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Biden stands by decision to withdraw troops, says no leaving without ‘chaos ensuing’


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22 minutes ago, Fluke said:

Just imagine the furor and uproar and calls for an impeachment if Trump had said that a few days after George Floyds death ?

Absolutely  no disputing that !

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This is another reason why I like this forum !

We can talk and not worry about vicious  threats  of retaliation ,if we go against the political  agenda of the mods! 

Thanks Thethaiger

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Just now, riclag said:

This is another reason why I like this forum !

We can talk and not worry about viscous threats  of retaliation ,if we go against the political  agenda of the mods! 

Thanks Thethaiger

I second that riclag. 👍

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The only difference any changes would have made to any "chaos" would have been "when" - the chaos would have happened whenever the troops withdrew, whether was last May, last week, next Christmas, or in ten years time.

 

Arguably it may have been better outside the fighting season, during the winter, but as there was no "fighting" involved that's pretty moot and could hardly have affected Kabul.

 

What could have been done differently beyond better visa preparation and earlier screening, which was never prioritised?

 

More air cover?

To do what?

Control the crowds around the airport?

 

It's a shambles, but how could it have been done any better?

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1 hour ago, Daithi said:

Afghanistan's government were excluded from the peace deal and Trump agreed to a withdrawal by May 21 ,so really what could Biden do?

I’m not sure of the rights or wrongs of the mess that has been left behind in Afghanistan. However Biden seems keen to blame anyone but himself for this mess. The suggestion Biden couldn’t do anything seems odd. He had no problem overturning Trumps decisions on the Paris Climate agreement. Or the Iran Nuclear deal or the policy of the Mexican border or the Keystone XL pipeline. All of these were overturned at the stroke of a pen. Seems odd that if he disagreed with the withdrawal or how it was to be implemented there was nothing he could do…

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2 hours ago, Dancbmac said:

GW Bush got sidetracked with Iraq and had to have a second war without accomplishing the mission in Afghanistan

What is "accomplishing the mission"  That was always the problem.  If you could not define what they were in Afghanistan for there was no way to attain it.  Whether it is Afghanistan, Iraq, or Syria " what is winning"?  When you have a regime change.  Sure that is pretty easy to accomplish.  But bringing lasting peace to areas that have been warring with each other for hundreds of years.  Not a chance.  

To break up the terrorist training camps?  Well those are pretty easy to reassemble.  And one thing is for sure, whether in Afghanistan or Iraq if there were people who did not hate the USA already and want to become a terrorist to attack the USA, they sure do now. 

The best way to prevent terrorism is to prevent it from entering your country.  That however is the one thing that the USA and the Western nations don't employ for fear of being labeled "racist"   The terrorist may be trained in the Middle East but so long as he is there you are not at risk.  Let him in to your country, and now you have a problem.  

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First off what is he supposed to say?  Oh I am a dunderhead and made a bonehead decision. 

The fact is that yes some "chaos" is likely to happen upon a withdrawal.  That does not mean you have thousands of Americans and others in harms way when you pull out.   It does not mean you leave valuable military equipment and weapons for the Taliban to acquire after your withdrawal.  

The fact is the USA should have never gone to Afghanistan in the first place but once there it was like the China Store sign.  You break it, you own it.  There should have been a lot of careful planning and an exit protocol instead of just leaving people there unprotected.  

 

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4 minutes ago, longwood50 said:

What is "accomplishing the mission"  That was always the problem.  If you could not define what they were in Afghanistan for there was no way to attain it.  Whether it is Afghanistan, Iraq, or Syria " what is winning"? 

Good question.  I was no longer on active duty and had already retired from the military, so I personally do not know what the exact “mission” that was supposed was when troops deployed.  Most can speculate that one mission was to find and take out Bin Laden and break up the training camps, but as you noted they can alway be reorganized in another location at a later date.  Not sure if taking the Taliban out of power was an afterthought.

