Afghanistan

Why It Took So Long To Leave Afghanistan: Antiwar.com's Scott Horton

The foreign policy author and podcast host discusses Joe Biden's withdrawal and how to fix U.S. foreign policy.

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"After 20 years, I've learned the hard way that there was never a good time to withdraw U.S. forces," said President Joe Biden in defending his decision to take U.S. personnel out of Afghanistan. "How many more generations of America's daughters and sons would you have me send to fight…Afghanistan's civil war when Afghan troops will not?"

Biden's decision to pull the United States military out of Afghanistan after two decades has been roundly condemned by interventionists, who say that the retreat was "humiliating" and disastrously planned, leaving thousands of Afghans prey to vengeance and violence at the hands of the Taliban.

For Scott Horton and other critics of U.S. foreign policy, the biggest question about the withdrawal is what took so long. Horton heads up the Libertarian Institute, is editorial director at Antiwar.com, and hosts The Scott Horton Show podcast. He's also the author of Enough Already: Time To End the War on Terror.

Reason's Nick Gillespie talked with the Austin, Texas-based Horton about why he believes American intervention in Afghanistan was doomed from the start, U.S. foreign policy has been a disaster for all of the 21st century, and a libertarian approach to both domestic and foreign affairs would make people better off all over the globe.

Photo Credits: Scott Horton; Mohammad Rahmani on Unsplash; Antiwar.com; Joshua Sukoff on Unsplash; Pool ABACA, Newscom; Saifuraham Safi Xinhua News Agency, Newscom; ScottHorton.com; Voice of America News, Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons; Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons.jpg; Tayfun Salci ZUMAPRESS Newscom; SSG LEOPOLD MEDINA JR, USA, Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons; AP POOL ABACA picture alliance Consolidated News Photos, Newscom

Music Credit: When The Sunrise, Instrumental Version, by Sivan Talmor from Artlist

Written by Nick Gillespie; produced by Regan Taylor; audio post-production by Ian Keyser

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  1. Why?

    Because every admin before this one had the cognitive skills needed to realize that it would be a cluster fuck. Only Joe could get us out.

      1. Are you upset because I called Joe cognitively impaired?

        1. Yes, because that’s soft-pedaling his condition.

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            An American President going to Delaware to get some sleep while thousands upon thousands wonder if they’ll be killed by the Taliban is one of the most disgusting visuals anyone could dream up. There‘s something very wrong with Joe.

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        2. Does he have a cognition that can be impaired?

          1. He does. If you watch videos of Biden from pretty much anything prior to the last five or six years, he can hold a conversation and put together a sentence. That’s why it’s so hilarious to watch the Media’s reaction (or lack thereof) to Biden. It’s like they’re all just stony-faced, pretending nothing is going on. And then when it becomes impossible to ignore, they shout back at whomever is asking questions: “He’s struggled all his life with a stutter!”

            Uhh, where was the stutter for the first 70 years of his public existence?

            1. one of the ways to stop a stutter is to plagiarize the words of other people

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    1. Trump negotiated the cease-fire and withdrawal.

      Biden carried it out.

    2. Because President Biden was willing to take the hit. It was destined to be a shit show, but as the President said, he was not going to leave it for another President.

      1. “Because President Biden was willing to take the hit…”

        Seems asshole here hasn’t the intelligence to be embarrassed.
        Gerald Weinberg (“World at Arms”), mentioned, regarding the Italian government’s surrender to the Allies in ’43:
        “If there was anything they could have screwed up and didn’t, it has yet to come to light”.
        Well, droolin’ Joe has managed to match that record, and TDS-addled assholes like M4e are more than willing to take one for the team.
        Except no one is buying that level of bullshit.
        Fuck off and die, you pathetic excuse for humanity.

        1. “The buck stops here…but ummm Trump’s deadline, the Afghanis, the intelligence er, uh, that was two four days ago.”

      2. Americans were in favor of leaving 4:1
        His admin has turned it into the most embarrassing spectacle in US history.

        1. And the legacy news orgs are trying desperately to sweep it under the rug.
          We have a supposed “newspaper” in San Francisco: The Chronicle. Today, the only story date-lined Kabul had it that the Taliban had killed a person.
          Droolin’ Joe’s colossal fuck up? What? Can’t hear you.

  2. When you fail to plan, you plan to fail. And Biden’s failure in Afghanistan has been disastrous.

    1. Overnight, some lefty shit-pile dreamed up a new droolin’ Joe excuse: That the master of 4D chess, Donald J. Trump, laid booby-traps for droolin’ Joe way back in early 2020! Long before he knew that we’d have a dementia-riddled pile of humanity occupying that office.
      Don’t we wish we had such a forward-thinking master of time and space as POTUS now?
      Oh, and the newest bullshit is that Joe “owned” it on TV, while pointing as many fingers as he has at others.
      Left-tards are becoming lame-tards.

      1. Trump must have received his time machine after he bought into the USFL.

        The US exodus from Afghanistan was not going to be perfect. Not even very good. However, Biden seriously botched it.

        1. “…The US exodus from Afghanistan was not going to be perfect. Not even very good. However, Biden seriously botched it.”

          Without seeing what Trump had planned, I see no reason it couldn’t have been handled without panic and without emergency rescue of thousands of US citizens.
          You are too kind; droolin’ Joe fucked this up royally. And did so by taking the initiative to do so.

          1. If any American is killed with weapons Biden allowed to fall into Taliban hands, Biden should be tried for treason with the appropriate punishment if convicted. I’m not kind. The outcome is not yet decided. And regardless of how shitty the leadership is, I have faith there is competence in Kabul.

            1. What good would that do?

              There’s a whole state apparatus behind this. Knocking off a figurehead does nothing.

