August 21, 2017

Trump's Afghanistan speech.

131 comments:

Jack Wayne said...

Polls down 5 in a week or less.

AReasonableMan said...

Party like it's 2008.

Hagar said...

Contrary to Trump, I would consider solving the problem of Afghanistan - "the graveyard of empires" - by inviting the surrounding 'stans and Iran to move in and split Afghanistan between them, and then pull out entirely.
No country can manage Afghanistan alone, but each could manage a piece of it, and it would keep them busy both with the occupation and fending off the neighboring 'stan.

Achilles said...

Trump wants a united country.

The left wants us divided.

That is the real fight.

Achilles said...

Damn it sounds like the neocons turned him.

rcocean said...

Pretty good speech. I like the repudiation of the Bush's "Building Democracy" crap.

Frankly, i think we should have just gotten out of Afghanistan, but Trump seems to think we should give it one more try.

If it doesn't work out, trump can say "Hey, i listened to the Generals, and they failed".

Achilles said...

He is right that the US can't replicate Obama's failure in Iraq.

Europe is paying the price for that failure though. Willingly it seems.

rcocean said...

"Trump wants a united country. The left wants us divided."

And how are we going to stop the Left from "dividing us"?

rcocean said...

"Europe is paying the price for that failure though. Willingly it seems."

The Euros want to die. But that's their problem.

J. Farmer said...

Simpler, smarter, more effective strategy: total US withdraw. Not a single American national interest is served by contuing to throw American lives and resources into that black hole.

Achilles said...

1. He spoke to Pakistan who is the real problem in Afghanistan. OK.

2. Kill terrorists, not nation building. OK

3. ROE's separated from DC lawyers. OK.

4. Economic support from India, Pakistan, Afghanistan...?

Martha said...

Lindsay Graham just said on Fox that after that speech he is proud of his President.

Is having Lindsay on your side a good thing?

David Begley said...

Very favorable comments by General (Ret.) Jack Keane. That's important to me.

Hagar said...

There was no "Obama's failure in Iraq." Obama throughout his tenure worked at strengthening Iran and pulling out of Iraq worked perfectly according to his lights. Except for the unfortunate rise of ISIS, of course, but who could have seen that coming?

Unknown said...

No end in sight. He now owns this war.

David Begley said...

Lindsay made a good case just now on the facts. We have made progress.

I give full credit to Graham. He backs Trump when he thinks POTUS is right and doesn't hold a personal grudge against Trump for all of his petty personal attacks. McCain was the opposite.

Achilles said...

rcocean said...

And how are we going to stop the Left from "dividing us"?

The most important part is isolating the globalists/technocratic elite and the politicians they feed on both sides of the aisle.

It means separating the left from Antifa the same way the right is separated from the KKK. Every person right of center reflexively condemns racism and those organizations. The same thing has to happen with the fascist wing of the left. It needs to become reflexive for the average person left of center to condemn violence including Antifa/IWW/ANSWER type groups.

David said...

That wasn't exactly a George W. Bush reception from the troops.

mccullough said...

He wants a Trump Tower in Kabul.

Mark said...

Make Afghanistan Great Again should not be something we are funding or losing lives over.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Am I the only one who heard him giving Afghanistan to India? I exaggerate, I exaggerate, but that was a major turn on the indo-pak scene.

Unknown said...

No doubt Bannon will write a stinging rebuke posted from the pages of Breitbart.

Bad Lieutenant said...

David, Fox quickly muted the applause of the assembly. I presume that everyone did, perhaps even as directed.

Achilles said...

"Winning" in Afghanistan would be stupidly easy.

For example we had 1 meter grids on the Hakani's constantly that were one of the biggest sources of organization in the "Taiban" movement. They were just a mile or so into Pakistan. 3 or 4 500 pound bombs would have ended a good fifth of the Taliban organization overnight.

If we just killed the Taliban instead of catching and releasing it would have been over quickly enough. The ROE's we had to deal with were just plain stupid.

But someone wanted that war to last forever.

At this point it is really hard to trust anyone in Washington DC. Trump is saying all of the right things. The Pentagon and the Neocons will undercut everything. When a democrat is elected any gains we make will be betrayed.

Under these circumstances we should not waste our time.

Achilles said...

Unknown said...
No end in sight. He now owns this war.

Only a really stupid and evil person would say something like that.

Guildofcannonballs said...

Well, I was, and have been for quite some time mind you, prepared to name myself most-improved commentator.

Now Trump is that, but, of course you know, different.

I watched the Weiner doc again. Trump says "New York does not need perverts... No perverts!" and New Yorkers, that lot, New Yorkers, well, they seemed to, save the non-voting/voting 5% for Anthony Weiner, agree with Trump.

Whom else can agree on what with Trump? Do we need rehash the whys? The hows is it? We know where by God. The when?? Really, The When?


