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"US generals wanted to stay in Afghanistan" Topic


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arealdeadone28 Sep 2021 2:57 p.m. PST

Turns out Miley and friends wanted to leave 2500 troops in Afghanistan. US generals clearly are in total denial they have lost the war and were happy to feed young Americans unto pointless forever wars.


Miley also admits talking to Chinese but claims he was doing it with defence secretary and secretary of states.


link

Ferd4523128 Sep 2021 3:41 p.m. PST

Exactly the point. Miley said Afghan was a strategic failure. +1 Dan H

Wackmole9 Supporting Member of TMP28 Sep 2021 4:32 p.m. PST

Which he and the other 4 clown Generals had a lot to do with.

Col Durnford28 Sep 2021 4:36 p.m. PST

Remember that Afghanistan was the "War we need to win".

Let's hope it stays in the rear view mirror for only a short time.

Legion 428 Sep 2021 5:00 p.m. PST

As I said on another thread here … Many GENs thought we should have kept at least about 2500 or more Troops at Bagram. As the ANA/ANP were holding their own in many cases. With US support[advisors and CAS, just like Vietnam] and the CAS, Drones, etc., were flying out of Bagram.

The Taliban were being careful not to be too aggressive as they knew US CAS was close & available. And we'd use it. They were going to wait us out, like the VC/NVA did. Sooner or later these "infidels" will leave. Once the US said they were planning on leaving, the ANA/ANP & Gov't's moral was effected. And the Afghan Gov't was corrupt too … so …

Again I know who I'm pointing my figure at … 👉

Also many of the NATO forces wanted to keep their troops there to at least make it harder for AQ/ISIS to influence or even send jihadis to the West.

All this being said … The War is not over … against jihadis/terrorists …

Thresher0128 Sep 2021 7:06 p.m. PST

As Sec. Gates warned, batting 1,000%, sadly, with enormous repercussions.

"Relates to war gaming how?".

People in the Pentagon have no doubt "wargamed" this out.

Could be bringing 1:1 scale "wargaming" to a neighborhood near you.

arealdeadone28 Sep 2021 11:06 p.m. PST

Keeping troops there was stupid unless you wanted to declare Afghanistan 51st state of the US.

Generals that wanted to continue the presence indefinitely are clueless morons IMO.


If that is what passes for intelligence strategic thinking in the US military, the Chinese have already won.

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian28 Sep 2021 11:10 p.m. PST

You can make a case for keeping U.S. soldiers there. It was a small footprint, it kept the country stable, the casualty rate was way down.

Striker29 Sep 2021 1:25 a.m. PST

Why keep troops there unless you want to just be able to play around? Far too many troops in too many places doing nothing but keeping the door open to more. Doubtful it would have kept the country stable, just that area of land. The whole thing should be set to "Warpigs".

arealdeadone29 Sep 2021 3:00 a.m. PST

Bill there is no reason to keep the troops in. Spending US tax payers dollars on national building in Afghqnistan is stupid and serves no national interest.


And it is not just Afghanistan where there are moronic US troop deployments. There are infantry around 100 countries with US military presence and only a handful serve western interests.

Personal logo doc mcb Supporting Member of TMP29 Sep 2021 6:05 a.m. PST

I agree with Bill.

Thresher0129 Sep 2021 8:14 a.m. PST

"…there is no reason to keep the troops in".

Sorry, but once again this statement is just completely wrong.

The reason to keep some troops in Afghanistan is and was to support the Afghan Army, and to help prevent what happened, e.g. the complete folding of the Afghan Army.

Our troops were in country, albeit in very low numbers, in order to ensure radical Islamic organizations did not become resurgent, expand, and gain strength in order to attack the USA, and Americans again. As we saw quickly after the pullout in Iraq, the power vacuum there permitted ISIS/ISIL to creat a large caliphate in short order, resulting in the re-introduction of troops into the region to eliminate the new home for radical Islamists, and to kill as many as possible.

This was accomplished in short order after US forces were sent back in by the previous President.

I will be surprised if the USA does not have to send more troops back into Afghanistan or neighboring countries/regions once again, in order to degrade and/or destroy radical jihadist organizations, and kill their fighters and leaders.

That IS the reason to keep troops in the country/region.

Better to fight them overseas than on our home "playing fields", which will also make it far more difficult for them to send jihadis to the USA and other Western nations.

rustymusket Supporting Member of TMP29 Sep 2021 8:38 a.m. PST

What about Iraq? Do we have any presence there?

Legion 429 Sep 2021 8:53 a.m. PST

What about Iraq? Do we have any presence there?
Yes we have small forces in Iraq & Syria.

You can make a case for keeping U.S. soldiers there. It was a small footprint, it kept the country stable, the casualty rate was way down.
Yes … that is true … Now would it stay that way and the Taliban/AQ/ISIS not step up attacks at a later date … We'd have to ask the jihadis. However the CAS we had at Bagram was keeping the Taliban, AQ, etc., in check so to speak. They knew we could cause them heavy losses in supporting the ASF, etc.

It has been noted that with the reduced ROE for CAS, etc., had increased CD. Again, in an insurgency, as we know based on the guerilla tactics, etc., used … CD will most likely increase. And generally does … No matter how much we try to reduce it.

Why keep troops there unless you want to just be able to play around?
The US troops would allow Bagram to remain a functioning airbase. Supporting the ANA/ANP with CAS as well as US/NATO Spec Ops, etc., advisors.

