Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Manu » 14 Aug 2019 02:44

Given Afghanistan's landlocked position. It seems there will never be a cheaper/more efficient location that Bakistan to supply the logistics for US troops/presence. I was researching the issue. Uzbekistan, Tejikistan, Turkmenistan - have all been tried. However, they have to be supplied by Air, which puts severe limitations on what and how much can be sent.

Apparently, Afghanistan has $3 TRILLION worth of Mineral wealth, which is unexplored/un exploited.

There seems to be no answer / way around Bakistan blackmail.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/us-turns-to-other-routes-to-supply-afghan-war-as-relations-with-pakistan-fray/2011/06/30/AGfflYvH_story.html?noredirect=on
A senior U.S. defense official said the military wants to keep using Pakistan, which offers the most direct and the cheapest routes to Afghanistan. But the Pentagon also wants the ability to bypass the country if necessary. With landlocked Afghanistan lacking seaports, and hostile Iran blocking access from the west, Pentagon logisticians have limited alternatives. “It’s either Central Asia or Pakistan — those are the two choices. We’d like to have both,” the defense official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to avoid alienating Pakistan. “We’d like to have a balance between them, and not be dependent on either one, but always have the possibility of switching.”
The northern routes were developed in the waning days of the George W. Bush administration. Since then, the U.S. government has expanded the network into a spiderweb of supply lines. Some start at Baltic seaports and run through Russia and Central Asia by rail. Another key line picks up traffic on the Black Sea and funnels it through the Caucasus region. One winding truck route begins at a U.S. Army depot at Germersheim, Germany, and ends, an average of 60 days later, at Bagram air base in Afghanistan. As with the Pakistan routes, the deliveries are all made by contractors.
“In reality, Uzbekistan is really at the center of all these routes,” said Alexander Cooley, a Barnard College professor and an expert on U.S. military relations in Central Asia. “They’re certainly in the catbird seat. And they know it.”

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Bart S » 14 Aug 2019 03:18

^Well there is Iran, if they can swallow their pride/pause their NeoCon stupidity for a bit.

The article is from 2011 BTW.

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby tandav » 15 Aug 2019 07:50

It appears that an independent Balochistan will be midwifed by India/USA/China/Russia/Iran as the most viable option. State of Pakistan's RaisinDieter of J&K is no longer there. Islam as a cement for statehood is not a sufficient condition. I submit that fighting India over J&K was part of the essential glue that held together the various ethno lingual groups constituting Pakistan.

Given that so far essentially ethnolingual/tribal groupings of various kinds have run islamo-theological states as separate entities and Islam itself has not been able to meld difference in these groups to present a unified face. So Balochistan can be an independent state, Sindh can be independent, Poonjob can be independent. India can transfer water directly to Sindh and Balochistan via Rajastan by tapping IWT western rivers to catalyze this process, which will bring lastly peace to all involved.

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Philip » 18 Aug 2019 09:55

Dreadful bonb at a Shia wedding in Kabul kills over 80 with another 150 injured.The Taliban and ISIS have regularly targeted Shias in Afg. and Pak.This makes a mockery of the US trying to work out a deal with the Taliban, virtually handing over the country to the Taliban/ ISI to Pak's benefit. Past time for the Shiites to return the Sunni "compliments", and Iran is always available to assist in the packaging.

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby pankajs » 21 Aug 2019 17:41

wokay ... what now? Where does this leave the AfPak peace process?

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/wor ... 769489.cms
No complete withdrawal from Afghanistan: Trump

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Rudradev » 21 Aug 2019 20:32

pankajs wrote:wokay ... what now? Where does this leave the AfPak peace process?

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/wor ... 769489.cms
No complete withdrawal from Afghanistan: Trump


Just as I said :mrgreen:

From the article:

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump has indicated that the US forces will not completely withdraw from warn-torn Afghanistan and America will have "somebody there" i.e. military contractor-based land and air forces under Erik Prince (Xe) to make sure that Taliban does not regain control.

Last edited by Rudradev on 21 Aug 2019 20:36, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby pankajs » 21 Aug 2019 20:34

Now what happens given that Taliban's position for long had been full US withdraw. Perhaps you have addressed this before.