....

.

OKAY GO!

The Godfather said...

I wouldn't be able to comment intelligently on the strategy implied by this speech, but Trump is showing that he's learned from some recent experiences about messaging. I'm one who doesn't think there was anything incorrect in his comments about the conflict in Charlottesville, but what was needed was to rise above the details of statues and conflicting thugs. That's what Trump did in this speech. This was a Presidential speech. No, it wasn't Reaganesque, but it was better than either Bush. Clinton (Bill) could have given such a speech, although you might have wondered afterwards if you should believe it. As for Obama ... well there was no promise to stay the rise of the oceans.

My prediction is that by 7 am tomorrow, the talking heads will have gotten their lines straight to criticize and undermine his message. When you hear how the morning news describes the speech, you won't recognize it.

I hope I'm wrong.

J. Farmer said...

The Afghanistan War was always a foolish endeavor. The obsession with so called "Al Qaeda training camps" was always a waste of time. Despite the incessant video footage of Muslims on monkey bars we saw on the nightly news, those "camps" were totally unnecessary for planning and carrying out 9/11. Taliban fighters in Helmand province pose practically no security risk to America. There is actually a very simple way to protect yourself from the Taliban: don't go to Afghanistan. While the Taliban may share some ideological similarities with Al Qaeda's radical salafism, their focus is totally provincial. Factions of Islamic jihadis with similar ideologies to Al Qaeda are currently operating in Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, and Pakistan. (In fact, for some in Syria, we've armed, trained, funded, and operated as their air force). So, where is the call for US ground forces in all of these countries to "defeat" them? (whatever that means). The people involved in 9/11 have long since been killed or captured. We had nearly 100,000 troops in Afghanistan around 2010-11 and between 2011 and 2015 the US flew more than 100,000 close-air-support sorties. To what avail?

Milestones (Or What Passes for Them in Washington): A Multi-Trillion-Dollar Bridge to Nowhere in the Greater Middle East

Guildofcannonballs said...

I was too blind to see I was the prophet I sought, meaning I was not a prophet.

Maybe.

Neither was Buckley either.

cumulus.hillsdale.edu/Buckley

Feste said...

It’s just a guise to set up Trumpian hindcasting because his real sociology of motives is strictly Bannon-protectionism of U.S. national interests, despite the fact that our opium laminal flows from elsewhere, the new hindcasting will show that Trump is keeping his promises not to escalate, because this will be a short in-and-out to eradicate the poppy fields, rather than have soldiers guard them - utter genius – satisfying both Bannonites (I’m with Michael K that Trump lost by losing Bannon) and pro-globalists of opium supply. Pure hindcasting genius.

Big Mike said...

Only a really stupid and evil person would say something like that.

Evil, yes. Not as bright as he (she, it) thinks, yes. Stupid, only a little.

traditionalguy said...

What I heard was a declaration of war on Muslim Terrorists that would put firepower on Muslim Terrorists where ever the Terrorists are found. It had nothing to do with an Afghanistan State. It was simply to hunt and kill them before they hunt and kill us. That includes the Phillipines.

Americans are very creative when those are the orders they are given.

Etienne said...

My strategy with Pakistan, would be to overthrow their pro-Taliban government.

Targeted assassinations of any person supporting the Taliban, or the groups wanting to overthrow the Afghan government.

We know who they are, we know where they live. Snipers and car bombs are cheaper than drones.

There is a world market for 'mechanics' that the CIA can fund. No Americans need be involved.

J. Farmer said...

@Hagar:

There was no "Obama's failure in Iraq." Obama throughout his tenure worked at strengthening Iran and pulling out of Iraq worked perfectly according to his lights.

Regime change and democratization in Iraq strengthened Iran far and above anything Obama did in Iraq.

Except for the unfortunate rise of ISIS, of course, but who could have seen that coming?

Well, for one, Dick Cheney, when he correctly predicted in 1994 what a grotesque picture post-Hussein Iraq would look like. Instead of the incessant, stupid, petty partisanship over, "How do we divide up blame over Iraq so my guy looks better than the other guy," how about we just admit that Bush was bad and Obama was bad. There's a lot of bad to go around. We don't need to obsess over what letter comes after a politician's name in order to assess the results of their decisions.

Guildofcannonballs said...

"Yes my penis will extend through your passenger window into their driver-side window and shift and steer and operate the gas and brakes."

Etienne said...

You can't do anything overt in Pakistan.

The reason is, that Afghanistan is a land-locked country (duh), and it's only access to the Sea is through Karachi.

Pakistan has to be handled, so that the people we are going to kill, are seen as bad people by even the Pakistani's.

Guildofcannonballs said...

Beat it. BEAT IT.

You can't, you can't touch it.

I actually respect your not even tryin'.

I doubly respect you're not even trying.

J. Farmer said...

@Etienne:

We know who they are, we know where they live.

