Withdrawing From Afghanistan Is Still the Right Thing To Do

Sen. Lindsey Graham says it would be Biden's "biggest mistake yet," but the U.S. troop departure is long overdue.


On July 8, President Joe Biden updated his timeline for the U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. The mission is now set to reach its end on August 31 rather than the original September 11 deadline. Nearly 20 years in the making, America's longest war looks to be finally drawing to a close.

For some, it's too soon.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle say so, claiming that the departure is hasty and leaves no clear path forward for the Afghan government. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R–S.C.) said the move would be the president's "biggest mistake yet." Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D–N.H.), who serves on the Foreign Relations Committee, argued that "the U.S. has sacrificed too much to bring stability to Afghanistan to leave [without] verifiable assurances of a secure future."

Thankfully, the loud critics in Washington have not deterred Biden. "Nearly 20 years of experience has shown us that the current security situation only confirms that 'just one more year' of fighting in Afghanistan is not a solution," he said July 8, "but a recipe for being there indefinitely."

His view is increasingly in line with the wishes of the American people. An April survey revealed that 73 percent of polled registered voters supported Biden's withdrawal plan. Broken down by political affiliation, 90 percent of Democrats, 75 percent of independents, and 54 percent of Republicans back the move. Those serving in the military and those who previously served also support withdrawal by a slim margin.

In 20 years of conflict, the U.S. has accomplished its initial security goals. The 2001-era Taliban was ousted, and since 9/11, no terrorist attack on U.S. soil has been carried out by an organization rooted in Afghanistan. Security concerns now lie elsewhere. "The Biden administration correctly assessed that the threat of terrorism from Afghanistan today is in fact smaller than from various parts of Africa and the Middle East," as Vanda Felbab-Brown writes for the Brookings Institution. Al Qaeda's capacities are limited. To say that Afghanistan hosts the same level of outward threat that it once did is patently false.

Internal threats do exist, largely in the form of a Taliban emboldened by the U.S. departure. Taliban fighters say they've gained control of 85 percent of Afghanistan—a claim the Afghan government has dismissed as propaganda. It's impossible to correctly assess current territory holdings, but Taliban attacks and seizures have increased recently. As a result, U.S. intelligence officials have concluded that the Afghan government could fall just six months after the Americans take their leave. Two former secretaries of state, Hillary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice, both worry about the implications of a full withdrawal; Rice even suggested the U.S. may need to return, according to Axios.

Coming from architects and longtime supporters of the war, this is hardly a surprise. Their views hinge on two still-open questions: Can the Taliban pull off a full takeover, and if so, will it be the U.S.'s responsibility to fight it? Experts are divided on the first. They float possibilities from a protracted civil war, to the preservation of the status quo, to an uneasy power sharing arrangement. Biden concedes that it's "highly unlikely" that there will be a unified government controlling the whole of Afghanistan. With peace talks between the Taliban and an Afghan government delegation currently taking place in Qatar, we may soon have a clearer picture.

As for the second, it's difficult to justify a continued role for the U.S. given its track record in Afghanistan. Over 47,000 Afghan civilians, 66,000 Afghan national military and police, and more than 6,000 U.S. service members and contractors have died. The Taliban still hasn't been banished. As Biden notes, "it's the right and the responsibility of the Afghan people alone to decide their future and how they want to run their country."

It's extremely unlikely that a 21st year of conflict would be decisive after the first 20 haven't been. We know the nature of the conflict and what continued warfare would involve—more dead soldiers, more dead civilians, and an increasingly futile commitment to nation building that will, in all likelihood, result in a less stable country.

Plus, U.S. lawmakers never voted to declare war in Afghanistan; they gave the president broad discretion to carry out "necessary" campaigns to bring justice to the actors who orchestrated 9/11. And only once since 9/11 have the costs of war been mentioned by those in the Senate Finance Committee. The price tag has come up just five times in the Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee. Costs and casualties already incurred in Afghanistan were used as reasons to push on; the U.S. had invested too much to give up the fight.

Leaving without a clear picture of what Afghanistan's government will look like in just a few months is an unsatisfying conclusion to America's longest war. That doesn't mean the U.S. should put off its withdrawal, or that it should already be gearing up to send troops back. While there may be an effective American role to be had in facilitating future peace talks between Afghanistan's warring parties, American participation in the conflict must end.

Politicians are wrong to treat the Afghanistan withdrawal as Biden's fatal blow. It's a sign of humility—recognizing where the U.S. has failed and where it cannot possibly succeed. It's quite easy for presidents to start wars. It's another thing entirely to end them.

NEXT: Chuck Schumer Says He Wants To Legalize Marijuana. His Bill Suggests Otherwise.

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150 responses to “Withdrawing From Afghanistan Is Still the Right Thing To Do

  1. It may be correct that the US should leave, but recognize that leaving will result in a likely increase in dead civilians, dead Afghani soldiers and extensive human rights violations if the Taliban succeeds in toppling the government.

    There are no cost free options.

    1. I’m fine with that price.

      1. The Afghan War was lost in 2001. The U.S. failed to follow one of the cardinal rules of counter-insurgency warfare – root the enemy out of his sanctuaries. Or, failed to follow the cardinal rule of warfare – pursue the enemy to his death or surrender. Afghanistan is Vietnam all over again.

        To win the Afghan war, it would be necessary to pursue the Taliban into their sanctuaries in the Wasiristan province of Pakistan and destroy them.

        The U.S. could have gotten away with it back in the day. The U.S. mainland had been attacked, The U.S. was pissed and the world was afraid of us. The U.S. could have entered Pakistani territory and gotten away wirh it. To allow the Pakistanis to save face, the U.S. could have blatantly lied about being there, or begged forgiveness of the Pakistanis while continuing to stay in their territory and kill the Taliban. The U.S. could have offered them billions to enter their territory to kill Taliban. After the attacks of 11 Sep 2001, the U.S. had a lot of political capital. Georgie boy decided to use that capital to carry out his pre-existing plan to invade Iraq rather than avenge an attack upon the U.S. itself.

        One could contend that invading Pakistan would risk nuclear war, since Pakistan is a nuclear power. But, Pakistan only tested its first nuke in 1998 and didn’t really have any nuclear capability in 2001, even today its missile capability is less than 3000 miles and only has few missiles.