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Rudradev » 21 Aug 2019 20:46

My guess: Taliban splinters. Many will go over to ISIS-AfPak (which has already grown to over 3000 cadres from only a handful some years ago). Some like the Haqqanis will remain strictly Islamabad's proxies (carrying out whatever instructions ISI feeds them, as they always have).

I hope that still others will tacitly join hands with the Kabul govt, NDS, and RAW to pursue the mission of an independent Pashtunistan straddling the Durand Line... that will depend on how we manage things in Chahbahar and of course the 1000-crore question of what happens in POJK.

I think the days of the Taliban Proper (i.e. the Quetta Shura faction) are numbered... you can only raise false hopes of "imminent victory over the Americans/puppet Kabul govt" and have them dashed so many times while still retaining your credibility. Taliban field commanders have been contemptuous of the Quetta Shura for at least a decade now, seeing them as wheeling-dealing fatcats living comfortably in Pakistan while the front-line forces halaal themselves in endless skirmishes and suicide missions. The serious die-hards in QS will go over to ISIS, and the relatively moderate ones will probably enter more "mainstream" (whatever that means in Af-Pak context) political movements on both sides of the border.

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby pankajs » 21 Aug 2019 21:03

Sound logical. Thanks.

When Frump says US will remain in Afghanistan in some shape or form they can do zlich without their Air wing and SF. Contractors as soldiers are fine but will the US hand over its Air assets in Afghanistan to contractors? I think not.

Perhaps it will be a mix where the ground operations / training will be outsourced where as the Air wing and SF will remain.

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Rudradev » 21 Aug 2019 21:20

Maybe.

Erik Prince's proposal does include a 90-plane "private air force":

https://www.voanews.com/usa/erik-prince ... fghanistan

Prince's plan would replace thousands of U.S. troops with fewer private contractors, who would be backed by a 90-plane private air force. The war would then be coordinated by what Prince calls a "viceroy."

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby krishna_krishna » 21 Aug 2019 21:26

Rudradev wrote:Maybe.

Erik Prince's proposal does include a 90-plane Air Force.


May be not , with official us Airforce and other supporting arms they are currently itching to get out with private Air Force support the contractors who are left there will try to get out at twice speed with bunnies on steroids after us withdrawal.

Yes this prince will mint money like porkies but their days would be numbered.Another massa chili pulao, day dream.

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Rudradev » 21 Aug 2019 21:51

There are a lot of things people say about Afghanistan that are famous because other people have said them. They have no bearing on reality.

Example 1) "Afghanistan is a graveyard of empires". No, it is not. It was the graveyard of the British empire, and of course the British had to paint this picture because how else would they maintain the narrative of being the greatest imperial power of all time? In truth, the Greco-Bactrians, Sakas, Kushans, Hindu Shahis, Uzbeks, any number of Mongol Khanates, Persians, Mughals, and Sikhs have all controlled and pacified it for indefinite periods of time. When they left, it was not because of "resistance from Afghans" was too tough, but because the resources to maintain a presence there did not justify the resources that could be extracted (and troops were needed elsewhere).

Example 2) "Afghans will never tolerate the presence of foreigners". Really. Even the Kingdom of Afghanistan since 1936 has been extraordinarily diverse with a lot of major ethnic groups having roots outside Afghanistan. Today it is 45% Pashtun, 20% Tajik, 9% Uzbek, 9% Hazara, 4% Aimak, 3% Turkmen, 2% Baloch, 4% others... with no group having an absolute majority, this is more diverse than any European country by far! And they do not tolerate foreigners?

So I am not convinced about "bunnies on steroids" either. Taliban have been fighting an unwinnable battle for 20 years. They have spent 5X the length of time out of power as they were in power. They have experienced a splintering of factions again and again (pro-Pak vs. anti-Pak, pro-ISIS vs. anti-ISIS, you name it). This is an obvious and inevitable consequence of losing any sense of dedication to their initial cause, since no fighting force on earth can sustain this sort of constant, enervating exhaustion for decades.