And you know this how?

Peggy Coffey said...

My strategy would be to release the military to actually fight. I would bomb them until the land is in large chunks after the military has killed every Afghan male in sight. Then I would pack our military up and tell the Afghani's that are left if they caused any more shit, I would be back

J. Farmer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Howard said...

Etienne: You propose the US destabilize a secular nuclear power with a strong Islamic culture. That's beyond stupid.

J. Farmer said...

@Peggy Coffey:

With all due respect, I don't think you know what the hell you're talking about. But unfortunately that's never been a hindrance for many Americans when it comes to advocating unleashing perverse levels of violence on people in other countries. What shit are the Afghani's causing? The fighting that's going on is going on completely inside Afghanistan. The entire purpose of US troops in Afghanistan is the U.S.–Afghanistan Strategic Partnership Agreement. Afghanistan has an internationally-recognized government, and our stated purpose there is to assist them with security and economic development. Can you please explain to me what threat Taliban fighters in Helmand province pose to American national security? They have no means of getting here or attacking us.

Khesanh 0802 said...

I was hoping for a pull out of all troops- 16 years is long enough. In that I am disappointed. On the other hand I am pleased that Trump heeded the advice and counsel around him and decided to go with those who had the most expertise - and the interest of the troops in mind as well. Trump laid out the conditions for "success": overwhelming the Taliban in the field; meaningful cooperation from Pakistan: involvement by India; successful self-government in Afghanistan I suspect if anyone of those conditions remains unmet in the near future he will end our involvement.

Howard said...

Trump doesn't own the whole enchilada, but he is definitely buying an option on Afghanistan. If his plan fails, he will be just one among many failed president, if it works, he gets 99% of the credit. He's rolling the dice because there is little downside for him politically.

J. Farmer said...

Khesanh 0802:

Trump might as well as set the affirmation of geocentrism as a condition for success. That's about as likely as "successful self-government in Afghanistan."

Howard said...

The arms and money flow from Pakistan, Iran and Russia to the Taliban is like a multiplex network of Ho Chi Minh Trails. Trump can only be successful if he gets Putin on board.

ndspinelli said...

Drip, drip, drip. This war makes Vietnam look organized and well executed. General Kelly's son died in the Afghan War and he's determined to make that death worthwhile by having more fathers and mothers lose a son.

Guildofcannonballs said...

As I oblige myself, giving credence to those opinions, I MUST SEPARATE THE OPINION FROM THE PERSON BUT NOT THE BOT OFFERING, ought be much easier than Gram said childhood living was.

Of course, Gram cared so much he taught ultimately others, very very influential, to not care 'less you welcome death. This isn't Gram but what other's could rightly conclude his legacy be.

Sans musically.

(Sand musically auto-corrected from my "sans" as if some motherfucker wants to claim and bitch later Gram didn't influence this).

Afghanistan is sand musically.

Musically sand is why people ought pony up for my teachings and wisdomly proliferations at little to no cost to you, my consumer.

Howard said...

Some think this war is about the rich untapped mineral deposits.

J. Farmer said...

@Howard:

He's rolling the dice because there is little downside for him politically.

He's also "rolling the dice" on US service members' lives. They are the ones who are going to have to pay...in blood, in limbs, in mental traumas that can endure a lifetime, and in their lives. I would hope that if a president were to ask American military personnel to make such an unimaginable sacrifice, it would be for something a little more vital to the republic than acting as the Kabul governments' police force.

Howard said...

Wikipedia:Afghanistan has abundant non-fuel mineral resources, including both known and potential deposits of a wide variety of minerals ranging from copper, iron, and sulfur to bauxite, lithium, and rare-earth elements.[30] It was announced in 2010 that about $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits were identified in Afghanistan,[31][32] enough to fundamentally alter the Afghan economy. According to other reports the total mineral riches of Afghanistan may be worth over $3 trillion US dollars.[33][34][35] "The previously unknown deposits — including huge veins of iron, copper, cobalt, gold, and critical industrial metals like lithium — are so big and include so many minerals that are essential to modern industry that Afghanistan could eventually be transformed into one of the most important mining centers in the world".[36] Ghazni Province may hold the world's largest lithium reserves.[37] The deposits were described in the USGS report on Afghanistan in 2007.[38][39] Afghan President Hamid Karzai remarked "Whereas Saudi Arabia is the oil capital of the world, Afghanistan will be the lithium capital of the world."[40][41] Afghanistan invited 200 global companies for the development of its mines.[42]

Howard said...

J. Farmer: agreed. I'm just looking at Trumps' calculus and don't think he is concerned with the little people.

Hagar said...

McCain praises Trump´s Afghan speech:
´Big step in right direction´


That settles it. This will not go well.

David Begley said...

This lasts less than 24 hours. A pardon for Sheriff Joe creates a firestorm.