              1. We probably shouldn’t prosecute rapists because there are and will be more rapists.

              2. See Chumbly; you been busted.
                The whole ‘both sides’ bullshit is the refuge of those who can’t or won’t think or those who are apologists for lefty shits.
                You been busted; choose which form of assholery you desire.

          2. The fucking up has only begun.

            My question is: What is happening right now over at Bagram? Because if I’m the Taliban I’m fortifying the shit out of it, it’s surrounds, and I’m mining or outright trashing the runways and taxiways.

            Next I start fucking with the cell and internet services. Then I drop a few mortars on the runway at HKIA. After that I start selling back westerns for food and gold.

            1. They released the prisoners there.

            2. Supposedly we want to bomb it but can’t really do that because we’re relying on the Taliban to not fuck up the airport.

  3. Gillespie didn’t criticize any of Biden’s recent disastrous decisions or statements, and his questions kept referring to the US departure from Afghanistan in the past tense (as if the chaos was all over).

    It appears that Gillespie supports Biden’s recent actions and has no concern for 15,000 Americans or 50,000+ Afghan allies who are trapped, and are trying to get out of the country.

    Shame on Nick.

    1. That was four, five days ago!!!

      1. What difference, at this point, does it make?

    2. This is a wonky foreign policy discussion. Keep it light.

    3. Or the 7,000 troops that are currently there

    4. You haven’t been paying attention to anything Gillespie has written on the subject.

    5. Fuck Nick for giving Horton the Antisemite a platform.

  4. “Biden’s decision to pull the United States military out of Afghanistan after two decades has been roundly condemned by interventionists, …”

    Who condemned leaving Afghanistan? I don’t think anyone wanted us to remain. The withdrawal was already in process from the Feb 2020 Doha agreement. Biden could have changed it when the Taliban had not completely upheld its part of the bargain (the escape clause in the agreement) but only extended the deadline to get out.

    I haven’t read about condemnation of leaving – it was about damned time.

    The process is rightfully condemned. As outlined by the Trump administration, the plan was to pull all soft assets and personnel out, pull Afghan allies out, then pull the military out last. Pulling the military out first, believing the Afghan army would hold (Biden on July 9) was a huge mistake. Leaving billions of high tech equipment for the Taliban to sell to the Russians or Chinese was even more egregious.

    1. There are people like David French who were fully committed to an indefinite stay because they do not think letting the Islamists back in charge is in the liberal democracies interests.

      I do not find that argument convincing, but neither do I find that withdrawal leaving the Taliban in charge to be a good thing, either.

      1. “…but neither do I find that withdrawal leaving the Taliban in charge to be a good thing, either.”

        Let me be the first to accept your offer to go there, solve what YOU see as a problem and pay for it yourself.
        I’m sure there are many empty seats going into Kabul about now.

        1. Are you claiming that the situation as it stands is not strategically worse than it was last week, or is it that you do not care what further disaster comes of how this was done?

          1. “Are you claiming that the situation as it stands is not strategically worse than it was last week, or is it that you do not care what further disaster comes of how this was done?”

            I’m claiming it’s none of your or my business. Afghans live there, I don’t, and I’m tired of spending US blood and wealth bailing out every backward-looking civilization in the world.
            You wanna do so? Have at it; I’ll pass.

            1. My fear and my prediction is we will have to enter combat to extract our civilians at some point in the near future. Or the Taliban will attack the Airport and we’ll have to defend ourselves. Or both.

              1. We ain’t done yet killing those goat fuckers and I predict the only way to extract everyone will be to kill more goatfuckers.

                1. I’m afraid so also.
                  Thanks, droolin’ Joe! Regardless of the legacy press giving you a pass now, you are gonna get at least a part of what you (and assholes like M4e, Brandyshit and the lot) deserve hung around your necks.
                  You own it, regardless of lame efforts to pass it off on others. You own it simply because you were and are stupid enough to have caused it.

                  1. Don’t know CNN and NBC and WaPo and NYT are steadily growing less tolerant of his Bullshit. I think his speeches without taking questions, his poor performance in the ABC interview and the fact that what his State Department and Pentagon is saying conflicting so much with what their reporters are seeing on the ground, are starting to piss them off. He isn’t stroking their ego enough or playing by the rules. Hell, Psaki has only held one briefing this week, which is also not the norm.

      2. I may be a starry-eyed optimist, but I think there was a negotiating deal point where you could have said to the identified Talibal would-be leaders that hey, we’re going to be leaving in 22 months, and we understand that you have the organization and backing which could put you back in charge of the country. Remember what we did to the last group of Taliban when they stepped out of line. So, you know, just to keep all this G-Real with you, if we even suspect you’re harboring or planning international terrorist attacks, we’ll put a couple of laser-guided bombs through… that window right there, and there’ll be nothing left to discuss after that.

        1. The Taliban just killed an ISIS leader who had been imprisoned in Kabul.

          1. I’m not sure what to make of your response, beyond the guess that you’re suggesting that the Taliban is a Hereby Reformed, Pro-Women’s Rights, Humanitarian organization second only to Black Lives Matter, and fully committed to remaining in Good Standing with the International Community?

            1. I know what to make of it:
              Lord of shit is grasping at every straw he can find in order to suggest that his BFF droolin’ Joe isn’t really as fucked up as he is.
              Hey, lord of shit? He’s worse than that, and you’re a steaming pile of TDS-addled lefty shit for defending him.

            2. They *did* say they supported women’s rights within the constraints of Sharia though!

        2. I’d be even more pithy. By explaining to them in the event that some of them cannot be reliably identified or located we will settle for killing any and every known associate we can find and/or identify.

    2. Correct; that claim is an outright lie, and an attempt to deflect blame from droolin’ Joe’s royal fuck-up.
      The demented piece of shit was handed an agreement, being honored by the Taliban, and a plan to withdraw US presence by X date.
      The stupid son of a bitch tore up the agreement, and decided (it seems) to wing it, hoping the Taliban wouldn’t recognize such amazingly incompetence!
      Well, the Taliban isn’t nearly as pathetically stupid as droolin’ Joe and his handlers; they stuffed his amateurism up his ass for him.

