Covid on one day in Blighty last week. What do we pay them for anyway? Now all those strategic, grand tactical and tactical advantages are lost.

Biden talking about us not defending allies who won't stand and fight for themselves is utter bullshit. Our Belgian and Dutch allies wouldn't have stood on their own against Bonaparte in 1815 because they knew he would've wiped the floor with them, so should Wellington have said "Well if you won't fight him alone we're off back to Calais and thence Blighty and pull up the drawbridge"?

And Biden whinges about a 20 years war spanning four presidents, what a shushka! Try a 100 years war with France for size (and even that's underwing it, it was centuries with all the other conflicts with them on top)!

You're new to endless war aren't you Uncle Sam? They're not all knockout blows like WWI and II - and the seemingly endless ones aren't always cold. Some are endless and hot, beyond even a lifetime. The Taliban know that, sure as eggs is eggs.

The battle against Islamism is one of them.

SoD

And now we know why the "reconstruction" failed ...

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/us-botched-afghanistan-reconstruction-staggering-mistakes-inspector-general-report

All done by deep swamp people from the American elite as donors of the largesse, with even deeper swamp Afghani elite as the recipients of the largesse. Socialism feeding off socialism, a re-enforced vicious circle.

The kind of destructive power that was handed out to Blighty after WWII with the Marshal Plan: We'll fund your socialism and statism and you let go the empire. Result? Blighty went bust when the money stopped coming and was left with a lingering cultural falsehood about the viability of statism and socialism, left like a recovering addict, falling off the wagon more than staying on it from there on ever after. And the West lost an empire.

All they had to do was give the money to the people down at the bottom, the grass roots, the individuals and the tribes, and bypass the deep states of Afghanistan and US. A parallel structure of allegiance and loyalty would've choked out the old, the soldiers, police, ordinary folks, all paid direct, not the trickle down scraps that the swamp leaves behind after it's troughed out. You had to go swamp-to-swamp, didn't you?

So now the West has proven itself incapable of sustaining a military victory, whether by "trash-and-dash" (Iraq) or vast post-conflict statecraft (Afghanistan), we've failed in both. There is no working formula for the West to project and dominate.

So now, they will come to us. And not only do we have no forward buffer zones to resist them, we are host to a ready and willing receiver of the foreigners who would do us harm: the Left Axis of BLM, Antifa, Wokies, and Greta and the Green Blob, in its rainbow spectrum of anti-Western glory. The lefties will say we must do it or we're racists, and the Greenies will say we must do it to save them from climate change. But really they'll both be doing it because they know it will destroy the old West.

Gawd 'elp us!

SoD

In a nutshell from Moore ...

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/08/17/didnt-need-surrender-afghanistan/

The bad stuff included the crazy bureaucracy and jargon of aid. I quote from a briefing document of 2008: “That means metrics linked to a common definition of relevant success at the top end of effect i.e. sustainable sustainability across the region and not simply reflect incremental increases in bottom-up stove-piped efforts by the nations engaged.”

The swamp talkin'! I promise you I read that after I wrote the previous comment about the top down approach being the problem.

SoD

Just saw this:
“America’s NATO allies are now angry that the so called global engagement leader, Biden, consulted with none of them a whit. They are angry, and feel that they were abandoned. They are also left with the mess of having to rescue their nationals left in Afghanistan themselves. Not only is Biden grossly incompetent, so is all of his military bureaucracy. All of these people need to be cashiered immediately.”

No mean tweets at least.

But then, on the other hand? ...

Where in the world can you go to escape the sexism, racism and hetero-phobia of quotas for genders, non-whites, and LGBT+ peeps; tranny clinics; chicks with dicks in girls changing rooms; BLM; Woke; the Labour and Democrat parties; and Greta and the Green Blob, in one fell swoop, while at the same time enjoying security delivered by the team that beat the British Empire, Soviet Union, and United States?

Eat your heart out Mr Corleoni, I'm cancelling my security contract!

