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"Previous administration and Afghanistan" Topic

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35thOVI Supporting Member of TMP04 Jul 2024 6:23 a.m. PST

You can choose to believe this, or not. I obviously believe it. Much better in the video listening to him tell it.

"Hunt explained how Trump wanted "a conditions-based withdrawal" of U.S. troops from Afghanistan when he and then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo were negotiating with Taliban leaders. During these negotiations, Trump told Taliban leaders that he would kill them "if you harm a hair on a single American," prompting the translator present with them to appear stunned.

"And Trump goes, Tell him. Just tell him what I said!'" Hunt said on The Sage Steele Show. "Reached into his pocket, pulled out a satellite photo of the leader of the Taliban's home, and handed it to him, got up, and walked out the room."

Subject: Sage Steele on X: "Not sure about you but as an American, THE most important issue to me is always our national security. I sat down with @WesleyHuntTX & @ByronDonalds last week right before the Biden/Trump debate and I was blown away by these 2 examples they shared especially the story of / X


Personal logo Legion 4 Supporting Member of TMP04 Jul 2024 7:33 a.m. PST

I agree … The new admin was all about optics and a campaign promise to get US Forces out. Regardless of what our NATO thought, the US left without telling them, AFAIK.

More than one US Senior Officer has said. The current admin didn't listen to their GENs, ADM, etc. The elected 7 appointed civilian leadership with no military experience at all. Did this evac plan on the fly. And it showed …

No officer of any rank would have abandoned Bagram. If you were going to evac from the country. That fortified airbase would have been the place.

And who evacs the troops first and leaves behind all the US civilian gov't workers, etc. ?

The amateurish intellectual academics in the WH thought they could make a deal with the Taliban. And get away with it. They were very wrong.

The 82d ABN Cdr said he would drop a Bde on Bagram and resecure it. But once again, the US leaders at the top were risk adverse and feared escalation.

And in the end, we lost 13 good people because of this very poor planning based on political optics. Those that died were better than the civilian leaders that sent them there.

pzivh43 Supporting Member of TMP04 Jul 2024 8:03 a.m. PST

"Those that died were better than the civilian leaders that sent them there."

They always are, Legion 4, they always are…

14Bore04 Jul 2024 8:21 a.m. PST

It was worse than any retreat by a military force in history. There was no need to drop everything and just run away.

Nine pound round04 Jul 2024 9:25 a.m. PST

Existential deterrence is a real thing – and it's effective, particularly when you're negotiating with people who aren't all that civilized themselves. We should note hesitate to employ it more widely in that part of the world – I think the results will be salutary.

Tortorella Supporting Member of TMP04 Jul 2024 9:33 a.m. PST

I don't want to be thought of as making excuses for the current admin on the critical mistakes and incoherent leadership during the withdrawal. That is a done deal. But in my opinion:

It was a long ways from being the worst in history. I would rank Napoleon's retreat from Russia as number one, and down the list his retreat from Egypt. WW2 is full of chaotic retreats from the early days in Europe to the last weeks there.

There is plenty of evidence that Trump thought he could deal with the Taliban, including the plan for inviting them to Camp David. Trump did even not convene the NSC for this idea. John Bolton was adamantly opposed, telling Trump he could still draw down troops without getting in bed with a gang of anti-American killers at Camp David, of all places.

A guy who would come up with this idea would seem less likely to have the exchange Hunt describes. Like the Helsinki meeting with Putin, we may never know.

Then there is the flawed Doha accord, where Trump came up with a treaty with the Taliban which they immediately ignored, killing thousands of Afghan troops soon after. Biden seemed to think he was stuck with this useless agreement, among his many mistakes on this.

Legion is right, they were all wrong thinking you could deal with these people. Trump's threat, if he made it, was meaningless to the Taliban, IMO.

Silurian04 Jul 2024 10:01 a.m. PST

Bad, yes. Worst in history? Do you guys actually know any military history?

Nine pound round04 Jul 2024 10:04 a.m. PST

Back in the eighties there was a great Pfeiffer cartoon of a stereotypical neurotic, weedy, bespectacled Boomer academic talking about "that fool Reagan"- how he was going to provoke the Soviets, start a nuclear war, etc- and it ended with the question- "but if that fool Reagan was right, and I was wrong, what kind of a fool am I?"

I would think that a lot of people should be asking themselves that question right now. There's been nothing funnier than the sight of all the people over the last week whose-self identified positions were taken straight from the unparty media struggling to deal with a reality that is no longer concealable.