    3. The Party has cycled through a couple of talking points and they’ve settled on that one as the best.

      1. Main point: this line believably obfuscates the fact that the Biden regime didn’t “decide” to leave Afghanistan, it let the Taliban forced it out.

        Note that it implies that Biden “decided” to leave, not that the regime didn’t move anything out and then sent thousands more troops back in and then insisted that the Afghan army could hold the Taliban back and then only after the Taliban took Kabul began framing the situation as a withdrawal.

        I have to say, it’s pretty good propaganda. Probably the best they could have come up with.

        1. This isn’t a ‘withdrawal’; it’s a ‘having your ass kicked and tossed out the door’.

    4. Who condemned leaving Afghanistan? I don’t think anyone wanted us to remain.

      Tons of people have condemned it.

      There’s one dude who says we shouldn’t have left but should have ‘done better’. Plenty of others laying the case for staying for another 2 decades.

      1. “…Plenty of others laying the case for staying for another 2 decades…”

        Trying for bullshitter of the say award? Doing pretty well.

  5. We should have left the instant we defeated the Taliban, and left a bounty in place of OBL (the other OBL). But Bush Junior didn’t want his dad’s legacy of pulling out when the job was done.

    Remember how Guiliani mocked Ron Paul for talking about blowback? Recall how Guiliani is now the darling of the Reds for defending Trump to the death?

    1. Hey, Brandyshit! We got what adolescent TDS-addled assholes like you deserve!
      Happy now that your daddy-sub isn’t sending out mean tweets, little boy?

    2. We defeated the Taliban? They control Afghanistan!

      1. Brandyshit is constantly searching for some way to justify his TDS-assholery to those of us with IQs above room temperature.
        And failing.

    3. Hey Brandyfuck, recall how Trump campaigned on the idea that Afghanistan and Iraq were failures back in 2016? Remember how he tried to pull the troops out of Afghanistan only to have huge roadblocks thrown up by the house Democrats and a handful of GOPe neocons, that effectively blocked him?

      Of course you do. So why the new, dishonest narrative?

      1. No, sorry, none of that ever happened.

        – all the NeverTrumpers

    4. “and left a bounty in place of OBL (the other OBL)”

      Let’s not be too hasty…

  6. Hi nick, do you get paid double for posting the same interview twice?

    1. The Jacket gets 50%.

  7. Trump supporter with a ‘tannerite bomb’ surrenders to police after he livestreamed five hour stand-off and demanded airstrikes in Afghanistan and to speak to Joe Biden on the phone

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/ushome/index.html

    Are we missing a Peanut?

    1. Biden couldn’t take the call because he was taking a nap. Then had a game of pinochle scheduled afterwards before bed. He’s been a little winded after his vacation.

      1. Pinochle? Not a chance. Even Euchre is too much for him.

        Old Maid is all he can manage now.

        1. Kamala almost beat him at Chinese Checkers yesterday. She’d have had him until someone accidentally told her what the game was called.

    2. lol ask Flowers By Irene this seems more their specialty.

    3. Why would a Trump supporter want America to stay in Afghanistan, when Trump tried so hard to get the US out?

      Buttplug links to a newspaper main page rather than any article, but this narrative has Project Bluestate all over it.

      1. Trump supporters are not known for their intelligence. The sap probably figured Trump wanted the opposite of what Biden did.

        WCNC Charlotte confirmed that Roseberry is a registered Republican voter since 2016.

        https://www.wcnc.com/article/news/crime/floyd-ray-roseberry-washington-dc-bomb-suspect/275-bcca45ff-e9ed-4126-a5c8-3bff662023eb

        this guy is no TEAM RED player. He didn’t vote until 2016.

        He is a pure Trump Cultist.

        1. “Trump supporters are not known for their intelligence. The sap probably figured Trump wanted the opposite of what Biden did.”

          This from one of the dumbest fucks ever to populate this site, and an asshole totally incapable of posting anything that isn’t a lie.
          Fuck off and die, shit-for-brains.

      2. Don’t click on his links.

        1. Are they gay porn? They’re gay porn, aren’t they?

          1. I’m sure it’s something worse than gay.

          2. Usually child porn

          3. The FBI doesn’t visit you for clicking gay porn links. They will visit you if you click on one of Buttplug’s.

    4. Wait, his entire motivation was to get Biden to use the military to get us citizens out of afghanistan?

      1. I believe this could be put under the umbrella of “blowback”.

  8. I’ve learned a tremendous amount about foreign policy from Scott Horton. He is great on everything.

    1. Even toast?

    2. Did I just hear a Hoo?

    3. Horton is an uneducated bigot who counts on your ignorance to make a buck.

  9. Surprise announcement for you Trumpers:

    I agree with you about one thing.

    Kamala Harris is completely worthless. She should be backing old Joe up.

    Pence would be shilling his ass off for the Con Man.

    1. Only a pedophile would assume the withdrawal would be anywhere near as disastrous under Trump as it has been under Biden.

      1. Fuck you, Lindell.

        1. turd lies, it’s all he does. turd lies when telling the truth would have the same effect.
          turd is a stupid pathological liar. How stupid? Stupid enough to hope none of us recognize that he’s lying.
          How stupid? Stupid enough to defend droolin’ Joe’s colossal fuck up!
          That’s how stupid.