J. Farmer said...

“This Trump plan, at least so far as I understand it, sounds a lot like the kind of plan we’ve come up with again and again since the end of World War Two,” a senior Pentagon officer says. “We’re going to surge troops, reform the government we support and put pressure on our allies. In this building [the Pentagon] there’s a hell of a lot of skepticism. And that’s because we all know what this new strategy really means – and what it means that the only way we can get out of Afghanistan is to get further in. You know, it seems to me that if there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s that that doesn’t work.”

How the Brass Talked Another President into a Losing Strategy

Guildofcannonballs said...

If Mitt Romney, whose driver Dean Barnett I named my dog in reverence after, after I heard him interview Andy Sullivan (used to have a blog, like Dean did soxblog) had as his only goal to become Donald Trump, he would fail. As would many, many others, you know, through no fault of their own.

But the constant reminder these failures need to be heard makes people want them to shut up more and more.

In this respect, only, Jeb Bush is a pretty good guy, you know, as far as this type of thing goes. Afghanistan.

Guildofcannonballs said...

"Afghanistan and the response" would elicit a different commentary from me.

Have my over-adjustments over-justified?

Etienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

"My strategy would be to release the military to actually fight. I would bomb them until the land is in large chunks after the military has killed every Afghan male in sight."

Is there some new technology? Bombs that kill only males? Women and girl children never get killed, they miraculously escape the bombs?

Big Mike said...

@Hagar, McCain and Graham are both happy. Sumpin's wrong.

Mac McConnell said...

There is only one reason we made efforts to nation build in Afghanistan and Iraq. That reason is located between them.

William said...

I remember Obama saying that we should never have invaded Iraq but that Afghanistan was a righteous war that he was committed to winning there. I never once heard anyone say it was Obama's war.... .Maybe after enough jihadis are killed, some of the brighter Taliban will adjust their strategy. Or maybe not. The FARC guerrillas stayed active in the Columbian jungle for fifty years. Wars are generally won when one side or the other has had their fill of death, but the Muslims, especially the Afghans, take an unholy joy in murder and suicide......I suppose there are strategies and tactics that will make things worse, but there are no available strategies or tactics that will make things better. Perhaps God can send another Prophet to rectify or clarify some of those dicey passages in the Koran. The Muslims are always producing fresh new Mahdis. How about a new Prophet?

Unknown said...

Trump's being a good cooperative boy and is listening to the Generals and the grown ups now that Bannon's gone. A little late. What a flip flop from what he said on the campaign trail and even before. Maybe he was convinced by the smart people that it isn't as easy as he thought to end this war.

Etienne said...

J. Farmer said......And you know this how?

Same way we knew where UBL lived. Put a tail on the middle men.

The CIA has 1000's of people in cubicles updating the order of battle maps. They spend billions on field agent contractors.

Hell, every 5th Pakistani above the grade of Sergeant is probably on the payroll.

FullMoon said...

This comment has been edited for clarity

Guildofcannonballs said...

When is the poison labeled "DEADLY YOU DUMB FUCK" vs. "oh it's so good?"

Numbers, NOW and PRECISE!

Without data, you, you and you and you and you and you and you, and you, numerous are no, CAN'T BE, no extrapolated folly the deuces.

J. Farmer said...

@Etienne:

Your answer makes no sense. You said: "We know who they are, we know where they live."

Who are "they?" How much HUMINT resources do you think the CIA has in Helmand province? You're making wild assumptions based on no evidence whatsoever. The CIA has a long history of getting things spectacularly wrong, yet you seem to think they operate with Jason Bourne-like efficiency.

Guildofcannonballs said...

Now we're gonna have to separate the Venn's from Trump and Afghanistan. AfghanistN and a Trump. Trump and Afghanistan, where the best and brightest empires of liberty's torch die 'cause hubris and 'Sades.

'Sades.

The Christian Crusades, the "'Sades."

'Sades yo.

'Sades bro.

'Sades asshole. Fucking prick.

Guildofcannonballs said...

'Sades.

'Sades.

'Sades.

'Sades."

Sades

"Sades"

'Sades

'Sades

'Sades

'Sades

Crusades Bigot!

steve uhr said...

Let's hope this new policy means more girls can go to school without being stoned to death.

Achilles said...

Blogger J. Farmer said...
@Etienne:

We know who they are, we know where they live.

"And you know this how?"

Every phone call and email is sitting on a database. The only thing holding them back is interpreters.

They don't don't need interpreters in the US.

Howard said...

Etienne has perfect 20/20 vision from 50,000-feet.

Etienne said...

J. Farmer said...How much HUMINT resources do you think the CIA has in Helmand province?

Wrong country. I'm not thinking about Afghanistan. I'm thinking about the Pakistan Taliban. The people who are training the soldiers to fight the Americans and Afghans.

