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WhyNow's avatar

Do you really think we should have abandoned Afghanistan?

Asked by WhyNow (2839points) May 30th, 2022

Bagram Air Base was one of the most advanced and equipped in
the world… its been years since we lost a service member because we learned how not to. Granted we should not have been there in the first place! I believe we were doing real good for the people. Especially the women… 20 years is just not enough to civilize some people 40 maybe IDK. Plus we strength right in the backyard of China… Russia… Turkey etc. Could we have stopped the Ukraine invasion? Not with Biden… but… just my opinion.

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17 Answers

gorillapaws's avatar

@WhyNow How many trillions of dollars would that be worth?

WhyNow's avatar

Now is to killing maiming torturing. No women in sports or business… teachers must wear
burkas… on and on it goes!
The American military doing some good? Image that!
Expensive? We already waste so so much money on crap!

canidmajor's avatar

Not actually a question.

HP's avatar

The proponent clearly knows nothing of the history of Afghanistan nor the actual strategic requirements of the United States. To prove my point, I simply ask which nation in the history of the world has successfully invaded and maintained control over Afghanistan?

Zaku's avatar

Trump was the one who set the wheels of withdrawal from Afghanistan in motion such that the military had no other good option but to do their best to complete the withdrawal in 2021, doing the dangerous part during Biden’s term. Biden was not left a better option.

WhyNow's avatar

@canidmajor oops new at this… and full of grammar errors… I’ll try harder.
Not question… a discussion? I would still to know what people think.

WhyNow's avatar

@HP Yes!... I am the proponent and yes I know nothing. But do you think controlling
two airports is an invasion at this point?

@Zaku Of course this is Trumps’ fault and of course what you say happened did
happen but my question is… was it the right decision? I believe not.

HP's avatar

You CAN NOT control those airports without either the willing cooperation of those controling the country containing those airports or the forceful suppression of those in control of the that country.

WhyNow's avatar

@HP Moving away from invasion… If the majority of afgans want taliban and isis
than the hell with them. Bring our boys home. Just leave the taliban a billion dollar gift.

HP's avatar

It was more about the useless and stupid flushing of tens of billions of dollars down a toilet that no invader IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD has yet to master And every minute delayed in getting out of the place was simply a matter of millions more down that toilet.

kritiper's avatar

We should have been totally in it to win it from the get-go.

HP's avatar

NO ONE has ever won in Afghanistan. The place has been the reliable graveyard for the reputations of the greatest military minds the world has spawned. And that’s been the case since Alexander the Great.

WhyNow's avatar

^^You are right I guess… So to hell with all those Afghans. Let the buchterings begin!
Greatest show in the Muslim world!

Entropy's avatar

Afghanistan was a mismanaged war. Perhaps even more so than Iraq II. Afghanistan was never a good candidate for a permanent nation-building exercise, and trying to do that was a waste of time, manpower and money. Believe me, I dreamt the dream of bringing a modern government to the Afghan people, but it just wasn’t ready for it.

Doing it while ALSO letting Pakistan act as a safe harbor was triple-stupid. Imagine a fight where everytime you get the upper hand, your opponent can just step across the line to rest and you have to stand there and do nothing. That’s what the Taliban did for 20 years because the Pakistani intelligence agencies were pro-Taliban.

Worse still, the US never REALLY committed to winning the war. It never had sufficient manpower to pacify the country. Instead, it was forced to rely on local warlords whose interests could best be described as “enemy of my enemy”, but they never wanted a modern government because they would lose power in such a government. But the US fetishized local involvement despite amply evidence that it wasn’t going to produce the self-sufficient western govt they dreamt of.

Iraq was a better candidate because it at least had a history of modernism and an educated middle class. But again, the US never committed sufficient forces except for a BRIEF window during the Bush ‘surge’ at the end of his term, but that was too little/too late. They never had a coherent plan for how to build the nation up, and how to convince the major players that this new governement was in their interest.

I think a great approach would have been to change how Oil Money was distributed. The govt oil ministry should distribute all revenues to their citizens directly as taxable income. Those who serve in the military/police would get a slightly larger share. Only native born citizens and lifelong residents are eligible. The entire process should use TWO outside international firms to audit the process for transparency and to avoid corruption. This would have given every citizen a substantial incentive to protect the new democracy while also undoing the usual resource-economy curse.

But back to Afghanistan, yes, we should have pulled out. And it should have been sooner than we did. But the pullout process should have been more orderly and less about Biden waking up one day and setting an arbitrary date. Leaving translators and such behind, and other mistakes were just unbelievable.

ragingloli's avatar

The only way that Afghanistan would not have fallen eventually upon “pulling out”, was to stay there several generations, and essentially educate and re-educate/indoctrinate the entire country into wanting to defend their democratic system.
Which means you need to organise, build and fund the educational system of the entire country, be in control of the curriculum, take control of the media, root out corruption within the government, beat the love of democracy into their soldiers and police, the works.
It certainly was not going to cut it to just “train their security forces and hope for the best”.
We all saw what happened. As soon as they were on there own, their military just rolled over, because they just did not give a shit about defending their “country”. They probably did not have a national identity in the first place.

WhyNow's avatar

^^ and ^^ Great Points I have to agree with. Wistful thinking on my part. Afghanistan was the
black hole that sucked up money and lives we should have stayed away from.

I just remember the story of Saudi schoolgirls who were burnt alive because a security
guard would not let leave a burning school without their hijab. Wrong country I know.

I will also never forget the story of the green beret who beat up an Afghan ‘official’ that
had chained a 12 yo boy to his bed and was molesting him. Sgt. 1st Class Charles
Martland said he could no longer stand the screams of young boys they had to endure
while on their nightly patrols.

HP's avatar

It is the geography of Afghanistan alone which permits it to resist not only invasion, but any tendency toward modernity. Thus, fractious tribal governments lord over isolated domains immune and violently resistant to outside influences. The place has been a sinkhole for the treasures of all whose foolish ambitions allow them to be sucked into the glttering trap.

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