Taliban sweep across Afghanistan’s south; take 4 more cities

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    • #440087
      Ohio Barbarian
      Moderator
      • Total Posts: 21,888

      KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Taliban completed their sweep of the country’s south on Friday as they took four more provincial capitals in a lightning offensive that is gradually encircling Kabul, just weeks before the U.S. is set to officially end its two-decade war.

      In just the last 24 hours, the country’s second- and third-largest cities — Herat in the west and Kandahar in the south — have fallen to the insurgents as has the capital of the southern Helmand province, where American, British and NATO forces fought some of the bloodiest battles of the conflict.

      The blitz through the Taliban’s southern heartland means the insurgents now hold half of Afghanistan’s 34 provincial capitals and control more than two-thirds of the country — weeks before the U.S. plans to withdraw its last troops. The Western-backed government in the capital, Kabul, still holds a smattering of provinces in the center and east, as well as the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif.

      While Kabul isn’t directly under threat yet, the resurgent Taliban were battling government forces in Logar province, some 80 kilometers (50 miles) from the capital. The U.S. military has estimated that Kabul could come under insurgent pressure within 30 days and that the Taliban could overrun the rest of the country within a few months. They have already taken over much of the north and west of the country.

      Full story here

      It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

      You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

    • #440098
      jwirr
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      • Total Posts: 1,920

      While it is sad to see this happen to people who joined us in this war, this is not the first time. I remember this happening when our troops were evacuated from Vietnam. There are a few lessons we should get from this. First of all forget the idea of forever wars!! We cannot fight wars for years just so the rich can get richer.
      Second, we need to end our empire NOW. Other nations need to be allowed to chose their own rulers and fix their own problems.

      jwirr

    • #440105
      David the Gnome
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      • Total Posts: 3,276

      How much training and/or weaponry was actually given to the Afghan security forces, army, whatever.  I mean, after 20 years it is taking how long for the Taliban to capture the whole Country?  Wasn’t the U.S. supposedly dedicated to training the new Afghan forces to be able to fight?  Wasn’t the U.S. dedicated to creating “democratic allies” and shit?

      It seems like we didn’t accomplish, well, anything lasting.

      • #440107
        Ohio Barbarian
        Moderator
        • Total Posts: 21,888

        When we left South Vietnam, we left that puppet government with the third or fourth largest air force in the world, and they still crumbled in a little over two years.

        In Afghanistan, it’s happening faster. Maybe the locals are just better at pilfering the supplies than the Vietnamese were, I don’t know. I do know that corruption has been going on for so long there that they’ve turned it into an art form.

        Anyway, it seems fewer Afghans are willing to fight the Taliban than there were South Vietnamese who wanted to fight the North. Probably because the regime is so corrupt they’re not worthy of loyalty. If they weren’t corrupt, the US government would never have backed them in the first place.

        It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

        You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

      • #440132
        gordyfl
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        • Total Posts: 1,857

        According to Wikipedia, 186,000 soldiers are in the Afghan army. Their salaries will continue to be paid by the US. The Afghan soldiers’ salaries run around $3000 a year. The maintenance of their equipment and weaponry will continue to be paid by the US.  I don’t know if the US is paying for their police forces.

         

    • #440124
      Babel 17
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 5,376

      Once the pragmatists see that they’re in an unending war, they start seeing dying for the US backed government as not all that pragmatic an outcome.

      And as we approach the endgame in Afghanistan, the pragmatic soldiers that we trained are weighing the chances of the government they serve retaining some power, thus protecting them and their family, versus being part of their unit making a deal with the Taliban.

      I gotta wonder, the Afghani governments retreating forces, how many of them are leaving behind family in areas now controlled by the Taliban? Presumably the government recruited most heavily from areas around the capital, but still. And on top of that, the areas around the capitol are likely experiencing a lot more Taliban infiltrators in their midst. If the Taliban promises amnesties, look out, it could all be over in a flash, and we better have removed those who needed to be removed.

    • #440133
      beemerphill
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      • Total Posts: 134

      Why didn’t we destroy anything that could be used for fighting? Why did we leave all the buildings intact and capable of being used just by walking in after our departure? This is not the first time that we have left our allies to fend for themselves. There should have been plans in place and implemented. There are reports of the Taliban just walking up and driving away American military vehicles that we abandoned. Obviously, no one thought to destroy the drive train as they left. This is pathetic.

      beemerphill

      • #440198
        gordyfl
        Participant
        • Total Posts: 1,857

        We’re blowing up our humvees, tanks, MRAPs and D30 artillery pieces left in Afghanistan which they say are being confiscated by the Taliban.

      • #440250
        Ohio Barbarian
        Moderator
        • Total Posts: 21,888

        I think @gordyfl just answered your question: So Raytheon can make more money from drone strikes! Wow. The corruption would be unimaginable to me if I didn’t see it with my own eyes.

        It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

        You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

    • #440167
      Gryneos
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 1,653

      are crying that this is the reason why we need to go back to Afghanistan and “kick butt.”

      I’m also sure that there won’t be a single guest replying to them thusly: “We’ve been there for twenty years ‘kicking butt’. What has changed in the few months we haven’t been there that would help us to ‘kick butt’ in a way that we wouldn’t have to ‘kick butt’ anymore?” But that is a pipe dream. They will never have any guest on who challenges their own insane pipe dreams.

      Who are you? | What do you want? | Why are you here? | Where are you going? | Do you have anything worth living for? | Who do you serve and who do you trust?

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