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Afghanistan - The Current Situation


Sgt.Squarehead
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Future generations of whom?  Seems to be more of Pakistan playing the “I can support terrorists for all my adversaries and surely that will never come back to bite me”.  As a nuclear power that couldn’t possibly have any consequences for us   😎

Edited by sburke
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The Afghan village built from missiles ☹️

Residents of Qezelabad in Afghanistan have lived for years with unexploded weapons built into their walls and holding up their ceilings.

After Soviet troops withdrew from Afghanistan 30 years ago, following a decade-long war, the villagers could not afford building materials. They used what they could find, including missiles left behind by the Soviet army.

A de-mining team is working to remove the weapons, and the BBC's Aulyia Atrafi went to see them at work.

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Which reminds me, a few days ago I watched the first episode of a BBC series called The Bomb Squad. This is a documentary that focuses on a squad of British soldiers detailed to dispose of explosive ordnance in Afghanistan, IEDs, spent but undetonated shells, rockets, captured ammo dumps, etc. It gets into the personal lives of the men and their families, which ties in nicely with a recent thread in these forums on the subject of battlefield neurosis. I've been watching it via Netflix, but it is probably also still available directly from the BBC.

Michael

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Interesting - although notable that it doesn't mention that China has been doing even worse to Pakistan (and other countries) - getting them addicted to so much unsustainable debt that these nations lease out strategic ports etc to the Chinese for strategic military bases.   Glad that we are finally noticing and doing something about that.

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  • 3 weeks later...
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While VOA doesn't seem terribly positive about future prospects:

https://www.voanews.com/a/us-official-afghan-peace-deal-could-trigger-internal-woes/4890152.html

SIGAR itself seems to be borderline suicidal:

https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your-military/2019/04/24/sigar-drug-lab-bombing-was-a-dead-end-and-most-metrics-for-success-or-failure-in-afghanistan-are-classified-or-nonexistent/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Navy DNR 04-24-19&utm_term=Editorial - Navy - Daily News Roundup

Quote

“almost every metric for success or failure is now classified or nonexistent,”

Still, I guess it's an improvement on just making stuff up.  :rolleyes:

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead
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  • 2 weeks later...

Based on recent comments from Zalmay Kalilzhad (US 'envoy' to the Taliban) there seem to be hints of a rather drastic change in policy:

Quote

While testifying before the House Foreign Affairs Committee (HFAC) in July 2016, Zalmay Khalilzad said that Pakistan should be designated as a State Sponsor of Terrorism because it is an ardent supporter of the Taliban. He described the Taliban as an “extremist organization” with enduring ties to al Qaeda.

Just over two years after his testimony, Khalilzad has completely reversed his views without explanation. Since being appointed to serve as the US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation in Sept. 2018, he has showered praise on Pakistan for its supposed efforts to bring peace to Afghanistan. He has even treated the Taliban as a credible counterterrorism partner.

 

https://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2019/05/khalilzad-flip-flops-on-pakistan-talibans-relationship-with-al-qaeda.php

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead
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2 hours ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

Stars & Stripes suggests a change of posture is underway for the ANA too:

https://www.stripes.com/news/afghan-military-looks-to-bigger-bases-while-closing-checkpoints-in-hostile-taliban-territory-1.580570

Have to say, that doesn't sound very encouraging.  :unsure:

yeah pretty much handing over the initiative and the Taliban has shown the capability of launching large scale attacks.

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3 hours ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

Yeah.....It's a familiar enough pattern and that's a fact.  :rolleyes:

It will be curious to see if our current President will want the Taliban to be seen back in Kabul as the gov't under his watch. I doubt it would play well in Election politics.  Just unclear how brittle the ANA is.  Some interesting parallels in the US army document on the Iraq war about trying to create a viable army and police force and how difficult it was to get the Iraqi forces into a position where they could stand on their own.  We all saw how well that worked during the early ISIL offensive..

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54 minutes ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

NYT has a decent article on the subject:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/11/opinion/afghanistan.html?save=nyt-gateway-stories

It seems that current policy mostly involves sweeping inconvenient facts under the rug.  :rolleyes:

That is called politics. ;)  Every administration does it regardless of party.  One thing I really liked about that Iraq study is it pulls no punches.

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