When the US decided to pull out, the ASF's morale was effected. As well as the corrupt Afghan Gov't's was influence/effected.

Thresher +1

There are infantry around 100 countries with US military presence and only a handful serve western interests.
Does cross training with other nations not serve Western interests ? Regardless training with other as well as assisting other nations forces is a good use of US units. Units train & exercise for combat ops in various locals, environs, as well as with the home nations' troops.

Good training & exercising is not a waste of time or $ …

I've trained and operated in Panama, the ROK and West Germany. Each nation/location had it own advantages, disadvantages, challenges, etc. The terrain and forces were different in each of those locals. As well as it is in training in the USA, e.g. the NTC/Mohave Desert, the everglades of Eglin USAF or bayous of Louisiana, etc.


Generals that wanted to continue the presence indefinitely are clueless morons IMO.
Most GENs agreed that for 20 years in A'stan, we kept AQ in check. Note ISIS-K is not the same ISIS we significantly attrited in Iraq & Syria.

I totally disagree with the assessment of GENs being clueless morons. But again biases are strong in some. No one here I know could have handled those GENs jobs, etc.

Also note an AQ leader was killed by a drone strike a few weeks ago … And before that an AQ leader in Yemen was also droned months before that … The war continues.

Both ISIS & AQ in those locations capabilities have been significantly reduced. Losses to US/NATO and local forces have taken very, very, few casualties in those locations.

Also note watching the hearings on TV right now with the GENs & Sec Def as I did yesterday is very enlightening. Confirming some things to me as well as causing me to have some questions as well.

It has also been made clear Kabul Airport was chosen over Bagram as it was closer to where most of those at the Embassy personnel, etc., were located. IMO having chosen that over Bagram some 30 miles away. Definitely was a hard choice. The GENs just said to use Bagram would have take about 5000 more troops to be deployed there. While 5800 were deployed to Kabul …
Kabul in an urban environ has one runway. Bagram is not in an urban area. With many long range open FOF. Plus it has 2 runways … Also NATO had 7000-8000 troops in country as well. And about effective 10,000 ASFs(?)[admittedly some of questionable quality ?].

So … the last word on this evac has not been written … However the evac from A'stan could have been handled much better overall, IMO and many others.

rustymusket Supporting Member of TMP29 Sep 2021 9:40 a.m. PST

Legion4, Thank you for your assessment. Interesting.

Legion 429 Sep 2021 10:43 a.m. PST

Thank you for reading my post. I am sure some will disagree … But open discussion brings forth more information, viable comments, etc.

Striker29 Sep 2021 3:18 p.m. PST

ISIS-K is already blowing up Taliban so why not let Taliban take care of that problem? According to all the DHS literature we are safe from airline threats (take off shoes, new id, etc) so are there legions of terrorists coming over here? It's far easier to fight infidels when those layers of extra security and difficulty are in the way, hell even getting over here without those blocks could be problematic. The collapse of the Afghans showed that when the US air went away so did their will to fight, training them did very little and they had no desire. Why would someone put more people in harms way and hemorrhage money for what is going to be a failed mission, always. It's an insurgency that can't be won with foreigners shooting it up since we don't understand the country and it's needs and that's going to be the only way to counter it. I'd love to hear any general who advocates staying there give a date to end it, and then put skin in the game. Why not just make it a US state and say stay forever? Why not invade everywhere just because "they could move there"? That is not a stragegy. Training is only valuable for the US if the interests of the US are being advanced. Training so you can send weapons to a dictator is not in our interest nor is making special coup-proof troops (which we have a nice habit of doing). Sitting at ANY airfield in A'stan just gives an excuse to escalate since there's no guarantee they won't be targeted so why not send in a division for perimeter defense? Sound familiar to anyone? Dropping drone bombs from Florida does nothing but write the script for ISIS (and any other group) that "Imperialist America is bombing us and they don't care" which feeds the insurgency in A'stan and any other country which can point to that example, and undoes anything good that could possibly come from troops there.

Legion 429 Sep 2021 5:01 p.m. PST

ISIS-K is already blowing up Taliban so why not let Taliban take care of that problem?
They should but ISIS-K is not the ANA/ANP.

According to all the DHS
Any sentence that starts with those words should be highly suspect … at least … 'nuff said …

Sitting at ANY airfield in A'stan just gives an excuse to escalate since there's no guarantee they won't be targeted so why not send in a division for perimeter defense?
The GENs said it could be done with about 5000 troops. That is a Bde … not a Div. They don't have to be all US. But NATO had troops there as well. Again it could have been done. If the evac started earlier. If Bagram was not abandoned and the military flown out before the civilians. But we know all this.

Imperialist America is bombing us and they don't care" which feeds the insurgency in A'stan and any other country which can point to that example,
Isn't that happening anyway ?

Again … no matter how one spins it … the war is not over. Even if the only terrorists attacks are from "radicalized" home grown jihads using a car or truck.

Most Americans and SIVs, etc., are out of there. We see the actions of some still getting those left behind. We have no real over the horizon capabilities. There is nothing else to be done … the USA and NATO are gone.

I hope, but highly doubt, that AQ and ISIS when not trying to slaughter each other, are not planning attacks on the West …

At this point we just have to wait and see what happens with Putin & China along with the Paks voting to make the new A'stan a member of the UN. As they want their piece of the action, etc.