And they promise not to be nasty to the laydeez or anyone else ...

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2021/08/17/afghanistan-taliban-war-kabul-plane-us-uk-latest-news/

In Norman Davies' book "The History of Europe", I remember he describes the punches made by Rome into the barbarian lands, and the counter-punches in the opposite direction, as "leaving a trail of 'Romanised Barbarians' and 'Barbarianised Romans' in their wakes". The nations of Europe were forged along each of those trails. Is that maybe what 20 years of violent conflict mixed with beauty salons and nail bars has left as a cultural wash on Afghan society (not to mention the several hundred years similar before, or thousand if you go back to Alex the Great) : a desire to integrate with the rest of the world within a conservative framework?

I notice how the Talib's look very smartly turned out these days, compared to 20 years ago. No dirty, dusty, tatty rags after Soviet dialectical materialism, but some fine looking quality capitalist material beautifully laundered - all the laydeez working in the fabric and garment factories and laundries no doubt, and GDP per capita up, up and away!

That's it! It's difficult being a Jihadi when your pockets are well lined and bulging, but you can still look like one - designer Jihadi's are alright!

Did we actually win it after all? We may not have made them Romans, but Romanised barbarians? That'll do. After all, every modern European state was forged in the trails of those punches and counter-punches.

Like why is the EU hectoring and persecuting Poland and Hungary - the actual original Romanised barbarians! - about their not wanting tranny clinics and chicks with dicks in girls changing rooms, for example? Enough already. So long as people have freedom of movement, let the people choose the setting and cultural mores for their existence.

And if we pull the rug and send them back to oblivion, will we be wasting the sacrifices we made to get them here?
Will they not just revert and give us grief all over again? Should we give them a chance?

And I wonder if they've got half decent broadband? I can work from anywhere. Fluffbun's not out there strutting her funky stuff any more, she wouldn't mind wearing a head scarf. Maybe this Barbarianised Roman should join them?

The only thing's the booze. They've gotta do something about that.

SoD

It was the ancient Persian Gatling guns wot dunnit!!

Whitewall, maybe it is time for China to take a turn in Afghanistan. They have the same killer instincts as the Taliban.

Jimmy, it was said by somebody who was good at saying something that Afghanistan is a country that is easy to enter but difficult to leave.

Sleepy Joe more isolationist than the Don ...

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2021/08/17/just-like-trump-defiant-joe-biden-has-not-spoken-world-allies/

Speaking to The Telegraph, one UK cabinet minister claimed Mr Biden’s actions stood in contrast to Boris Johnson, who has been in contact with his European counterparts and called for an urgent meeting of G7 leaders to coordinate the West’s response to the country’s takeover by the Taliban.

Another senior minister said that Mr Biden’s approach was “fundamentally” the same as the isolationist stance taken by his predecessor, adding that it “should worry us all in the broadest sense.”

Blatantly cutting Uncle Sam's allies out of the loop. And more ...

“The US should be leading this, at the UN and the G7. Frankly at the moment we are showing more leadership than them," a senior UK Cabinet minister told The Telegraph.

Separately, Gavin Barwell, a former minister and chief of staff to Theresa May, said Mr Biden’s speech had made it clear that European governments needed to “wake up and smell the coffee.”

“The US will remain a key ally where its vital interests are involved, but neither Democrats nor Republicans any longer believe the US should be the world's policeman,” he added.

So resigning from the lead role at the UN, G7 and world's policeman.

And 70% of Yanks agree with the strategy.

The third of three great turning points in global politics since the end of WWII: The fall of the British Empire, the fall of the Soviet Empire, and the fall of the Super Power of the United States.

The Great Game of Thrones is back on, not just in Afghanistan but in the whole world! A cast unlimited, where anyone and everyone can have their 15 minutes of fame!

Will there be a new Belasarius to "build back better" (hehehe!) and save Rome and restore the West to its former glory?!

Or is this game over?