I wonder what kind of fools they imagine themselves to be?

Grattan54 Supporting Member of TMP04 Jul 2024 10:06 a.m. PST

Was this before Trump released 5,000 Taliban fighters from prison as a show of good faith, who then went right back to fighting the government we supported?

Tortorella Supporting Member of TMP04 Jul 2024 12:04 p.m. PST

Maybe the worst mistake other than the tactical errors of the evac, was thinking the Afghan government and it troops would stand. This is a mistake both presidents can share, IMO

People have been struggling to conceal realities that are not concealable for many years. Take your pick. In any case, I doubt they imagine themselves to be fools, that's not how people function, especially pundits. We are ending up with more Lost Cause narratives than we can handle. After last week, how many will not vote?

williamb04 Jul 2024 12:32 p.m. PST

The United States – Taliban Deal (AKA the Doha Accord) of March 1, 2020 called for the entire withdrawal of US troops in 14 months by May 1, 2021. The agreement also covered the withdrawal of all US allies and coalition partners including all non-diplomatic civilian personnel such as contractors, trainer, security, etc. Five military bases were to be closed by July 2020. NATO pledged to cut forces from 16,000 to 12,000 at that time.

Germany and Italy withdrew all remaining forces by July 2, 2021, Australia by July 15, and Britain by August 28. The remaining US forces were withdrawn by August 30.

14Bore04 Jul 2024 12:59 p.m. PST

I know lots about Napoleon retreat from Russia,it is a major topic of my was end of a campaign, stalling out being at end of a extremely long supply and before the wherewithal to deliver them. And a Russian winter coming.
The US literally ran away dropping everything as it was the day before. No forces were attacking, supplies were not in any danger.

35thOVI Supporting Member of TMP04 Jul 2024 1:36 p.m. PST

No matter how you try and paint it, the current POTUS ran from Afghanistan. Deleted by Moderator But somehow… Afghanistan had to take place!???

No, he wanted to take credit for getting the US out of Afghanistan. How it was accomplished, really did not matter. You could not have accidentally, had a worse withdraw. That is on him, or him and on those who were " influencing" him.

Tortorella Supporting Member of TMP04 Jul 2024 2:34 p.m. PST

Of course and we said that, 35th, full agreement on the terrible evac.

But I am at best uncertain about your original post regarding Trump. His desire to negotiate with the Taliban killer elites, invite them to Camp David, was out to lunch at best, IMO. And the "deal" he did cut with them was not worth the paper it was printed on. Weakness has consequences as everyone here says. The Taliban saw it, then went on a violent rampage. As we keep saying, ME terrorists are not to be trusted, never our friends, want to kill us all. Trump just did not get it. No way the Taliban were intimidated or cared anything about him or the next guy.

Nine pound round04 Jul 2024 6:52 p.m. PST

Says the man who starts with, "I don't want to be thought of as making excuses for the current administration" – before making excuses for the current administration.

OSCS7404 Jul 2024 7:02 p.m. PST

Nine pound round +1

rustymusket04 Jul 2024 7:27 p.m. PST

Why do I click on these debates. This is why my interests are limited to ww2 or earlier. I don't know it all.

Nine pound round04 Jul 2024 7:31 p.m. PST

Everyone thinks that sometimes- but like a car wreck, it can be hard to look away from.

Tortorella Supporting Member of TMP04 Jul 2024 9:03 p.m. PST

Here is what I actually said: "I don't want to be thought of as making excuses for the current admin on the critical mistakes and incoherent leadership during the withdrawal. That is a done deal."

My other comments were about the history of retreats, for which 14bore made a great response, and Trump and the Taliban, which seemed relevant to the OP.

Choctaw05 Jul 2024 7:51 a.m. PST

It would be fun for everyone to meet in one big conference room and argue all weekend with breaks for takeout and coffee.

35thOVI Supporting Member of TMP05 Jul 2024 8:27 a.m. PST

Choctaw 🤔 Isn't that what happens at wargames? 😉

Tortorella Supporting Member of TMP05 Jul 2024 8:39 a.m. PST

I would need a name like Sage Steele. And plenty of coffee. And a psychiatrist on call, not sure my meds would hold…😉

soledad05 Jul 2024 9:06 a.m. PST

@Tortorella. It does not matter what you write. If the other side wants to interpret it "the wrong way" they Will. And when you try to explain they purposely misinterprets it. Against some people, with ugly "discussion techniques", you will always lose.