Regardless the Talis said they will follow their [version of their] religion and the executions and amputations will continue.

arealdeadone29 Sep 2021 5:43 p.m. PST

Does cross training with other nations not serve Western interests ?

Spec ops and CIA paramilitaries running around in over 90 countries generally serves no interest.


It's actually just creating "frozen conflicts" just like the Americans accuse the Russians of doing.

Losses to US/NATO and local forces have taken very, very, few casualties in those locations.

You realise the casualties are American citizens who suffer worse health outcomes, living standards, opportunities than many other OECD countries.

You spend a lot of money on little military adventures whilst American mothers die at the third world rates in child birth.

Eg link

In 2018, there were 17 maternal deaths for every 100,000 live births in the U.S. — a ratio more than double that of most other high-income countries (Exhibit 1). In contrast, the maternal mortality ratio was three per 100,000 or fewer in in the Netherlands, Norway, and New Zealand.


There are parts of America where life expectancy is less than Bangladesh!

PDF link

US infrastructure is literally crumbling – even Biden's proposed plan only covers half of what is needed ($4 trillion of your American dollars).

Ironically even your military is suffering because of this – eg naval maintenance and ship building are heavily constrained by decaying facilities.

America's crime and murder rate is massive and again dwarves third world countries, even those that are totally messed up like Iraq!

link

US is the most unequal country in the OECD, is one of three countries on the planet without guaranteed paid maternal leave (other 2 are third world Papua New Guinea and Eswatini).


Every aircraft carrier or military operation has an opportunity cost ie the forgone benefit that would have been derived by an option not chosen..


So by spending money as well as government time and energy on all this pointless military crap you are forgoing improving American living standards.

I totally disagree with the assessment of GENs being clueless morons.

A person who dismally fails at something for 20 years and yet insists on doing it is a clueless moron.

----


Oh and all these dumb little American adventures take away attention from the real game, the western Pacific.


And guess what, Chinese are winning there too!


GWOT serves as a mindless killing high for American generals and politicians who don't want to face the real problems facing the western world. Literally it's like smoking meth to take your mind of your homelessness, despite the meth being the reason for the homelessness.

Striker29 Sep 2021 10:42 p.m. PST

The GENs said it could be done with about 5000 troops. That is a Bde … not a Div. They don't have to be all US.

I know it's not a Div. But as soon as attacks start on it the troop size increases for "security" and it becomes a div. That's the benefit of penny-packets of troops: we can justify a massive build up when one dies.

Isn't that happening anyway?

So why continue it? How about for once we don't play into their hands?

Yes they are planning attacks on everyone, everywhere until they win. That's their stated goal. That doesn't mean we enter another 20 years of "nation building". We do pay an awful lot to 3 letter agencies to prevent that. If they are incapable then they need to be disbanded.

Regardless the Talis said they will follow their [version of their] religion and the executions and amputations will continue.

Yep they will and no we can't fix that. 20 years has shown that. Unless and until the Afghanis decide they want that to end and are willing to do it nothing will change, it's not the job of the US to do it.

arealdeadone29 Sep 2021 11:09 p.m. PST

We do pay an awful lot to 3 letter agencies to prevent that. If they are incapable then they need to be disbanded.

By many accounts, the CIA has lost the plot. They've become a paramilitary force with insufficient focus on intelligence gathering. And what intelligence gather they do focuses too much on electronic means and not enough on the ground.

I mean they literally have a computer generating targets for drone strikes (Disposition Matrix).


This militarisation of the CIA has been reported for about a decade now yet nothing changes.


Eg 2011

link


And 2021 – still the same story

link

Andy ONeill30 Sep 2021 4:20 a.m. PST

I doubt generals get to be generals by being incompetent.

The big problem was putting an occupying army into Afghanistan in the first place.
Politicians should have had a better plan.
Much the same mistake as Iraq really.

I doubt there'll be a repeat any time soon.
Maybe circumstances will require action though.
Maybe a future president should require a long term plan before the troops head off.

Striker30 Sep 2021 5:55 a.m. PST

Incompetence may be too strong but I'd bet political compatibility and personal loyalty play a higher role than military aptitude. I'd like to see declarations of war or at least a vote of approval by the Senate before any troops are deployed, and have goals.

Legion 430 Sep 2021 8:32 a.m. PST

Spec ops and CIA paramilitaries running around in over 90 countries generally serves no interest.
As far as you know they don't. The Pentagon had not told you are me, we are not on their email list. They do things without contacting you … or even me …

It's actually just creating "frozen conflicts" just like the Americans accuse the Russians of doing.
As far as you know … Have they briefed you ? They have not briefed me …

You realise the casualties are American citizens who suffer worse health outcomes, living standards, opportunities than many other OECD countries.
Interestingly living the Heartland, where many of the US live. Middle to lower middle class, not NYC, Chicago, LA, etc. I have seen none of this. I go to the Y pools daily. See a lot of old people doing pretty well even at the age of 80 years old +. As well as many [noisy!]children. So I guess I must be living paradise ? That is my actual experience … And if what you say based on you readings, etc. is true. You mean more $ should be spent to make those things better … You are not watching the news all day like me. And see the total waste of stupid spending on idiotic programs, plans, etc. The money is there … it just has to be spend on the "right stuff" … IMO …

A person who dismally fails at something for 20 years and yet insists on doing it is a clueless moron.
Once again your strong biases are in play. In many cases I'll take the word of the GENs. I'm biased too. Having actually served with some GENs, albeit few compared to COLs & LTCs … See that is having real experience … not just reading about it.

