What Would You Do Wednesday? Afghanistan: Lots of armchair quarterbacks out there

At News Views, we’re always trying something to get y’all out here talking. This week, I’ve presented a twenty year old issue that has affected our entire country: Afghanistan.

We saw all the clips on the news of the Taliban retaking the country, people crowding cargo planes, and even hanging on to the plane trying to escape Taliban rule. Videos show people falling to their deaths from the cargo plane.

A Brief History of Afghanistan:

  • April 1979: In the Saur Revolution, or April Coup, the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan assassinates Afghan President Mohammed Daoud Khan.
  • December 1979: Soviets invaded Afghanistan in order to prop up the government, which faced internal rebellion.
  • Early 1989: As the Soviet Union disintegrated, the army withdrew, leaving the Afghan forces to take the lead in fighting an American-funded insurgency. US intelligence estimates over 15,000 Soviet troops died in the decade-long war. The Soviets kept advisers with the Afghans and continued financing the military.
  • 1992: The American CIA, which backed Afghan rebel groups, withdrew its aid. The Russians also cut its funding. The pro-Russian government was overthrown, and Afghanistan was plunged into a bloody civil war, setting the stage for the Taliban to assume power four years later.
  • 1994: The Taliban, or “students” in the Pashto language, emerges from Islamist fighters in Pakistan and Afghanistan who fought against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan for over a decade. That conflict ended in 1989.
  • 1996: After a two-year civil war, most of Afghanistan comes under the control of the Taliban, who institute fundamentalist policies and widespread repression of human rights.
  • Sep.11, 2001: Terrorists affiliated with al-Qaida hijack commercial planes to execute terror attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon outside Washington. The terrorists planned, trained and directed the attacks from Afghanistan.
  • Oct. 7, 2001: U.S. and United Kingdom forces begin Operation Enduring Freedom, a bombing campaign against Taliban forces in Afghanistan.
  • Dec. 17, 2001: U.S. and allied forces have driven Taliban from power in Afghanistan. Al-Qaida disperses.
  • April 17, 2002: President George W. Bush calls for a Marshall Plan for Afghanistan.
  • March 20, 2003: U.S. invades Iraq, diverting military resources and attention from Afghanistan.
  • Feb. 17, 2009: President Barack Obama recommits U.S. forces to Afghanistan to combat “resurgent” Taliban.
  • March 27, 2009: Obama announces new strategy for Afghanistan, connecting the return of the group in parts of the country to the Pakistani Taliban. He calls for greater cooperation from Pakistan.
  • Dec. 1, 2009: Obama announces 30,000 additional troops will be sent to Afghanistan on top of the 68,000 already stationed in the country in a move later known as “the surge.”
  • May 2, 2011: Obama announces the U.S. military and CIA agents successfully found and killed Osama bin Laden.
  • June 22, 2011: Obama announces troop draw downs to begin in Afghanistan.
  • May 27, 2014: Obama announces plan for full troop withdrawal from Afghanistan by end of 2016.
  • Sep. 4, 2014: NATO issues a joint statement, designating that Afghan Security Forces “will assume full responsibility for security” of the country by the end of the year. International coalition ends its operations in Afghanistan, U.S. continues its own battle.
  • Aug. 21, 2017: President Donald Trump cautions against “hasty” troop withdrawal from Afghanistan that “would create a vacuum.” Trump said that he shares Americans’ “frustration” with foreign wars, assures that “we are not nation-building again; we are killing terrorists.”
  • Sep. 7, 2019: Trump calls off U.S.-Taliban peace talks that began in late 2018.
  • Feb 29, 2020: President Donald Trump negotiates a deal with the Taliban for U.S. troop withdrawal by May 1, 2021.
  • Nov. 17, 2020: Pentagon announces plans to reduce troop levels to 2,500 in Afghanistan and Iraq in final days of Trump administration. 
  • April 14, 2021:President Joe Biden announces that full troop withdrawal from Afghanistan will be complete by Sept. 11.
  • May 1: The U.S. begins final troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.
  • July 6:The U.S. evacuates Bagram Airfield, the largest military installation in the country since 2001 invasion. 
  • Aug. 6: Provincial capitals begin to fall to the Taliban.
  • Aug. 8: Provincial capitals Sar-e-Pul, Kunduz and Taloqan all fall to the Taliban.
  • Aug. 11: Fall of provincial capitals of Badakhshan and Baghlan provinces to the northeast and Farah province to the west.
  • Aug. 13: The county’s second-largest city, Kandahar, a cultural center and the foundation site of the Taliban, falls to the fundamentalist group.
  • Aug. 14: The country’s fourth-largest city, Mazar-e-Sharif, falls to the Taliban.
  • Aug. 15: Kabul, the national capital, falls to the Taliban. Afghan president flees country, government collapses. U.S. Embassy in Kabul is evacuated.

Lots of cut and paste but, I’m not that knowledgeable on the history of Afghanistan.

These are the remarks that struck numerous, melodic chords with me:

And then of course, there’s this incompetent buffoon that whatever he touched, turned to 💩 😡 💩 :

Then this guy who put us in Afghanistan weighs in:

Lots of armchair quarterbacking going on.

So, your task, as the intelligent lot you are, is to discuss the dilemma. Answer any and all questions you want but more importantly, share your ideas with your fellow News Viewers. Feel free to share your thoughts on how we should have handled the great exodus from America’s longest running war. Or, would you have? What could we or should we have done differently?

Hope you enjoy- Please understand that this is not a free chat thread. Please post to the topic; share your ideas, answer the questions I asked, and offer up any solutions/ideas, etc. you may have. I will also ask that you cite your source(s) if you use any.

We don’t do, “they say…” or cut and paste some unformatted something we found somewhere and never post a link to that something. We use credible sources and not taken out of context quotes or captions that do not bolster one’s claim once the entire quote or caption is read. You guys are waaaay more intelligent than that; show it.

I know what really bothers me the most. Back about a decade or more ago, no wing nut cared about Afghanistan nor its people. They only cared about the country’s resources and killing Muslims. In fact, I read comments from people stating we should blow up the entire country and Mid-East, in general, and “turn it all into glass.” So, what’s the sudden lovefest wing nuts now have for a country filled with a bunch of Muslims they hate? Short answer: The fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban happened under President Joe Biden; that’s it.

Afghanistan’s biggest cash crop:

Some good reads:

8 Paradoxes That Sum Up America’s 20-Year Mission In Afghanistan

President Trump’s Disgraceful Peace Deal with the Taliban

How the heroin trade explains the US-UK failure in Afghanistan

6 Political Takeaways For President Biden From The Chaotic Afghanistan Withdrawal

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