One thing's for sure, Blighty needs to turn them aircraft carriers round from heading to the South China Sea and return them to the North Atlantic. We ain't in the China possie no more, coz there ain't no possie.

Blighty needs to re-evaluate our friends and enemies across the board, lock, stock and barrel, with an attitude of "trust friends less and fear enemies more".

Let go of all the places Blighty is militarily involved in: ME, Africa, SE Asia, Europe and let the bad boys fight it out.

Leverage the Covid travel restrictions to keep the terrorists from coming from these places. We can still trade without personal travel.

And Blighty must prosper. That means a multi-market with all those deemed friends and many of our enemies to replace the single market. Be the combined Singapore and Switzerland of the world, the place that no-one wants to trash because they've got their own stash invested there.

We should've kept our hat in the ring with the EU of course, which we would now likely be leading with the Baltics, Nordics, Ost Bloccers, and PIGS, a possie strong enough to keep the Krauts and Frogs at our heel not our throat. But we did a Dunkirk when we should've done a D-Day. But that's history now.

In other words, we need to be Joe and the Don on steroids, jump ahead in this new stance and phase of the Great Game of Thrones, head them and all others off at the isolationist pass.

Singapore-and-Switzerland-on-Thames! Roll-up Vlad, Assad, Mad Mullahs, Dirty Erdy, "it's not cricket" Khan, Taliban, Ping-a-Ling, Euros, and even Uncle Sam! Your stashes are safe in the City of London! Your factories are safe "Ooop North" in the red wall! Your IT companies are safe in the Thames Valley!

And we're safe coz you'll never bomb and terrorize your own stash!

SoD

"you'll never bomb and terrorize your own stash!"

Another theory from the Planet Zog!

SoD,

Another person who was good at saying things said, "Afghanistan is where empires go to die". Considering the backward-ordered bugging out, which was everything like Saigon, and fact we just had a senile old man replace an ignorant psychopath as president, you should definitely consider yourselves on your own.

BTW, that "world's policeman" stuff was always just a scam to keep defense contractors making loot the way Eisenhower warned us.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1269463/Afghanistan-PowerPoint-slide-Generals-left-baffled-PowerPoint-slide.html

'It'll be easy' they said. 'Nothing to it' they said. 'Home in a fortnight' they said.

And was the Taliban listening? Oh hell yeah the Taliban was listening.

"Afghanistan is where empires go to die"

Great quote Bob.

When you read something like this next link, how even empires founded on individualism eventually fall, albeit slower than those founded on tyranny, and how somewhere like Afghanistan deals the death blow, it becomes clear ...

https://capx.co/britains-veterans-and-the-afghan-people-deserve-the-best-global-britain-has-to-offer/

Whoever wrote that is the problem not the solution. Another prick working on the basis that people should have a greater collective good they should be working towards, rather than for themselves, their families, their tribe at most. These people are stunned when they discover all the Ordinaries want is security to do all those noble individualist things, and when committed power offers it to them as an alternative to statism they grab it with both hands.

Look at this quote, who the fk does he think he is? The utter patronising self-righteousness of it ...

As I recruited 250 Afghans for a team to jump-start local governance and public services across the provinces of Baghdis, Herat, and Farah, I was struck by the motivation of the Afghans on our team, in local government and the Western team leaders. While there were certainly exceptional people with noble intentions, the majority seemed driven by individual gain. Once hired, many put their greatest effort not into rebuilding the country, but getting jobs for their own family members. Try as I might, there was no sense of a higher purpose, a vision set out from the leaders in Kabul. Everyone seemed in it for themselves – take, take, take.

That's how successful empires built on individualism fall in the end. The prosperity builds a funded-by-tax class of people minded like that: soldiers, civil servants, wokies or other ideologues ponsing off the back of individualism's success; a blend of oxygen thieves and wastes of carbon fueled by their own control freakery, and it brings the whole lot down in the end.