        2. Why would you fuck him? He’s over the age of 12

          1. Was gonna ask if Lindell was his twelve year old neighbor and if that was a proposition.

    2. Biden is too old to sleep with, so what’s in it for her?

      1. Thankfully for her because she might end up pregnant. He’s lousy at withdrawing.

  10. The problem is, since 1945, we fight limited engagements without declaring war and no set goal for victory. Then we try to limit casualties and tie everyone’s hands with restrictive, often daily changing ROEs.
    First thing that needs to change is if it isn’t worth asking congress for a declaration of war then don’t send in our troops (except for emergency situations such as hostage rescue). Second thing needs changed is when you go in have a set goal for victory. Third once both these criteria have been met unleash total conventional warfare. Then once goals have been met pull out. We rebuild Japan and Germany because they were a functioning country before the war and through the war. They already had the infrastructure and culture in place to build a successful nation state. Also, we had a new common enemy, the USSR, which threatened their existence. In Afghanistan we didn’t fight full war, we didn’t have a declaration of war, we didn’t have a clear mission or parameters for victory, we didn’t have the infrastructure, traditions or culture to build a functioning nation state and half of Afghanis at least didn’t see the Taliban as an existential threat to them.

    1. Yep basically common sense.

      1. Lord of shit, you ought to mount a search for some instead of making a public ass of yourself here every day.

    2. We were never fighting against “Afghanistan” and we were never really willing to admit exactly what the problem with the Taliban was (and still is.)

      This seems like a place where we could actually put all that facial recognition stuff to work. These guys seem to love scowling for the cameras.

      No problem. Next time they get out of line we select a sample of those so pictured, and turn them into entrails art.

      1. What? The problem with the Taliban was sheltering OBL and Al Qaida, you remember the people who sent suicide bombers to murder 4000 Americans.
        That said once OBL was dead( In Pakistan yet) and Al Qaida effectively destroyed we should have been out. And fuck the guy who started the nation building.

        1. Hey, leave poor ole Woodrow out of this!

        2. “That said once OBL was dead( In Pakistan yet) and Al Qaida effectively destroyed we should have been out. ”

          And yet we were not out. Which is proof positive that “OBL and Al Qaida” were not the whole of the story. Exactly what the rest of that story was/is remains to be even agreed upon. But that does not mean it does not exist.

          And our failure to acknowledge this, identify it, and make a decision about it left us playing that “nation building” game.

    3. All good points.

      1. M4e would claim that fucking sheep was a good idea if it meant droolin’ Joe’ was called on his FUBAR was a ‘good point’.
        M4e is a pile of lefty shit with the IQ of a 15 year-old.

  11. We’re lucky it’s Biden and not Trump in charge for a number of reasons but particularly because there would have been no troops in Kabul to evacuate Americans if Trump had stuck to his troop withdrawal timeline. And Trump had no intention of evacuating Afghans either so those people are lucky it’s President Biden and not Trump. You have to understand that we’re dealing with Americans stuck in a Taliban controlled environment because the Afghan govt collapsed so suddenly and unexpectedly. If that had occurred two months from now in an equally surprising manner people over there would have been more fucked because there wouldn’t have an opportunity for the US military to secure that airport. I think people are missing that part of this

    1. W didn’t have any troops and n Afghanistan, we had to send them back in, that was part of the problem. Also, Trump’s plan called for civilians to leave first, through Bagram AFB, then only after the civilians left, embassy staff and then after they were gone, mov equipment or destroy equipment. Finally pull out all troops. Biden ignored basic military SOP and pulled the military out first. Then he had to send them back in because he didn’t evacuate civilians first. No I wish Trump, who I despise, was in charge. Also his plan called for withdrawal during the non fighting season rather than at the height of fighting season in Afghanistan.

      1. You’re dealing with an idiot for whom reality is but a distant hint of light on the horizon.
        This pile of shit is so stupid, he’d trying to defend droolin’ Joe’s colossal fuck up!
        Stupid, squared.

      2. They did warn civilians to leave. I watched a Vice TV program from 4 months ago and the Afghan army dude was saying that the Americans had already left. 4 months ago. The Americans had a peace deal with the Taliban. They had long since been out of the fighting because of the peace treaty.

        Everyone is focusing the wrong the thing. The shocking failure isn’t the “withdrawal” it’s the fact the Afghan army was a diaster. That’s the diaster and the problem not the fucking withdrawal because once again we had a peace deal with the Taliban. We failed spectacularly building the Afghan defense force. That’s the problem here.

        1. Th Afghan army had shitloads of weapons that were captured or given, who the fucks knows, to the Taliban. It looks like they just all agreed to let the Taliban rule the country.

        2. Sure they left, there is only 15,000 Americans, we think, according to the state departments, left in country. Yes it is the withdrawal.

          1. It is also closing Bagram AFB, which had two runways and was in a defensible location to use Karzai international airport, which had one runway and is in a bowl with the Taliban in control of the surrounding high ground.

            1. Basic tenet of any military strategy is you don’t give your enemy the high ground.

              1. The Taliban weren’t our enemy. We had peace agreement with them. That’s the reason why we hadn’t really intervened during this war between the Afghan govt and the Taliban. You’re suggesting we go to war or that we should have gone to war with the Taliban. That’s the only way we could have stopped the Taliban from walking into Kabul.

                1. No it is saying we should be using a more defensible location, i.e. Bagram AFB. And the peace agreement with the Taliban is null and void since they reneged on it. Did you not hear them say death to America. You must be a fucking idiot if you don’t think they are the enemy and that the peace treaty, that they have already violated multiple times, means jack shit to them.

                  1. “…You must be a fucking idiot…”

                    You are entirely too kind.

                2. “We had peace agreement with them.”

                  You mean the one Biden broke?

            2. Again the big problem isn’t an airbase it’s the spectacular collapse of the Afghan allies. Our Afghan “allies” basically turned the country and their weapons over to the Taliban. It looks like we were being played. The Afghans liked our money but hated us. Of course that’s not everyone or situation and who knows.

