Afghanistan Today

I don’t think 1 or 2 is true, it looks like it’s a mixture. I think they are going to try to pay some lip service to liberalization that has occurred in the major urban areas, they will probably continue the long-held practice of ignoring or minimally involving themselves in the day-to-day life of rural tribal areas (this is basically the only strategy that has ever seen such areas settle down vs become violent and hostile to the central government, whomever that government is.)

They have a leader of the Haqqani network in the government they have formed, which is a bad sign because they were always viewed as being more of an international terrorist group. I think the Taliban will likely actively fight ISIS-K–the ideology of ISIS-K is not actually compatible with Taliban governance. I think it’s hard to predict what they will do with groups like al-Qaeda, if they allow them to build training camps and etc with impunity, then it will all but mandate turning Afghanistan into Yemen–a country regularly targeted by U.S. drones and cruise missiles for exactly that reason.

It’s honestly very hard to say what will happen, keep in mind that the Taliban didn’t really rule from 1996-2001, they become the dominant group in the country in 1996, but were still mostly operating as a Mujahideen group. They were actually only just starting to build out some nascent bureaucratic functions of a real state by the time we invaded. Before that things were very ad hoc and chaotic in Taliban Afghanistan, with rules changing based on what the Taliban commanders in the field said they were, and that could change based on who was in charge of local Taliban forces.

That’s a laugh. So far their big concession is to warn women to stay indoors because otherwise their soldiers might rape them.

Anyone who thought this was going to be an ‘inclusive’ Taliban is an idiot. I’m looking at you, Anthony Blinken.

One of the Taliban demands was that their soldiers be provided ‘brides’. How sweet.

The U.S. handed Afghanistan over to the most vicious, backwards religious fanatics in the world with perhaps the exception of ISIS. And now the Taliban are doing to the people what murderous religious fanatics do. And, the US gave them 85 billion in weaponry to extend their horrors and protect themselves. A tragedy.

We didn’t hand it over to them, the people of Afghanistan chose that as their government. It is not our job to chose different.

The US has been giving them weaponry all along, in effect. That’s part of why some of us were against the invasion plan twenty years ago (and have seen no good reason to change our minds about it since).

Let’s not forget what organizations like the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan, the people who’ve been really standing up for Afghan women’s rights, thought about the whole invasion debacle, as I mentioned back in post #402.

They also were not given $85bn in weaponry. It’s another in a long list of just completely inaccurate incorrect things that @Sam_Stone has taken to saying about Afghanistan–note that he has been called out on some of these claims multiple times and typically his tactic is to not at all acknowledge his claims are clearly demonstrated to be non-factual. That suggests a deliberate choice to be dishonest.

For one, the actual number he’s cribbing is $88bn–or $88.6bn if you want to be picky. That’s the amount of money allocated for the Afghan National Army or Police. But as has been widely reported in every reputable news source out there, this amount was not an equipment budget. Equipment was disbursed with this money, but the money covered lots of other things. Large portions of the money went to–or at least was allocated to–direct cash payments to the Afghan National Army and Police, intended to maintain their salaries. Instead about $300m a year of that went to “ghost soldiers”, which is why some of the real soldiers had gone months without being paid.

While the accounting appears to not be perfect, most estimates suggest about $28bn of the $88bn had gone to material/equipment. The rest of it went to personnel costs, training, consumables (like fuel) etc. Note that is $28bn spent over 20 years. Very likely some of that equipment purchased 20 years ago no longer exists, things break down and get destroyed in war zones. Some of the aircraft we know were actually flown into Uzbekistan as the government fell, so we also know that not all of it is in the hands of the Taliban. There’s also been numerous posts dismissing most of the hyperbole about how much of a difference this equipment cache makes. To be frank if the Taliban is smart at all if they have stacked pallets of U.S. military equipment the best bang for their buck would actually be to resell it on the black market, the Taliban is starved for cash–they had financing to support an insurgent army, but have nowhere near the money needed to run Afghanistan’s government, and while humanitarian aid is going to be turned on, it’s already looking like it’ll be in the low hundreds of millions amount, and carefully directed to food aid and etc–not easily militarized. It is probably unlikely a patron steps in to subsidize the Afghan civil government to the degree the United States did. Maybe China or Russia will help some, at some lower level. But until then, say there’s just $10bn of equipment ready to sell, if they can move it that will help them quite a bit in the short term.

That was the number shown pretty much everywhere when I first said that. Now it appeara that it’s not that much, but still many billions of dollars worth of advanced weaponry. . Hooray.

And in other Afghanistan news…

Biden promised swift and furious reaction to the bombing, and miraculously the military had good enough intel to find the ‘planner’ of the bombing, even though its intel overall was so bad they didn’t have any warning of the bombing, or for that matter that the Taliban would take the country as fast as they did. But it was apparently good enough to specifically target someone who planned the attack they didn’t know about. Milley called it a ‘righteous’ drone strike.

Except it was a U.S. friendly Afghan worker and his family. Seven children killed.

Oh, now they tell us it’s okay to get upset about the US killing Afghan civilians. What a difference twenty years makes.

Yeah, I kmew you’d go personal. Anyway, there’s a huge difference between that and a rush job to find a terrorist to kill, and get it wrong and kill an innocent family.

I criticized the inconsistency of your rhetoric in two separate posts that you made about the decidedly non-personal topic of the US tragically killing civilians in Afghanistan. Sorry if you’re sensitive about it, but I don’t think it’s in any way an unfairly “personal” observation to make.

You’re saying that none of the earlier killings of civilians by US forces in Afghanistan were the result of “a rush job to find a terrorist to kill, and get it wrong and kill an innocent family”?

Because I rather doubt that. ISTM that the US has been making a lot of these tragic and avoidable errors, with fatal consequences for Afghans, right from the get-go.