Why was Afghanistan so quick?

While the country isn’t all roses and not every goal was accomplished, how did we overthrow the Taliban so relatively quickly? Even if we had allies in the northern alliance, they were less than 10% of the country.

We were thousands of miles away attacking a landlocked country. We sent in a very small number of ground troops (although we used tons of planes and missiles), yet succeeded where the Soviets, et al, had failed. I was dreading a long-term guerilla war in the mountains with Stinger missiles… then, the next thing I knew Kabul fell!

There were also a whole damn bunch of Taliban"supporters" like warlords and such that switched sides real quick. Either from common sense on their part or from Uncle Sam throwing around your tax dollars like New Years eve confetti. Also, from what Understand, the Taliban was a tenous government to begin with. They were only a few years old. it Implimented many radical, strict rules that were only enforced by mostly draconian and threatening measures. Not many, even in the low populated Afghanistan, shed many tears to see them go.

Very, very true. Oh!!! And a side note: I was listening to talk radio the other day, and there was a man from Iraq that came on to speak, he stated, and I quote “if America were to attack Iraq, do not be surprised if some, or many of the Irai civilians come and try to join the American forces in the over throw of Saddam.”

What makes you think it’s over? The press has lost interest, but the war goes on even as we speak.

The Soviets rolled in and “took over” country in a few weeks too. 10 years later they were still fighting when they gave up and went home.

I gotta agree with Tejota. Karzai’s government isn’t recognised outside of Kabul, and the warlords are still calling the shots in most of the country. The press just lost interest, but the human rights and political situation in the bulk of Afghanistan hasn’t changed since the Taliban days.


Yep, there’s still a campaign going on in Afghanistan. But the first wave was so quick because you’re talking about a factionalised stone-age government with Kalishnikovs vs the most expensive military machine in human history. Was that really surprising?

Phase I, the elimination of Al Queda training bases and their support infrastructure, is over.

Phase II, bringing Afghanistan into the 21st century (even the 19th would be good…), will be going on for some time.

You’re quite right. It’s all poppies, not roses.

Really? So how come the US troops in Afghanistan have been increasingly coming under al-Qaeda attacks?

I’d say it’s because America’s military is powerful and smart. It’s fashionable to make the joke that military intelligence is an oxymoron, but it’s not true. Colin Powell is obviously very smart, General Normal Schwartzkopf was supposed to be genius-level.

In short, our military leaders had the wit to create a good battle plan and the modern weapons and well-trained military to execute it.

Because they can still hide out in small numbers. They can move freely between Afghanistan and Pakistan, and get supplies and sustenance where they can. Also, individual AQ members can hide out among the general population in the cities.

I’d like a cite for “increasingly” coming under attacks. There was one recent attack, but it wasn’t like droves of AQ fighters – it was an isolated small group.

I, for one, will be * extremely* surprised if five years from now, even the military phase is “over,” especially given the small number of U.S. troops over there (at least openly). I just hope that given that we’re already there, we can learn a few lessons both from Vietnam, and from the Soviet experience in Afghanistan.

The other thing is that Afganastan was in the middle of a civil war when the U.S. intervened. Admittedly, the Northern Alliance was holed up in a small sliver of territory, but there were still ongoing hostilities. When the U.S. came in with advanced military technology, it reversed the fortunes of the two sides, and allowed Northern Alliance to quickly displace the Taliban.

Imagine if, in the end stages of the U.S. Civil War (or even in Reconstruction), an outside power came in and supplied the Confederacy with modern weapons and military aviation. At that point, it’s likely that the addition of this reinforcement to the depleted Confederate forces could have enabled them to drive the Union out of the South, if not defeat the Union entirely.

The history of Afganistan should tell you the answer, they have been invaded and occupied many times in their history. They allways then revert to a guerrilla war. The British and the Russians have been at the end of it. Its one thing to have air power, buts its quite another to control on the ground. Vietnam was a good example of that.

What makes you think it’s over? The press has lost interest, but the war goes on even as we speak.

It seems to me the sudden focus on Iraq was an attempt to draw attention away from Afghanistan and the hunt for Bin Laden. Afghanistan will take a long time to stabilize and rebuild. Bin Laden still cannot be found. A war in Iraq and Saddam Hussein’s overthrow will be quick and dramatic. (then, of course, Iraq will also need to be stabilized and rebuilt and who knows what new terrorist leaders may appear,…)

The Afghan rebels, in 1980-89, were supplied by a world superpower: the U.S. Without such support, the USSR would have held the place without difficulty.

(Just as North Vietnam, by itself, could never have won a war against the U.S.: it was the megatons of Soviet supplies that made that possible.)

Today, Afghanistan (and Iraq) do not have superpower support, and thus are military eggshells.


This the last big report on any significant action in Afghanistan


A synopsis would be that special forces was investigating a hideout (as is their current mission aside from protecting the present govt) and about 80 Al Qaeda operatives shot at an Apache helicopter (mustve recently seen BlackHawk down) Gunship was unharmed and 200 US SF came down on the area. Reports are that this was the largest concentration of Al Qaeda operatives found so far (all 80 of them)

I would hardly call this being under coming under increasing al qaeda attack. Looks more like they found where a lot al qaeda were hiding.

I thought the reason Afghanistan was a quick operation was obvious. No one wanted the Taliban except those that were in the Taliban and Al Qeada were all foreigners to the Afghan people. I suspect that Iraq will be much the same way except none of the US military are counting on that support. The plnas are for to get Saddam with or without the support of the iraqi people. The only difference would be the length of time it takes to get rid of Saddam.

richw: Afghanistan will take a long time to stabilize and rebuild.

Assuming it actually does get stabilized and rebuilt, rather than just dropping once more into oblivion as far as world opinion is concerned while warlords and terrorist groups return.

we still haven’t captured mullah mohammed omar (the taliban’s leader).