              1. You don’t understand the first thing about strategy or tactics it is obvious.

                1. That is only the beginning of things the lord of shit doesn’t understand.
                  Given the level of LoS posts, it still seems we’re dealing with an adolescent struggling to get out of the 6th grade.
                  Perhaps I’m wrong; perhaps those now achieving higher grades in government schools are that stupid.

            3. The withdrawal was so poorly executed that we abandoned Bagram AFB in the middle of the night, didn’t tell the ANA we were leaving and didn’t inform our NATO allies we were closing down the most important base in Afghanistan. We turned off the power and the ANA didn’t even know how to turn it back on. All our allies Afghani and NATO had no idea we were leaving Bagram, we didn’t coordinate with our allies our drawdown.
              And to make matters worse we won’t send our troops out to help our citizens evacuate, but both the French and British are doing exactly that, sending troops out to gather their citizens. We also don’t even know how many citizens are trapped behind enemy lines. The State Department estimates it’s 15,000 but they don’t know for sure. We have gotten out exactly 1800 US citizens since Sunday, out of 7,000 evacuated. We flew out only 2000 yesterday, most of them not US citizens, with 6000 yet to be processed in the airport, most of which also US citizens. And reports of Taliban atrocities are mounting and more reports of them turning American citizens away from the airport. And don’t say we don’t have the capabilities to extract them, because we have a special forces unit specifically trained to extract hostages and civilians from hostile environments, it’s called Delta Force.

              1. Leaving the Bagram AFB and the way it was done is disturbing. There needs to be an accounting for that, but I am not reading to second guess the reason. I like to know why. It does not appear that there was a lot of trust between the Afghanistan Army and the US Army, like to know if and how that played into the decision.

                1. And apparently not a lot of trust from the US side towards the NATO allies since they have been kept in the dark too.

                2. “…There needs to be an accounting for that, but I am not reading to second guess the reason…”

                  Of course you’re not! As aTDS-addled asshole who did your best to make me get what you deserved, you’re going to weasel any way you possibly can to avoid being associated with the disaster you helped bring about.
                  Fuck you with a running chain saw, you pathetic piece of lefty shit.

              2. What we did not only surprised everyone on the ground in Afghanistan, it also surprised our allies. Boris Johnson tried reaching out to the White House and they didn’t return his call for over 36 hours.

                https://townhall.com/tipsheet/mattvespa/2021/08/20/heres-the-key-memo-on-afghanistan-that-the-biden-white-house-ignored-last-month-n2594457?utm_campaign=rightrailsticky2

                Pretty damned clear Biden is off his rocker.

          2. You can’t force those people to leave and many probably intended to stay in Afghanistan after Sept placing their trust in the Afghan govt. Again the problem isnt the withdrawal. It’s primarily dealing with the complete and spectacular collapse of our Afghan “allies”. And the whole damn project of building a army. We fucked up.

            1. Yes you can, we’ve done it multiple times when extracting US citizens from hostile territory. Also, it is now being reported that they didn’t want to leave is a lie. President Biden chose not to evacuate them, at the request of Afghani government, because the optics would look bad for the Afghani government. It is a complete lie and everyone, except you, has known that since Tuesday. The State Department purposely slowed down SIV requests and informed US citizens that everything was okay and we didn’t need to evacuate in June and July. That came out on Tuesday. Your using outdated talking points. The State Department even confirmed this on Wednesday, in their press conference.

            2. Also multiple sources are saying Biden was warned multiple times, as early as June, by the intelligence agencies, and 12 US State Department officials in Afghanistan, that Afghan government and military could fall quickly. It is also reported Biden rejected five plans from the Pentagon that included removing US citizens and Afghanis at risk first from Bagram AFB and drew up this plan, well calling it a plan is being generous. This gaggle fuck (which in military language is worse than a cluster fuck, which is worse than FUBAR, which is worse than SNAFU.

            3. “…Again the problem isnt the withdrawal…”

              Again, lord of shit is a steaming pile of lying lefty shit.
              Do you really believe anyone buys that bullshit? Are you really that stupid?

    2. Assuming Trump also would have done absolutely no planning as Biden has done and also assuming Trump would have ignored the military intelligence available to China and even press corps reporters instead deciding that wishful thinking would be reality. I’m sure Biden will be inundated with fan mail because of this…he should go back on vacation as a reward like he was doing when the Taliban entered Kabul.

      1. The Libertarian platform has for 50 years promised not to conscript nor to invade. In order to not risk another another candidate snagging 4 million votes and swinging over 100 electoral votes, the Kleptocracy bailed. What you are seeing is a live demonstration of libertarian spoiler vote clout getting things done no matter which senile puppet the looter Kleptocracy is propping up.

        1. fuck off, grandpa. Take your fucking meds.

      2. He is back on vacation

    3. zero people are lucky it’s President Biden

      1. Vidiots vote for the initiation of force, they get the initiation of force Nixon subsidized with their money.

    4. “ the Afghan govt collapsed so suddenly and unexpectedly.”

      This was only predicted by every documentary for the last 10 years.

    5. Don’t try to out tard shrike! You’ll never win Jake.

      Goddamn son.

  12. Biden is obviously a tool but did he actually prevent the military from withdrawing in an orderly manner?

    It’s not like they had 2 years notice and 20 years to plan for this eventuality. Have they not war gamed this a dozen times?

    Fuck. It’s like we expect Biden to give orders to colonels.

    1. That’s the story, Biden listened the the Afghani government and the State Departments over the Pentagon and intelligence agencies when planning this withdraw. He also didn’t consult with our NATO allies, who felt forced to follow his timeline and his plan.

      1. Markle and the Brits are pissed. The French haven’t officially commented but I can’t imagine they’re happy.

        1. Macron blamed the US on the debacle at the airport but otherwise withheld other comments.

          1. We make fun of the French because of the two world wars but their military is probably the best trained, best equipp d and definitely the largest Western European military. Their forces in Afghanistan were pretty kick ass, especially their foreign legion.