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby krishna_krishna » 21 Aug 2019 22:08

^^ I would add America and Soviet Union to the list.

I am not convinced either for American forces /contractors motivation to fight the loosing war.

Reality check: Do you believe America won in Afghanistan /is winning ?
Let’s start with that before I respond further.

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Rudradev » 21 Aug 2019 22:12

No. By relying on the Pakis they doomed their effort to stalemate at best.

Now let me ask a counter-question: if America does not "win" in Afghanistan, does that automatically mean the Taliban "wins"? What exactly do they "win"? And which "Taliban" exactly will be the "winner" (Quetta Shura? TTP? Haqqanis? Others?)

By the way the "Soviet Union" example actually proves my point. The Soviet Union was not defeated by heroic anti-imperialist resistance of Afghans in and of themselves. It was defeated by American and Gulf money/arms, Pakistani facilitation of jihad, and most importantly the inherent contradictions of the Soviet economy that led to a financial collapse. There were in fact plans by the Red Army to expand the war by rolling into Pakistan and destroying the global-jihadi camps in NWFP, but these were abandoned by Gorbachev as too likely to provoke a global nuclear conflict. If they had done it, no Afghan force by itself could have forced their withdrawal, regardless of how super-invincible against foreign oppression one might claim them to be.

Likewise the Americans too have been denied victory by events coordinated and organized in Pakistan, not Afghanistan.

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Atmavik » 21 Aug 2019 22:57

^^^ the afghan border must move back to its origin at the west bank of Indus.

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby krishna_krishna » 21 Aug 2019 23:14

Rudradev wrote:No. By relying on the Pakis they doomed their effort to stalemate at best.

Now let me ask a counter-question: if America does not "win" in Afghanistan, does that automatically mean the Taliban "wins"? What exactly do they "win"? And which "Taliban" exactly will be the "winner" (Quetta Shura? TTP? Haqqanis? Others?.


Good that we agree at least That America lost war in Afghanistan.

Some data before I answer the question , it is exactly 17 yrs, 10 months and 1 day since 2001 since America declared war on affhanistan(Comapratively total 20 yrs for whole Vietnam fiasco).

American loss means whoever they were fighting against win. They include talibunnies, Quetta shura, haaqanis , Pakistanis and others.

They have indefinite supply of drug money, American weapons via Pakistan and motivated men to remove invaders of their land.

Quetta shura exists and not the fake ones who come out to play drama of negotiations with muricans. They never have or will accept American presence on afghan soil. Why do u think porkistan has never been able to get them even to negotiation because they know more than anyone else is non negotiable for Quetta shura.

With all the money , surge in troops , dronacharya has been able to get zilch /nada for muricans. All you get from official massa channels is bunnies are in back foot and soon they will be defeated. Then my friend what is the need for negotiation with your enemy which are almost about to defeat?

The spanner in works actually happened with wapo post on American troops complaining that us made stingers used against us heli in Afghan that was given to porkistan. This opened up eyes of some in SD and deep state of extent of treachery of porkies. After which this drama of putting pressure on porkies started with poekies giving middle finger back of peanuts they got from
Massa and drama was for everyone to see.

Please read “Afghan war diaries” from wiki leaks on where this will lead too.

It will lead to massa declaring victory and going away leaving some contractors which will be forced out in few years and will be no post available to massa in this part of the world, that is what is bothering deep state.

You can mark this post and shove it my Face if
Massa doesn’t leave Afghan soil lock stock and barrel.

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby ArjunPandit » 21 Aug 2019 23:23

what happens to massa artillery and other equipment, we must ensure they dont get gifted to bajwa and company for free..perhaps India should offer to buy them..win win for India and US, better than falling in hands of taliban or pakis and US gets some money out of it..

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Rudradev » 22 Aug 2019 02:11

https://www.voanews.com/south-central-a ... ing-ground

Trump: Talks with Taliban Continue, Afghanistan Still Terror 'Breeding Ground'

By Ayaz Gul
August 19, 2019 10:59 AM


ISLAMABAD - The fate of a much-anticipated peace agreement between the United States and the Taliban is hanging in the balance after both adversaries in Afghanistan's 18-year-old war said they still have “some details” to discuss.