And guess what, Chinese are winning there too!
Guess what ? They are … and seem those at the top don't seem to care. Cause they got their "piece of the action". 'nuff said …

GWOT serves as a mindless killing high for American generals and politicians who don't want to face the real problems facing the western world.
Killing of US citizens by jihadis is not a problem ? AFAIK, what many define as "real problems" are biased, skewed, etc. 'nuff said for fear of the DH …

I know it's not a Div. But as soon as attacks start on it the troop size increases for "security" and it becomes a div. That's the benefit of penny-packets of troops: we can justify a massive build up when one dies.
I figured you did, but some here may not. Just being "inclusive" … Regardless … when it comes to numbers, the USA uses combat multipliers, as we know.

The 2500 troops at Bagram with all the aircraft etc., were doing a pretty good job keeping the Talis/AQ in check. As well as support the ASFs. And yes, I heard GEN Milley say that if need be that those numbers could go as high as e.g. 3000 + or – adding to the 2500 there. But yes if the jihadis were going to start going after US/NATO aggressively again. Those more troops and assets may have to increased.

Two key take "aways" … Taliban/AQ in check … ASF still in the fight. Plus many GENs, etc., had said a small presence at Bagram of 2500 troops & assets would be to our advantage. They knew the over the horizon capabilities would not cut it.

So why continue it? How about for once we don't play into their hands?
You mean actually keeping the jihadis from killing US citizens. They can't radicalize home grown terrorists if their "caliphate" is no longer there. Note the numbers of terrorist attacks on West had slowed down considerably since the ISIS caliphate is no more. ISIS are not much of threat to the West now. We are still fighting and killing ISIS and AQ in Syria and Iraq. It is a very low intensity conflict. Just like A'stan was … No US/ NATO losses in 18 months. Until the debacle at Kabul. Someone has to be held accountable … will mention no name(s). Fear of the DH. But In think many can imagine my choice(s) …

Yes they are planning attacks on everyone, everywhere until they win.
Which they never will as there is always more infidels to kill worldwide.
That doesn't mean we enter another 20 years of "nation building".
Nation building has shown to be an error. Albeit e.g. Iraq is doing better now than under Saddam finally. But it still has a lot of problems. But makes A'stan look a lower level of Hell in Dante's Inferno. … And it is and will only get worse there

As long as many in those regions are very much wedded to old religious beliefs, ethic and tribal hatreds, warlord & mullah affiliations, etc., that go back centuries. Stuck in the past … they are their worse enemy. They kill more of each other than the West/US did.

In A'stan "change" is entirely on the Taliban & their supporters. e.g. the Jihadis/followers of Sharia Law that are flocking to "Talibanland". Plus the Paks, PRC, and probably even Putin's Russia support, etc.,.

We do pay an awful lot to 3 letter agencies to prevent that. If they are incapable then they need to be disbanded.
Yes, we do … but do we know all the things they have prevented ? I'm sure it is very classified. But as we know the Jihadis only have to be "right" once. Even if those intel agencies, etc., have stopped 99.9% of terrorist attacks.

There is a lot going on behind "the curtain" …

I still talk now & then to those I know "who are still in the game" or recently have retired, etc. They can't say anything that is classified and don't. But again things are going on we don't know and may never will.

All that being said … leaving A'stan was handled very poorly IMO by the those at the top. Not listening to military & intel advisors. Looking at things in other than a military paradigm … but more from a political standpoint. Checking a block … regardless of the outcome.

We will have to see if not keeping Bagram with 2500 troops there was a good or bad idea. If we have any historical recent examples. I.e. Pulling out of Iraq, that was the stimulant to the rise of ISIS.

Legion 430 Sep 2021 8:55 a.m. PST

Andy Oneill +1


Incompetence may be too strong but I'd bet political compatibility and personal loyalty play a higher role than military aptitude.
That may be the case. But again those GENs should have the experience, etc., to still give competent advise to the members of the gov't.
And know how to fight a war.
I'd like to see declarations of war or at least a vote of approval by the Senate before any troops are deployed, and have goals.
That may not always be practical, etc. But at this point the competence of those elected officials, IMO is very questionable.

Personal logo doc mcb Supporting Member of TMP30 Sep 2021 9:11 a.m. PST

Legion, yes.

shadoe0130 Sep 2021 12:52 p.m. PST

Legion 4 +1

The generals are neither incompetent nor morons. That doesn't mean they haven't made mistakes or won't make mistakes in the future. After all they have very, very difficult jobs. I can't say I could do their job – in fact, I know I couldn't.

If I have one criticism of the senior officers it's that rising to the top requires such incredibly focused effort that it doesn't leave them time to expand their knowledge base beyond that required of their profession.

Here we have the luxury to criticize and opine on the 'right way' things should have been done, but we don't have to make decisions with incomplete information and no certainty of how it will turn out.

So, let's wind time back – it's 7 October 2001, what would you have done? With hindsight, not what was done, but then what? And, how do we know that would have turned out better?

Major Mike30 Sep 2021 1:56 p.m. PST

shadoe01 I would have never deployed anything more than a team or two of Green Berets. The Northern Alliance with one team in support managed to "overrun" the Taliban. Too many different issues in that disorganized country. Just a small foot print with SF people occasionally doing their thing, otherwise, let the warlords/tribal elders sort out things and continue their ancient ways. Maybe let NGO's go in there to build schools for boys and girls, but, that is their project.

arealdeadone30 Sep 2021 3:38 p.m. PST

I doubt generals get to be generals by being incompetent.