None of the soldiers, civil servants and wokies would dare suggest the victorious empire gives directly to the individuals, the families, even the tribes of the vanquished for reconstruction and bypasses the state. No, because there'd be no jobs for the oxygen thieves and wastes of carbon handing out the dosh while pocketing most of it for themselves on their cranky statist reconstruction projects.

The next calamity for the US is when people like the author of that article come piling back to the homeland from Afghanistan and all the other places the US will now be retreating from. Didn't you realise that Liberty always flourishes in the homeland of an empire because the pols all go on foreign service? Greece, Rome, the British empire, all moved Liberty forward in leaps and bounds back home while the control freaks rampaged in foreign lands, precisely because the pols were absent there.

Speaking as a Brit with Blighty's empire having collapsed in living memory I've seen these people return from bossing the natives and ex-colonials around and turn their attentions to the homelanders instead. They are the worst.

A massive slurry of patronising self-righteous control freaks is about to refill your swamp to overflowing Uncle Sam. If you thought the BLM, Antifa, woke, and green blobbers already in there was uncomfortable, you ain't seen nothing like this lot.

Sorry, but that's how it is.

SoD

JK, that's brill! Never spotted that one in the DM.

The control freakery of those people I just described is emblazoned all over that ppt, the headings, I mean, wow!

A blueprint of exactly how a boot stamps on a human face - forever.

Absolutely awesome, thank you!

SoD

By George and all the Saints, as if by magic the DT chimes in to back me up ...

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/08/18/witnessing-collapse-american-empire/

SoD

SoD,

Sorry, but Allister Heath is full of shit. Decadence is what self-righteous and overly-simplistic right-wingers always claim is bringing down countries.

The neo-liberal, libertarian, neocon project begun by Reagan is what's gotten us to this point. Remember the invasion of Grenada that was supposed to cheer us up from the Vietnam blues and get the military rolling again?

Americans, on both the right and left, are tired of perpetual wars, having their jobs shipped overseas, the worst health care in the advanced world, a system of barely disguised plutocracy, and so forth and so on. Since Bush II's misadventures there's been a trend towards turning inward to address our long-neglected domestic affairs. Most of us see no reason to spend another few $trillion for nation building.

The defense contractors and subcontractors, neo-cons, Pentagon, and other members of the permanent war party are not woke, environmentalists, or to any significant extent black. Sorry about that too. It's just the way it is.

The American empire hit its peak in the late 19th century with the acquisition of the Philippines. Since then we've taken it on the chin in Korea, Cuba, Vietnam, Iraq, and now Afghanistan, not necessarily to name them all. The state of the world has changed and Imperialism doesn't work like it once did. The ordinaries won't miss it.

https://babylonbee.com/news/biden-administration-mobilizes-air-force-to-deliver-absentee-ballots-to-americans-stuck-in-afghanistan

"Since Bush II's misadventures there's been a trend towards turning inward to address our long-neglected domestic affairs."

Only problem with that 'addressing our long neglected domestic affairs" is that, the Department of Homeland Security under the aegis of The Patriot Act will be the lead agency rather than our elected, er, 'representatives' doing the addressing.

An albeit Westernized version nonetheless it'll be taking its cue from the Taliban.

(But, I'd allow it'll be bi-partisanly supported!)

https://www.amazon.com/We-Meant-Well-American-Project/dp/0805096817

Cain't hardly wait til the Afghanistan volume comes out!

Course for it to do proper justice it'll needs be encyclopedic in scale so I best get to adding in some more bookshelves.

Bob,

$1tr on 38m people over 20 years.

Equals $1315 per person per annum.

Afghan GDP per capita $507 per annum.

Where the hell did the $808 go?

A US embassy that cost $880m and useless "public sector infrastructure" like the project the guy I quoted above managed, and if course into his pocket.

Imagine if $1315 per person had been handed out on a monthly basis by a platoon sergeant in every village for 20 years, in addition to the own earnings of each Afghan.

Think of all the beauty parlours, nail bars, food, clothing, house building, medical bills paid, school and training fees, electricity bills paid, cars and rail tickets, and internet subscriptions that money would've bought, on top the wheat and meat that was still coming in as it always did from their own earned income and labour.