Remember the old saying "never argue with an idiot, they only drag you down to their level and beat you with experience. "

Personal logo Legion 4 Supporting Member of TMP05 Jul 2024 9:26 a.m. PST

Some good comments. But IMO and many others, the elected and appointed officials came up with a plan that was NOT going to work very well. Again, more about optics and political concerns. Let the Military make these types of decisions … They are not amateurs … They know what to do and it will work.

This was one of the first dominos that lead to Putin invading Ukraine, Xi becoming more aggressive e.g. Taiwan. Iran activated its proxies …

Nine pound round05 Jul 2024 9:52 a.m. PST

Perfect demonstration of the behavior you're denouncing, Soledad. You and everyone else here can go back and read the threads where I called you out for lusting for other people's deaths- I wasn't the only one to call you on your unseemly behavior.

Tortorella Supporting Member of TMP05 Jul 2024 10:16 a.m. PST

Yes, we have missed chances to deal with Iran especially, I think. And should have gotten more aid to Ukraine sooner. Politics…..

Soledad, you are right in some cases, but it's always interesting. I believe I am in the middle on many things. Some have insisted this is not the case. I like to think I am a part-time idiot looking for balanced discussion. But I don't always practice what I preach either. And some people want to "own" you no matter what is said.

soledad05 Jul 2024 11:01 a.m. PST

What I wrote was that an ENEMY soldier would make good fertilizer. I did not "lust" for anything. But if you are a soldier in the army of the enemy my compassion is quite small. If the soldiers is male or female, attractive or not does not matter, it is the enemy. Expect to be treated as such.

As you might know enemy soldiers (unless they are injured and out of the fight) are legitimate targets in war.

My compassion is even lower for an enemy that torture captured soldiers to death, films it and sends it to friends and relatives of the soldier and laughs about it while taunting the victim, relatives and friends.

However I do not expect you to understand that. You have your standards and experiences, I have mine.

Nine pound round05 Jul 2024 11:35 a.m. PST

Yeah, you pretty clearly do. When I served in an Army, it wasn't one that hadn't heard a shot fired in anger since 1814. I don't need a lecture from you about the customs and practices of war.

And your little country isn't at war with anyone- which makes your bloodlust even less defensible.

soledad05 Jul 2024 12:03 p.m. PST

Oh Sweden has heard quite a few shots since then. Not as many as the US. Swedes have fought in Congo in the -60s. Fired quite a few rounds in Bosnia during the -90s. Fought together with the US in Afghanistan during the war there. Together with US special forces in Iraq against ISIS. Fired a few rounds with the french im Congo about 15 ys ago. Participated with NATO during the Kosovo war. Deployed aircraft during the war in Libya when Khadaffi was toppled.

Even many depth charges against russian submarines during the -80s.

Lost a few aircraft shot down by the Russians in the -50s.

Compared to the US not much but a hell of a lot more than nothing. Do not worry though, I do not expect you to know this.

There are many swedes fighting now in Ukraine. A few have been killed.

What is your hang up with me? Is just because of that one comment about a russian soldier?

Nine pound round05 Jul 2024 12:06 p.m. PST

Well, you've attacked me on this thread, as you have on others- you just called me an idiot, for Pete's sake. HTF do you think I'm going to respond?! It takes a lot of nerve to call someone an idiot, and then ask why they don't like you.

But not a lot of brains.

soledad05 Jul 2024 12:29 p.m. PST

So why do you write so disparangingly about Sweden? Why do you attack Sweden and Swedens armed forces? You do not want Sweden in NATO, that is fine. When Sweden said they would send troops to the baltics it was nothing to you. If you are pissed at me it is fine but to attack a whole country is not cricket.

I do not attack the US or their armed branches on the contrary I like the US and their armed forces. You dislike me, fine I can live with that. What I think about you I keep to myself. But I do find your arguing technique quite low class.

Nine pound round05 Jul 2024 1:09 p.m. PST

And yet you see nothing wrong with disparaging Russia as a country, or Russians as individuals. That's pretty hypocritical.

The fact of the matter is, you have a long record of NOT keeping what you think about me to yourself. You had no sooner stated that, then you implied I was "low class."" You've made other directly, personally insulting remarks on the NATO thread I could cite that started our acquaintance.

I somehow doubt you're a member of the local aristocracy- but if you are, so what? I judge you by your behavior here- and your country by you. If you wonder why I'm contemptuous of you, reread this thread and others- it's got everything to do with things you've said.

Tortorella Supporting Member of TMP06 Jul 2024 7:51 a.m. PST

This from another post, talking about Hamas, I think….