Taliban and U.S. negotiators in recent days have repeatedly asserted they are ready to sign a deal. The statements triggered widespread media speculation that a meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and his national security team this past Friday could lead to a formal announcement about a U.S. troop drawdown.

Trump shared details of the meeting with reporters on Sunday as he headed back to the White House from New Jersey, suggesting the drawdown plan is still in the works.

“We’re having very good discussions [with the Taliban]. We will see what happens. We've really got it down to probably 13,000 people [troops] and we’ll be bringing it down a little bit more and then we will decide whether or not we will be staying longer or not,” he said.

The U.S. plans to leave behind a “very significant intelligence” force, Trump stressed, for operations against Islamic State and al-Qaida, maintaining that Afghanistan remains “a breeding ground” for terrorists.

“I think it’s very important that we continue intelligence [operations] there, in all cases because it is somewhat of a nest [for terrorists] for hitting us… We have things under control very well and with this small force, we can probably make it a little bit smaller, and then we will decide. It will depend on the Taliban, it will depend on the Afghan government,” Trump said.


The Taliban is in talks with the U.S. on a timetable for complete withdrawal of American and NATO forces from Afghanistan. Unless that happens, the insurgent group maintains it will not engage in much-sought intra-Afghan negotiations to discuss a permanent cease-fire and issues related to future political governance.

On Sunday, Taliban political spokesman Suhail Shaheen also downplayed reports the deal with the U.S. is ready to be announced. He clarified that “some details” still needed to be worked out before a date is fixed for signing and announcing the agreement.

In exchange for a foreign troop withdrawal, the Taliban will be tasked with preventing transnational terrorists from using insurgent-controlled Afghan territory for international terrorism. :roll:

But increased attacks by Islamic State, including the recent suicide bombing of a wedding party that killed 63 Afghan civilians in Kabul, have raised questions on whether the Taliban’s counterterrorism commitments can be trusted in the event of a U.S. withdrawal.

“I am not trusting anybody. Look, I am not trusting anybody… A lot of bad things happen in Kabul, a lot of bad things are happening in Afghanistan. There's some very positive things. But, look, we're there for one reason. We don't want that to be a laboratory, Okay? It can’t be a laboratory for terror, and we have stopped that,” Trump said when his attention was drawn to the IS-claimed bombing in the Afghan capital.

In a speech Monday marking Afghan Independence Day celebrations, President Ashraf Ghani blamed “sanctuaries" in neighboring countries for inflicting deadly violence and terrorism against his nation. He urged international stakeholders to help his government eliminate the alleged havens.

Ghani did not name any country, but Kabul has consistently accused Pakistan of sheltering and supporting the Taliban as well as other militants in orchestrating attacks inside Afghanistan, charges officials in the neighboring country reject as baseless.

Islamabad acknowledges, however, that insurgents might be using refugee camps that host millions of Afghans in Pakistan. The Pakistani government has repeatedly called for the repatriation of the displaced Afghan families to allow security forces to take control of those areas near the largely porous border between the two countries.


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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby krishna_krishna » 22 Aug 2019 03:21

Rudradev wrote: Trump: Talks with Taliban Continue, Afghanistan Still Terror 'Breeding Ground'[/b]
By Ayaz


This has been NATO /massa fetish from Obama days.NATO had planned on maintaining 13,000 troops including 9,800 Americans in an advisory and counter-terrorism capacity in Afghanistan during the 2015 phase of the War in Afghanistan and they were expected to maintain a presence inside Afghanistan until well after the end of 2016. In July 2016, in light of the deteriorating security conditions, the US postponed the withdrawal until December 2016 and decided to maintain a force of 8,400 troops in 4 garrisons (Kabul, Kandahar, Bagram and Jalalabad) indefinitely due to Taliban resurgence attempt after the Battle of Kunduz. The withdrawal was completed in December 2016 leaving behind 8,400 troops.