            1. Then again the Foreign legion has been the best military force since it’s inception. The only battle the French won during the Franco-Prussian war the French troops, many of them Germans themselves, were Legionaries.

              1. The best French military force is what I meant to say.

                1. And they’d be even better if the French didn’t hand out 6-week vacations to barristas. Maybe they could afford to fly their troops where they are needed instead of hitch-hiking on US transport.

  13. “Why It Took So Long To Leave Afghanistan”

    Ultimately, the blame belongs to the American people. We’re a culture that has been heavily influenced by Christianity, to the extent that our definition of heroism is someone who willingly sacrifices himself or herself for others, and that makes us especially vulnerable to the sunk costs fallacy–when the “costs” include the lives and limbs of American heroes.

    The dream of a free and democratic Afghanistan was a lost cause since the day we invaded, but because of the sunk cost fallacy, that wouldn’t become obvious to too many Americans until we withdrew and Afghanistan failed to stand on its own two feet. Until Afghanistan failed, the U.S. president could keep pretending that success was just around the next corner and continue to throw good investments after bad–all the while pretending that if enough American heroes died for it, then a free and democratic Afghanistan under occupation by a foreign military must be an attainable goal.

    The sad fact is that there is no such thing as a paper loss. If you paid $10 for a stock last year and the stock is only worth $1 today, no matter how the IRS calculates your taxes, you don’t lose $9 per share if you sell the stock today. If your stock is only worth $1 per share today, that’s what it’s worth regardless of whether you sell it. You don’t lose that $9 per share the day you sell it for $1 (no matter what the IRS says). You lost that money the day you bought the stock for $10 a share.

    Likewise, Afghanistan didn’t suddenly fail to become a free and democratic society the day Trump negotiated a withdrawal agreement or over the weeks and months that Biden fumbled and bungled the transfer of power. Rather, remaking Afghanistan as a free and democratic society at the point of a gun was never a realistic goal to begin with, and everyone who bought the neoconservative nation building propaganda used to justify the continued occupation after bin Laden was killed was wrong to do so. The goal of a free and democratic Afghanistan didn’t become unattainable today. It was unattainable the day we invaded.

    That is not to say that all American lives and limbs lost fighting in Afghanistan were wasted. The legitimate purpose of the government is to protect our rights. The legitimate purpose of the military is to protect our rights from foreign threats. Every sacrifice made by our men and women in uniform to protect our rights from Al Qaeda and their Taliban collaborators–to protect us from the enemies of the Constitution–were not sacrificed in vain. Heroic sacrifices in defense of our freedom are not wasted, and those who fell deserve all the respect and honor we can give them.

    Those presidents who committed our troops to building a free and democratic Afghanistan under occupation, however, and, thus, willingly sacrificed our heroes for a cause that could never be won, on the other hand, are horrible scoundrels. Those presidents who refrained from withdrawing from Afghanistan for fear of exposing themselves for the worst crime imaginable–perpetuating a sunk costs fallacy by squandering the lives of American heroes for a cause that could never be won–should be excoriated for it.

    Ultimately, however, we need to accept our proper share of the blame. We owe it to the brave men and women in our military today to commit ourselves to never asking them again to sacrifice themselves for some hopelessly impossible dream of establishing a free and democratic society at the point of a gun. They are there to defend the Constitution and our rights, and if we expect them to sacrifice themselves to do something beyond that–something that cannot be done–then we are betraying them.

    1. Many good points. The problem may be that we as a people don’t understand enough about the culture and history of other parts of the world. We sometimes don’t even understand our own history and so understanding other parts of the world is even more difficult. Our own western democracy started over 800 years ago with the Magna Carta and even today is not perfect. And so you just cannot boot strap a democracy in a land that has never really had one.

      1. Much bullshit in the hopes of ducking your complicity, asshole.

    2. “Ultimately, the blame belongs to the American people. We’re a culture that has been heavily influenced by Christianity, to the extent that our definition of heroism is someone who willingly sacrifices himself or herself for others, and that makes us especially vulnerable to the sunk costs fallacy–when the “costs” include the lives and limbs of American heroes…”

      Ken, I resent that, personally.
      First, I am an atheist and in no way see a personal sacrifice for the ‘greater good’ as other than supposedly moralistic clap-trap. Mother Teresa acted in nothing other than her own self-interest, as all humans do, even when claiming ‘the greater good’.
      And then, not one of the people who started or continued this war (or others in the near/mid east) has ever gotten a vote from me.
      Whatever was the claimed or even inferred intent in Afghanistan or Iraq never had my support. And I have serious doubts that I’m alone. In fact, there’s good reason to suggest I’m but part of a good bit of “the American people”.
      Disregarding sunk cost fallacies, thinking people always and everywhere have good reason to suspect moralists making claim on our interest, time and wealth to be bullshitters, and starting with W, such has been the case in the pit of US efforts in the near/mid east.
      This is a result of a certain sub-set of the American public rather than ‘the American public’, and it is largely that subset who, emotionally, preferred a wizened, ‘friendly’ demented piece of shit over someone who was not their fave relative at Thanksgiving, but knew how to get things done as POTUS last year.
      Sorry, droolin’ Joe the TDS-addled assholes and their predecessors who favored emotion over reality own this.
      Not me, and I resent being implicated.

      1. One other point:
        Regardless of ‘the American people’ keeping us there (disagreed), the issue now is not the continued involvement; that has become irrelevant given droolin’ Joe’s colossal fuck-ups in attempting a “withdrawal” (read “ass kicked out the door, leaving all your goodies behind”).
        We know that Trump had negotiated a treaty with Taliban, which they had been honoring, we have to assume that sort of foresight included some plan to remove US human and material assets from Afghanistan in preparation to getting our asses out of there.
        Instead, droolin’ Joe tore up what he was handed, assumed it didn’t matter and proceeded to wing it.
        In “World at Arms” Gerald Weinberg commented, regarding Italy’s surrender to the Allies in ’43: If there was something they could have screwed up and didn’t, it has yet to come to light.”
        Pretty sure droolin’ Joe will get the same accolade.