Like any organisation they get there by being ambitious and knowing who the right people are to get promotions and making the right connections.

It's not like the old days when generals got there by being good officers and winning wars (and even in the old days of well defined wars there were plenty of bad ones).

arealdeadone30 Sep 2021 3:52 p.m. PST

As far as you know … Have they briefed you ? They have not briefed me …

Proof is in the pudding:

- Iraq – frozen conflict between Sunnis, Shias, Kurds.
- Bosnia – frozen conflict between Serbs, Bosnians and Croats
- Kosovo – frozen conflict, American supported pseudo state very similar to Russian supported South Ossettia (part of Georgia) and Transnistria (part of Moldova).
- Mali – frozen conflict between Mali and jihadis as well as Tuaregs
- Somalia – frozen conflict between jihadis and rest of world.
- Syria – frozen conflict between government, jihadis, Turkish supported forces and American supported forces which includes some jihadis.

Interestingly living the Heartland, where many of the US live. Middle to lower middle class

Of course you don't notice it. I don't notice it much now I am middle class too, except the growing homelessness. Doesn't mean it's not there. Doesn't mean the statistics are BS either (yes I know you're one of those types who don't believe anything any academic writes unless they are wearing a uniform).

And that's the disconnect in many modern western societies – segregation between rich and poor is on the rise (and never went away in USA). So you have the nice middle class areas and growing yet segregated areas of abject poverty and declining living standards.

Once again your strong biases are in play. In many cases I'll take the word of the GENs. I'm biased too. Having actually served with some GENs, albeit few compared to COLs & LTCs … See that is having real experience … not just reading about it.

You never served in a warzone. It's all fine and dandy to be a career bureaucrat (like me) and that's what peacetime soldiers are.

It's a whole different kettle of fish to fight and win wars. And the US lost a war in Afghanistan despite generals promising they could win it.

Killing of US citizens by jihadis is not a problem ?

Thanks to better policing and domestic surveillance, better international cooperation, US citizens don't die from Islamic terror attacks. And when they do, it's either a legal migrant the US let in or a second generation descendant of jihadis.

Some jihadis planning to attack a Mali government convoy is not a threat to the USA.

Plus the Paks, PRC, and probably even Putin's Russia support, etc

Funny you talk about us not knowing what the US is doing, yet flippantly just assume PRC and Russia are helping the Taliban out.

We will have to see if not keeping Bagram with 2500 troops there was a good or bad idea. If we have any historical recent examples. I.e. Pulling out of Iraq, that was the stimulant to the rise of ISIS.

I guess you did your time in the 1980s so you're happy to put Americans at risk for however long America exists eh?

Jihadis still kill plenty of people, they're just the locals.

arealdeadone30 Sep 2021 4:10 p.m. PST

The generals are neither incompetent nor morons. That doesn't mean they haven't made mistakes or won't make mistakes in the future. After all they have very, very difficult jobs. I can't say I could do their job – in fact, I know I couldn't.


Some are incompetent, many are average and some are brilliant in their jobs.

But like any senior managers they're political animals and they climb to those positions cause they know how to play the game. All senior managers in any organisation are there not because they're competent at their job but because they are competent at networking.


But I don't assume that what they do is necessarily well thought out as they belong to an organisation with a very specific organisational culture.

I suspect any American general would never want to give up – in fact American generals have a tendency to not give up and gladly wage wars over many years, if not decades even when the cause is lost.

This started early on – the Indian Wars are a great example. This tendency was then expanded overseas – eg US fought Philippine Moro rebellion for 13 years (1899-1913).

The decades of idiotic intervention in Afghanistan and Iraq are logical extensions of this "dog with a bone" mentality.

If it was up to American generals, the Vietnam War would still be being waged today and the US would be engaged in full scale conflicts in Syria, Iran, Ukraine and wherever else they feel like they've got a beef to settle. Oh and China would have been nuked out of existence in 1951.

It doesn't help a lot of American politicians also buy into this mentality.

It's got nothing to do with national interest of real politic and everything to do with grudges and a "I never lose" mentality.

Legion 430 Sep 2021 5:08 p.m. PST

Proof is in the pudding:
But that is your flavor of pudding. No mine … Your flavor is Anti-USA military and gov't.

(yes I know you're one of those types who don't believe anything any academic writes unless they are wearing a uniform).
Not always … depends who it is … and what they are saying … I'll admit I'm suspect of some things you post.


You never served in a warzone. It's all fine and dandy to be a career bureaucrat (like me) and that's what peacetime soldiers are.
No the closest I got was the DMZ in the ROK. Regardless we did train a whole lot prepping to go to war. That is what you do in "peacetime". If you ever served in a combat/line unit … you'd know we may be many things but not bureaucrats.

So yes, been called many things but never a bureaucrat … Is this like 1984, change words to fit a narrative ?

And I can say from what I know of you … you & I are nothing alike in any way, shape or from. Save we are both males. I know I am anyway. I'm taking it on "faith" so are you. Does not matter really.

Funny you talk about us not knowing what the US is doing, yet flippantly just assume PRC and Russia are helping the Taliban out.
Not flippant or funny … just a very strong belief. Backed with some things I've read or seen …

I guess you did your time in the 1980s so you're happy to put Americans at risk for however long America exists eh?
I served from '79-'90 on active duty and '91 in the USAR. But you seem happy to allude to me being a coward. Because I served between wars. Certainly not a consideration of mine at the time.

