US and UK to leave Afghanistan this year

Originally published at: US and UK to leave Afghanistan this year | Boing Boing


clears throat


That place isn’t called “the Graveyard of Empires” for nothing.


I have to be honest. I didn’t know they were still there. Canada pulled out some time ago and I believe was criticized for it.


Did we ever find those WMD’s/Al Qaeda/ISIS/Deash? Asking for all the dead & maimed from this useless War.


It was a 19th century meme.


Most of those were the other war. And they really were two independent wars.

Once we got into each war, the criteria for us to GTFO was always poorly articulated (as you note). A nebulous “fight terrorism.” In both cases, the local people wanted us out. And for the most part, we didn’t want to be there any longer than necessary.

If we had been able to believably say in Afghanistan, for example, “We’re here to find Osama and associates, and we’ll GTFO as soon as we get them” rather than try to hold the whole country or nation build, it might have gone better (though maybe not, certainly in the eyes of many girls who got to go to school).

Similar to Iraq: “We’ll GTFO when we find Saddam and friends and confirm no WMD remain.”

I know that’s not satisfactory to anyone who says we never should have gotten into those wars. But next best may have been to keep them as short and small as possible.

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That continues to be true into the 20th and 21st centuries.


Expect to see some waffling here. “We’ll get our troops out of Afghanistan. Well, except for a few troops to guard important assets. And a few special forces personnel on important support missions. And maybe a couple of essential contractors. Other than that we’re leaving.”

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“The Great Game” results in yet more English-speaking losers. Let’s see if Putin is foolish enough to take this “opportunity” to repeat his own country’s dismal history in the region.

No one will get rid of Afghanistan’s toxic mix of tribal warlords and religious fundies except the Afghani people themselves. I wish them good luck in that.


This is probably for a different topic, but I am wondering what will be taught as the reason for being in Afghanistan and Iraq?
For those in the US, what is being taught to high schoolers as the reason for going into Vietnam?

My 1990’s curriculum discussed the “Domino Theory”. I’m not sure what they teach now.

I’d hope that they teach students about LBJ doubling down on this war despite how useless it was, and how it led directly to Nixon winning as the Peace candidate. I also hope they teach about Nixon’s scumbag work to scuttle peace talks and win the election (see: When a Candidate Conspired With a Foreign Power to Win An Election - POLITICO Magazine).

This part of US history rhymes with our current period. Democrats cannot squander the good will of the people, since the power-hungry Rs (or Qs) are waiting with knives out. The next Trump will have no qualms with cutting deals with foreign adversaries to overthrow US democracy, the last one didn’t.


“So long, and thanks for all the fish.”

There is no perfect solution at this point for Afghanistan. They are going to have to sort it out themselves. Hopefully the current government and the conflicting factions like the Taliban can come to an arrangement with out outside help.

Good. We should have bailed as soon as the Taliban was deposed, and Bin Laden was whacked.


So basically after 20 years of bloody and pointless conflict, we end up right back where we started? Seems like the big losers here are the Afghan people and the only winners are the Taliban and PMCs.


I’ve heard this before and will believe it when I see it.



All the white bits are Taliban controlled.

Not getting involved would have been a better move

There are some red dots in the white areas, which are NATO controlled towns. There are other dots that are Taliban controlled towns.


So, mission accomplished, yes?


Bin Laden wasn’t in Afghanistan when the United States finally caught up with him. He was in Pakistan, which is ostensibly our ally… just as the Taliban once was.

For all their evil deeds the Taliban itself never attacked the United States nor posed any appreciable threat to our country. The only reason the United States went to war in Afghanistan is because we needed somebody to take revenge against for 9/11 and we were in no position to go to war against Saudi Arabia.



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