Here is the link from 2017 that talks about it, there is difference between wish and reality. They are planning this from long but it ain’t gonna happen.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/03/worl ... trump.html

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Rudradev » 22 Aug 2019 03:23

https://twitter.com/TOLOnews/status/1163856029643399168

Pakistan fires over 200 missiles on Afghanistan’s Kunar province in the last three days, the provincial governor's spokesman Abdul Ghani Musamim said, adding the rocket attacks have left four houses destroyed, but there no details about possible casualties.

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Rudradev » 22 Aug 2019 04:06

If one actually looks at the data from Congressional Research Services report for US force levels in Afghanistan: https://fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/R44116.pdf

Numbers of US military troops and contractors in Afghanistan have gone from

Q2_2017 8,400 Troops 24,900 Contractors
Q3_2017 8,300 Troops 23,525 Contractors
Q4_2017 11,000 Troops 23,659 Contractors

For 2018 to 2019, DOD has not made any data available regarding the actual number of official US military troops in Afghanistan (perhaps politically inconvenient to release?)

But the same report estimates 14,000-15,000 US military troops in Afghanistan as of May 2019.

Number of Contractors was 25,239 as of May 2019.

In effect Trump has increased the number of US military troops in Afghanistan to their highest levels since Q4 2014!!

Doesn't look like any appetite for a withdrawal to me :D

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Rishirishi » 22 Aug 2019 04:12

Rudradev wrote:Maybe.

Erik Prince's proposal does include a 90-plane "private air force":

https://www.voanews.com/usa/erik-prince ... fghanistan

Prince's plan would replace thousands of U.S. troops with fewer private contractors, who would be backed by a 90-plane private air force. The war would then be coordinated by what Prince calls a "viceroy."


Maybe this can be Bangalored to TCS :)

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Rudradev » 22 Aug 2019 04:24

Interesting, Rishirishi ji.

From the CSR report we see that among the Contractors currently present in Afghanistan, 44% are US nationals, 14% are Afghan nationals and the remaining 42% (over 10,000) are "foreign or third country nationals".

It would be very politically awkward for any country to send an official detachment of its military personnel into Afghanistan to assist the US forces or Afghan govt. But this "privatization" plan is also a back-door passage for several divisions to be brought in as "contractors" from willing al-lies, without facing any of the diplomatic scrutiny that an occupying or invading force would normally receive.

In the past, many Indian nationals have served in Iraq and Afghanistan as non-combatant contractors for the US Dept. of Defense (cooks, maintenance staff, nursing staff, etc.)

All things considered, I hope Indian soldiers are not sent to Afghanistan as armed combatant contractors for the US DOD. But what if that is the "contract" being offered by Trumpwa (in exchange for full support on reclaiming all of POJK?) Is that a deal we should even consider taking?

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby krishna_krishna » 22 Aug 2019 04:46

Rudradev wrote:
Doesn't look like any appetite for a withdrawal to me :D


You have enough apettite to absorb whatever challenges bunnies throw at you for your outpost , you have appetite to throw away money, you have contractors and porkis. Then why the need to negotiate with tali bunnies ? :D

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby nachiket » 22 Aug 2019 04:47

"Armed combatant contractors" :rotfl: . You can trust the Americans to come up with some unnecessarily long euphemistic moniker for anything. Back in the day, they were just called mercenaries.
Even now we hear of Columbian mercenaries in Yemen and Russian mercenaries in Syria. But when they work for the US DoD, they become "armed combatant contractors" :mrgreen:

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Rudradev » 22 Aug 2019 05:44

krishna_krishna wrote:
Rudradev wrote:
Doesn't look like any appetite for a withdrawal to me :D


You have enough apettite to absorb whatever challenges bunnies throw at you for your outpost , you have appetite to throw away money, you have contractors and porkis. Then why the need to negotiate with tali bunnies ? :D


Just naatak! If you want to make a show of bringing home US troops (while at the same time quietly replacing them with private contractors), you have to provide some drama of "securing a negotiated settlement" for the aam junta back home, no?

In reality the negotiations have always been doomed to fail. Everything done in the public eye of MSM is to paint a picture, nothing else.

If you look at the actual data, everything you need to know about US' actual intentions is there. Why would Trumpwa *almost double* US troop levels in Afgh between 2017 & 2019, if he plans to leave "lock stock and barrel" by 2020?

