Stanley McChrystal: enough fighting

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Stanley McChrystal: enough fighting

Post by spot »

May I quote briefly from today's BBC news?Gen Stanley McChrystal told the UK's Financial Times that there had been "enough fighting" and he wanted a political solution to the conflict.

President Obama's deployment of 30,000 extra US troops to Afghanistan would weaken the Taliban enough to force it to agree a peace deal, he said. He added that the Taliban could help run the country in future.

BBC News - US commander signals peace talks with Taliban



I wonder what the minimum requirement of the Taliban will be.

How about the negotiated Afghanistan having self-determination and no US bases anywhere within its territory? That, it strikes me, is a likely minimum.

The abolition of Opium cultivation throughout Afghanistan is quite likely to be high on their list too. According to United Nations International Drug Control Programme Annual Opium Poppy Survey 2001,In July 2000, Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar declared that growing poppies was un-Islamic, resulting in one of the world's most successful anti-drug campaigns. As a result of this ban, opium poppy cultivation was reduced by 91% from the previous year's estimate of 82,172 hectares. The ban was so effective that Helmand Province, which had accounted for more than half of this area, recorded no poppy cultivation during the 2001 season.At the moment, by contrast, over half the Afghan GNP derives from Opium cultivation.

The Taliban are and always have been an arm of Pakistan's military. Pakistan currently is flooded with this unIslamic Afghan warlord profiteering trade. Surely even the West has an interest in bringing it to a halt. A Taliban-controlled government is the surest way of achieving that aim. Nothing since the invasion has made any dent in opium production, it's four times higher now than it was before the Taliban cracked down on it in 2000.

What else might they insist on before cooperating? Why should they cooperate on any lesser terms?
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Stanley McChrystal: enough fighting

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I understood that the west is short of morphine. Afghanistan produces poppies. Why can't there be some sort of trade agreement between the west and Afghanistan, so that the Afghans can gain legitimate income through something which they can produce. If this is done properly, with affective safeguards etc. then Afghanistan would be able to export a commodity legally, and improve their economy, and the west would obtain sufficient morphine. All would be sorted, or am I talking a load of bollocks here? After all, I'm only a simple soul. :o
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Stanley McChrystal: enough fighting

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G#Gill;1285087 wrote: I understood that the west is short of morphine. Afghanistan produces poppies. Why can't there be some sort of trade agreement between the west and Afghanistan, so that the Afghans can gain legitimate income through something which they can produce. If this is done properly, with affective safeguards etc. then Afghanistan would be able to export a commodity legally, and improve their economy, and the west would obtain sufficient morphine. All would be sorted, or am I talking a load of bollocks here? After all, I'm only a simple soul. :o


The limiting factor in how much morphine a country can import for medical use is what the International Narcotics Control Board allows them to buy. In the case of Western countries there's no shortage. Worldwide there may well be but it's the level of the cap on imports, the availability of medical funding in third world countries, the local laws and the reluctance of doctors to handle the stuff for fear of imprisonment which brings it about. There's currently a two-year stockpile of medical morphine worldwide due to overproduction (as best I can tell - do correct me if that's wrong), it's not available supply that stops it from getting to patients.

If the cap was lifted and all the world's countries took in as much for medical purposes as all patients wanted irrespective of cost or local laws the current producers could still churn it out, growing space isn't a limit. They're Australia, France, India, Spain, and Turkey. They have sufficient infrastructure to ensure little is diverted to the drugs trade. Why on earth would anyone choose to add Afghanistan, in its current grotesquely corrupt condition, to that list? Why, if the Taliban were back in control and again scaled back the country's output to minimal levels, would anyone invite them to change their minds and put the dangerous and tempting crop back into the fields? Give the chaps with the long beards a fair crack of the whip, they want a legal society, they want to eliminate crime, they want to express their local cultural values, they want the foreign occupation and Western bases removed, the locals are on balance in favour of having them do it, it's win-win for everyone concerned except the warlords of the Northern Alliance creaming off billions of drug dollars into Swiss accounts and bullion stashes.
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Stanley McChrystal: enough fighting

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Stanley's up on his hind legs again, and again he's spouting propaganda. He's a bit of a toerag is Stanley.After a decade of fighting in Afghanistan, retired Army General Stanley McChrystal estimated that the coalition was "a little better than" half way to achieving its military ambitions

BBC News - Hamid Karzai admits to Afghanistan 'security failure'

No, Stanley. Not only are you wrong but you're pitching so far into a non-existent future solely because you know damn well you're wrong. Little better than half way to achieving US military ambitions? They're unachievable in Afghanistan and you know it. I refer you back to my earlier posts in the thread for the reasons.