The Pakistan Taliban are just as easy to find as any other terrorist.

The source of money going into the Pakistan Taliban is also known. These should be at the top of the target list, but you have to do it so Pakistan Army won't shut down the highway to Karachi.

Etienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Kill terrorists.
Kill terrorists
Kill terrorists.

Good plan.

Achilles said...

Blogger Unknown said...
"Kill terrorists.
Kill terrorists
Kill terrorists.

Good plan."

Obama's plan:

Release terrorists
Release terrorists
Release terrorists

Trump's plan is an upgrade from that at least.

Ray said...

There is another sea port in Iran that India has been funding as a land route to Afghanistan. Eventually to be connected by Train.

In the North there is another train connection.

Used to be one through the Kyber pass in the British times. Talks of rebuilding it.

Al Queda and Taliban are the same. See longwar journal for analysis.

A big issue was making a strong central government, where none ever was. Kings were titular.

Surrounded by 3 countries arming the Taliban. Iran, Russia, Pakistan.

And what of China? They have a border...

Feste said...

Gambling for [Political] resurrection

And better,

Conflict, Agency, and Gambling for Resurrection: The Principal-Agent Problem Goes to War

"High information uncertainty forces a citizenry to gauge battlefield success by ..."

Etienne said...

Ray said......And what of China? They have a border...

The border there is all mountains. Chicoms don't do mountains...

Achilles said...

"Who are "they?" How much HUMINT resources do you think the CIA has in Helmand province? You're making wild assumptions based on no evidence whatsoever. The CIA has a long history of getting things spectacularly wrong, yet you seem to think they operate with Jason Bourne-like efficiency."

They know what is going on.

The errors have been politically motivated.

At the operational level the intelligence community works very well. It is the DC political critters that cause the disconnect you are trying to figure out.

MaxedOutMama said...

Interesting and substantive. Something for everyone to dislike, but importantly, I would think that many foreign interests dealing with the decision of whether to cater to terrorist groups would be terrified.

RE Afghanistan, what he actually said was:
1) We will throw a lot of money in the pot to the central government (which will be used to bribe the local Taliban/warlords to make treaty with the Kabul government),
2) As long as any of the local warlords give no aid and comfort to our enemies, we will allow them to retain their territory (but the central government can do as it pleases),
3) If you don't like that offer, I have authorized the American military to bomb your mountain fortresses, and you with them, right off the face of the earth. Go ahead, make my day. No, we are not withdrawing.

The explicit offer of talks with the Taliban was interesting, the precondition to those talks being that they disavow any foreign support for other militant Islamic groups supporting strikes in Western territory. I expect the military has a plan to obliterate the first local Afghani entity to nominate himself as an example. This will be done in part to convince Who Flung Dung over in NK that opening hostilities would, yes, be unwise. NK has already backed down due to Trump linking Chinese trade with the Chinese explicit statement that NK had no protection from China if it opened hostilities.

That was quite simply the most MILITANT opening to peace talks I have ever heard. The chair sure ain't empty any more.

Clearly the early Afghan bunker-buster was the first move in this strategy.

I really, really like the mention of India - we have neglected that relationship where we should not have been derelict. It is crucially necessary for the defense of Australia, for one thing. The old man is doing much better than I ever thought he would.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Jack Wayne said...
Polls down 5 in a week or less.


And Hillary will beat Trump in a landslide.

J. Farmer said...

@Achilles:

They know what is going on.

And your evidence for this is?

It is the DC political critters that cause the disconnect you are trying to figure out.

Yes, I know, this is the favorite refrain of those who favor the military sledgehammer approach. Whenever it doesn't work, it's the politics' fault. It just can't be that the US military is quite bad at achieving certain objectives (e.g. defeating asymmetric guerrilla warfare).

Again, I will point to the arguments in this article:
How the Brass Talked Another President into a Losing Strategy

Achilles said...

J. Farmer said...
@Achilles:

They know what is going on.

And your evidence for this is?

Without getting too specific I was in Afghanistan 3 times and I was in mission planning where we discussed our target network and targets.

If we were serious we could have completely eliminated the Taliban really at any point within a few months and made everyone else too scared to join them.

Yes, I know, this is the favorite refrain of those who favor the military sledgehammer approach. Whenever it doesn't work, it's the politics' fault. It just can't be that the US military is quite bad at achieving certain objectives (e.g. defeating asymmetric guerrilla warfare).

Quite the contrary we were extremely efficient. We knew who. We knew where. I was a part of the last step where we moved in and did the kill/capture part. The efficacy of our groups of 18-30 year old men would astound most of the people here. Granted I was in Ranger Battalion, but I don't think most people who haven't been there and seen it could grasp how well we did these particular jobs.

