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Afghanistan, the graveyard of empires

Sandy Shanks

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Afghanistan has long been called the “graveyard of empires." It is unclear who coined that disputable term.

In truth, no great empires perished solely because of Afghanistan. Perhaps a better way to put it is that Afghanistan is the battleground of empires. Even without easily accessible resources, the country has still been blessed — or cursed, more likely — with a geopolitical position that has repeatedly put it in someone's bullseye.

Afghanistan is a mountainous landlocked country at the crossroads of Central and South Asia. The invaders would include the Maurya Empire, the Greek Empire of Alexander the Great of Macedon, Rashidun Caliphate, the Mongol Empire led by Genghis Khan, the Timurid Empire of Timur, the Mughal Empire, various Persian Empires, the Sikh Empire, the British Empire, the Soviet Union, and the forces of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or NATO, led by the U.S. following 9/11.

Invasions during the 19th, 20th, and 21st Centuries have been disastrous.

The British Empire -- Over an 80-year period, the British fought three wars in Afghanistan, occupying or controlling the country in between, and lost tens of thousands of dead along the way. Finally, exhausted by the First World War, Britain gave up in 1919 and granted Afghanistan independence.

The Soviet Union -- The Soviet Union spent the postwar period pacifying and modernizing its Central Asian republics with great success. But it was mistaken in assuming that the same program could stick in Afghanistan. The Soviets invaded in 1979 to try to quell a brewing civil war and prop up its allies in the Afghan government, and they limped out in 1989. The failure in Afghanistan contributed to the fall of the Soviet Union two years later.

The United States -- The first American military battle of the 21st century was fought in Afghanistan shortly after the events of Sept. 11, 2001. After nearly 20 years of fighting a shifting host of militant groups and the new Taliban insurgency, and now even a local affiliate of the Islamic State, there is no clear end on the horizon.

Since then more than a million American servicemen and women have served in Afghanistan; 2,400 of them lost their lives, along with another 1,100 NATO and other coalition allies killed.

Afghanistan became America's longest war, and, in 20 years of war, very little has been accomplished. The many failures -- not the least of which are 2,400 dead and another 20,000 wounded -- far surpasses the few successes, which would include schooling for girls and new schools.

Moreover, Afghanistan poses no threat to the United States. China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran do.

President Biden has decided that 20 years of sheer frustration, dead, and wounded is enough. We can make better use of our human, financial, and military resources by engaging the real threats to our existence.

"President Biden formally announced his decision to end the 20-year, largely unsuccessful American effort to remake Afghanistan, declaring on Wednesday that he would withdraw the remaining few thousand United States troops in the country by Sept. 11," the New York Times.

Invasions of Afghanistan - Wikipedia and The Empire Stopper (Published 2017) assisted me in this report.
 

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Afghanistan has long been called the “graveyard of empires." It is unclear who coined that disputable term.

In truth, no great empires perished solely because of Afghanistan. Perhaps a better way to put it is that Afghanistan is the battleground of empires. Even without easily accessible resources, the country has still been blessed — or cursed, more likely — with a geopolitical position that has repeatedly put it in someone's bullseye.

Afghanistan is a mountainous landlocked country at the crossroads of Central and South Asia. The invaders would include the Maurya Empire, the Greek Empire of Alexander the Great of Macedon, Rashidun Caliphate, the Mongol Empire led by Genghis Khan, the Timurid Empire of Timur, the Mughal Empire, various Persian Empires, the Sikh Empire, the British Empire, the Soviet Union, and the forces of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or NATO, led by the U.S. following 9/11.

Invasions during the 19th, 20th, and 21st Centuries have been disastrous.

The British Empire -- Over an 80-year period, the British fought three wars in Afghanistan, occupying or controlling the country in between, and lost tens of thousands of dead along the way. Finally, exhausted by the First World War, Britain gave up in 1919 and granted Afghanistan independence.

The Soviet Union -- The Soviet Union spent the postwar period pacifying and modernizing its Central Asian republics with great success. But it was mistaken in assuming that the same program could stick in Afghanistan. The Soviets invaded in 1979 to try to quell a brewing civil war and prop up its allies in the Afghan government, and they limped out in 1989. The failure in Afghanistan contributed to the fall of the Soviet Union two years later.

The United States -- The first American military battle of the 21st century was fought in Afghanistan shortly after the events of Sept. 11, 2001. After nearly 20 years of fighting a shifting host of militant groups and the new Taliban insurgency, and now even a local affiliate of the Islamic State, there is no clear end on the horizon.

Since then more than a million American servicemen and women have served in Afghanistan; 2,400 of them lost their lives, along with another 1,100 NATO and other coalition allies killed.

Afghanistan became America's longest war, and, in 20 years of war, very little has been accomplished. The many failures -- not the least of which are 2,400 dead and another 20,000 wounded -- far surpasses the few successes, which would include schooling for girls and new schools.

Moreover, Afghanistan poses no threat to the United States. China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran do.

President Biden has decided that 20 years of sheer frustration, dead, and wounded is enough. We can make better use of our human, financial, and military resources by engaging the real threats to our existence.

"President Biden formally announced his decision to end the 20-year, largely unsuccessful American effort to remake Afghanistan, declaring on Wednesday that he would withdraw the remaining few thousand United States troops in the country by Sept. 11," the New York Times.