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4 hours ago, Dancbmac said:

I don’t know about Blair’s position was at the time, but GW Bush got sidetracked with Iraq

Blair met Bush in the Whitehouse on the 31/01/2003 for " talks " about Iraq .. all memo's taken about what was discussed remain classified but they were almost certainly talking about invading Iraq before securing the required mandate from the U N .. 3 days later the " Dodgy " dossier as it became known was released by Blair's spin doctor Alistair Campbell claiming to show irrefutable proof that Iraq possessed WMD and so the course was set .. The Chilcott inquiry of 2009 into the Iraq war roundly lambasted that and Blair for leading Britain into a pitiful war on the flimsiest of evidence and trying to undermine the authority of the U N amongst others .. Blair's administration did do some good in eventually bringing about the end of the troubles in N I but he is always remembered for leading Britain into the disasterous Iraq war ..

How U S foreign policy is shaped going forward after this is going to need an' imaginative and creative change in diplomacy .. 

 

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2 hours ago, Soidog said:

 

Seems odd that if he disagreed with the withdrawal or how it was to be implemented there was nothing he could do…

 

What could anyone do?

 

Option 1 - Stay 

 

Option 2 - Go

 

What other option is there?

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8 hours ago, Stonker said:

The only difference any changes would have made to any "chaos" would have been "when" - the chaos would have happened whenever the troops withdrew, whether was last May, last week, next Christmas, or in ten years time.

Arguably it may have been better outside the fighting season, during the winter, but as there was no "fighting" involved that's pretty moot and could hardly have affected Kabul.

What could have been done differently beyond better visa preparation and earlier screening, which was never prioritised?

More air cover?

To do what?

Control the crowds around the airport?

It's a shambles, but how could it have been done any better?

Seems to me the most reasonable strategy towards an end game exodus would've been not to say anything about anything that even hints of a pull-out/evacuation. No official announcements, etc. Don't create a show. STFU.

Quietly and systematically, commence a casual drawdown while the US military still operates security/combat protocol as a cover. over a period of weeks, removing all the people that require getting the f*ck outta there. Then the military stands down and retreats to airlift locales - they can be out in two days. 

You'll be hearing the locals murmuring, "it's been real and it's been nice, but it hasn't been real nice"

 

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I would be embarresed to say that I'm a yank. Biden has made the USA a joke. Send him back to the old folks home where he belongs.

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5 minutes ago, dunroamin said:

I would be embarresed to say that I'm a yank. Biden has made the USA a joke. Send him back to the old folks home where he belongs.

Not embarrassed to say I am a yank, but I would be embarrassed to say that I was stupid enough to admit that I voted for obiden and the democrats platform. 

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2 hours ago, Rain said:

Seems to me the most reasonable strategy towards an end game exodus would've been not to say anything about anything that even hints of a pull-out/evacuation. No official announcements, etc. Don't create a show. STFU.

Quietly and systematically, commence a casual drawdown while the US military still operates security/combat protocol as a cover. over a period of weeks, removing all the people that require getting the f*ck outta there. Then the military stands down and retreats to airlift locales - they can be out in two days. 

You'll be hearing the locals murmuring, "it's been real and it's been nice, but it hasn't been real nice"

Unfortunately not possible.  

Sneaking out several thousand troops and tons of equipment without anyone noticing wouldn't work anywhere, let alone in Afghanistan where local and foreign contractors are an unavoidable part of the system - not to mention processing visas for thousands of locally employed and their families, whose trust and support you need up to the last second, even if you're prepared to renege on your promises and ditch them.

Without the agreement of the opposition - in this case the Taliban - and their participation, any withdrawal with any semblance of order and dignity is a non-starter and it's going to be chaos, and the only question is how badly.

TBH it could have been a lot worse - and potentially it still may be, as the Taliban are seeing their aid and funds overseas frozen - that, at least, should have been delayed until after everyone was out rather than throwing away one of the few cards they had left, but the West managed to stuff even that up.

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11 hours ago, Stonker said:

What could anyone do?

Option 1 - Stay 

Option 2 - Go

What other option is there?

One option to minimize chaos would have been to have stay in Bagram airbase, which is more secure than Kabul Airport and would have avoided the grisly spectacle we saw on the news with the planes and get more of our expensive equipment out.  

Another option is the fighting season over there.  During the winter months there are no or very little combat missions due to the weather, as the place is mostly mountainous.  So if the American military departed around this time this could have helped give time to get civilians that planned to leave out safely.  There are thousands of civilian contractors that are usually not in the news

Obama stopped combat operations for the American military in December 2014 and we became a support force for the Afghan military who was doing all the actual combat missions.  The American Air Force along with the small Afghan Air Force provided air cover for these forces, so in reality American forces were not fighting a war for 20 year like the politicians and mainstream media like to report.  America still has bases in Germany and in Japan.  Also have forces in S. Korea to provide stability over there.  In Afghanistan the US military was downsized to around 2500 military personnel that was security and support, so what was the major rush to leave and cause more global instability.  We are in a global world that westerners expect results quickly, but this is a region barely out of the Stone Age.  Because both Trump and Biden thought it was a good idea for politics sake and to say later “this is what I did”.

