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20 Years After 9/11 - Effects, Lessons Learned, Roads Not Taken


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47 minutes ago, JWB said:

Bribery is not the same thing as policy. What really matters is what happens to cops who take bribes. Too bad D.C. pulled the plug. 

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-afghanistan-police/new-commander-takes-on-corruption-mess-in-afghan-police-idUSKCN1T51UC

Well, the policy was to keep the Taliban out of power, create a stable democracy, bring education to the countryside and control the roads, among others. What happened was corruption, corruption, corruption, etc. until the Taliban could just push the rotten building and return to power. So policy was irrelevant to what went on in reality.

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On 9/12/2021 at 12:42 PM, RETAC21 said:

What happened was corruption, corruption, corruption, etc. until the Taliban could just push the rotten building and return to power.

Would ending the corruption have mattered? The real problem was an almost complete failure to do anything about border security. Even if the Kabul government was clean Pakistani Taliban still would have continued infiltration/invasion with maximum effect. The U.S. command tried to do border security for about one week by deploying infantry into those areas but the effort could not be sustained. Taliban casualties soared but so did U.S. casualties. The government of Pak could ignore their losses but D.C. could not and had to pull back. Coalition command should have retasked the drones from the wild goose chase of hunting the Taliban commanders and instead used the drones for border patrol. Problem here was the lack of adequate number armed drones. Another problem was the drones types were not really suited to do that task. At least a decade ago I advocated deploying large numbers of smaller drones armed with machineguns to carry low altitude patrol/hunt/kill sorties.  They could be developed from aircraft like these:

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRXPnpUP1oaY5nbr-WuEJV

1.5.0_Military-Systems_UAS_01.jpg?itok=x

adp_102411_shadowm2-2.jpg?itok=CPUDxLKN&

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3 minutes ago, JWB said:

Would ending the corruption have mattered? The real problem was an almost complete failure to do anything about border security. Even if the Kabul government was clean Pakistani Taliban still would have continued infiltration/invasion with maximum effect. The U.S. command tried to do border security for about one week by deploying infantry into those areas but the effort could not be sustained. Taliban casualties soared but so did U.S. casualties. The government of Pak could ignore their losses but D.C. could not and had to pull back. Coalition command should have retasked the drones from the wild goose chase of hunting the Taliban commanders and instead used the drones for border patrol. Problem here was the lack of adequate number armed drones. Another problem was the drones types were not really suited to do that task. At least a decade ago I advocated deploying large numbers of smaller drones armed with machineguns to carry low altitude patrol/hunt/kill sorties.  They could be developed from aircraft like these:

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRXPnpUP1oaY5nbr-WuEJV

1.5.0_Military-Systems_UAS_01.jpg?itok=x

adp_102411_shadowm2-2.jpg?itok=CPUDxLKN&

Just paying the Afghan soldiers and providing for the safety of their families, plus keeping them supplied, would have ensured the regime could go on indefinitely. The Najibullah regime survived the Soviet 1989 withdrawal (which left the Afghan regime in a much worse situation militarily) and it still had the oomph to go on until April 1992, with Soviet aid cut off on Dec 1991.

Should the current "government" still have the support of the US and if the troops had been motivated to fight, there is not reason to assume they would do worse, since the Taliban are no better armed than the Mujaheddin of 1989.

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9 hours ago, RETAC21 said:

Just paying the Afghan soldiers and providing for the safety of their families, plus keeping them supplied, would have ensured the regime could go on indefinitely.

It took a generation, but the fear caused by 9/11 eventually dissipated. With it went the regime's reason for existence.

Edited by Nobu
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5 hours ago, JasonJ said:

Just being payed is too easy of a solution. Maybe they weren't getting paid for a reason. Not doing job properly while still demanding pay or spotted using previous payment for Taliban interest.. who knows..

Unfortunately, we know too well: https://www.thenationalnews.com/world/asia/2021/08/16/afghan-armys-collapse-was-years-in-the-making-say-experts/

For example: 

"There were worse problems ahead. Sigar reporting over the decades warned consistently that corruption was deeply rooted, gradually eroding the morale of Afghan soldiers willing to fight, and sapping their combat capability as resources were siphoned off by corrupt commanders tied to political factions.