"Tell them for every American they kill, we'll kill ten of them. Their women and children count half" I took this with a grain of salt, an exaggeration representing a strong reaction. We get especially ticked off and want to make a point. Not lusting for death… Nor was Soledad lusting for death, IMO.

"Why should we care about people who want to kill us?" I think this was a follow up and raises a good point. Especially about ME terrorists who are happy to kill themselves to kill us. But are the Gazans all terrorists?

I don't have much compassion for Russians soldiers. The Ukrainians have seen their civilians executed by the Russians, hospitals and schools destroyed, children, old people killed etc. The line was crossed…soldier or terrorist? War criminal or patriot? Not every Russian is a party to these brutal acts, but they do not live in a society that will tolerate much criticism or tells the truth.

Nor do the Gazans. We don't know for sure how many support Hamas out of bloodlust or fear of Hamas. IMO, there was no choice regarding Israel's response, but can Hamas be destroyed? Their recruiting might be going especially well these days. Can you win by telling them to stop or we will execute them? I get that war is brutal. What's the best way to win at this point?

Personal logo Legion 4 Supporting Member of TMP06 Jul 2024 4:42 p.m. PST

FWIW – the more males Gazans that are killed the closer will Israel be to attriting much of Hamas, etc.

Tortorella Supporting Member of TMP06 Jul 2024 7:29 p.m. PST

Yes, I know. I wish it were otherwise. Fanatics.

emckinney06 Jul 2024 9:11 p.m. PST

Trump agreed a terrific surrender document--the best ever, many people say.

Nine pound round07 Jul 2024 4:20 a.m. PST

Ah, Tortorella, how typical: a demi-vierge attempt at a personal attack, worded in the most wish-washy, passive-aggressive way possible. Thought you'd dredge that up to use against me, eh?

Well, go ahead and try. Unlike you, I came by my attitudes the hard way: I learned them through something you can't claim- the bitter personal experience of a terrorist attack and the years that followed. This isn't an abstraction to me: I learned a great deal, then and later, about what war means through personal experience. Part of the reason I learned it was because men like you weren't up to the job of preventing it.

No doubt you will leave some logorrheic response, but really, I don't care. It's a beautiful day outside, and Block Island Sound is calling. I'm just going to go and enjoy it- and leave you to another day of being the kind of man who gets PTSD doing a government job.

Tortorella Supporting Member of TMP07 Jul 2024 5:08 a.m. PST

Your comments were relevant to the trend of the conversation and I did not use them to make a personal attack on you, nor am I familiar with the origin of your views. I apologize for any offense given related to your experience or your service. Enjoy Block Island!

Personal logo Legion 4 Supporting Member of TMP07 Jul 2024 11:55 a.m. PST

Trump agreed a terrific surrender document--the best ever, many people say.
Regardless the withdrawal was executed by the new administration, their plan, their execution, etc. But I have discussed this debacle previously …

As I had said before, the debacle of the withdrawal from A'stan. Set the table, was the precursor to what our enemies would do elsewhere in the world.

Tortorella Supporting Member of TMP07 Jul 2024 2:01 p.m. PST

I think Biden made it harder for Putin. He did not have a relationship with him, and Biden is said to be very negative about him. IMO Trump would have been more likely to intercede and try to deal. I still think the invasion could have been planned before the evac. Wouldn't that take more than 6 months to plan, train, and get everything in place? I don't know. Maybe they had been ready for a while, Biden or not.

As for Iran, it does not matter to them who is president, IMO. It's hard to imagine them being intimidated by the current guy, the previous guy. Or any of the previous guys.

China the same. They don't really care, although they were not happy to hear Biden say we would defend Taiwan, that was a first for them. And they now have substantial internal issues, so their attention is less focused. But It's all America to them, they are long range planners who hit a bump in the road. That is my impression.

Personal logo Legion 4 Supporting Member of TMP08 Jul 2024 7:18 a.m. PST

Well again, my bottom line … the USA needs stronger more dynamic leadership. Your enemy should both respect and even fear you.

Especially with the predators we are dealing with today. Who again, took advantage of the USA, and many others in the world.

The only way peace thru strength works is to demonstrate your overwhelming military assets. A very big show of force. No shooting need be involved.

However, you can't be too risk adverse or fear escalation … And let the enemy know it …

35thOVI Supporting Member of TMP08 Jul 2024 8:21 a.m. PST

"Well again, my bottom line … the USA needs stronger more dynamic leadership. Your enemy should both respect and even fear you."

