Afghan chaos undercuts Biden's promise of competence

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2021 Aug 18, 2:48pm   148,545 views  1,278 comments

by RWSGFY   ➕follow (4)   💰tip   ignore  

The shambolic unravelling of America's withdrawal from Afghanistan comes from a yet to be written textbook of "how to lose at everything". Warnings hadn't been heeded, intelligence was clearly totally inadequate, planning was lamentable, execution woeful.

Let's just focus in on one thing - although there are any number that are worthy of examination.
The withdrawal came during the "fighting season" - a phrase I have to say I have always found rather odd. But in Afghanistan there is a fighting season which starts in spring - and then in winter, when the country freezes over, there is a time when the Taliban go home to their tribal homelands. Did no-one think that it might have been better to have ordered the withdrawal for the dead of winter when Taliban forces weren't there, poised to fill the vacuum?

The end result might have been the same - a Taliban takeover - but it would have almost certainly led to a more orderly drawdown. Yet the Biden administration wanted an eye-catching date. They wanted the withdrawal completed by 11 September. Twenty years on from 9/11 - an artificial, self-imposed deadline.


Biden's election campaign could be boiled down to three messages to distinguish himself from Donald Trump. First, he would be more empathetic. He would be more competent. And instead of "America First", it would be replaced by the mantra "America is back".
But in his address yesterday, there wasn't a whole lot of empathy towards the thousands of Afghans who've helped Americans these past 20 years. On competence, even his biggest cheerleaders would struggle to say the withdrawal of American troops has been anything other than shambolic.
And after the bewildering events of the past few days, how exactly is America back?


But on the policy itself, Joe Biden is utterly defiant. He summoned up his inner Harry Truman and made clear in his speech that the buck stops with him. He was, however, happy to distribute blame in much the same way that a muck spreader disperses manure in all directions. The Afghan leadership weren't up to it, the Afghan armed forces had no fight in them; Donald Trump had negotiated a bad deal.


A fascinating nugget from a briefing that's just been given by Joe Biden's National Security Adviser. Since the fall of Kabul, Jake Sullivan revealed, Biden hadn't spoken to another world leader. Wasn't that just a bit surprising, given that there were a lot of other nations - including Britain - who'd committed vast resources to Afghanistan?


When the G7 gathered in Cornwall and the Nato nations met in Brussels the sense of relief was palpable among the prime ministers and presidents that a more outward looking American president was in charge. But given what has unfolded - how America has been humiliated, how Joe Biden embarked on a policy he was cautioned against by these leaders - there is now a good deal more wariness.
And who will feel they have gained most from America's departure - apart from the Taliban, of course? Why, three countries near Afghanistan - Russia, Iran and China. I'm not sure that is what Joe Biden had in mind when he said after his inauguration that "America is back".


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1223   Ceffer   2024 Jun 4, 11:06pm  

I'd much prefer 'silicon CIA mask testing'.
Patrick says

1224   Eric Holder   2024 Jun 5, 12:22pm  

Apparently the are basing their "strategy" on a fucking fiction book and are still believing in "gentlemen's agreement" with the KGB fucks (just like they believed in one with Mooslim Taliban fucks):

A conceptual suggestion about the need for a U.S.-Russian alliance for confronting China, driven by Sullivan, has completely collapsed

The president of the Center for Global Studies "Strategy XXI", an expert on international security relations, Mykhailo Honchar, said, in a comment to Ukrinform, that the Biden administration’s reluctance to grant us permission to use American weapons inside the Russian Federation could have a background, which has not been recorded officially (although, perhaps, such documents do exist), but, rather, as a kind of an informal “Gentlemen's Agreement". These agreements date back to 2021, where there were certain contacts maintained between the intelligence chiefs of the Russian Federation and the USA - Naryshkin and Burns. Following that, in the fall of the same year, the U.S. began expressing concern about the risk of a full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, Mr Honchar reminds.

The expert suggests that, at the time, the Americans probably told the Russians: "We know everything, we clearly see that you are planning this." To this the Russians probably replied, "Yes, we're really planning this and we're not even hiding it."

"This begs a question: why had the USA, knowing as early as 2021 that Russia was making preparations for an invasion, not taken any preventive actions? After all, they had been able to do so. For example, if a pair of American ships came on a friendly mission to the seaport of Odesa a few days before the invasion, the Russian Federation probably would not have dared [to invade]," Mykhailo Honchar believes.