But of course it is a personal choice to become absorbed in the tamasha while one's pocket is picked :D
Last edited by Rudradev on 22 Aug 2019 05:51, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby krishna_krishna » 22 Aug 2019 05:50

Rudradev wrote:[

If you look at the actual data, everything you need to know about US' actual intentions is there. Why would Trumpwa *almost double* US troop levels in Afgh between 2017 & 2019, if he plans to leave "lock stock and barrel by 2020? :D


Jokes apart, intention is definitely there I am talking about capabilities. He has plans but so do bunnies and others. :D

They do not simply have capability to defeat Taliban, its already almost 18 years and counting. You don't negotiate with enemy which you believe you have defeated period. IF that was the case bunnies would be history now like Saddam and gadaffi clearly they are not and afghans would be chanting "love democracy" and see how we have bought democracy and peace to this god forsaken place, hail mother Columbia

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Rudradev » 22 Aug 2019 05:55

Capabilities were restricted by the fact that US military troop deployments led to political pressure in the US. Both against continuous rotations of regular troops into theatre and against contravening ROE by incurring "collateral damage", "civilian casualties", "human rights violations" etc. Hands of regular troops, and their commanders, are tied by all this.

With contractors you have none of those issues.

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby NRao » 22 Aug 2019 06:53

I know 5 kids, from Maharashtra, who joint the USAF maintenance team and deployed to A'stan, maintaining Apaches. Got their GC, as promised, and after leaving now work for a pvt company in CA making good money maintaining helos.

They claim they had a blast. Never faced combat.

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby krishna_krishna » 22 Aug 2019 06:55

Rudradev wrote:Capabilities were restricted by the fact that US military troop deployments led to political pressure in the US.

With contractors you have none of those issues.


I believe then you have false impression on capabilities of US milistary, just look at Syria , ookraine and Afghanistan.

Also there are contractors on the ground since many years in Afghanistan, why they failed to deliver thus far in Afghanistan (and I also may add Syria ) ?

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby banrjeer » 22 Aug 2019 09:25

https://www.wionews.com/south-asia/deat ... bad-244306

There’s no letup 130 killed in blast in jalalabad

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby chanakyaa » 22 Aug 2019 18:42

NRao wrote:I know 5 kids, from Maharashtra, who joint the USAF maintenance team and deployed to A'stan, maintaining Apaches. Got their GC, as promised, and after leaving now work for a pvt company in CA making good money maintaining helos.

They claim they had a blast. Never faced combat.

Curious, what is the point you are trying to make?

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Rudradev » 23 Aug 2019 02:46

krishna_krishna wrote:I believe then you have false impression on capabilities of US milistary, just look at Syria , ookraine and Afghanistan.

Also there are contractors on the ground since many years in Afghanistan, why they failed to deliver thus far in Afghanistan (and I also may add Syria ) ?


When you rely on one-line assertions based on preconceived notions rather than facts, it becomes difficult to respond to your arguments seriously.

The facts are as follows:

-The US military is often overrated, definitely not invincible, but nonetheless quite competent. When it is given a clear mission and useful strategic guidance, it usually performs its job quite well at the operational and tactical level. Whether ousting Saddam, clearing Raqqa (with YPG)/Mosul (with PMU), routing Taliban on Shomali Plain, etc.

-Their problem is at the strategic level. As I said earlier Washington's reliance on/cultivation of the Pakis is the main reason why they have not come closer to achieving their objectives in Afghanistan. Similarly Washington's Syria "strategy" was and is a misguided mess.

-"Contractors" can be there for many purposes, and indeed most of the contractors in Afghanistan right now are non-combatants. If the bulk of the fighting force is official US military, it does not matter if contractors are also present. US press coverage and domestic political pressure will still be focused on the war.

- On the other hand the US is involved in multiple conflicts around the world where the bulk of fighting forces are contractors (with only a few SF, drone operators, etc thrown in). These conflicts remain far away from public view for exactly that reason. US voters forget about what is not directly in their faces.