Eventually after more time to get more of the population educated, so a majority could at least read and write and maybe get more critical thinkers to take care of their own country.  This could possibly make the Taliban and other extremist groups have less influence, then the US and other foreign forces could withdraw.  It is easy to control ignorant people.  Obviously it is more complex than this, but a couple ideas.

Closing with the best option maybe, is to make it mandatory for any American politician to learn and have a good grasp of world history and stop getting the American military into these no win situations ever.  It seems they have no clue on past history and keep making the same mistakes.

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45 minutes ago, Dancbmac said:

One option to minimize chaos would have been to have stay in Bagram airbase, which is more secure than Kabul Airport and would have avoided the grisly spectacle we saw on the news with the planes and get more of our expensive equipment out.  

I think that would all depend on what your aim was.

 

If it was purely to take out US / coalition troops, leaving anyone else to their own devices - yes.

If it was to honour promises made to Afghans, then you'd have had exactly the same situation but made it more difficult for them - particularly if commercial flights were to be used, as planned.

52 minutes ago, Dancbmac said:

Another option is the fighting season over there.  During the winter months there are no or very little combat missions due to the weather, as the place is mostly mountainous.  So if the American military departed around this time this could have helped give time to get civilians that planned to leave out safely.  There are thousands of civilian contractors that are usually not in the news

Yes, I thought about that before as it's frequently floated as a criticism, but the reality was that regardless of the season there was no "fighting" anyway so it has to be moot - you can't have less than none!

1 hour ago, Dancbmac said:

stopped combat operations for the American military in December 2014 and we became a support force for the Afghan military who was doing all the actual combat missions.  The American Air Force along with the small Afghan Air Force provided air cover for these forces, so in reality American forces were not fighting a war for 20 year like the politicians and mainstream media like to report.  America still has bases in Germany and in Japan.  Also have forces in S. Korea to provide stability over there.  In Afghanistan the US military was downsized to around 2500 military personnel that was security and support, so what was the major rush to leave and cause more global instability.  We are in a global world that westerners expect results quickly, but this is a region barely out of the Stone Age.  Because both Trump and Biden thought it was a good idea for politics sake and to say later “this is what I did”.

Agreed, but unless you're saying that the US should have stayed on in Afghanistan indefinitely, as it has in Germany and Japan, I'm not sure what your point is as the situations are so radically different.

 

I wouldn't have said staying for twenty years was a "major rush" - surely you're not suggesting that it would have been acceptable to the US for them to have troops there for another 20 or 30 years, or that the Taliban would have just stood by and waited?

1 hour ago, Dancbmac said:

Eventually after more time to get more of the population educated, so a majority could at least read and write and maybe get more critical thinkers to take care of their own country.  This could possibly make the Taliban and other extremist groups have less influence, then the US and other foreign forces could withdraw.  It is easy to control ignorant people.  Obviously it is more complex than this, but a couple ideas.

So at least another 20 or 30 years until the older generation have died off?

Seriously?

1 hour ago, Dancbmac said:

Closing with the best option maybe, is to make it mandatory for any American politician to learn and have a good grasp of world history and stop getting the American military into these no win situations ever.  It seems they have no clue on past history and keep making the same mistakes.

Agreed, but that would cut down the options of who'd be eligible to be a politician in the US pretty dramatically!

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TBF, @Dancbmac, I do think there was another option that would have solved all these problems, including the "chaos", relatively easily but I don't think it would ever have been acceptable to the US even if it had been to the rest of the coalition.

 

All they needed to do was to speed up and broaden the visa process, and early on (a year ago) to start taking out big numbers of not just those directly promised visas (interpreters, etc) but their families as well, as well as "normal" visa applicants who wanted to leave and were likely to be targeted by the Taliban, so that all that were left at this stage were a bare minimum of pre-approved visa holders.