    2. And what does that cost the US? Nothing. There has always been extentsive human rights violations in Afghanistan and there always will be. They fuck boys. They love to fuck boys. Then those boys, fuck boys. Think about that. A population of men that have been raped as boys. Does anyone wonder why every single one of them is bat-shit crazy?

      1. Cost was not the word I was looking for. After I posted I realized what I wanted to say was morally clean. Noninterventionism may be better policy, but to think it morally high minded is not true.

        1. Well, you’re probably correct.
          But cost is the right word.
          That war did cost US citizens a fortune in blood and treasure to keep their military in the “Graveyard of Empires” aka an absolute shithole.
          That waste-of-time-and-money war’s sell-by date came and went long, long ago.
          But putting that aside:
          The US leaving is very, very bad news for especially people like women and little boys in Afghanistan
          Repulsive old practices like pederasty and treating women like chattel will now make a comeback there.
          So, except for supporters US forces being persecuted and killed because their protector is now gone, other people are going to pay a really heavy price.
          The Taliban has never been known to be “Let bygones be bygones” type of guys and there will be deaths and persecutions on a massive scale – they’ve already started.
          So, no this withdrawal is definitely not going to be “morally clean”.
          Not in the slightest.
          But maybe, just maybe, Biden’s doing the right thing this time.
          Getting the US out of that meat and money swallowing bottomless hole.

          1. Make a comeback? Last I heard, they were already thriving. Yes, Afghanistan is going to be a mess after the US withdrawal. But it’s been a mess during two decades of American presence. I don’t like what’s likely to happen, but I don’t like what’s happening now, either. If we withdraw, at least it won’t be our mess any more.

            1. Ok, I didn’t express myself properly.
              They’ll be more prevalent.
              It never was the US’s mess to begin with.
              It was arrogant and stupid to think the US could actually make a difference when neither the British Empire nor the USSR achieved anything – except waste a fortune and a lot of people in that shithole course.
              20 years later…
              That little presumption didn’t work out too well for the US.
              Did it now?

      2. I read that one reason the Taliban was so popular there was because they were trying to stamp out boy fucking. But that was 20 years ago and I have no idea how that stands now.

        1. Stamp it out?
          I think you’re mistaken.
          The Taliban’s main support comes from it’s operating with the authority of “God’s Law”.
          I.e. Sharia Law or something very close to it.
          I sincerely doubt if they want to meddle with the norms of the society who’s support they want.
          Anyway, some of those creatures are probably enthusiastic practitioners of Pederasty.
          Boy Buttfucking is an ancient and disgusting tradition throughout the Middle and Far East.
          It has wide support.
          Almost as wide support as eating dogs, cats, half-raw bats and live snakes in China and the rest of the Far East.
          It’s a pillar of society.
          Even Islam turns a blind eye – although, technically, homosexuality is a capital offence in Islamic countries.

          1. One thing I saw in the Nineties that I’ll never forget was The Official Taliban Web Site. Their slogan was: “Allah’s Law For Allah’s Earth!”

            I knew right then that these assholes were no-goodniks who wanted The Big Blue Marble for themselves and they would be peas-in-a-pod with other Islamic terrorists or governments who wanted or had NBC weapons and shared the same goal.

      3. Careful, if you keep talking like that, Buttplug will get turned on. If so, it’s up to you to take care of him.

        1. No, no.
          He should tell the young man to go East.
          There’s a whole world of delights waiting for him there.

  2. We never defined what was a win. Politicians passed stupid ROE and tied the services hands. Troop numbers were never enough and we never had willing/competent/honest partners. That is why Afghanistan was and is a quagmire. Fuck them and their camels. And fuck the politicians who never gave us a clear mission or the tools to accomplish it.

    1. Exactly. That’s why the power to declare war belongs to Congress. So they can state a clear mission, a clear goal, a clear exit strategy, and most importantly be able to undeclare if it doesn’t go as planned.

      Presidential dickwaviing never ends well.

      1. I agree. This was all planned on a whim.

        1. Does appear that way.

        2. What was the goal? Beating Al Qaeda? Mostly accomplished. Beating the Taliban? Unfinished. Building a functioning democracy? That’s on th Afghani people and they don’t seem to want to fight for it. The damn mission changed every day.

          1. Pedantically speaking, the original mission was to find and kill Bin Laden, destroy al-Qaeda’s safe havens, and support the Northern Alliance in assuming leadership of the country into a functioning democracy. Number one was done ten years ago, and number two was done within a few months of operations kicking off because the Taliban don’t really give a shit about al-Qaeda, they were just the primary piggy bank when Bin Laden was there. The last one is why ended up farting around there for nearly 20 years with very little to show for it.

    2. How would you feel about an army of Californians invading Montana and telling you they have some great ideas about how to change things for the better?

      1. Been to Bozeman or Missoula lately?

        1. You don’t like that?

          Now imagine it’s a real army. With military hardware, drones, the whole thing.

          And they’re here to tell you that your religious beliefs are a big problem– as well as how women are treated in your society. You’re gonna love the way the army of California changes Montana for the better, and if you don’t? Well, they have drones and military hardware, and all sorts of military personnel to take care of you.

          If you don’t want Americans from other parts of the country invading Montana and forcing you to change your culture, religion, political system, etc. in Montana–at the point of a gun–why should we assume the Pashtuns of Afghanistan will someday naturally want to become . . . um . . . Californian?

          Legitimacy cannot be created at the point of a gun, and if Canada invaded the United States, we’d resist them until they left–no matter whether they were a force for women’s liberation or some other wonderful thing. If the people of Afghanistan ever become a stable society with a legitimate government again, it will be because the people of Afghanistan made it that way without the presence of the U.S. military.

          1. Not sure why you are trying to make this point to me. We had partners from the ho who espoused that they were willing to be Democratic and wanted it. They have never stood up and acted like it. We had allies in the region but they failed to do their part and we never had enough troops to accomplish the goal and we never had a clear cut goal to begin with. Were we nation building, defeating Al Qaeda, defeating the Taliban. It changed every day and our so called native allies never stood up. We gave them the government they said they wanted. Fuck them if they can’t keep it.

            1. My point is that there wasn’t any way we could successfully create legitimacy at the point of a gun–because we’re foreigners. You wouldn’t even subject yourself to the rule of your fellow Americans (if they were Californians and trying to force you to do things in a better different way at the point of a gun).