        1. The question is why Obama kept us there.

          The answer is that the American people wouldn’t accept American troops dying for less than the free and democratic Afghanistan so many heroes lost their lives and limbs to achieve. It was the same in Vietnam. There is nothing worse in the American mind than squandering the lives of American heroes for nothing, but those lives weren’t squandered when we left in 1975.

          They were squandered when Johnson failed to withdraw and doubled down instead. They were squandered when we first went i after the second Gulf of Tonkin incident. They were squandered every day we failed to leave until the day we left in 1975. They were not squandered when we left in 1975.

          That’s just the sunk cost fallacy talking.

          And there are people today who still believe that democracy and legitimacy would have flourished in South Vietnam if only we’d bombed harder, stayed longer, and squandered the lives of more American heroes. And that is our fault for believing that. Legitimacy does not come from the point of a gun.

      2. Regardless of whether you’re personally a Christian, you’re part of a culture that has been heavily influenced by Christianity. Being influenced by the culture in which you were raised is practically inescapable. Even if you struggled against certain cultural assumptions and won, you were impacted by the struggle against them–and only achieved liberation from your culture incompletely.

        When a gay atheist argues for gay marriage with the argument that he should be treated the same way we would want to be treated if we were him, he might as well be citing the Bible. Do unto others as you would have done unto you. If you have done so unto the least of these, you have done so unto me. God makes the sun shine and the rain fall on the good and the evil alike. It’s essential Christianity.

        There are other cultures with other sources for these ideas, and it’s possible to construct these ideas purely from atheist components, as well. But in our culture, the ultimate source of these ideas, like that everyone deserves to have their rights protected, that we’re all equal in that we have a right to make choices for ourselves, etc., didn’t come from other sources and wasn’t constructed from atheist components. It came from the idea that if Jesus died so that Sevo could make a choice for himself, then we are obligated as good Christians to respect Sevo’s rights.

        Whether the church or the people always acted in harmony with these cultural artifacts, of course, is beside the point. The fact is that these artifacts survived as an aspect of the culture, and we were influenced by them. we don’t all act like Pat Tillman either, but Pat Tillman is widely considered a hero because he sacrificed his career and himself for what he believed in and to protect us from our enemies–and he paid the ultimate price.

        P.S. Before the introduction of Christianity, heroic literature had little or nothing to do with sacrificing oneself for others, but the definition of heroism changed throughout western civilization as Christianity was introduced. Even Odin sacrificing himself to himself by hanging himself on a tree is seen as evidence of Christian influence.

        “For example, the chief god Odin was sacrificed to himself by being hanged on a tree and pierced in the side with a spear, and this was followed by a sort of resurrection a few days later – a clear parallel with Christ’s crucifixion.

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient/vikings/religion_01.shtml

  14. Reports are tonight is that the Taliban is going door to door searching for ANA commanders and US interpreters and executing them. They also are broadcasting that they have plans for these groups after the US leaves.

    1. Of course the State Department’s response is that they can’t confirm the reports but continue to monitor the situation and negotiate with the Taliban.

    2. Please link to that report.

        1. “He told me yesterday they hung three [Afghan National Army] commanders that they had found,” he said. “And that close to the place that he’s hiding, they’re going house-to-house and that they sent a transmission out saying they had plans for the people that operated with America.”

          https://www.foxnews.com/world/taliban-going-house-to-house-in-afghanistan-hanging-people-who-worked-with-us-source

          I see no reason to doubt this report–especially in regards to commanders. If there’s an insurgency against the Taliban that emerges, it’s likely to be led and organized by the former commanders of the Afghan national army.

          There is no good reason to doubt that the Taliban is going house to house looking for certain people like we went house to house in Iraq looking for Saddam Hussein, Uday Hussein, and Qusay Hussein. Flushing certain people out is to be expected. Meanwhile, I’ve read confirmed reports that thousands of interpreters protested against being prevented from reaching the airport by Taliban checkpoints and were subsequently fired on by the Taliban for protesting.

          I can’t help but wonder if these stories are being conflated into something that isn’t true. When AIDS first emerged in the early 1980s, people knew that it was a sexually transmitted disease that particularly impacted gay people, and people knew that it had jumped species from chimpanzees in Africa. Some people put two and two together and concluded that AIDS emerged because gay people were going to Africa and having sex with chimpanzees–which wasn’t true at all. It was about what may have been desperate people eating bush meat.

          I see no reason to doubt reports of the Taliban going house to house looking for people, and I know the Taliban fired on protesting interpreters that overwhelmed checkpoints. It’s possible that these stories are being conflated, especially by interpreters who are understandably scared out of their wits. It’s entirely possible that these hanging stories are absolutely true, as well.

          The Taliban is perfectly capable of lying and doing things that are against their own interests, but going door to door and hanging every interpreter would go against what they’ve said and done in other areas and is probably going against their interests in obtaining international recognition as the legitimate government of Afghanistan, too.

          There is a tremendous amount of humanitarian aid that they would be throwing away if these reports are true, and the Taliban has met with former leaders of the U.S. backed government on Kabul to talk about including them as minority members of a coalition government, all in the hope of securing humanitarian aid from the international community as well as official recognition as the legitimate government of Afghanistan.

          Could they be throwing that all away per the reports you’re citing? Absolutely. But they’re going to some extraordinary lengths in other ways to court international favor that are inconsistent with these reports, and failing to win official recognition from the international community is one of the crucial mistakes they made the last time they were in power. Up until now, it looked like they were trying to avoid that mistake this time.