Virtually anything that could be stolen, from fuel to food and soldier’s wages, was up for the taking."

Edited to add: there was nothing new in this, the same dynamics sapped the Communist Afghan Army back in the 80s

Edited by RETAC21
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22 hours ago, RETAC21 said:

Just paying the Afghan soldiers and providing for the safety of their families, plus keeping them supplied, would have ensured the regime could go on indefinitely. The Najibullah regime survived the Soviet 1989 withdrawal (which left the Afghan regime in a much worse situation militarily) and it still had the oomph to go on until April 1992, with Soviet aid cut off on Dec 1991.

Should the current "government" still have the support of the US and if the troops had been motivated to fight, there is not reason to assume they would do worse, since the Taliban are no better armed than the Mujaheddin of 1989.

That doesn't explain why so many Afghan air force pilots deserted.

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55 minutes ago, JWB said:

That doesn't explain why so many Afghan air force pilots deserted.

They deserted as the whole shebang was coming down, taking their planes with them, the alternative was to lose their lives on the whim of the government leaving them high and dry

I mean, after seeing this in July: https://edition.cnn.com/2021/07/13/asia/afghanistan-taliban-commandos-killed-intl-hnk/index.html

You can't blame them for taking flight in mid-August

https://www.csis.org/analysis/afghan-military-aircraft-land-uzbekistan-move-tajikistan-updated

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10 hours ago, JWB said:

That doesn't explain why so many Afghan air force pilots deserted.

Training Afghans up to be pilots was a waste of good mountain infantry. With the number of NATO pilots available, it was also unnecessary.

 

18 hours ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

I give it 5 years tops before it reemerges again.

I hope you are wrong, but I fear you may be right.

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23 hours ago, RETAC21 said:

They deserted as the whole shebang was coming down, taking their planes with them, the alternative was to lose their lives on the whim of the government leaving them high and dry

I mean, after seeing this in July: https://edition.cnn.com/2021/07/13/asia/afghanistan-taliban-commandos-killed-intl-hnk/index.html

You can't blame them for taking flight in mid-August

https://www.csis.org/analysis/afghan-military-aircraft-land-uzbekistan-move-tajikistan-updated

Not the same thing. Those commandos who surrendered were surrounded and left with no means of escape. Helicopters cannot be surrounded by enemy infantry. There was nothing preventing the helicopters from going on strafing runs until they were low on fuel before flying to Tajikistan. 

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On 9/14/2021 at 8:37 PM, RETAC21 said:

Just paying the Afghan soldiers and providing for the safety of their families, plus keeping them supplied, would have ensured the regime could go on indefinitely. The Najibullah regime survived the Soviet 1989 withdrawal (which left the Afghan regime in a much worse situation militarily) and it still had the oomph to go on until April 1992, with Soviet aid cut off on Dec 1991.

 

i´ve read somewhere that while soviet army left afgh. 1989, the KGB border troops special units stayed there for couple more years

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KGB border troops were embassy guards and close protection details for diplomats. That was one of their regular roles actually.

Edited by bojan
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1 hour ago, JWB said:

Not the same thing. Those commandos who surrendered were surrounded and left with no means of escape. Helicopters cannot be surrounded by enemy infantry. There was nothing preventing the helicopters from going on strafing runs until they were low on fuel before flying to Tajikistan. 

You keep making absurd comparisons, the commandos were abndoned by their own chain of command until the ammo ran out and then the Taliban executed them, probably out of spite, but it had the effect of "encourager les autres!", after all, if the elite of the Army is treated as worthless peons, what can the rank and file expect? 

So why would the helicopter pilots or the Tucanos for that matter, risk their lives and the machines (which were tetering on the edge of unserviceabilty due to the pullout of contractors) for a regime that didn't give a shit about them? Remember how the US pulled out Bagram wihtout telling anyone? what kind of support could those pilots expect to have if they were shot down?

This is Afghanistan in 2021, not Japan in 1945, there are no kamikazes.

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