 

At the same time, in parallel, contractors could have been drawn down and replaced by coalition troops where possible, and those with families there told that their families must leave early on rather than at the last minute or they would be given no help.

 

Job jobbed, problem solved, no "chaos" and a bit of dignity  -  but the US and others would have had to accept large numbers of refugees, which doesn't seem to be an option.

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22 hours ago, Stonker said:

The only difference any changes would have made to any "chaos" would have been "when" - the chaos would have happened whenever the troops withdrew, whether was last May, last week, next Christmas, or in ten years time.

Arguably it may have been better outside the fighting season, during the winter, but as there was no "fighting" involved that's pretty moot and could hardly have affected Kabul.

What could have been done differently beyond better visa preparation and earlier screening, which was never prioritised?

More air cover?

To do what?

Control the crowds around the airport?

It's a shambles, but how could it have been done any better?

Since you asked: ( I know...it's simplistic and full of problems... but here goes...)

1. Don't give up control of a major airbase - Bagram Airfield

2. Don't reveal the "official" date of withdrawal, or lie, making it three months after the actual date. Coordinate the plan with our allies (UK...etc)

3. Notify all U.S. and ally citizens (etc.) a specific date to report to Bagram Airfield or Kabul Airport. If they do not        comply, they sadly will be left behind.

4. Notify all Afghani translators, etc. and families a specific date to report to Bagram Airfield or Kabul Airport.

5. Send in 50K troops to establish a perimeter and to defend routes into Kabul and Bagram when the operation begins.

6. Dare the Taliban to interfere... make it clear that they will be blown to smithereens if they do.

7. Assemble the largest fleet of C17s ever seen in history and evacuate... in this order... U.S. citizens, Afghani helpers, U.S. diplomatic personnel, and, the last to leave, the troops.

Instead what we did was ass backwards.... we

1. Closed an important strategic airbase.

2. Unilaterally withdrew the troops with no input from our allies.

3. Had no evacuation plan

3. Left U.S. and ally citizens and our Afghani helpers out to dry.

God help them all...

 

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Hell! Have the Yankees won anywhere in the last several decades? The North Koreans pushed them halfway down the Korean Peninsular creating a Mexican standoff. The Bay of Pigs fiasco in Cuba was an embarrassment. They got their butts kicked  by the Vietcong and NVA in Vietnam. Iraq turned into a nightmare (where were the weapons of mass destruction again?). Syria's an absolute disaster.  And now they have had to flee a rag tag army of Islamists in Afghanistan!

But hey I'm being unfair to the self appointed 'leader of the free world'.  They did have a stunning success in the Caribbean island of Grenada where a group of farmers armed with pitchforks succumbed to their (USA's) brilliant, awesome military conquest.  Time to take off the uniform and head home to the trailer park.

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7 hours ago, Thaidreamer said:

Since you asked: ( I know...it's simplistic and full of problems... but here goes...)

Well, we agree on that part!

7 hours ago, Thaidreamer said:

1. Don't give up control of a major airbase - Bagram Airfield

Presumably to use as a base for air cover?

What, exactly, would or could increased air cover have done?

What targets did it have?

7 hours ago, Thaidreamer said:

2. Don't reveal the "official" date of withdrawal, or lie, making it three months after the actual date. 

Sorry, but that's simply impossible.

7 hours ago, Thaidreamer said:

Coordinate the plan with our allies (UK...etc)

That would have been nice, but it would hardly have changed anything  on the ground.

7 hours ago, Thaidreamer said:

3. Notify all U.S. and ally citizens (etc.) a specific date to report to Bagram Airfield or Kabul Airport. If they do not        comply, they sadly will be left behind.

That was done - that's why your "2" is impossible.

7 hours ago, Thaidreamer said:

4. Notify all Afghani translators, etc. and families a specific date to report to Bagram Airfield or Kabul Airport

Also done, also why "2" was impossible.

7 hours ago, Thaidreamer said:

5.  Send in 50K troops to establish a perimeter and to defend routes into Kabul and Bagram when the operation begins.

Also why "2" was impossible!

Since there's been no fighting, I don't know what you think that would achieve, apart from giving you an additional 50,000 tps to administer and evacuate.

7 hours ago, Thaidreamer said:

6. Dare the Taliban to interfere... make it clear that they will be blown to smithereens if they do.

But the Taliban haven't "interfered"!