              No amount of resources and no amount of commitment can create legitimacy at the gunpoint. You can inflict order at the end of a gun but not legitimacy. Without legitimacy, as soon as you put your gun away, the order you imposed goes out the window.

              Relative legitimacy used to be measured by the number of police per capita necessary to maintain law and order. On that count, wow well are the Native Americans of Montana doing on their reservations relative to white society? Do they have suicide rates, substance abuse rates, educational attainment rates, and violent crime rates that are more or less the same as they are off the reservations? I suspect that if the Taliban were as thoroughly dominated, culturally and militarily, as the native peoples of Montana were a century ago, we might still be dealing with problems because of that domination a century or more later.

              The reason we lost in Vietnam wasn’t because we didn’t commit enough resources to creating the case for a legitimate government. The reason we lost was because you can’t create a legitimate government at the point of a gun. We were tying to do something that can’t be done. Some things just can’t be done.

              1. We didn’t lose in Vietnam. They had a functioning government when we pulled out and the South Vietnamese were beating back the North Vietnamese in 1975 until they ran out of ammunition and congress fucked them by withholding supplies we had promised them. In Afghanistan many stayed they wanted change and wanted a more liberal society than the one offered by Taliban. Unfortunately, what they really wanted was the US to fight for them and not to do the work themselves. You keep ignoring we didn’t try to inflict a government they didn’t say they also wanted. They said from the get go they wanted a more liberal society but they weren’t being honest.

                1. My understanding was that South Vietnam was a government that enjoyed very little support from the people of Vietnam.

                  There were numerous coups and juntas, and even when they held an election, the candidate ran unopposed in a rigged election.

                  My point is that even if we had restored order, if the people of South Vietnam don’t consider the government legitimate, there isn’t anything our military can do about that in a foreign country.

                  Our presence and support for that government undermines its legitimacy, especially when they government we’re propping up is already illegitimate.

                  1. It had more support then the communist regime. The biggest myth of the Vietnam ear is the prevalence of the VC. We basically destroyed the VC in 1965 and it all but ceased being a factor at all after Yet. Most of what was labeled VC was actually NVA dressed up as locals. South Korea has also undergone all the things multiple times, coups juntas etc. But the difference is ROK troops are kick ass and the US never withdrew support from them. In Afghanistan our allies aren’t kick ass, can’t agree on anything and worry more about tribe then nation. They say one thing and do another.

                    1. Polite society won’t allow this conversation, but it is real and no analysis of this war is complete without it, imo.

                      Pashtuns have been inbred for thousands of years, and it shows. They marry their first cousins almost 100% of the time. They do not trust anyone outside of their clan, to the point of intermarrying within their family. Even our more liberal Pashtun interpreters were married to their first cousins.

                      I have trained and worked operationally with foreign troops across much of the “3rd world”. No soldiers were as unable to learn, as ignorant, as lacking in discipline as Afghan Pashtuns. Iraqis were ignorant to good military order and technical issues, but they had the capacity to learn, and they did. Iraqi SOF is pretty kick ass now. Filipino forces are racked with corruption and poverty, but I wouldn’t fuck with a company of Filipino Rangers or their LRB/LRC. Their SOF are very competent. Thai forces the same, but will absolutely, 100% dive infiltrate (technically difficult and dangerous) on some jihadis and fuck their shit up. (I do not recommend targeting Buddhist monks in Thailand, unless you also want to end up without a head.)

                      The Afghans could not figure out how to use a simple night vision device with an on/off switch and one focus knob to save their lives. After about the 6 or 7th night class on how to operate these simple controls, we had to give up and move on. You also see a lot of tiny limbs and other strange birth defects in Afghan villages with a frequency I have not seen anywhere else. I have seen a village full of dudes who’s hands were so large we could not fit our standard flex cuffs over them. They all had very similar strange facial features, like a very long nose as well. Clearly more related to each other than was healthy for a population. They are also obsessed with modesty, to the point that a man cannot see another man without his shirt, let alone naked. This makes barracks living and field toilet use, etc. difficult for them, and makes them less effective in the field when one wanders off to take a shit and sets everyone else to panic looking for a lost soldier in a fire fight.

                      In short, giving these guys tech and training is not very effective, because their ancient culture and even very genetics may be negating those advantages.

                    2. A study on the topic. I believe the rates are much higher in Kandahar and Helmand provinces than stated in this study. Those places would be nearly impossible to study and to ask questions about someone’s wife and family there is considered impolite to the point of resulting in murder more than occasionally.


                      “The proportion of consanguineous marriages in the country was 46.2%, ranging from 38.2% in Kabul province to 51.2% in Bamyan province. The equivalent mean inbreeding coefficient (α) was 0.0277, and ranged from 0.0221 to 0.0293 in these two regions. There were significant differences between provinces for frequencies of different types of marriages (p<0.001). First cousin marriages (27.8%) were the most common type of consanguineous marriages, followed by double first cousin (6.9%), second cousin (5.8%), beyond second cousin (3.9%) and first cousin once removed (1.8%). There were significant differences between ethnic groups for the types of marriages (χ2=177.6, df=25, p<0.001). Tajiks (Soni) and Turkmens (also Pashtuns) showed the lowest (α=0.0250) and highest (α=0.0297) mean inbreeding coefficients, respectively, among the ethnic groups in Afghanistan. The study shows that Afghanistan's populations, like other Islamic populations, have a high level of consanguinity. "

                    3. Iraqi SOF is pretty kick ass now.

                      They’ve been pretty competent and reliable for a while, at least in terms of combat effectiveness. Back when ISIS was skipping through the Tigris River Valley and infiltrating into Baghdad, the SOF guys were the one part of the Iraqi army that remained capable of aggressively engaging and destroying the enemy.

          2. Haven’t gotten a reply from you lately. Finally mute me? Figured you would being that you can’t tell the difference between an ad hominem (You’re wrong because you’re a poo-poo head), an observation (This is where your your logic leads, poo-poo head) or an insult (You’re just a poo-poo head).

            An argument against the person says you’re wrong because of you. Like when the usual suspects ignore what I say and then call me an alcoholic or say I molest my daughter (a favorite for some twisted reason) and use that as evidence of me being wrong. Never any analysis of what I said. That’s ad hominem.