Whether you leave next year, in five years or in ten years you're going to leave. The Afghan electorate will put the Taliban back, regardless of how you rig the elections thereafter. If nothing else it will be a matter of national pride to leave no trace of the occupation. I expect the US will have a sudden influx of rich Northern Alliance drug barons buying US citizenship and that will be that.

What exactly are these "US military ambitions" you claim you're over half way to achieving? Unless it's a simple ambition to kill X foreigners or spend Y dollars I'd be fascinated to see an inventory. In all these last ten years I've looked for one and not seen it.
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Re: Stanley McChrystal: enough fighting

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Stanley McChrystal's observation in 2011 that America was half way done with occupying Afghanistan. Well done General, you got it spot on to the year. Started 2001, half way 2011, withdrawing all combat forces 2021.

How did it go, General? America won?

Or would you like a bet on whether the Afghan administration will be Taliban-dominated later this decade? That the present members of the Afghan administration will be in exile and that opium production will be finally suppressed?

Once the combat forces are withdrawn, could I hope that no more bombing from the air will happen? Cruise missiles or planes? Or is killing foreigners from a distance still allowed.
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Re: Stanley McChrystal: enough fighting

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We're well into the final few weeks of the occupation of Afghanistan.

I note that "More than 3,000 Afghans are expected to be settled in the UK in light of the planned withdrawal of British, US and NATO troops from the country over the next three months." - https://www.expressandstar.com/news/loc ... m-airport/

So, the civilian collaborators are being evacuated with their families.

We also have the US military command center abandoned during a midnight flit: "The US departure was marred by disorganisation. There was a gap between the American troops leaving and their Afghan replacements arriving, allowing looters to ransack parts of the base. Unfortunately the Americans left without any coordination with Bagram district officials or the governor’s office,” the district administrator, Darwaish Raufi, told the Associated Press." - https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/ ... y-20-years

There's a bit about the evaporation of the local militia recruited by Kabul's Quisling government: "The retreat is the third time Afghan soldiers have fled to Tajikistan over the past three days and the fifth case over the past fortnight. In total, nearly 1,600 soldiers have crossed the border." - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-57720103

I'll make a prediction, how's that. I think the US embassy is going to be abandoned too, despite recent denials.

One question remaining is whether, once there's no UN or NATO fig-leaf legitimacy for US military action in the country, the US will continue with air strikes.

As for Afghanistan's future foreign relations, I suggest now would be a good time to remember previous instances of blowback. After twenty years of guerilla resistance to foreign military occupation there's quite likely a lot of blowback straining at the leash. Like there was in Iran after the fall of that odious UK/US puppet Pahlavi and his SAVAK torture regime, or Vietnam, or the unoccupied area of Korea. Or, more recently, Iraq.
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Re: Stanley McChrystal: enough fighting

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The UK may be withdrawing most of its troops from Afghanistan but it was not defeated on the battlefield, the head of the British armed forces has said.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-57774012

Just so, sir. Exactly right. Because there was no battlefield, there was no opposing army, there was no war.

There was an occupation. There was an asymmetric civilian resistance which is finally getting its own country back and which will no doubt punish any collaborators it gets its hands on.

You should be ashamed for enabling the blood-mired British government to interfere in Afghanistan at all.
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Re: Stanley McChrystal: enough fighting

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spot wrote: Tue Jul 06, 2021 3:59 am I'll make a prediction, how's that. I think the US embassy is going to be abandoned too, despite recent denials.


Let's keep track of this, too.
The US Embassy said that claims that US officials stepped up work on a possible evacuation of the US Embassy in Kabul are false and rejected the emergency evacuation plan.

In a statement, the US embassy said: “The US Embassy in Kabul is open and will remain open. As directed by President Joe Biden, we will continue to have a robust diplomatic presence in Kabul to carry out the range of work we do with the government and people of Afghanistan. We have no plans to close the Embassy.

Wall Street Journal had reported on Friday that US government plans for emergency evacuation from the Kabul based embassy after the last soldiers in Bagram airbase left Afghanistan for US.

https://www.khaama.com/no-plan-to-close ... s-embassy/
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Re: Stanley McChrystal: enough fighting

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spot wrote: Tue Jul 06, 2021 3:59 am One question remaining is whether, once there's no UN or NATO fig-leaf legitimacy for US military action in the country, the US will continue with air strikes.