8 hours ago, Thaidreamer said:

7. Assemble the largest fleet of C17s ever seen in history and evacuate... in this order... U.S. citizens, Afghani helpers, U.S. diplomatic personnel, and, the last to leave, the troops

Flights are currently leaving every hour, and many are now far from full (some are reportedly now virtually empty)

 

8 hours ago, Thaidreamer said:

1. Closed an important strategic airbase.

2. Unilaterally withdrew the troops with no input from our allies.

3. Had no evacuation plan

3. Left U.S. and ally citizens and our Afghani helpers out to dry

Agreed with all of that, although I still don't know what you need Bagram for, but the problem isn't that there was "no evacuation plan" but that there was no plan at all for nearly twenty years.

Plenty of flailing around, 2 trillion $ spent, but NO PLAN!

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17 minutes ago, MARCO said:

Hell! Have the Yankees won anywhere in the last several decades? The North Koreans pushed them halfway down the Korean Peninsular creating a Mexican standoff. The Bay of Pigs fiasco in Cuba was an embarrassment. They got their butts kicked  by the Vietcong and NVA in Vietnam. Iraq turned into a nightmare (where were the weapons of mass destruction again?). Syria's an absolute disaster.  And now they have had to flee a rag tag army of Islamists in Afghanistan!

But hey I'm being unfair to the self appointed 'leader of the free world'.  They did have a stunning success in the Caribbean island of Grenada where a group of farmers armed with pitchforks succumbed to their (USA's) brilliant, awesome military conquest.  Time to take off the uniform and head home to the trailer park.

Correction, the hundreds of thousands Chinese army were the main fighting force in North Korea. 

 

Guerilla warfare and ridiculous rules of engagement imposed by politicians are the reason for not being able to "win" 

 

But even worse, the political class keeps voting for these failures. 

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12 minutes ago, mcambl61 said:

Correction, the hundreds of thousands Chinese army were the main fighting force in North Korea. 

Guerilla warfare and ridiculous rules of engagement imposed by politicians are the reason for not being able to "win" 

But even worse, the political class keeps voting for these failures. 

Yes you're right.  Actually I sound pretty harsh but facts are facts.  The saddest thing for the US is that many men and women have sacrificed their lives (or their on going health) in these unwinnable conflicts in the genuine belief they were doing something good and honourable for their country and way of life. Rather than politicians thirst for international influence, power and pursuit of dwindling natural resources. Ably driven by the real power ........ the huge, grotesque defense industry and the fat cats that benefit. Afghanistan was no different. 

Back on topic though .... was there ever a good time to EXIT Afghanistan? NO!  But then again, was there ever a good time to go INTO Afghanistan?  Historians previously referred to Afghanistan as the 'graveyard of Empires'.  Just ask the British and Russians why .....they know!  There's a well known saying, and I paraphrase ........ "if you dont learn from history then you are bound to repeat the mistakes of the past"

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21 hours ago, dunroamin said:

I would be embarresed to say that I'm a yank. Biden has made the USA a joke. Send him back to the old folks home where he belongs.

Just to be replaced by a similar member of the club, as history will show you. 

Appears to me that too many miss the bigger picture.....or any picture at all, for that matter.

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48 minutes ago, MARCO said:

Yes you're right.  Actually I sound pretty harsh but facts are facts.  The saddest thing for the US is that many men and women have sacrificed their lives (or their on going health) in these unwinnable conflicts in the genuine belief they were doing something good and honourable for their country and way of life. Rather than politicians thirst for international influence, power and pursuit of dwindling natural resources. Ably driven by the real power ........ the huge, grotesque defense industry and the fat cats that benefit. Afghanistan was no different. 

Back on topic though .... was there ever a good time to EXIT Afghanistan? NO!  But then again, was there ever a good time to go INTO Afghanistan?  Historians previously referred to Afghanistan as the 'graveyard of Empires'.  Just ask the British and Russians why .....they know!  There's a well known saying, and I paraphrase ........ "if you dont learn from history then you are bound to repeat the mistakes of the past"

Sure, but ensuring that you have assets in place to allow a secure protected exit is not rocket science... Except for using rockets to fire on any Taliban that are impeding your efforts. 

 

OBiden is a career corrupt dementia ridden stooge. The DC political class, both sides, are also corrupt and self serving. They all need to be held accountable. 

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