I did go to the 101, an RDF unit.

Then volunteered to go to the ROK with two tours on the DMZ. And volunteering to do 22 months not the usual 12.

Returning stateside I was assigned to another RDF unit. The 197th Hvy Mech Bde of the 18th Airborne Corps.

So I did not try to avoid going to a combat unit or a combat zone.

That being said I believe your comment was meant to be divisive, etc. Maybe attempting to be "mean spirited", etc. No matter really.

As well as I don't want any American or our allies put at undue risk. But in the military that may happen. If I was born later I'd probably be in the Army now, regardless. If I was born earlier. I would have probably join the Army, served in Vietnam and my name may be on a wall.

Jihadis still kill plenty of people, they're just the locals.
You mean like 9/11 ?

Tortorella Supporting Member of TMP30 Sep 2021 6:06 p.m. PST

+1 Legion – Your service could have gone from deterrent to war at any time, as many of us realize, and is much appreciated by those of us who are thus safe at home.

I often wonder why we try to get some of these countries to model their military and government on us. We end up becoming the military in a country like Afghanistan where the culture is nothing like ours. And their way of thinking, as in terrorism warfare, has not changed in centuries. Not compatible with western military practice and philosophy, I think, and we end up failing in a questionable mission.

shadoe0130 Sep 2021 6:17 p.m. PST

But like any senior managers they're political animals and they climb to those positions cause they know how to play the game. All senior managers in any organisation are there not because they're competent at their job but because they are competent at networking.

Since a degree of politics, especially for the senior ranks, and networking are part of the job, job competence would include those things, but competence at those doesn't preclude competence at other things. Your statement seems to imply (I may be misreading) that politicking and networking alone are sufficient. I disagree. Those things may important but so too are other job competencies.

Some are incompetent, many are average and some are brilliant in their jobs.

Like any group there are those at the top, those at the bottom and those in the middle. Having worked both with senior military and senior bureaucrats, the former are head and shoulders above the latter, so the middle is still quite good.

There are only two generals I didn't like. One was a Canadian brigadier who was "the dumbest general in the army" – not my quote but that of a senior officer. The other was Wesley Clark. I'd not willingly have served under Clark. (I was inclined to use a stronger statement of emphasis but thought the editors might think I was advocating a form of extreme self-harm.) I'll not go into the reasons here. The rest, however, were exceptional people – and it was a privilege to work with them.

Not sure it matters – I have been to the Balkans when people, including NATO soldiers, were occasionally killed, but I did not consider it a war zone. I left NATO before Afghanistan was a NATO mission and moved over to homeland security soon after returning to Canada, so I never went to Afghanistan.

Never saw anyone in the military where I grew up and went to university but I've worked closely with them ever since then and I believe I have gained their respect – I suppose a Vice Chief of Defence Staff commendation can be seen as some evidence of that. It's been a great honour.

FWIW – one of the greatest compliments I've ever got was from a colonel. It was during a week long retreat/conference – in the evening at the bar. Suddenly, or so it seemed to me, the colonel said that I was someone he could trust to have his back in combat. That flustered me for sure.

shadoe0130 Sep 2021 6:23 p.m. PST

shadoe01 I would have never deployed anything more than a team or two of Green Berets. The Northern Alliance with one team in support managed to "overrun" the Taliban. Too many different issues in that disorganized country. Just a small foot print with SF people occasionally doing their thing, otherwise, let the warlords/tribal elders sort out things and continue their ancient ways. Maybe let NGO's go in there to build schools for boys and girls, but, that is their project.

That's, perhaps, not so different as to how it started. You'd need a support base, security, CAS, etc. so the numbers start to climb a bit. I forget…wasn't it initially something like 5,000, including support. Soon got up to 25,000 when Bin Laden wasn't captured. Also, the 'build schools', etc. was a UN mission – not a US or NATO one. NATO took over when the UN messed up.

BTW – for the Green Berets – what's the mission? What's success?

arealdeadone30 Sep 2021 6:26 p.m. PST

9/11 was twenty years ago.

But that is your flavor of pudding. No mine … Your flavor is Anti-USA military and gov't.

If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…not saying the intention is deliberate to create frozen conflicts, merely that they are the outcome.


I often wonder why we try to get some of these countries to model their military and government on us.

Literally because you are America.

Literally the US elites believe the US to be the "Indispensible Nation" and to have some sort of holy mission to spread the American "way of life" to everyone on the planet.

It arose out of American concept of "manifest destiny" ie that only USA could tame the west and bring civilisation to it.

The US then slowly embraced this as a global ideology – first through things like Monroe Doctrine and then Wilsonianism and then on a massive scale after WW2.

Or to paraphrase Stanley Kubrick's movie Full Metal Jacket:

"Inside every non-American is an American trying to get out."


So recreating Afghanistan in America's image is America's duty to the world. There is no room in this perspective to ask whether it is the morally right or practically correct thing to do. It's a bit like Christian missionaries converting other people's and dressing them in white man clothes.

Striker01 Oct 2021 12:02 a.m. PST

BTW – for the Green Berets – what's the mission? What's success?

Well as I remember it the mission was to get Bin Laden and the Taliban were not going to cooperate. Outside of that nothing more should have been attempted, certainly not rebuilding or "westernizing" anything. No oversight done.

shadoe0101 Oct 2021 5:21 a.m. PST

@Striker, the question was more intended for Major Mike's Green Beret deployment.