            Pointing out that you employ the same logic and tactics as the leftists that you hate isn’t an ad hominem. It’s just the damn truth.

          3. Anyway, I won’t be a JesseAz and drop unread turds on all your posts. If you’re gonna mute me, that’s cool. I won’t read your walls of text.

          4. …if Canada invaded the United States, we’d resist them until they left–no matter whether they were a force for women’s liberation or some other wonderful thing.

            If Canada was more libertarian than the U.S., I wouldn’t resist.

      2. Considering everyone in Montana owns gun, I’d feel kinda bad for the Calfornians being mowed down like grass.

        1. We’d be better off if Montana invaded California.

          1. Why would they want to?

            1. Surfing? Porn industry?

              1. I was thinking almonds.

                1. Nah – the farmers are bulldozing the almond trees because they don’t have the water to sustain them.

            2. Thin the herd?

    3. We had a definition at the start. Clear out the terrorist camps that supported the 9/11 attacks. When that was done we should have left. It probably would have been better all around.

      1. Military action should primarily be about destroying our enemies. All this other crap gets in the way.

    4. But Cheney and Halliburton made so much money, money, money off of it. AND as a sole provider. For years. It was a gold mine for the soulless at the cost of their fellow Americans’ lives. But they didn’t care, they were making lots of money.

      1. If only that were the extent of it. Now we have all these problems with the ChiComs.

    5. Camels?
      Who in that toilet can afford a camel?
      Goats man, goats.

    6. The Afghan War was lost in 2001. A cardinal rule of warfare is to pursue the enemy to the death, not let ’em get away, root insurgents out of their sanctuaries. We failed to follow and root out the Taliban from their sanctuaries in the Pashtun areas, in the Waziristan province of Pakistan, just the same as the U.S. failed to infiltrate infiltrate North Vietnam during the Vietnam War. Afganistan is Vietnam all over again.

      Back in 2001, after the attacks of 11 Sep, the U.S. was pissed and the world was scared of what we might do. We could’ve gotten away with entering Pakistani territory to root out the Taliban. To allow Pakistan to save face, we could’ve blatantly lied about it or beg their forgiveness while still killing Taliban in their territory. Or we could’ve paid them some billions to operate in their territory, would’ve been cheaper than a 20 year military presence. But George W wanted to save that political capital to varry out his pre-existing plans to invade Iraq.

      Back in 2001, Pakistan had no real nuclear capability, having tested its first nuke in 1998. So there were no significant nuclear concerns if the U.S. invaded the Waziristan province of Pakistan in 2001-2002.

      1. carry out

  3. There cannot be a stable government in Afghanistan until the United States leaves. Our presence is a force for instability, and our departure is the only solution to that problem. Afghanistan has enormous potential as a source of materials to feed China’s manufacturing base, and the incentive for the Taliban to create stability in order to fund their government in that way will be immense. China has become a force for stability all over the developing world in pursuit of mining interests, and Afghanistan’s proximity to China makes it even more attractive to China than China’s mining interests in Africa and South America.

    Meanwhile, a stable and prosperous Afghanistan is in the best interests of the United States from a security perspective. There will almost certainly be a bloodbath before things get better, and the Taliban will need to make mistakes before they learn from them. Ultimately, however, their government will not be successful without their country being prosperous, and the path of least resistance to prosperity goes through stability to foreign direct investment from China.

    Not much point in waging jihad against foreign invaders when there are no foreign invaders in your country and you can get rich providing a stable government and selling your mineral resources to China instead. That’s the best possible outcome we can hope to see in Afghanistan, from an American security perspective, and it can never be realized so long as our military presence remains a force for instability. When it’s in the best interests of the United States to leave Afghanistan to our enemies, that is exactly what we should do.

    1. That presumes a Taliban led government has prosperity as their top priority. Also, using China as a model, a stable, materialistic government can still be monstrous.

      1. That presumes a Taliban led government has prosperity as their top priority.

        I don’t believe they do. Just as socialists sacrifice prosperity for equality, I believe these religious nutters will fight against the Western lifestyle, which means fighting for poverty.

        1. You got it.

          They have a fatalist mentality that infects everything. This keep the poor from aspiring to improve their condition, and convinces the less poor that this is how things are “naturally” supposed to be.

          “Why not fix this well so your kids stop getting sick?”


          “Ok…so does that mean you are gonna fix it? No prayers needed, we can do this right now.”


          Well never gets fixed; kid dies of preventable contaminated water. Declared god’s will.

          1. Islam is really a shit religion, and the Afghanis are one of the worst examples of it’s practice.

        2. You mean as long as it’s someone else’s poverty.
          Not their own.

      2. Everybody needs money. That’s why they call it money.

        The Taliban could fail because they fail to prioritize financing their government, but no one can succeed without prioritizing finance. And that requires stability–which our we kick out from under them by our presence there.

        When the Muslim fanatics that overran ancient Persia subjugated the Zoroastrians, they were supposed to put them all to the sword because they weren’t “people of the book”. They not only didn’t do that, they also prohibited them from converting to Islam–because they needed them to remain Zoroastrians because they needed them to pay the tax. Who is going to pay taxes and finance the government and the army if they slaughter or convert all the taxpayers?

        ISIS failed for that reason, among others. Once you make it clear that you will slaughter anyone who isn’t of your religion in the territory you control, the people in the territory you control will fight you to the death. That is expensive, unprofitable, and needlessly wasteful. They lost a ton of territory because of that. They could have just tried to do a better job of government than Assad, which wouldn’t have been very hard to do!

        I’m old enough to remember when thinking that the Chinese communists would embrace wealth creation and stability in the developing world, rather than communism and fomenting communist revolution in the developing world, seemed like a ridiculous thing to assume. It wasn’t that long ago–25 years?

        I’m not saying that the United States withdrawing from Afghanistan is sufficient to guarantee stability and prosperity there, but I am saying that our withdrawing from Afghanistan is a necessary step. Afghanistan cannot be stable and prosperous until we leave–unless you want to nuke Afghanistan and northern Pakistan, too.

        Germany and Japan were flattened in World War II. We could do that in Afghanistan and rebuild the country from scratch. Are you willing to go that route? If they ever attack us again, or collaborate with those that do, maybe we should go that route. In the meantime, it’s in the best interests of the United States to stop being an eternal source of instability in the region with our presence.

