- Soviet Russia supports a moderate Afghan government.
- Ronald Reagan doesn’t like Communists.
- Mujahedeen are anti-communist, so Reagan gives them weapons.
- The Russians leave Afghanistan.
- The Taliban take over.
- After 9/11, the Taliban won’t give up Osama bin Laden
- GWB decides to punish the Taliban by arming their enemies.
- This doesn’t work.
- More and more American soldiers are sent there to fight.
- That doesn’t work; the Taliban grows stronger.
- President Obama scales back the American military presence.
- President Trump proposes an end to the war; General Mattis quits.
- President Trump negotiates an end to the war with the Taliban.
- President Biden affirms the agreement to leave Afghanistan.
- The Afghan Govt. is routed.
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Steps 2 and 3 are in desperate need of some additional information.
Read the book “Charlie Wilson’s War” or at the very least watch the movie starring Tom Hanks who portrays Texan Democrat Congressman Charlie Wilson.
Thank you for the timeline. Sadly, our policy makers (military & non) do not understand countries that are controlled by war lords. Communist/NonCommunist are labels that have been used too easily.
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I may have been wrong in suggesting it all started with Ronald Reagan, who carried on existing policies rather than instituting new ones. Read more here:
A more comprehensive timeline would include dates and not be limited to recent history. The “Graveyard of Empires” started way, way back.
Here’s something that definitely should be added to the timeline:
The Taliban Surrendered in 2001—-
Specifically, at a U.S. Special Forces camp near Kandahar, Afghanistan, on December 5, 2001, the Taliban offered an unconditional surrender. Furthermore, they would disband and disarm: a military force would no longer exist.
George W. Bush ignored the offer. It didn’t square with his war for Oil and Empire.
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Arthur, can you offer a source for “Taliban Surrendered in 2001” other than Richard Behan?
Thanks for the links, Arthur. I believe Anand Gopal is a reliable source. But even if the Taliban were willing to cut a deal in 2001, the idea that everything would have been rosy thereafter is a stretch.
So you like the way things turned out?
What is your recollection as to WHY we went to Afganistan? What was our mission? Did we or did we not accomplish it?
We went there ostensibly because GWB was miffed that the Taliban wouldn’t turn over OBL. Bush envisioned a cheap, short war fought by Afghan proxies. That’s not how it turned out. Nothing tangible was achieved to count as a success.
Ok. That’s a generic reply. Let’s rephrase,
Did YOU approve of the Afghanistan Adventure? If so, why? And do YOU think that we achieved ANY of the goals that were set out by W?
Yes we finally captured “killed” Osama Bin Laden and the US and its allies prevented Afghanistan from being a terrorist safe haven and training ground for terrorists.
Other than that it was a total crap show plagued by corruption with the Afghanistan government and upper level military.
Far too much blood and money was spent there attempting to nation build.
Everyone agrees we should have been out long ago but we should have pulled the military out last after all American and allied citizens were evacuated.
The leadership of Afghanistan gave up and quit far too early.
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I don’t think I would have approved of the Carter Administration’s secret interventions had I known of them, certainly not Reagan’s which were open secrets, nor of Bush’s which weren’t secret at all. I don’t know what Bush’s goals were. If one was to capture or kill OSB, it wasn’t achieved at the time. If one was to punish the Taliban, that could be said to have been achieved, but at a terrible cost. If one was to turn Afghanistan into Texas, that was no more than an empty dream. Sen. McConnell implied that the 20 year war served to prevent terrorist attacks on the United States, but there is no way to know that.
Did YOU approve of the Afghanistan Adventure?
If so, why?
And do YOU think that we achieved ANY of the goals that were set out by W?
Dialog (?) ends.