Imagine Afghans seeing their own income under threat, and all their personally owned valuables and new inner value from the wide variety of better paying jobs they'd retrained in under threat, do you not think they would've rallied around the platoon sergeant and beaten the Taliban to a pulp?

Instead they see worthless white elephants all around them: US embassies costing $880m, tranny clinics for kids, state offices paying their own staff and producing nothing. Who'd fight for that?

There wouldn't have even been a Taliban if the spend had gone direct to the Afghan, the Taliban would never have survived the onslaught of all that people buying power asserting itself from the bottom of the pyramid up. Indeed, the Taliban might well have been paid by the people for their security, and why would the Taliban then have then attacked their paymasters and the one behind them? They'd be part of the solution, not the problem!

That's what Smith, Mill, Hayek and Friedman kept saying, "If you have to do social spending, do it from the bottom up, not the top down". It works in empire, just like it works at home

And as the economy grew and foreign investment and self investment built capital, the tax take could gradually cover off the external donation made by us, tapering out until the platoon sergeant handed over to the proud Talib sergeant whose daughter had just received a first in IT from Kabul university, and we left.

That's the way of the Tao, going with the flow of people and their motivations. Not thrusting douche bags like the author of that article I linked to on them, making fake worthless public sector constructs and projects.

What's so worrying is: you're an American Bob, you of all people should know this.

SoD

See Bob, this is all they wanted ...

https://mobile.twitter.com/newsforalluk/status/1427367923132346368?s=21

https://mobile.twitter.com/newsforalluk/status/1427545007536361472?s=21

There'd be one each of those in every village and town by now, instead they've got a US embassy at $880m, tranny clinics for kids, and a Save the Whales project.

SoD

P.S. Can't wait to see what happens when they meet the women drivers on the bumpy-cars ...

I'll just leave this here.

https://www.facebook.com/richard.morgan.79230305/

Richard, that is some fine work there.

JK,

Let's hope we're still democratic enough to change the state of play.

SoD,

I didn't address one of your points because it didn't quite connect. Our culture is nothing like 20th century Britain's. We won't have mobs of viceroys and their bureaucrats returning to run the country. The equivalents of those people never actually left.

If you're interested in more details than are probably useful to a Brit, this is a fairly good summary that should answer your questions:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Qbxqq-7Dv4

Direct to Colonel (Army) Lang's site:

https://turcopolier.com/in-afghanistan-americans-were-the-fools-who-tried-to-hustle-the-east-mulshine/

"Pretty good" wiki entry Loz - I could improve on it some but it'd need be thru email:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W._Patrick_Lang

Haven't watched Bob's offering but will asap, If I'm moved to comment it'll be somewhat later - Her Ladyship's son fairly recently retired from the USN (Seabees) is visiting for the next couple weeks and we're taking him around to see the sights.

Two things, well actually three but on this last y'all would have to absorb a lot of shit as I have since about, oh, 2004 or so.

The Youtube I had bookmarked of the JCS publicly bragging about how they'd "refused to implement any of Trump's orders" has been disappeared! Maybe I can find it on Rumble or something but my money'd be on its being almost certain (Big Tech can be extremely thorough where "the narrative" is concerned). Incidentally, our Constitutional law implacably places civilian authorities in absolute command over the military. What the JCS bragged about doing is the definition of Treason. The Royal Navy has hanged admirals for less.

https://militaryhistorynow.com/2018/04/15/to-encourage-the-others-admirals-byngs-execution-was-a-grim-warning-to-royal-navy-officers-do-your-utmost/

Two - Now any and all should understand why The Swamp moved heaven and earth to take out General Flynn. (Bearing in mind he headed DIA and knew where the bodies [and bank accounts] were buried.)

Three - The SIGAR Reports are still (however temporarily) available.