          If the Taliban is really going door to door and hanging every interpreter, other reports that confirm that will emerge.

          1. The factor you didn’t take into account is they already are receiving aid from China and Russia, two countries that don’t give a fuck. China especially, wants their mineral wealth and is already making deals with them.

            1. China wants access to Afghanistan’s mineral wealth, and from the perspective of American security, let’s hope the Taliban are smart enough to realize that the success of their government depends on providing a prosperous economy for the people of Afghanistan–just like it does for every government in every other country in the world.

              Meanwhile, China insists on political stability before it’s willing to invest the money and resources necessary to build the infrastructure the Taliban needs to make extracting that mineral wealth possible. They’ve been doing that in Africa for a long time. When the Chinese and the Taliban met to talk, I bet they talked about that necessary stability–even if they didn’t talk about anything else.

              China’s desire to extract Afghanistan’s mineral wealth isn’t a reason to suspect that the Taliban doesn’t care about political stability and international recognition of their government. To the contrary, that’s exactly the kind of thing that should entice the Taliban to be conciliatory towards those in Kabul who worked with the U.S.–rather than summarily execute thousands of interpreters.

              If the Taliban seeks to become international pariahs again, right on the cusp of success, that would be counterintuitive. If the Chinese want assurance of anything, it’s that the Taliban won’t try to infiltrate Xinjiang, that the Taliban will stop attacking their infrastructure projects in Pakistan, and that the Taliban understands that before China invests in Afghanistan, the Taliban will need to show that they intend to create a stable society.

              Meanwhile, the Chinese and the Russians are holding joint military exercises in a show of force for the Taliban’s benefit.

  15. The biggest cockup, politically speaking, is the silence from the White House and the SecState. As a result of their silence, they can’t form a cohesive narrative and fingerpointing is rampant with the Pentagon blaming the State Department (and vice versa) and the intelligence community blaming Biden. And Joe still plans on going on vacation (again) to Delaware this weekend, the VP is out of country, and congress is on recess, and the SecState is MIA. Who the fuck is in charge?

    1. One of the few things McCain ever got right was to label Blinken a danger to the country in 2014.

    2. “Who the fuck is in charge?”

      The Taliban.

    3. “…Who the fuck is in charge?”

      No one is gonna wake up Joe to ask him.
      Again, WWII:
      The D-Day invasion. It was never certain whether the Panzer division held in reserve near Paris could have made a difference, but by the time someone was willing to awaken Hitler, the fog had burned off and there was no way it could move.
      Who is in charge here? We’re not going to find out from the legacy press.

      1. Yeah just got done reading Rising Tide, Steel Dawn and No Less Than Victory by Jeff Shaara.

        1. Got well over 200 WWII books on the shelves; “Rising Tide” is good; not yet gotten to the two others.

          1. His pacific theater books and his Korean War book I also recommend.

        2. From above:
          “In “World at Arms” Gerald Weinberg commented, regarding Italy’s surrender to the Allies in ’43: “If there was something they could have screwed up and didn’t, it has yet to come to light.”
          Pretty sure droolin’ Joe will get the same accolade.”
          “World at Arms” highly recommended if only to concentrate further research.

          1. Rommel had very few good things to say about the Italian commanders, but praised the troops and used them quite effectively in North Africa, despite never getting enough support from Berlin and Rome.

            1. “Army at Dawn”
              Driven by “World at Arms”

  16. New reports are, since our military isn’t doing the job, is that British forces have rescued some of our citizens.

    1. Pretty sure that’s spelled “hostages” – thanks, droolin’ Joe, lord of shit, M4e and the rest of you TDS-addled assholes!

      1. You know I didn’t vote for Trump and kind of despise him, but I am wishing right now he had won. I also hope my candidate JoJo would have been smart enough to pull out civilians first before the military was pulled out.

        1. I didn’t vote for him either, but I live in CA; my vote didn’t matter. if you live in a swing state, you really ought to be ashamed.

        2. Let’s put it another way:
          I do not care whether I “like” the person who is asking for my vote; this is not a matter of choosing a daddy or a relative for T-day dinner.
          What is that person proposing to do, asshole or not.

          1. I agree, my vote was because I agreed with Jorgenson more than Trump and Trump was going easily win my state anyhow so I could vote my conscience, without it impacting anything.

            1. Pass, much as my vote for J – a ‘protest’ vote.

    2. Just to add to the theater of the bizarre that we’re living in, VP Kammy is heading overseas on Sunday. Where’s she going? Singapore, and…..Vietnam.

      1. Is Jane gonna be there?

        1. Both are commies, both have been/are going to Hanoi. Is there a difference between them?

          1. Be even more parallels if KH goes to Kabul and gets a picture sitting on a Taliban anti-aircraft gun.

  17. So the State Department can’t tell us how many Americans are in Afghanistan. Did anyone think to ask the IRS? If anyone knows exactly how many US tax cows are in any given foreign country…..

  18. Long story short, the military has the job of kill people and blow stuff up. As soon as you want them to do anything else you have lost focus. The problem of the last 20 years is that we have pussies/totalitarian who think they know what everyone wants, and that the dod can achieve that goal

    1. Exactly and there is plenty of blame at the Pentagon when “Generals” don’t tell Civilian leadership “well counterinsurgency has never worked” or “we eliminate the arabs there and we don’t do nation building..why are we staying again”? I blame folks like Mattis, McCrystal, Petraeus and the rest…either they are idiots or lied to the civilian overlords. And this media fawning over what this general or that says is ridiculous. Plenty of 01-05 ranks knew the score and told their bosses…the other problem is the academics who run our foreign policy these days…it isn’t like the cold war where you had old seasoned folks at the helm but Ivy League liberal art majors from wealthy families and the right background/name with maybe few years at Dad’s hedge fund running our foreign policy these days..little boys who are book smart but have no real experience dealing with people and reality.

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