        1. Perhaps the Cuban regime is failing now, but it has taken 60 years to do so. People will prioritize other things than money, like honor, religion, ideology. To depend on the Taliban becoming materialistic utilitarians may be a colossal misunderstanding of what they are and what motivates them.

          1. “I’m not saying that the United States withdrawing from Afghanistan is sufficient to guarantee stability and prosperity there, but I am saying that our withdrawing from Afghanistan is a necessary step.”

            —-Ken Shultz

            Maduro had to deregulate food production and distribution because Chavez’ nationalization of those industries led to widespread starvation.

            If you want to talk about rigid ideologues bending to reality, how ’bout Lenin and the New Economic Policy?


            Meanwhile, there isn’t anything fundamentally anti-Islamic about selling mined minerals to the Chinese for profit. There isn’t anything fundamentally anti-Taliban about getting rich.

            Even stupid things like water follow the path of least resistance to the sea, and the path of least resistance is that the Chinese will be banging on the door begging to build railroads, highways, and bridges in their country so they can invest in mining there.

            They could fuck it up. I’m not guaranteeing success. I am guaranteeing failure so long as we maintain a presence there because as long as we maintain a presence there, there will still be instability. And the source of Taliban fighters isn’t even limited to the boundaries of Afghanistan. There are also all those Pashtuns across the border in the mountains of Pakistan. Those warlords aren’t under the control of the Pakistani government in Karachi.

            If the government in Kabul were legitimate enough in the eyes of the people of Afghanistan to withstand that, they’d be able to defend themselves without us after 20 years. We can’t force the people of Afghanistan to accept their legitimacy. Our presence and support undermines that legitimacy. They just don’t want what we want them to want, and there isn’t anything we can do about that.

            1. Afghanis have a long memory and remember what happened the last time they invited communist in to “help” them. Doubt they’ll be thrilled with inviting Chinese in, especially as the Chinese are committing genocide against Muslims in China as we speak.

              1. If the Chinese are so fucking stupid that they want to march into a quagmire, then I don’t know that we should stop them, but in the rest of developing world, when China has built highways, railroads, ports, bridges, dams, etc. all over Africa and South American, it didn’t involve moving Chinese troops into the area. It meant civil engineers, construction companies, and financing.

                China has been doing this all over the world for a really long time. They’re by far the biggest investors in Africa. And its all about resource extraction.


                1. Another reason why the move to electric cars is a disaster for America. Biden just stopped extraction of rare earth metals, and China has significantly expanded their mining interests worldwide.

                2. There’s a small problem with all the “investing” China’s done – especially in Africa.
                  It’s really expensive and getting your money back plus some profit relies on the other guy keeping on making a series of payments over a long period of time.
                  They’re already running into trouble getting paid – again especially in Africa.
                  Those characters tend to take your money, waste and steal it, and when the time comes to repay…
                  They make a few payments…
                  Then make plenty of excuses why they can’t repay you and why you have to give them more money…
                  Then, finally, when they see you want your money back and won’t give them more…
                  They tell you to come try and take your money and see how well that goes for you.
                  There’s a reason Western organizations like the IMF and the World Bank don’t make many loans to African countries.
                  They’ve had bad experience and so they’re not stupid and don’t throw money away like the Chinese.
                  But China hasn’t learnt that expensive little lesson yet.
                  They’re still full of spunk.
                  Well, good luck to them.
                  They’re going to need all the spunk they’ve got.

              2. I’m not saying China will march in I am saying the Afghanis won’t want to partner with them for the reasons I listed.

                1. China’s attitude hasn’t stopped other Muslim countries from partnering up in all sorts of schemes. Countries with far fewer needs in economic assistance and investment than the Afghans.

        2. I do not know what the least worst solution is. I am just sure that there is no perfectly moral solution.

          1. How ’bout we do what’s in the best interests of the USA?

            “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men”

            —-Declaration of Independence

            The legitimate purpose of government is to protect our rights, and the legitimate purpose of the military is to protect our rights from foreign threats.

            It is in the best interests of American security for our military to come home so that Afghanistan can stabilize and prosper and no longer be a threat to American security.

            Invasion and occupation was the humane alternative to things like firebombing and nuclear war–like we’ve done in the past. If they come back after us again, maybe we should consider not being so humane.

            1. Or using far more troops and far less restrictive Roses and actually hold land.

              1. Until when?

                Until the people of Afghanistan decide they want to be Californians after all?

                At one point, the SJW’s in the Biden administration were complaining that Trump’s withdrawal agreement with the Taliban as insufficient because the Taliban didn’t agree to respect and protect the rights of women. If we can’t leave until the Islamic fundamentalists that control the Taliban become feminists, then we can never leave.

                And I’m here to tell you that no amount of resources or time is about to turn the people of Afghanistan into Californians or Montanans either. If your objective is to install a legitimate government at the point of a gun, then your objective will fail because legitimacy cannot come from the point of a gun. It can only come from the people themselves.

                This more or less gets it right:

                “Legitimacy is the right and acceptance of an authority, usually a governing law or a regime . . . .An authority viewed as legitimate often has the right and justification to exercise power. Political legitimacy is considered a basic condition for governing, without which a government will suffer legislative deadlock(s) and collapse. In political systems where this is not the case, unpopular régimes survive because they are considered legitimate by a small, influential élite”



                When a bank robber is holding a gun on you, you might do anything he says, but as soon as he’s gone, he has no influence over you. At that point, you’re likely to call the police. Legitimacy is what the people do of their own accord when the gun is no longer being held on them, and it cannot be imposed at the point of a gun. Order can be imposed at the point of a gun. Legitimacy can only come from the people themselves.

                When the people of Afghanistan don’t have weapons trained on them, they don’t want to be Californians or Montanans, and they don’t follow the dictates of an American installed government. And having more guns trained on them won’t do anything to change what they do when the guns are no longer on them. Although it may make our enemies flood to the scene to fight us even more than they did before.

                Hammers are for driving nails. They’re not for carrying water. You’re trying to drive a nail by pouring a bucket of water on it, and you’re telling me that it would have worked if only you’d had more buckets of water.