(Bob I could've written Krystal and Saagar's script at least a decade before for 'em. Credit however to 'em - For Big Media Afghanistan Inc. was actually a real thing.)

"Kipling was a brilliant man who understood the people of the East,” said Lang. “We’re fools who tried to hustle the East.”

So how come we successfully hustled Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan? I mean we nuked Japan, twice. You don't get more "hustle" than that.

How come we swept to victory with the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan 20 years ago?

What makes the difference?

It's in the delivery. What you do, how you do it, who does it.

I folded that second rank of Hoplites out to the flanks even after I stared into the eyes of the Immortals on that hill and a piece of me said "Don't do it, you know what they're like". But I was a smart-ass, it had gone so well, they had buckled in front of me, "One rank of Hoplites will finish them. I can do both". And I got my arse tanned.

It's just about doin' it right. Bypassing the state, theirs and ours, the civil service, the civil society bodies, the NGO's, and all the do-gooders who pile in there, and the military with their contractors, all of whom trouser the cash, the pyramid of poo, bypass it. Take the cash direct to the people. That always works.

Sometimes, sometimes the pyramid of poo works, but nobody knows why. Pure luck. Japan, South Korea, Taiwan. Gamblers only go this way.

Which is why I love wargaming. When two pyramids of poo collide with each other, you can only shave the odds. The outcome is one more than even Mr Rumsfeld elucidated: an unknowable unknown.

SoD

"How come we swept to victory with the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan 20 years ago?"

Nowadays a fairly common misunderstanding.

https://www.airforcemag.com/PDF/MagazineArchive/Documents/1988/September%201988/0988afghan.pdf

The Taliban wasn't the monolithic, "countrywide" force then as it is now - We did that. Or rather perhaps, we enabled the set of conditions enabling "the taliban" to become The Taliban. 'The government' we set up was "government for government" and for select groups of interested parties - Greenpeace's "Save the Whales" project you've mentioned for instance.

Actually Loz you've got a whole lot of the analysis correct but, it's a rearview mirror you're looking into, you've easily seeing the forests in that very limited view.

It may surprise you to know "we" actually had a very important ally before we got side-tracked moving our primary aim onto Iraq.

The Iranians had managed the taliban for years along their border - and the Stans and brokered a relative cominion (common interests) along that set of borders - Pakistan enabled the taliban elements that allowed AQ (an Arab force bear constantly in mind) to set up areas of ... if not 'control' ... areas of operations. None of those 'areas of control' along the Iranian controlled borderlands. There was unofficial cooperative military-to-military operations right up until the moment the Iranians noticed two things - the first that they were surrounded. And the second was that, Iraqi demographics being majority Shi'a - they noticed there was an opportunity.

Rumsfeld was simply in over his depth.


G'day JK

The Royal Navy has hanged admirals for less.

Hate to be pedantic but as far as I know the Royal Navy has only executed one Admiral and that was Admiral Byng and the execution was by firing squad.

The point is technical I suppose as he was just as dead.

Several have been killed in action

Aye AussieD, a mistake on my part. I knew it'd been an execution (which word I should have used [executed) but in my defense I'd only offer that reply was rushed - my previous comment stating we were showing Her Ladyship's recently retired son the sights around Arkansas.

I notice the UK's got a Para unit working to get your people out - your government might suggest to my government (or mil to mil) such a thing is possible - it seems to me simply a matter of intestinal fortitude.

Sadly lacking among our perfumed princes of the Pentagon - and the civilian chain of command.

JK,
Seems our military are lions led by jackals. I'm still too angry to write much about it. A while back I knew a couple of gentlemen who worked for Blackwater when it was still located in North Carolina and they saw then what our defense dept was being turned into. A far cry from their active duty years in the 1990s.

JK,

Big Media Afghanistan Inc. was actually a real thing.:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JzVe2DJFNE4

Cable outlets weren't the only offenders, just some of the worst.

https://summit.news/2021/08/19/sources-british-and-us-troops-at-odds-in-afghanistan-as-uk-engages-rescue-missions/

Bob,

Just an fyi but I've beenonto Joltin' Jack Keane and his comprades for probably longer 'n you've been paying attention.