Legion, do you think things like this make are enemies quake in their boots? 🤔

I think we already know that answer.

Subject: Oli London on X: "U.S. Navy amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island hosts a Pride ceremony as sailors in uniform cut a giant LGBTQ cake. Does this make America look strong? / X


If you doubt the first. Straight from the Navy

Subject: Makin Island Sailors Show Their Pride > United States Navy > News Stories


"hosted by the ship's Diversity Committee"

So are the DC like the communist party representative who was attached to all Russian military units after the revolution?

Tortorella Supporting Member of TMP08 Jul 2024 1:08 p.m. PST

Why would there be a celebration of anybody's sexual orientation? It's a personal matter for everyone, is it not? Do your jobs, no discrimination – seems like that would cover it.
I'll just say that IMO there is nothing to fear from the Diversity Committee. They certainly won't be like the Chinese military, where you don't cross a political officer or you might disappear.

Legion, my point exactly…none of our adversaries have feared any US leader this century, IMO. Especially the last two. We can agree to disagree on who was respected I think.

35thOVI Supporting Member of TMP08 Jul 2024 1:44 p.m. PST

" Why would there be a celebration of anybody's sexual orientation? It's a personal matter for everyone, is it not? Do your jobs, no discrimination seems like that would cover it."

Tort, that is exactly the point. Do they celebrate heterosexuality? Why months for "almost" all ethnic groups or sexuality? It fosters not diversity but accentuates differences. It has absolutely no place in the military, where you should be fostering oneness. You are soldiers of the United States.

But as has Been expressed by others, diversity is taking precedence over military readiness. Officers are being chosen on where they fit on the diversity ladder, and if they are lucky enough to be capable… well a happy accident.

35thOVI Supporting Member of TMP08 Jul 2024 3:02 p.m. PST

I'm not nave enough to believe that differences are not apparent to every soldier and always have existed. But the above just enhances that in spades. It also causes divisions with those not recognized.

I wonder what it would have been like if Grant and Sherman (both from Ohio) had set a certain month aside for all Ohio soldiers. Recognizing their great contributions to the Union Army. Special parades and meals for all Ohio troops. Making sure that Ohio soldiers were proportionally represented as officers in all units. I mean how could that have caused decision and division? Maybe recognize all midwestern states with a month. But ignoring all New England States and a few others. Set up special committees and officers appointed to make sure it's done. No problems.. right?

Tortorella Supporting Member of TMP08 Jul 2024 5:02 p.m. PST

We agree on this whole thing…just does not fit.

but I think that Washington was a political nightmare for much of the Civil War and played its own games regarding selecting officers, assignments, political interference, plotting coups, etc. I don't know how Lincoln ever withstood it…

Personal logo Legion 4 Supporting Member of TMP08 Jul 2024 5:52 p.m. PST

do you think things like this make are enemies quake in their boots?
Yes we know the answer …

Especially the last two.
May disagree … but certainly the last one.

BenFromBrooklyn09 Jul 2024 11:47 a.m. PST

The problem, as I see it, is that the entire western liberal intelligentsia does not like to win wars.
Winning means the mantras, like "War is Not the Answer", are wrong. They don't like to be wrong.

So they'll ignore the fact that sometimes, war is very much the answer.
How did slavery end? War (and not just in the US, the Royal Navy attacked and sunk slavers at sea)
How was Nazi rule and the Holocaust ended?
War has decided a great many things.

Liberals refuse to admit they live in a world where this is true. Where soldiers are more reliable than diplomats. It terrifies them. They'd rather lose every war they find themselves in, than risk actually winning one.

Personal logo Legion 4 Supporting Member of TMP09 Jul 2024 5:33 p.m. PST

Ben +1

Agree totally … Sadly, many of those types have $ or can get it… a lot of it …

SBminisguy09 Jul 2024 5:53 p.m. PST

Trump just did not get it. No way the Taliban were intimidated or cared anything about him or the next guy.

Sure, whatever. Even Politico admits that there were no US deaths for 18 months after Trump's sit-down with the Taliban leadership. Trump was willing to deal, and willing to fight as needed. He was willing to sit down with foes to see if he could cut a deal that made sense to get peace, or in his North Korea diplomacy, try to woo them away from China. He used the carrot when it could work. He used the stick when the carrot could not work -- he gave local commanders in Syria the authority to protect a US FOB under attack by a Russian Wagner merc battalion, resulting in a lot of dead Russians. He took out terror leaders like al-Baghdadi when he had the chance. He levied sanctions when he had to.

It was effective. What we have now is not effective.

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