                1. You seem to be operating under the assumption that I want troops to stay there now. No I mean it we have to go back do it with the full might of the IS military, including unrestrictive Roses and enough troops to take and hold land.

                  1. Afghanistan has enormous potential as a source of materials to feed China’s manufacturing base

                    That’s a good reason to stay in Afghanistan to counter China. China is an anti-libertarian nation and a dictatorship. It tries to expand its influence and power. China is the greatest strategic challenge. Fuck any “stability” China brings, which is none. China not a friend of freedom.

      3. What are the odds the Taliban and the oppressive Chinese government won’t get along? China will want to rule Afghanistan. The Taliban isn’t going to stand for it.

        1. Except the Chinese will slaughter them and not give shot about collateral damage or public image. Having the media around. Theater of combat has been a huge negative since at least Vietnam.

    2. Afghanistan has enormous potential as a source of materials to feed China’s manufacturing base

      That’s a good reason to stay in Afghanistan to counter China. China is an anti-libertarian nation and a dictatorship. It tries to expand its influence and power. China is the greatest strategic challenge. Fuck any “stability” China brings, which is none. China not a friend of freedom.

  4. I was just looking through my Afghan photos. There are dozens of photos of equipment that the Afghans were given and quickly destroyed. There are pictures of massive buildings that the Afghans never wanted but the US generals (and their friends) insisted on. There is the multi-billion dollar, world’s largest air strip the Air Force built and never finished. There are the millions of dollars of solar powered streetlights that operated for less than a week before they quit for good. There are billions of dollars of Hesco barriers that the Afghans will claim, “Alexander The Great” built when he was there.
    There are also photos of the base that “Harry The Woke Fairy” was on. The food was on par with any 5 star in the US. Harry was encircled with security that probably cost his nation billions.
    I took pictures of Generals sitting in the chow hall looking like kings holding court. They were losing a war and were still acting as if the were conquering heroes. They couldn’t even secure their own bases, never mind Afghanistan.
    I flew on white, 40 year old Canadian helicopters and never got shot at so I’m guessing that the bribes they paid the Taliban were working.
    The Hungarians did not have bribe money so they provided US intel to the Taliban so that they would not be shot at.
    The Germans ran away whenever they made contact. Hell, they left their dead in “the kill zone” and never returned.
    Anyone that believes that we should still be in Afghanistan has not spent enough time in Afghanistan.

    1. “Anyone who says ‘Easy as stealing candy from a baby’ has never tried to steal candy from a baby.”

      -R Hood

    2. Our commandos had all US equipment. They broke about half of their pvs-7 and pvs 14’s in about a month. Just gorilla cranking on the focus or utterly smashing the lens, shit I’ve never seen even with dumb US privates. They wore every single piece of snivel assigned to them until we had to make an ultimatum to get them to stop. They grow up so poor and have so little trust that they cannot fathom leaving “high quality” military gear like that in their locker. I think they crashed about 1/3 of their hmmwv’s just driving them from the issue point to their fob. Their battalion commander spent most of their miscellaneous budget on his office furniture. It was very nice office furniture, to be fair.

      On NATO forces, we had Dutch apaches once tell our jtac that there was a platoon size element paralleling our movements, armed with medium machine guns and rpgs. We were like, “Thanks for the heads up, go ahead and engage.” They declined due to their ISAF ROE which would not allow them to fire unless fired upon. A fucking apache which cannot shoot unless they think someone is shooting directly at them, not friendly ground forces, actually had to be personally targeted to return fire. We started carrying mortars and plenty of blammo for them on our raids to ensure we’d have defensive fires once the taliban counterattacked, which was every time.

      I see General Miller is very highly regarded now, including by some guys who I know well and regard highly. And maybe he did the best that could be done. I am not convinced.

  5. So we join a long line of countries/civilizations that came and went:
    Alexander the Great
    Islamic groups
    British Empire

    1. History that was doomed to repeat itself and likely will again. Next up, the Chinese. They will try to ‘annex’ Afghanistan.

    2. Didn’t the Brits try twice?

      1. Well, sort of, maybe. Depends how you want to count “free enterprise” in the East India Company.

        1. Ask Kipling

          When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains,
          And the women come out to cut up what remains,
          Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
          An’ go to your Gawd like a soldier.

  6. We did more than enough and we’re still allied with the Islamic Republic. If they can’t get crazy and bring the hammer down on those mfers well then that’s their problem. Who is supporting the Taliban? Where do they get their weapons? And their soldiers? It shouldn’t even be a fair fight with the US backing you up but I guess that got lazy and used to us doing the job. We should sit back and watch. Let India or Russia do something. I want to support people who want freedom but you gotta want that shit. The Americans during the revolution were hardcore and that’s how you win.

    1. Part of our problem is that the left in our country scream and cries if our military actually goes and fights a battle like it should be fought. Modern US rules of engagement are insanely restrictive.

  7. There will be bloodshed when we leave.

    Comparatively speaking it will not be worse than any number of horrors occurring across the globe. But this will be more visible. One, because the market for anti-American press around the globe is strong and two, because the Taliban does not see any sort of publicity as bad publicity.

    Whether it is pulling a band-aid or a beheading, best to do it quickly.

    1. People get the government they deserve. Good and hard. Seems like Afghans like having a religious government. Or they wouldn’t tolerate it.

    2. IT will no longer be American soldiers losing their lives. That alone is enough for me to endorse withdrawal. We stand to gain nothing by staying. Let them fight their own battles.

    3. Pulling a Band-Aid is easier. At least you can smear Vaseline and unstick it painlessly.

  8. I suppose invading Afghanistan must be like invading flyover country. Everyone’s got a gun, and nobody gives a shit about what you think. Welcome to target practice.

    1. Anyone who invades a place like Afghanistan just assumes they’ll do the rational thing and give up.

  9. So when will Lindsey being deploying?

    1. LIndsey lost his sanity back at the hearings for Justice ILIKEBEER. Following that red-faced spitting debacle, Lindsey has had nothing further to say that is credible.

  10. Afghanistan probably shouldn’t even be a single country because of the topography and ethnic divisions. It’s probably such a mess because the neighboring countries like it that way. Keep it weak and divided. Fucking pieces of shit mostly religious pieces of shit.

    1. Afghanis have always been more loyal to tribe then to any central government.

      1. “Afghanis have always been more loyal to tribe then to any central government.”