You're maybe familiar with ISW? The outit's had Joltin' Jack on the payroll since before Joltin' Jack even got his Pentagon paperwork all cleared so they [ISW] could make it "public"?

Here's but a sample - I'm appearing as Justin (as was more common for myself some years ago) The fellow listed as Able? Well if you'll get in these here archives you'll find me an ol' Able discussing many [eg Syria] many a times and oft'

https://libertybellediaries.com/2013/09/12/institute-for-the-study-war-fires-elizabeth-obagy/

I've been onto ISW and their ilk for a long time - it's [in general] what got me drummed out of "certain circles" more or less officially - however I'd allowed my clearances to lapse (I wouldn't sign the NDAs as was the usual requirement for employment - I'd grown exceedingly sick of what was going on. I was, to put a word onit - disgusted).

I think Bob, any further discussions between yourself and myself even skirting the edges of Afghanistan would be fruitless so let's end it here. I'll make it easier and do it unilaterally.

Cometh the moment, cometh the man ...

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2021/08/20/joe-bidens-asinine-handling-afghanistan-could-gift-donald-trump/

What would Mr Trump have done if confronted with this monumental insult to American pride? Well, for starters he would have fired the head of every US intelligence service that touched any piece of information out of Afghanistan in recent months.

Then, he would probably have called for Ashraf Ghani, the former president of Afghanistan who fled Kabul on Sunday, to be detained for cowardice, and delivered a tirade down the phone to the leader of any country harbouring him.

And then, he would have publicly threatened to rain down “fire and fury” on the Taliban unless it helped US citizens, their allies and translators get to Kabul airport.

After his press conference Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban spokesman, would have faced the very real possibility of his house being flattened by a MOAB if he didn't comply.

The Taliban know a bully when they see one. Americans, and Britons, would have found themselves swept to the airport with an armed Taliban escort and an apology.

Bob, y'man's toast.

SoD

The Doha terms were such that, in the event a new president were to come to pass he'd have been handed a fait accompli.

The timeline being, all US personnel (desirous of leaving) would have been transported out first, leaving just 'duty staff' in Embassy Kabul. Karzai airport and Bagram "leased" to the US for that duration not to exceed 180 days.

Specific US materiel to be 'de-mil'd'.

Lastly, US military personnel to exit the country.

However 'in the event' came to pass and among the first things 'EO'd' (Executive Ordered) the new president unilaterally extended all the timelines to extend to God only know why! of, all possible dates, September 11th, 2021 - the twentieth for fucks sake anniversary of 9/11.

Then, rather than any evacs, any de-mil'ing occurring in order, the Karzai airport followed by, a mere 72 hours after, the US military skedaddling from Bagram.

Or as we say in hillbillyland "assbackwards."

My only possible figuring why "What the hell just happened?" was something like - Biden had retained as the White House cook a French Chef who'd brought over from France with him (owing to the recent memories of the Covid shortages) such things as TP and linens - so the entire stocks France had remaining from the Surrender Flag factory came with the Chef to be used as replacements for the White House tablecloths and it snowballed from there.

JK,

Only agreeing that Big Media Afghanistan Inc. is still actually a real thing. I'll add Big Media Permanent War Inc. has always been a real thing.

SoD,

The Democrats are probably in for proper drubbings in the next few elections, but we're not likely to see the return of the Orange Avenger. Our past few presidents make me envy you having Boris. Sad, isn't it?

https://turcopolier.com/what-is-to-be-done-in-the-emirate-of-afghanistan/

Recognize the pictured fellow Loz?

He's been dead now severally years ... there, that man was the Northern Alliance I hear spoken of these last two and more decades.

His like to never return again. If he ever was, figuratively.

That man was The Lion of the North of whom we speak to this day in awe - the memory of him the candle whom, in so soon turned time provided just, just enough to give us in these our days a memory of what never was to be.