Until 2022, NATO regularly deployed its forces across the Black Sea. But, in early 2022, NATO’s presence there was de facto nullified. NATO ships were no longer deployed to the Black Sea. This suggests, the expert goes on to note, that the United States, at that time, had its own perception about Russia’s potential invasion of Ukraine."Hypothetically, proceeding from the assumption that the USA needs a potent ally to confront China, and Russia could well become such an ally (the Russian Federation shares an extended border with China, exceeding 4,000 kilometers in length, making China an existential threat for the Russian Federation), the U.S. was, let’s say so, not completely opposed to an invasion, but on the condition that it is carried out in some hybrid way, Mr. Honchar notes further. The Russian side, perhaps, had convinced the American side that the invasion would not involve a bloody massacre. They probably said that their troops would quickly enter Kyiv, remove the "junta" and - that's it... Now let's recall the days before the invasion, where it was not yet known for sure on which day of February 2022 the invasion would begin. But then Western diplomats began to be evacuated from the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv..."

Mr. Honchar also mentioned an article published by "Ukrainska Pravda", headlined "The Three Longest Days of February...", which, in particular, describes a visit to Washington by Ukraine’s top diplomat, Dmytro Kuleba, on February 23, 2022.

"On that day, Biden began asking Kuleba questions about the situation in Ukraine, gave some advice and was talking about support. The rhetoric of this conversation was reminiscent of saying goodbye to a child with cancer, rather than encouraging and empowering an ally ahead of a life-or-death battle. That day, Biden said goodbye to all of Ukraine in the person of Mr. Kuleba ," the article read.

In that context, the expert recalls how initial shipments of American weapons began to arrive in Ukraine in December 2021.

"It was important what kind of weapons were arriving – FIM-92 Stinger MANPADS, FGM-148 Javelin ATGMs – that is, the weapons more suited for use in guerrilla warfare... Perhaps, there was a request or wish expressed by the Russian side that the shipments should not be too big and, most importantly, should not include kinetic attack capabilities so that it would not carry a risk of damage to the Russian Federation’s territory. Moscow then drew a red line for Washington. However, this, in fact, did not happen as expected... The Kyiv-in-three-days blitzkrieg had never succeeded. Accordingly, all unofficial plans or agreements that might have existed between the Americans and Russians had collapsed as new realities were arising."

But even after that, the USA was in no hurry to provide our country with more capable weapons, such as artillery guns, in particular, HIMARS MLRS.

"And it was only under the pressure from allies, other countries of the West, countries of Central Europe, especially the Baltic Sea countries, that the USA began to change its policies," says Mykhailo Honchar. They notified the Russians, apparently through shadow communication channels, that they had violated the agreements. Moscow can make everything public at any moment, indeed, but denials will be coming from Washington..."

The United States' anti-escalation strategy, which involved turning Russia from an adversary into an ally, has failed. But Washington, of course, will never admit this because it will mean that this current White House administration, the American intelligence services, have made a serious slip-up.

Mr. Honchar further notes that: "The U.S. current foreign and security policies are closely connected with the name of Sullivan, with his vision of the global world, and the need for an American-Russian alliance for confronting China. This, of course, wasn’t Sullivan who invented this design. It existed before him. It was popularized in the 1990s by the now-deceased American author, Tom Clancy. In the early 2000s, he released a political thriller novel, The Bear and the Dragon, which explores the need for a U.S.- Russian alliance for countering China’s potential invasion of Siberia. Be as it may, such a concept is wrong. It is impossible to make Russia into a partner for America. The nature of the Russian Federation, of its ruling regimes (Putin's and all previous ones) with all of their authoritarian and totalitarian mechanisms is what brings the Russian Federation closer to China rather than to the United States. That is why the Sullivan-promoted strategy has failed. Does Sullivan personally understand this, or does Washington understand it? I think they do understand, but cannot admit it. Or they are not willing to. After all, it is not about the Russian Federation or China only. If we look at the US Middle East policy... It is also a failure. Iran has managed to create a whole network of its proxies, who now set the rules of the game in the region. Although this is another topic for another analysis,it reveals the overall failure of the Sullivan-Biden strategy, which has had very bad consequences for many of the US partners.
1233   Patrick   2024 Jun 12, 1:13pm  


It’s almost like folks are starting to realize that, sooner or later, the Democrats are going to get us all killed with their gain of function science, shrinkflation, proxy warmongering, mandatory medicines, wide-open borders, no-bail policies, and defunding police. People are voting for self-interest issues far beyond their personal pocketbook problems.
1234   Patrick   2024 Jun 13, 11:54am  


On Wednesday, a squadron of Russian ships, including a frigate capable of firing hypersonic missiles will arrive in Cuba as part of an international partnership program. A nuclear-powered and capable submarine will also be making the trip, along with support vessels.
1235   Patrick   2024 Jun 13, 11:55am  


Apparently, the Biden escalation escalator goes all the way to the top floor. It’s not enough to keep poking the Russian Bear; like a deranged hobo lashing out at anyone who walks by, Biden also insists on prodding the Chinese Dragon. On Monday, Business Insider ran a story headlined, “The US military has a plan to turn the Taiwan Strait into an 'unmanned hellscape' if China invades, top admiral says.”

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