The problem is towards the end it was all capture and release within a few weeks. We caught the same guy 3 times in a 3 month period on my last deployment. One group had an HME factory in their compound and they were all let go. We watched some taliban wire up a compound over a series of days and drag an initiator line to an adjacent compound and we were not allowed to destroy either compound. We had to leave a strip map with a Giant X on it saying "DON'T GO HERE" for the incoming group when we left.

It was seriously a joke.

Big Mike said...

@Achilles, they get their information about our combat troops from Vietnam movies with an anti-war theme and Tina Fey comedies. They absolutely don't get that our troops today are better equipped and vastly better trained than the cannon fodder shipped off to Southeast Asia to fight in a war of attrition with rifles notorious for jamming.

Plus J. Fsrmer is a monomaniac supporter of isolationism, so mothing you write will provide proof that he will find acceptable.

Unknown said...

What the US needs more than anything are General Armchair's. The US needs hundreds of them. Ooops, wrong again. They already exist. On this blog.

Unknown said...

Trump AFG strategy:

"Bush was stupid. Obama was even more stupid (and psst BLACK). I'm not stupid. I'm going to do what Bush and Obama did with less men and win. You are going to see so much winning you will want to stop me from all the winning."

Humperdink said...

Unknown AA blog strategy: Trump Russia, Trump Russia, Trump Russia, Trump taxes, Trump stooopid, Trump impeached, Trump Liar, Trump Putin ..... Pass Go ..... repeat.

Unknown said...

The logic of Trump world:

Obama: "I am going to do X"
Trumpuppeteers: "You motherfucker n*****, get out my country you motherfucker m*****.

Trump: "I am going to do X with less and win"
Trumpuppeteers: "Way to go. You are the greatest President ever. God bless America. Fuck you lefties."

exiledonmainstreet said...

Unknown's motto: I proudly add more stupid to the world every single day!

Etienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

@Humperdink says Trump Russia repeated

Guess what? The Trump-Russia thing hasn't gone away and it isn't going away. Both the Mueller and NY AG investigations have been ramping up for months.

The error Trumpuppets make is to keep asking "Where is the evidence?". There is not a single reason for Mueller or the NY AG to show what they have before completing their investigations.

Kevin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kevin said...

Jack Keane: "Obama gave the generals 25% fewer troops than the minimum they required. Then he stunned them by publicly announcing they'd also be gone in 15 months before he even discussed it with them."

This was Obama the General fighting the good war in Afghanistan.

Obama the General in Iraq pulled out all of our troops, created a vacuum for the "JV" ISIS team to fill, armed them via Syria, and then demanded we take in the resulting Middle East refugees or be labeled racist Islamophobes.

Kevin said...

"Bush was stupid. Obama was even more stupid (and psst BLACK). I'm not stupid. I'm going to do what Bush and Obama did with less men and win. You are going to see so much winning you will want to stop me from all the winning."

Ever notice the only people who make an issue of Obama's race are his supporters? The rest of the world just sees him as a person.

Kevin said...

The error Trumpuppets make is to keep asking "Where is the evidence?"

The error the "impeach him now" crowd makes is assuming they don't need any.

Kevin said...

That wasn't exactly a George W. Bush reception from the troops.

It wasn't an address to them, it was an address to the nation. They were instructed to sit quietly during the speech.

Browndog said...

I'm afraid Trump fell into the trap of thinking he can fix a bad thing by doing it the right way. I've been an advocate of full withdrawal from Afghanistan for several years.

That said, Afghanistan is Ground Zero of American heroine epidemic, and I would advocate something be done in that particular 'theater of war'.

antiphone said...

Am I the only one who heard him giving Afghanistan to India?

Well, well, even a blind squirrel finds a clue now and then.

Robert Cook said...

"Europe is paying the price for that failure though."

Europe is paying the price for our decision to enter the Middle East. Period. They will continue to pay for our staying there and continuing our murder and destruction in other people's lands.

harrogate said...

Donald Trump, neocon.

Of all the things I didn't expect to say about him after Election Day, this might top the list.

Robert Cook said...

"Trump wants a united country."

Yes, Marvin Trump, Unitarian Minister, Elbow, Louisiana.

Donald Trump...not so much.

Tank said...

Robert Cook said...

"Europe is paying the price for that failure though."

Europe is paying the price for our decision to enter the Middle East. Period. They will continue to pay for our staying there and continuing our murder and destruction in other people's lands.


Europe invited the problem in because they are better and smarter than those unsophisticated Americans. They could have stopped the flood of invaders, but chose not to. To the contrary, Herr Merkel encouraged them all to come.

Bad Lieutenant said...


Blogger antiphone said...
Am I the only one who heard him giving Afghanistan to India?

Well, well, even a blind squirrel finds a clue now and then.
8/22/17, 6:54 AM

LOL, am I the blind squirrel or is President Trump? I take it you agree somewhat.



Blogger Robert Cook said...
"Europe is paying the price for that failure though."