-If the US fighting force in Afghanistan can become primarily contractor-based instead of primarily-US-military based, it gets downgraded in the public consciousness because Americans will stop thinking about it. This will allow the US to essentially maintain a presence in Afghanistan for as long as it likes without domestic political backlash.

-Anyone who thinks the US military-industrial complex will run out of money (@ steady burn rate of ~$50B per year in Afghanistan since 2016), please do the maths. This is not even 10% of US' annual defence budget.

-Hence if the US replaces its official military fighting force in Afghanistan with a contractor-based fighting force, it will have neither financial nor domestic political constraints against remaining there indefinitely.

Conclusion #1: the US will not "win" in Afghanistan as long as it is dependent on Pakistan to supply its forces there. On the other hand neither will it "lose" in Afghanistan because nobody can push it out against its will.

Conclusion #2: the US can both save money and retain/extend influence in Afghanistan if
a) its contractor fighting-force is composed largely of non-US personnel, and cost is shared by other parties.
b) it does not have to rely on Pakistan to supply that force.

Therefore, it makes sense for the US to try and strike a deal with India.

They can offer India (i) full diplomatic and possibly intel support for a campaign to retake all of J&K (ii) a diplomatic blank cheque to dismember Pakistan as we like (iii) full support against Chini aggression if necessary (iv) opportunity to extend our influence into Afghanistan and control a land route from India-Balwaristan-Afghanistan-Central Asia.

[Note that the above also serve US interests directly as they basically make mincemeat of CPEC and offer the US an inroad to create alternatives for OBOR].

In return they will ask for deployment of Indian troops, possibly as "contractors", to replace some/all of the US military personnel in Afghanistan. And to allow Indian territory, including liberated J&K/GB, to be used as the logistical conduit for the US/Indian presence in Afghanistan.

Now I, personally, do NOT think this would be a good option for India. I think it's better to just let the AfPak stalemate continue; hit Pakistan hard whenever we need to; let the progressive instability eat away at Pakistan, with some help from RAW; and wait/watch for the right opportunity to dismember Pakistan and takeover POJK as and when we want, rather than being obligated to the US for it. We do not want to be left holding the bag in Afghanistan if anything goes wrong. Importantly, our most pressing need is to rapidly develop a $5T and then $10T economy... which will become much more difficult if we embark on such a project.

You can agree with me or disagree with me, but I will only respond further if the arguments are factual. If you want to believe that US is on its last legs in Afghanistan, that Taliban are on the verge of sweeping into Kabul and then rushing into J&K for Ghazwa-e-Hind, ok... don't let me stop you.

KLNMurthy
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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby KLNMurthy » 23 Aug 2019 02:50

krishna_krishna wrote:
Rudradev wrote:
Doesn't look like any appetite for a withdrawal to me :D


You have enough apettite to absorb whatever challenges bunnies throw at you for your outpost , you have appetite to throw away money, you have contractors and porkis. Then why the need to negotiate with tali bunnies ? :D

Maybe because everything you listed above is defensive only?

I believe the situation is called a stalemate. Bunnies can't push out unkil and unkil can't wipe out bunnies. It is quite normal to negotiate when there is a stalemate.

I am surprised you think negotiation always implies admission of defeat.

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Rudradev » 23 Aug 2019 02:58

nachiket wrote:"Armed combatant contractors" :rotfl: . You can trust the Americans to come up with some unnecessarily long euphemistic moniker for anything. Back in the day, they were just called mercenaries.
Even now we hear of Columbian mercenaries in Yemen and Russian mercenaries in Syria. But when they work for the US DoD, they become "armed combatant contractors" :mrgreen:


Nachiket, that's exactly it. Mercenaries is what they are. The US realizes that it is in a landscape of shifting (and often conflicting) interests, so even its "alliances" have become temporary and transactional. US military has basically retained the services of Kurdish militias against both ISIS and Assad Regime forces in Syria, while also retaining the services of Shia PMU militias (who are actually allied with Assad) against ISIS in Iraq. These militias become the front-line infantry and take the most casualties; in exchange some (but not all) their political needs are met, they receive US air cover and intel to support their fight against a common enemy, and I'm sure they get paid handsomely as well.