        Afghans. Like the hound or garment. Afghani is the name of a currency. Than rather than then, too.

        Who needs a central government? Afghans managed for a long time with a monarchy.

      2. Gross failure to evolve. More than half the population is feral, uneducated, and hopelessly inept.

        1. Sounds like Alabama.

    2. Pashtuns won’t allow that. They are the tribe that is dominant in the south of the country but has had political and military control of Afghanistan historically. They make up a majority of Taliban leadership and ranks. They are the Prussians of Afghanistan, minus the technological, economic, military, or organizational chops. Basically just the aspiration and willingness to conquer their neighbors.

  11. >>Sen. Lindsey Graham

    G.I. Grahaaaaaam!

  12. The win, if you want one, is that we rid the world of bin Laden. No that won’t stop shitheads from being shitheads, but it was technically the reason we went there. Why that took 10 years has a lot to do with our relationship with Pakistan, but nevertheless it was done. We should have left then. Obama really fucked us hard by keeping us there and also degrading the military at the same time. Anyway here we are, one of a long line of empires that tried and failed to corral the fucking weirdos that live in Central Asia. Good riddance. Just nuke the site from orbit next time.

    1. only way to be sure (sorry)

  13. Withdraw. Oldest method.

    1. Oldie, but a goodie.

  14. President Biden has said the Afghanistan government has the US trained troops and equipment necessary to hold the ground they need to hold. So why don’t they hold it? I suspect the government troops don’t have the will the Taliban’s troop have. You can train and equip and army but you can’t build the will to succeed, that comes from within. One year, five years, ten years, I don’t think it would make a difference. Best to leave now.

    1. Unlike the ARVN, which was holding its own in 1975 before they ran out of ammunition and the US Congress withheld ammunition we had promised them, the ANA can’t hold its own. They’re not even to the level of the ARVN in 1965 and never will be.

    2. They have no documented backbone. They surrender without firing a shot IN DROVES. No honor, afraid of their own shadows and unwilling to fight for their own freedom. They would rather be subjugated by terrorists. So be it.

  15. Too many in the military are reading CRT, not Sun Tzu;
    “What is essential in war is victory, not prolonged operations.”

    1. Ever read Jack Campbell’s Stark War series? He talks about the dangers of political generals and officers. Once again sci-fi proves to accurate.

      1. Too many generals and bureaucrats in the Pentagon have spent far too long playing the political game instead of figuring out how to win wars. That’s why the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs thinks he needs to learn about “white rage” instead of running the military. The Navy’s been undermined by woke stupidity for years now, thanks to that dumbfuck piece of shit Ray Mabus, to the point where they can do a SARC powerpoint like no one’s business but can’t steer a fucking ship. Meanwhile, every branch of service is desperately trying to figure out how to make the “Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better” song from Annie Get Your Gun a reality, by throwing women into ground combat and SOF career fields that already have a 90-plus percent attrition rate just for the men.

        A military more concerned with fitting in with left-liberal social fashions than winning wars isn’t going to be anything more than a degraded fighting force.

    2. READ? You expect them to read? They are illiterate for the most part.

    3. And a military that fights too long will burn itself out.

  16. Hey Afghans – You’ve had 20 years to train up your military and get your government together. It’s on you now. Get on your feet, or bow down.

    1. Yes. Nixon was right in his approach to Vietnam and Biden and Trump are right in this approach to Afghanistan. We’re done bleeding for people who won’t help themselves. If they get the Taliban that’s on them. We spent trillions of dollars training and arming them. Thousands of lives fighting for them, even more wounded and scarred for them, if they can’t keep their government it’s on them not on us.

      1. “We spent trillions of dollars training and arming them. ”

        That won’t buy peace and reconciliation with the Taliban. It’s money wasted. You can’t blame wasted trillions on the Afghans.

        “Thousands of lives fighting for them”

        Nothing to boast about. ‘Them’ here means the interests of Northern Alliance drug lords.

        1. Halliburton took all that money to the bank and Cheney benefitted from a lion’s share of it.

  17. Weren’t the troops supposed to have been withdrawn a month or two ago? What ever happened to that?

    1. Elections have consequences?

    2. Democracy was fortified

  18. Once Bin Laden was dead should have wrapped it up, destroyed any military assets of the Taliban and left a long time ago.

    1. Or FOBs in this war. Same idea and not a new one. We tried the same thing in the Red Cloud war. Built a bunch of isolated forts undermanned and to far apart to support each other and it lead to the US only defeat in the Indian Wars.

  19. You can’t win if you don’t take ground and keep it. End of story. If we fought WW2 from a firebase and returned after patrol, like Vietnam, we would still be there. Sad we convinced our young men to die in a war we never really intended to win.

    1. Or FOBs in this war. Same idea and not a new one. We tried the same thing in the Red Cloud war. Built a bunch of isolated forts undermanned and to far apart to support each other and it lead to the US only defeat in the Indian Wars.

      I meant this as a reply to you.

    2. “Sad we convinced our young men to die in a war we never really intended to win.”

      US did win the war. The Taliban were routed and a friendly government of Northern Alliance drug lords was put in their place. It’s the subsequent occupation is where it all went sideways. The US failed to bring about some sort of national reconciliation between the Pashtuns and the rest of them,

      1. This was hoped by trueman to suggest he had some knowledge regarding the issue. He’s full of shit.

  20. Don’t worry, the MIC is lining up new work in Cuba and Haiti.

    1. Cuba would be another Grenada, one day of fighting, weeks of surfing (haven’t seen the movie in awhile so the quote may be off). Haiti will be a quagmire. Ironically it was Cubans we fought in Grenada and we see how well they stood up to the US military then. The rumor is they don’t have enough ammunition to supply their troops.

      1. It’s a communist country. The military is there to control the people, not protect them.

        Against a full-blown US assault, I’d expect to see a lot of AK-47s, and not a lot of people holding them.

        1. “I’d expect to see a lot of AK-47s, and not a lot of people holding them.”

          Hitler expected Russians not to fight when he invaded in 1941. He also totally underestimated Russia’s number of tanks, airplanes and reserves etc. And he overestimated the abilities of his own military.

          Americans could risk taking high causalities as what happens when Israeli soldiers actually try to infiltrate Gaza on foot rather than simply bombarding it from above. Casualties never sit well in a democracy with an election always just round the corner.