Michael Spann knew that man and he him.

The likes of either shall not walk in future days the paths that people beyond them are set to, if they dare, follow.

The lead torch is gone unkept and all that remains to follow is the bleak. And it'll be a hard path to toe.

https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-MS5AGeDeFW4/YSVKg__BCcI/AAAAAAACDJ4/PYVxN3lxUGU3t_xgl0YZlnDcEGEgZz18QCLcBGAsYHQ/w612-h867/slow-joe-1.jpg

Understandable:
https://www.foxnews.com/media/nigel-farage-british-parliament-military-cooperation-biden-afghanistan

I don't know quite what Sleepy Joe - and the rest of the pols and peeps that make up Uncle Sam for that matter - have in mind from now on.

Much is made of squaring up to China. The resources being re-deployed in that direction, 'n' all that. Really? Does anyone believe that? I doubt the "coalition of the willing" that might have hung out together in the South China Sea looking ruffty-tuffty, including Blighty and her two a/c carriers if they ever make it there without breaking down, will be there in a year's time. Same in the ME, Africa. For every US service person freed up from Afghanistan for service elsewhere there'll be several missing Brits, Krauts and Frogs from the "elsewhere". A net resource loss.

I don't know quite what Blighty's strategy, military purpose and consequent resourcing is going to be from now too, given these changed circs. So no "special relationship" any more, plus Brexit a done deal, tells us what the reality is: we're Billy-no-Mates in a world of Billy-no-Mates.

So we need to do that "Singapore-and-Switzerland-on-Thames" thing, where we become both irrelevant, but also useful, to everyone. No-one's friend, no-one's enemy, but everyone's acquaintance, all at the same time. "Perfidious Albion" revisited.

But will the Brit pols and peeps go this way? I doubt it. A prolonged period of "blithering around" will ensue, I suspect. If anything saves us it might be that everyone will be in the same boat, including our enemies.

SoD

Well here's the Graun elucidating something I've witnessed personally in my career and has been bleedin' obvious to the general population since the end of WW2 : Brit management sucks ...

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/business/2021/aug/25/sadly-trade-minister-is-right-to-say-uk-firms-do-better-in-foreign-hands

An even bigger reason to open the floodgates to foreign capital and management, make Blighty a Freeport, and get going with the "Singapore-and-Switzerland-on-Thames" thing good'n'proper.

SoD

But it'll never happen ...

https://www.google.com/amp/s/qz.com/2013296/how-covid-19-killed-the-uks-dream-to-become-singapore-on-thames/amp/

Who killed Singapore-on-Thames, the economic piece of Singapore-and-Switzerland-on-Thames? Greta, BoJo and Covid - and the Brit peeps.

Not just them, of course. This has been a long and windy trail since 1948, with Uncle Sam playing more than a bit part. Todays characters are just the players administering the coup de grace in Blighty's decline and fall.

SoD

Ahh so Grasshopper

Ahh so.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9selPW2lL-M

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzaWAEhFWpw

Ahh.

Yeah right.

These Never Trumper 'conservatives' need a special Hell brought down on them. They are as responsible as all Democrats for the installation of Sell Out Joe in the WH.

But it'll never happen ...

It never had a chance of happening and was always rank politicking. Samanth Subramanian makes the main point in the second paragraph:

"Never mind that this was a misreading of Singapore, a tightly controlled, intrusive state."

Very few Brits would put up with the type of society Singapore has. Glad you've learned to embrace your inner Switzerland.

Despite Biden's other faults, it seems he realizes he's bound to be a one term president and is pushing ahead with needed government reforms and programs. The US will probably spend about a decade rebuilding and advancing, then start making all the war profiteers happy again.

Ever'body in need of a quick 'pick me up'?

https://www.diogenesmiddlefinger.com/2021/08/dod-desperate-attempt-at-good-pr.html

And to think that guy is a former general officer - US military too to boot - I think. Pretty sure US military anyway.

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