My original question, "It's 7 October 2001, what would you do?", is along the lines of Matrix Wargames, which is a non-traditional wargame approach that's more based on being able to tell a good story and persuade the others that your action will work.

John Curry has written about Matrix Games. You can pick up a kindle version at Amazon:

link

I have to admit that trying to take this away from simply saying the generals were idiots towards wargaming is a bit naοve on my part. But, that's the quagmire of "ultra-modern" – it's far too easy to fallback on political talking points – or what journalists or pundits have to say in the media.

arealdeadone01 Oct 2021 6:12 a.m. PST

Shadoe01, if it is 7 October 2001 and I am president, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have already ceased to exist.

But I am Croatian and you know how we resolved the Serb issue in 1995. :P

shadoe0101 Oct 2021 6:41 a.m. PST

ardo, I thought you were concerned with collateral damage. What of the 250 million people in those countries?

And, yes, I know what the Croats did. I met British Colonel (ret'd) Bob Stewart in 1994 – shortly after his tour in Bosnia. So I know what the Croats did to Bosniaks too. See the Ahmići massacre:

link

Andy ONeill01 Oct 2021 6:49 a.m. PST

I don't think the clock should have started in 2001.
At that time security for internal us flights was not following advice us agencies were giving to other countries.

But 2001…
What's the aim?
Stop the training of terrorists?
That the US already did BTW. They were called Mujahadeen and were fighting the Russkies back then though. Maybe that wasn't a great long term plan?

But we're just saying 2001.

Special forces and support for more moderate groups was the obvious call for Afghanistan imo.
Morr consideration should have been given to an economics based solution. Would it have been cheaper to buy the entire poppy crop each year? Pay a premium and a swathe of the country has a motive to ensure they can still get that price.

The call to send units, stay in Afghanistan for however long is not made by Generals. It's not the military decided who to put in as president, or even that the country must suit democracy.

SBminisguy01 Oct 2021 7:19 a.m. PST

Oh looky here! The Lance Cpl who is rescued a baby in Kabul recently spoke at a Trump rally -- out of uniform, and only to speak in general terms about his experiences in Afghanistan without criticizing his Chain of Command. BOOM! The USMC is coming down like a lightning bolt and has him under investigation! Gotta make a lesson that the wrong political affiliations will not be tolerated by the nation's guardians, eh? I don't recall carpweasel Lt Col Vindman facing any disciplinary actions about his faux whistle-blower stuff that was the political ploy used to impeach the last POTUS.

This is gonna suck…we're gonna face some serious times ahead and its going to be painful as these highly political and incompetent military "leaders" will get so many people killed before they get ejected from commands.

shadoe0101 Oct 2021 7:36 a.m. PST

@Andy ONeill,

You have to start somewhere otherwise you keep going back and back and….

But I think you are right. The problem after 2001 wasn't that the military didn't achieve their part of the mission. They did what they were supposed to do. It was the political, economic and diplomatic part that failed.

So we can go forward…to 2003. The year 2002 has been a partial military success in that Al Qaeda and the Taliban have been driven either into hiding or into refuge in Pakistan, but Bin Laden has not been captured. The political, economic and diplomatic efforts are stalled. In 2003 there are signs that the Taliban is starting to regroup and has stepped up attacks – although these remain at a low level.

Also, the US government has started to focus on Iraq.

You're the US military commander in Afghanistan, what's your recommendation to the government? You need to be convincing or they'll likely tell you to stay the course.

Legion 401 Oct 2021 8:00 a.m. PST

If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…not saying the intention is deliberate to create frozen conflicts, merely that they are the outcome.
Ducks of any type not withstanding … 🦆 In your opinion … again there are many things we, yes that includes you, don't know. It's classified, etc., been there done that.

And again all your posts are flavored with anti-USA Military & gov't comments. Even trying to bash me and those like me … Because … we were/are USA military and citizens that don't support your biased, skewed, vitriolic, divisive, etc., comments. Generally disagree with most you posted here, which is not rare🥩 …

That being said … the USA gov't … well if I say more I will get DH'd. But many know how I feel about our elected & appointed leadership … 'nuff said …

Your service could have gone from deterrent to war at any time, as many of us realize, and is much appreciated by those of us who are thus safe at home.
Thank you very much. Yes when volunteering to join the military. Besides choosing your branch of service, as there is no draft[thank the Gods!].

You are at the "mercy" of the needs of that branch you choose. I chose the US ARMY, like my Father, a WWII Inf SGT, WIA Vet. Against him not wanting me to join. My choices in order:

Inf
Armor
FA
ADA
MI

The rest as they say "is history" … 🤭

Andy posted :

The call to send units, stay in Afghanistan for however long is not made by Generals. It's not the military decided who to put in as president, or even that the country must suit democracy.
That is the bottom line. The military follows the legal orders of the CinC/POTUS. That system has worked that way since DAY 1. It's a good system and works, generally. I supported that when in the Army and still do.