Europe is paying the price for our decision to enter the Middle East. Period. They will continue to pay for our staying there and continuing our murder and destruction in other people's lands.
8/22/17, 7:14 AM

1) to be clear, Europe isn't paying for their decision to enter the ME, but for OUR decision to enter the ME?

2) my heart bleeds at the thought of Europe paying for anything whatsoever.

3) just so you know, Robert, the totalitarians who would come into power here if you had your way would be very interventionist globally according to their wishes and needs.

Known Unknown said...

"of American heroine epidemic"

Sexist.

antiphone said...

...am I the blind squirrel or is President Trump?

Were there not so many nuts around we would all starve, but in this instance, Trumps new stance on Afghanistan, it's as though he got a call from Henry Kissinger and Henry explained a few things to him, as only Henry could. Was it really Kissinger, or was it Vlad? Who can say.

Robert Cook said...

"'Winning' in Afghanistan would be stupidly easy.

"But someone wanted that war to last forever."


Ha! Every time we get involved in a quagmire that we can't win and won't leave, it's because "someone wanted that war to last forever," or because "we didn't fight it to win."

Tell me: what is winning in Afghanistan? Is it complete devastation of the country we have invaded? The murder of every last person in the country? What is even our purpose there? Why did we invade? Certainly, all of the reasons claimed by the government are lies.

Robert Cook said...

"Europe invited the problem in because they are better and smarter than those unsophisticated Americans. They could have stopped the flood of invaders, but chose not to."

There would not be the flood of refugees fleeing their war-torn lands if we hadn't ignited the conflagration in the Middle East by invading the region a decade and a half ago.

Robert Cook said...

"Ever notice the only people who make an issue of Obama's race are his supporters?"

No.

oldguy76 said...

1. kill Taliban for a while
2. bury half a dozen nukes in caves that we can set off remotely
3. pack up and leave
4. once the taliban take over, set off the nukes.
5. Blame pakistan/North korea.
6. Wait 1000 years for the radiation to drop to safe levels.

Robert Cook said...

"I remember Obama saying that we should never have invaded Iraq but that Afghanistan was a righteous war that he was committed to winning there."

Just one reason why Obama was as bad as Bush, and belongs in prison along with him for being a war criminal. We had zero reason to invade Afghanistan, and and less than zero reasons for staying.

Robert Cook said...

J. Farmer is killing it with his comments here...laying waste to everyone else.

Unknown said...

Trump speech on AFG summarized: The policy of the last Administration will be continued.

Robert Cook said...

"Trump speech on AFG summarized: The policy of the last Administration will be continued."

Of the last two administrations.

The longest war in US history, and from the start, for no justified purpose at all.

J. Farmer said...

@Achilles:

Without getting too specific I was in Afghanistan 3 times and I was in mission planning where we discussed our target network and targets.

And I have read and spoken to numerous people who have fought in Afghanistan, and they are nowhere near as cocksure as you are about our ability to defeat the Taliban. So, no, I don't find the "I've been there" line of argumentation particularly persuasive.

The problem is towards the end it was all capture and release within a few weeks.

When was "towards the end?"

@Big Mike:

Plus J. Fsrmer is a monomaniac supporter of isolationism, so mothing you write will provide proof that he will find acceptable.

No, I am a non-interventionist. That this is routinely confused with "isolationism" is part of the problem.

@Achilles: and @Big Mike:

To both of you, let me repeat a question that I have asked repeatedly and has yet to be answered....

Why do we need to do this? What American national interest is being served by US soldiers acting as the Kabul government's security force?

mockturtle said...

Cookie is right. We never learn from failures, either our own or those of other countries. More likely, we don't care to. This is the first time I've been disappointed in Trump. Just as in Vietnam, prolonging the failed effort won't make it a successful one. Both wars were ill-advised and only the war industry has benefited.

A war worth fighting is worth winning but we have lost track of the former.

Unknown said...

@Robert Cook says J. Farmer is killing it with his comments here...laying waste to everyone else.

Yep, J. Farmer makes excellent points for 2001 not 2017. Bush/Cheney created the unnecessary Afghanistan war and the horrendously unnecessary Iraq war. Both wars metastazised into multiple dangerous situations for US and European security and continue to be today.

Only idiots would blame Obama for trying to solve problems which even Bush/Cheney could not at the end of their administration.

Trump to solve the Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Iran, North Korea problems? Keep smoking the green stuff.



Robert Cook said...

The only "solution" possible is simply to stop, and leave. Completely and without delay.

Bad Lieutenant said...

You people are mostly feeble minded. Trump is teaching Business School right here, yo. He is systematically divesting the US of a nonperforming asset, a country known as Afghanistan.

Nothing in this speech mattered but one word: "India," the new investor.

The Great Game must be played, but it does not have to be played by us.

Kevin said...