For all practical purposes these are mercenaries (or "armed combatant contractors" as the US likes to call them :mrgreen:)

I honestly think the current Doha talks between US and Taliban are aimed at convincing Taliban itself to become an anti-ISIS, anti-Al-Qaida "contractor" for the US in Afghanistan; but the Afghan National Govt does not want to pay the contract price of allowing the Taliban to share political power afterwards, and the Taliban also has more ambitions than to simply serve as a "contractor". The Pakis want to spike the negotiations because if the Taliban agrees to contract for the US against Al-Qaida and ISIS, the next supari the US takes out may be against Pindi.
Last edited by Rudradev on 23 Aug 2019 03:01, edited 1 time in total.

KLNMurthy
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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby KLNMurthy » 23 Aug 2019 03:01

@Rudradev I wouldn't take a massa offer to help with PoK either.

The right way for it to happen would be under Indian initiative. If US troops / contractors want to join an Indian effort under Indian command, in exchange for transit rights into Afghanistan, then maybe.

But I can't imagine a world in which US would have the wisdom to follow India's lead.

Rudradev
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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Rudradev » 23 Aug 2019 03:02

^Agreed. Best we bide our time and chop off bits and pieces where we can, making the Pakis' life even more hellish than it already is.

Cain Marko
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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Cain Marko » 23 Aug 2019 03:21

Rudradev wrote:All things considered, I hope Indian soldiers are not sent to Afghanistan as armed combatant contractors for the US DOD. But what if that is the "contract" being offered by Trumpwa (in exchange for full support on reclaiming all of POJK?) Is that a deal we should even consider taking?

So long as they pay for the expense and weapons. Personally I don't think this would be a bad idea for the following reasons:
1. Access to POK and Central Asia
2. Pivotal role in controlling and routes to and from there to Arabian sea
3. Ability to fight terror away from home
4. Making TSPs life impossible
5. Making Atlanticist/wilsonian agenda moves very difficult
6. India will become the defacto power player in the region and thereby extend sphere of influence in important areas.

If all this talk of would power etc. Is serious, India needs to show muscle power.

krishna_krishna
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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby krishna_krishna » 23 Aug 2019 04:02

KLNMurthy wrote:[quote="krishna_krishna

I believe the situation is called a stalemate. Bunnies can't push out unkil and unkil can't wipe out bunnies. It is quite normal to negotiate when there is a stalemate.

I am surprised you think negotiation always implies admission of defeat.


No I never always think negotiations imply admission of defeat. But in same way believe it implies defeat in the case of US campaign in afghanistan.

You have worlds biggest defense budget , best technologically advanced army not just of massa but entire NATO with support of contractors and national birds of porkistan ( armed drone strike) thrown at these people but still zilch after 18 years.And who defeated them : nameless,adressless natives.

Regarding wiping out bunnies it is their home ,they are not outsiders. Even after 18 years of struggle you are begging and not asking for honorable exist it is not just a defeat but worst defeats of the century,worst then Vietnam. Sugarcoat as much as you want.

In military study “concede” and “ compromise” hold unique place , any strong military commander worth its salt will tell you that he may concede to an enemy but never compromise.

KLNMurthy
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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby KLNMurthy » 23 Aug 2019 04:19

Cain Marko wrote:
Rudradev wrote:All things considered, I hope Indian soldiers are not sent to Afghanistan as armed combatant contractors for the US DOD. But what if that is the "contract" being offered by Trumpwa (in exchange for full support on reclaiming all of POJK?) Is that a deal we should even consider taking?

So long as they pay for the expense and weapons. Personally I don't think this would be a bad idea for the following reasons:
1. Access to POK and Central Asia
2. Pivotal role in controlling and routes to and from there to Arabian sea
3. Ability to fight terror away from home
4. Making TSPs life impossible
5. Making Atlanticist/wilsonian agenda moves very difficult
6. India will become the defacto power player in the region and thereby extend sphere of influence in important areas.

If all this talk of would power etc. Is serious, India needs to show muscle power.


Problem is massa is not a wise or reliable choice to take the lead.


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