However, when the elected[CinC/POTUS] and appointed gov't officials decide they may know better. And it some cases they do, but rarely, IMO. They are political animals, with the next election, etc., coloring their choices, etc. They in many cases forget they work for "we the people" … not the party, not those that give them thousands/millions of $ for their campaigns, etc., etc. Now if your talking about proof in the pudding 🥣 … there is it …


The other was Wesley Clark.
Briefly served along with/under him. In a training exercise at Bragg in '89(?) old fart He was an LTC or COL. I was a senior CPT, acting as the Bde Cdr. He basically knew I existed as I sat in the front row at the daily briefings/AARs, etc. Along side some LTCs, COLs & GENs. 😳 Can't say anymore on his performance at that time. Not enough time to judge …

+1 Tortella, Shadoe & Andy … 🎖🎖🎖♠

jamemurp01 Oct 2021 8:15 a.m. PST

Oh looky here! The Lance Cpl who is rescued a baby in Kabul recently spoke at a Trump rally -- out of uniform, and only to speak in general terms about his experiences in Afghanistan without criticizing his Chain of Command. BOOM! The USMC is coming down like a lightning bolt and has him under investigation! Gotta make a lesson that the wrong political affiliations will not be tolerated by the nation's guardians, eh?

What is the relevance to the OP? I get that the right relies on constant outrage, but it seems odd to 1) bringing this into an unrelated discussion and 2) defend stolen valor (the guy's command confirmed he was not the Marine shown in an Aug. 19 viral video hoisting an infant above the razor wire outside the airport) and behavior that is clearly prohibited. Given the rash of similar flame outs by field officers joining the right wing circus (see link) it seems to be a real problem. If you don't think the military won't react to public breaches of discipline, then I don't know what to tell you. It's nothing new.

shadoe0101 Oct 2021 10:04 a.m. PST

@ardo, it's possible you were being facetious with your matrix game choice, but I'll go with it. Some options:

1) It's wishful thinking but as you haven't come up with a plausible explanation of where you managed to get a genie in a lamp to grant your wish, I'll disallow that.

2) Pakistan and Saudi Arabia cease to exist because you've ordered US troops to occupy those countries. If it was a bad idea in Afghanistan, it surely is a worse one to invade two large countries with 250 million people. Also, you haven't come up with a plausible reason as to why this is self-defence – unprovoked acts of aggression are war crimes. But you're clever chap so I'm sure you could manage a 'Bismark' and invade 'in self-defence'. I suppose the 'benefit' of this is that it would be shorter since it would consume US military forces and national resources far faster than what did happen. So, a quagmire for the US. Possibly you averted the 2008 financial crisis since the US goes into a prolonged recession prior to the real estate bubble. Russia and China advance their agenda earlier. A TV reality star decides to run for president in the 2004 election – to get the US out of 'stupid wars'. Plus a whole bunch of other bad stuff happens. On the good side you've averted the World Trade Centre attack since you've achieved what Bin Laden wanted to do with that attack which was to unite the Arab world.

Option 3 – an unprovoked nuclear attack on the countries in question. Much harder to show this is in self-defence. One possibility is that you're removed as president. But suppose you manage the attacks before you're removed. The Arab world unites and reaches an agreement with China who offers protection from further US attacks on the Islamic world – note in the agreement the Arabs agree to ignore internal Chinese affairs. Unrest in many countries from their Muslim populations or just people disgusted with the unilateral US actions forces many countries to abrogate their defensive alliances with the US and give the US notice for US military to leave their countries. A UN Security Council resolution condemns the US but the US vetoes – all other members vote in favour. Turkey and France leave NATO and are soon followed by Spain and then Germany – leading to the dissolution of the Alliance. Subsequently war breaks out between Greece and Turkey. Oh, in all of this the press misses the fact that Pakistan did manage to drop nuclear bombs on both Delhi and Mumbai. Maybe all that doesn't happen but maybe worse things happen.

Putting the 'gaming' back in 'wargaming'.

Legion 401 Oct 2021 10:18 a.m. PST

👍👍👌🖖 Shadoe +1 … again …

🧙‍♀️ Found a genie !!!! link

Thresher0102 Oct 2021 7:00 a.m. PST

"Generals that wanted to continue the presence indefinitely are clueless morons IMO".

Given the large numbers of them that we have, I am willing to concede that at least a few may fit your description to a "T".

Which esteemed, military academy did you attend and graduate from ardo, since clearly you believe your opinions to be far superior to those of our well-trained experts in military ops?

Legion 402 Oct 2021 7:03 a.m. PST

From Military.com … back to A'stan …

link


Which esteemed, military academy did you attend and graduate from ardo, since clearly you believe your opinions to be far superior to those of our well-trained experts in military ops?
I've been asking that question for quite some time myself ? 🤔 I never saw him at Inf Basic or Adv courses, Jungle Warfare School, Parachute and Air Assault training, CAS3, Recondo training, the Ranger Camp for patrol training, etc.[I was not good enough to be Ranger Qual'd but did have some training], USMC BAT, USAF Air-Ground School, etc., etc. ? Lead a Rifle and at times 81mm Plt, Cmd M113 Mech Co., etc., etc.

Note my training and background is nothing usual for an Infantry Officer. Many in the 101 were Ranger qualified as well, so not being Ranger Qualified I had to prove myself to those who were. Sometimes a number of times … Alphas everywhere !

So I'd think I'd have picked up somethings about being an Infantryman, etc. ? In those 10+ years to be able to speak[post] with some sort of "validity", etc. 🤔

Maybe that is just me …? 😕

Legion 402 Oct 2021 5:13 p.m. PST

Errata :

background is nothing usual for an Infantry Officer.
That should read "nothing unusual". I.e. … I was nothing special.

Well … my Mom thought so …

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