Why do we need to do this? What American national interest is being served by US soldiers acting as the Kabul government's security force?

Change the word "Afghanistan" to "Iraq". We already know what happened. Right after Biden called it one of Obama's "Great Achievements":

1. Vacuum created
2. Rise of the "JV Team" ISIS
3. Destabilization of Syria
4. Red lines.
5. Arming of anti-Syrian ISIS forces
6. 6000+ US troops back into Iraq to kill ISIS
7. Retaking ground we held and voluntarily gave up

If you're going to argue people have ignored the lessons of the last 16 years, you're going to open yourself up to charges of ignoring the last six.

Kevin said...

The Great Game must be played, but it does not have to be played by us.

Shhhh. People hard at work ignoring the obvious.

Khesanh 0802 said...

@J. Farmer I don't necessarily disagree with your stance , but the article you link to is based upon one unnamed Pentagon source in opposition and one named source in favor. Pretty weak tea. The guy in favor says things are improving with the Afghan security forces, the unnamed source just doesn't like being there. I thought we had all agreed that any article based on unnamed sources is fake news from the outset.

It was not too long ago that those in the know were convinced that Iraq's security forces would never be able to defeat ISIS. The last couple of months have proven those people wrong. Perhaps, Afghan's security forces can achieve the same success given a few more years. We'll see.

Humperdink said...

I see Unknown did not get the memo. Russia is off the commie-pinko lib radar screen. Nazi is the new buzzword. It's gonna bring down Trump, I tell ya.

Ray said...

China has mentioned trains with Afghanistan. And China has a few investments in Afghanistan. China actually built a train in the Himalayas, amazing Engineering feat. As mentioned above, there is a lot of mineral wealth in Afghanistan.

One time I had dinner with a Chinese business man / lower level party official, and somehow we were talking about Afghanistan, and he mentioned China's border which I found interesting...

Russia has an interest in reducing the importation of Heroin, huge drug problem. Afghanistan also has a huge problem.

The US put in place a biometric database, so I am sure they know who's who. I am not surprised at the catch and release issue.

>>Ray said......And what of China? They have a border...
>The border there is all mountains. Chicoms don't do mountains...

Khesanh 0802 said...

@J. Farmer (back to last night.) As I said if Trump's conditions are not met then we will be gone. This is a bit better than Obama's "we'll leave regardless of conditions on the ground".

Whether you like the outcome or not one should be encouraged that Trump when through the exercise of consulting and testing his notions against those with some expertise in the matter. This had to be a tough decision for him in that he clearly leans toward pulling out all our troops.

When one looks at where Afghanistan is situated it is easy to understand why it would be desirable to have a successful independent country there.

J. Farmer said...

@Khesanh 0802:

When one looks at where Afghanistan is situated it is easy to understand why it would be desirable to have a successful independent country there.

Of course it would be desirable. I don't doubt that. Many things would be desirable. The question is whether they can be achieved at an acceptable price. I think the answer is decidedly no. As the cliche goes, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Khesanh 0802 said...

Looking at the "butcher's bill" for 9/11 and Afghanistan the number of deaths is similar, wounded much higher and the costs in Afghanistan have been about $800 billion. There has been no repeat of 9/11 - a good thing.

The September 11 attacks (also referred to as 9/11)[nb 1] were a series of four coordinated terrorist attacks by the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda on the United States on the morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001. The attacks killed 2,996 people, injured over 6,000 others, and caused at least $10 billion in infrastructure and property damage.[2][3](Wikipedia)

As of October 18th, 2016, there have been 2,386 U.S. military deaths in the War in Afghanistan. 1,834 of these deaths have been the result of hostile action. 20,049 American service members have also been wounded in action during the war. In addition, there were 1,173 U.S. civilian contractor fatalities. (Wikipedia)

Tough decision. One I am glad that I did not have to make.

Robert Cook said...

"You people are mostly feeble minded. Trump is teaching Business School right here, yo. He is systematically divesting the US of a nonperforming asset, a country known as Afghanistan."

Since when is Afghanistan a US "asset?" And how is increasing the number of troops there a act of "divesting" the US of this "nonperforming asset?"

Rusty said...

What possible use to us, or the rest of the world for that matter, is a stable and prosperous Afghanistan?
"

Bad Lieutenant said...


Robert Cook said...
"You people are mostly feeble minded. Trump is teaching Business School right here, yo. He is systematically divesting the US of a nonperforming asset, a country known as Afghanistan."

Since when is Afghanistan a US "asset?" And how is increasing the number of troops there a act of "divesting" the US of this "nonperforming asset?"
8/22/17, 12:38 PM

The problem with your disingenuous this, Robert, is that it's difficult to know when and whether to trust you. I.e., if I explain this to you in small words, am I just wasting my time?

Bad Lieutenant said...

Disingenuousness - stupid Android