          1. “…Hitler expected Russians not to fight when he invaded in 1941. He also totally underestimated Russia’s number of tanks, airplanes and reserves etc. And he overestimated the abilities of his own military…”

            Analogy totally without any connection; trueman once again hoping bullshit will convince someone other than his mommy that he really did deserve that gold star from the 6th-grade teacher.
            He didn’t.

            1. It really was a dumb analogy. Cuba’s military would collapse in the face of a US onslaught, and it’s clear that they don’t have the support of the people.

              1. “Cuba’s military would collapse in the face of a US onslaught, and it’s clear that they don’t have the support of the people.”

                You’re not the first arm chair strategist to predict an invading military would be welcomed.

                The question is not whether a US invasion has support of the people of Cuba, but those Cubans with arms, ie the communist regime.

  21. “Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle say so, claiming that the departure is hasty and leaves no clear path forward for the Afghan government.”

    From my perspective, they never had a “path forward,” and probably never will. Unless, of course, feudalism is a plan.

  22. Afghanistan is not a nation, it’s a collection of tribes with a claimed capital which controls probably the surrounding 100 sq. miles.
    THEY cannot form a legitimate nation; no reason to believe we ever could.

    1. “They can’t form a legitimate nation…”
      And there lies their strength. There is no head who speaks for all or even a majority so no take-over is possible because there is no ruler, no entity people think of as their boss. The US empire like the Russian empire couldn’t replace what didn’t exist and wouldn’t be allowed by the populace. They are too independent. Good for them!

      1. Uh, except that there are MANY ‘heads’, and no protection from any one of them who walks down the street with a gun.
        Help yourself.

      2. “They are too independent. Good for them!”

        Americans will never accept this. For all their libertarianism and anti-government yammering, the lack of a strong central government, like that one in Washington, or even the desire for such a creature, scares the poo out of them.

        1. Your projection is showing, idiot.
          Having a government protecting my rights is a long way from your imbecilic inference.

      3. Sooo…Afghanistan is Voluntaristic? Giga-Wut?

        1. “Afghanistan is Voluntaristic? ”

          It’s been fighting an almost continuous civil war since the 1970s, so no. In the first part of the 20th century it was a monarchical tribal oriented society. It was peaceful and tolerant enough to attract hordes of hippies on their magic bus travels from Europe.

          You might be interested in checking out the movie Meetings With Remarkable Men, directed by Peter Brook, which was partially shot on location in Afghanistan, apparently the last western movie to locate there before the (real not reel) shooting began. In the first few minutes there’s a wonderful bit about a tribal music contest that is spell binding. (Maybe in youtube, too.)

  23. “no terrorist attack on U.S. soil has been carried out by an organization rooted in Afghanistan”

    This is rather disingenuous. The 9/11 attacks can be put down to al Qaeda. If they are rooted anywhere it’s the province of Saudi Arabia that gave rise to Wahabism. That’s a long way from the snowy Alpine vistas of Afghanistan. Last I heard, Wahabism’s roots are still firmly in place.

    1. It was both/and, both Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia. And yes, after 9/11,Saudi Arabia should have been considered in this particular Axis of Evil, not Iraq.

  24. “since 9/11, no terrorist attack on U.S. soil has been carried out by an organization rooted in Afghanistan”

    There was never a terrorist attack on U.S. soil by an organizanition rooted in afgjanistan.

    11 saudis, a few egyptions, and i cant recall who else all conspired to crash the planes into the world trade center in Hamburg, Germany.

    OBL was hiding out in afghanistan, but the 9/11 conspititors had nothing to do with that country.

    A fucking libertarian outfit should know this.

    1. Uh, Bin Laden and his Al-Qaeda gang minions were harbored by the Taliban in Afghanistan and The Taliban refused to give him up.

      And it was 15 Saudis, 1 Egyptian, 2 from United Arab Emirates, 1 from Lebanon, and all bankrolled by Bin Laden.

      Any fucking commenter with Wikipedia access should know this.

  25. Counter insurgency never works…when you invade a country they kind of want you to leave…

    The Taliban was going to hand over Osama to a 3rd country where we could have arrested him..or if not the fight against the arab terrorists was over in a three months..time to come home. I recall the “experts” at the CFR and corporate media all said we had to have a stable democratic (like democracy itself solves all problems) govt to ensure this didn’t occur again…nation building again..something we have failed at time and again..

    The Legions are coming home…and it won’t be long once we lose the reserve currency the legions from other distant parts of the empire will be coming home..the threat is here with the rise of the domestic bolsheviks….running the corporate media, big tech, the security parts of the govt, ngo’s and so on

  26. Is it the *right* thing to do? Absolutely not.

    It might be the *necessary* thing to do. Maybe even the best thing.

    But it’s not morally right. Nothing we’ve done in Afghanistan over the past 20 years, including leaving now, has been “right”.

  27. Had the U.S. simply secured the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, Bin Laden an Al-Qaeda couldn’t have escaped and as fast as we caught then and destroyed the Taliban harborers, we could have went home. It damn sure would not have taken 20 years.

    Of course, the U.S. has big enough problems securing it’s own border, so maybe even what I’m saying is a pipe dream too.

    Yes, there will be bloodshed and oppression if the U.S. leaves Afghanistan, but let it be on the hands of The Taliban and the other factions, not ours.

  28. Before 9/11 fifty percent of Taliban revenues came from a tax on the opium/heroin trade.

    Last time I checked this is still true.

    Ending the idiotic racist Drug War would be a devastating blow to the Taliban.

    It would also be a devastating blow to the non-Taliban drug lords.

    1. Absolutely, legalize it, make it cheap as candy, and all Narco-Terrorists worldwide will go belly-up.

  29. Like any well-paid prostitute, Biden is giving his johns what they want. The military-industrial-Congressional complex owns Biden – whose campaign received millions from defense companies both directly as campaign cash as indirectly through funded “think tanks” producing state propaganda to sway a gullible public.

    They’ve made their trillions off of Afghanistan – which never posed any threat to the US or any other country – and wish to move on to the next cow – Syria, Iran, China, Russia – anywhere that they can generate fat taxpayer-subsidized contracts and reap the profits from death and destruction.

  30. yes its the right thing to do

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