An instance:
“They are freely walking inside Qala-i-Naw now,” the official said of the Taliban during some of the most intense fighting on Wednesday morning. “Only the army base is currently under government control and local officials are trapped there. The Taliban are in control of the majority of the city at this moment.”

Airstrikes and reinforcements from Afghanistan’s elite special forces helped push the Taliban fighters back, however, and by the evening a spokesperson for the defence minister, Fawad Aman, said government forces controlled the police and NDS offices and expected to clear the city of Taliban fighters within the next few hours.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/ ... withdrawal

"Airstrikes"? Since when did Afghan forces have an airstrike capacity. They have helicopters which are used more for private enterprise than for military deployment, to the extent that they're running down their airworthiness and service warranties far faster than they ought.

Will the Americans continue to provide air superiority from their Nevada Game Room sofas?

Here we are. Afghan air force fixed wing assets, Wikipedia: ten Cessnas and nineteen Embraer, both types with one propellor on their nose and "designed to be a low-cost system operated in low-threat environments".
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Re: Stanley McChrystal: enough fighting

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spot wrote: Tue Jul 06, 2021 3:59 amOne question remaining is whether, once there's no UN or NATO fig-leaf legitimacy for US military action in the country, the US will continue with air strikes.
US air support is now under Middle East command. It's not stopped the missions though.
The U.S. military launched several airstrikes this week in support of Afghan government forces fighting Taliban insurgents, including in the strategically important province of Kandahar, officials said Thursday.

The strikes demonstrate U.S. intentions to continue supporting Afghan forces with combat aircraft based outside the country, at least until the scheduled conclusion of the U.S. military withdrawal on Aug. 31. The Biden administration has not said whether it will continue that support after the pullout is complete.

[...] “The Afghan security forces have the capacity to sufficiently fight and defend their country, and we will continue to support the Afghan security forces where necessary in accordance with the guidance from the president and the secretary of defense,” Milley said.

Milley said the Taliban now control about half of the 419 district centers in Afghanistan, and while they have yet to capture any of the country’s 34 provincial capitals, they are pressuring about half of them. As the Taliban seize more territory, the Afghan security forces are consolidating their positions to protect key population centers, including Kabul, he said.

“A significant amount of territory has been seized over the course of six, eight, 10 months by the Taliban, so momentum appears to be — strategic momentum appears to be — sort of with the Taliban,” Milley said.


https://apnews.com/article/joe-biden-mi ... 5879308da3


Rather than have Afghan "security forces" - presumably they mean the national army and police forces - surrender piecemeal whenever they hear firing, it would be more orderly for both organizations to simply accept orders directly from the Taliban and get this end-game finished with fewer deaths.

And if anyone would like to predict how long Iran will retain its fundamentalist opposition to America, we'll have a basis for how long the Taliban will have popular support in government once the present bunch flee with as much cash as they can lay hands on.

The resentment in Iran, for those who weren't watching, was once explained by a somewhat frustrated American Secretary of State:
[In the year 2000, reflecting on this notion, U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright stated:]

In 1953 the United States played a significant role in orchestrating the overthrow of Iran's popular prime minister, Mohammad Mosaddegh. The Eisenhower Administration believed its actions were justified for strategic reasons; but the coup was clearly a setback for Iran's political development. And it is easy to see now why many Iranians continue to resent this intervention by America in their internal affairs.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohammad_ ... _1953_coup

Being Secretary of State she didn't like to use words like Quisling collaborationist when mentioning the puppet Shah. Not being Secretary of State, I have no such inhibition.
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Re: Stanley McChrystal: enough fighting

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Fighting is raging around three major cities in southern and western Afghanistan as Taliban militants seek to seize them from government forces.

Taliban fighters have entered parts of Herat, Lashkar Gah and Kandahar.

They have made rapid gains in rural areas since it was announced almost all foreign troops would go by September.

But the fate of these key cities could be crucial amid fears of a humanitarian crisis and how long government forces will be able to hold out.

The fundamentalist Islamist militia is already thought to have captured up to half of all Afghanistan's territory, including lucrative border crossings with Iran and Pakistan.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-58040141

Fewer people will die if

1. The UK and US embassies are permanently abandoned within the next ten weeks.

2. The current Kabul administration immediately invites the Taliban to form the next government instead of putting it off.

3. All foreign forces stop exploding things anywhere in the country and stay stopped. Apart from MOABs in Tora Bora as face-savers if they feel inclined, with press releases saying what vast numbers of terrerists they just annihilated.

The words nobody has yet said are "unconditional surrender". I wouldn't be surprised if the Taliban would quite like an apology as well, it would only be natural.
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