Invasions of Afghanistan - Wikipedia and The Empire Stopper (Published 2017) assisted me in this report.
Isn't it nice that Biden is doing what Trump already did?

Too bad Biden won't do it when Trump was going to do it...we would be out of there months sooner.
 
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swing_voter

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Everything in that country has at least one bullet hole in it.

Very sad.



.
 

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We'll see ....... terrain, winters and such in Afghanistan are beyond reality tough to conquer. The military leadership know these things about Afghanistan yet the white collar imperialists on capitol hill never heed the warnings thus
send USA soldiers to their deaths.

Military leadership is against taking on Iran for any reason because too many of our boys and girls in uniform will die.
Afghanistan was a big NO yet politicians said hell yes we're going in.

Military leadership is against taking on Iran for any reason because the USA is involved in too many ****-ng wars
thus the military is stretched.

Presidents and capitol hill have this fear of not appearing tough enough instead of demonstrating smart enough to know better.
 

Sandy Shanks

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Isn't it nice that Biden is doing what Trump already did?

It is very simple. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that 20 years of war accomplishing nothing should cause one to end the war.

And Trump is no genius.
 

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It is very simple. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that 20 years of war accomplishing nothing should cause one to end the war.

And Trump is no genius.
Trump got the agreement. Trump set a date.

All Biden is doing is taking the same agreement, setting a different date...and saying he did it.

(And you believe him.)
 

Questerr

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Isn't it nice that Biden is doing what Trump already did?

Too bad Biden won't do it when Trump was going to do it...we would be out of there months sooner.

And the summer offensive the Taliban does every year would probably collapse the government.
 

swing_voter

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Afghanistan does pose a threat to Europe and Russia.

How much you want to bet that Russia invades Afghanistan sometime during the next decade?



.
 

AmNat

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And the summer offensive the Taliban does every year would probably collapse the government.
This. USG is hoping to make the delay between its withdraw and Kabul's fall as long as possible (assuming, which I still doubt, that USG actually intends to leave Afghanistan).
 

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Afghanistan does pose a threat to Europe and Russia.

How much you want to bet that Russia invades Afghanistan sometime during the next decade?


.

Are they going to retake all the “Stans” first?
 

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This. USG is hoping to make the delay between its withdraw and Kabul's fall as long as possible (assuming, which I still doubt, that USG actually intends to leave Afghanistan).

They won’t. The plan is for removing combat troops from Afghanistan. We’ll still have thousands of trainers, support personnel, etc in country for the foreseeable future.
 

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America doesn't share a border with Afghanistan.


.

Correct, but the “Stans” allow our forces to transit. Considering how difficult it was for Central Asia to get its independence from Russia in the first place, they likely wouldn’t want to give the Russians free rein to turn them into a road.
 

Sandy Shanks

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Military leadership is against taking on Iran for any reason because the USA is involved in too many ****-ng wars
thus the military is stretched.

So far as I know, the U.S. is involved in only one war -- Afghanistan.

If you know different, please enlighten us.
 

Sandy Shanks

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Mycroft

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Fine, have it your way. It's a minor point.

Just as they are doing now, Republican leadership was opposed to Trump's withdrawal. https://thehill.com/policy/defense/...s-trump-against-troop-drawdown-in-afghanistan
Of course the Republican Elites are opposed. It's not in their donor's and lobbyist's interest for the US to get out of wars.

That's one of the reasons those Elite's days are numbered.

btw, the Dem Elites have the same donors and lobbyists. Stay tuned to find out if they actually get the US out of wars. Keep in mind that moving troops from one war to another isn't getting them out.
 

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There hasn't been any Americans killed in Afghanistan in what? a year? Hardly a "war".
 

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Afghanistan does pose a threat to Europe and Russia.

How much you want to bet that Russia invades Afghanistan sometime during the next decade?

Russia never does very well attacking Afghanistan neither has the USA .......

We're still in Iraq too.
 

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They won’t. The plan is for removing combat troops from Afghanistan. We’ll still have thousands of trainers, support personnel, etc in country for the foreseeable future.
Yeah that's probably USG's angle.

Hopefully they miscalculate and the Afghans are able to free their country anyway.
 

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Opium is a hell of a drug. Else most Afghanis wouldn't have a pot to piss in.
 

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Everything in that country has at least one bullet hole in it. Very sad.
That's not true. I've been there, so I know better.

Trump got the agreement. Trump set a date. All Biden is doing is taking the same agreement, setting a different date...and saying he did it. (And you believe him.)
Cult doctrine is believed because it's cult doctrine.

Afghanistan does pose a threat to Europe and Russia.
In what universe?

How much you want to bet that Russia invades Afghanistan sometime during the next decade?
How much credibility do you have left?

That's a joke, right?
Unfortunately, it appears SW does not know how to joke.

Opium is a hell of a drug. Else most Afghanis wouldn't have a pot to piss in.
There is something to this, because the poppies grow wild everywhere. The most arable part of the country is in Siberia, north of the Hindu Kush and next to three other 'Stans.
 

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Poppies grow wild lol. With a little help I'm sure. Pretty sure Alexander's army helped themselves to some while they were there.
 

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Yeah that's probably USG's angle.

Hopefully they miscalculate and the Afghans are able to free their country anyway.

"Free their country"

Are you rooting for the Taliban?
 
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