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How and Why Did the Afghan Army Fall so Quickly to The Taliban?

sanman

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Surrender Theory - the Army that fights together surrenders together?


How and Why Did the Afghan Army Fall so Quickly to The Taliban?​

Patterns of collapse indicate it was the collective result of individual soldiers making rational decisions about their own situations and deciding not to fight​

By TODD LEHMANN


THE CONVERSATION via AP — The swift collapse of the Afghan military in recent days caught many in the US by surprise, including the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
In the months after US President Joe Biden’s April 2021 announcement of the troop withdrawal, intelligence reports warned that the Afghan military might not fight on its own, opening the way for a Taliban takeover after US forces withdrew.
Yet few expected that the Taliban would succeed so quickly.

On August 10, a US intelligence assessment predicted a Taliban takeover within 90 days. It took just five.
My research into what game theorists and academics call “commitment problems” identifies the problem, and it is not one that most experts are talking about, like poor planning or corruption. The patterns of the Afghan military’s collapse indicate it was the collective result of individual soldiers making rational decisions about their own situations and deciding not to fight.

Looking for the right cause​

Throughout the conflict, the perennial emphasis on a US “exit strategy” meant US politicians always focused on whether it was time to leave yet. For 20 years, US efforts focused on short-term thinking and problem-solving that shifted both military and political goals over time, rather than investing the time and effort to develop a comprehensive long-term strategy for the war. An arguably lukewarm US commitment steadily created many of the underlying conditions for the Afghan military’s collapse. However, it did not entirely determine the outcome.

Biden claimed that the Afghan military lacked the will to fight. Others have blamed possible training problems, incompetent or corrupt Afghan soldiers, and too much reliance on private contractors to prop up Afghan forces.

Based on my research and analysis, the primary cause of what happened in the Afghan military is not any of those, nor was it a failure of character. Instead, soldiers encountered a “commitment problem,” seeing rapidly shifting conditions that changed their minds from being willing to fight to realizing it was a bad – and dangerous – idea at this time.

A cascade of surrender​

Soldiers seek strength in numbers. When soldiers fight in battle, they only succeed if they fight as a unit. However, individual decisions to fight or flee depend on mutual expectations. If a soldier expects that most of his comrades will fight, the soldier’s best interest is also to fight.

But if they expect most of their comrades will surrender, soldiers may find it more attractive to surrender – which leads to a “collective action problem.” If soldiers learn that other units have actually surrendered, they expect their own comrades’ resolve to be low and will become less likely to fight. A few initial surrenders or desertions can spark a few more, and then more and more until an entire army collapses.

This is precisely what happened to the Afghan military. As the US withdrawal began in May, the Taliban started gaining territory. As they advanced, the Taliban also negotiated with groups of Afghan forces stationed at outposts and in towns, and convinced some troops to surrender. Once the first bout of surrendering occurred and the news began to spread, others quickly followed, facilitating accelerating momentum to the Taliban as they advanced without facing major resistance. In the end, Afghan soldiers chose safety in numbers by surrendering together.
 

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Phys251

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Surrender Theory - the Army that fights together surrenders together?


I'm sure you would loved for us to stay in there forever, but the predecessor set this path into motion.

 

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The Afghan army didn't care about democracy or Afghanistan as a nation.

All they care about is their tribal affiliation.

There was nothing for them to fight for. Certainly nothing to die for.

So they laid down their guns, dressed in civilian clothes and quietly slipped into the crowd.


.
 

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Surrender Theory - the Army that fights together surrenders together?


It's my theory that the so-called 'Afghan Army' was a bunch of impoverished desperate Afghans, who hitched to us for a free ride. The ride is now over, and they're outta' here!
 

sanman

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I'm sure you would loved for us to stay in there forever, but the predecessor set this path into motion.

All you wokesters are doing is reading from the same CYA talking points. None of you ever spoke up against this withdrawal or blamed it on Trump before. You simply didn't care.
It's only when your Sleep Joe & Co screw it up royally, that you're suddenly fearful for Joe's reign, and are now flooding forth to retroactively claim that it was all Trump's fault.
And that's your same tired recipe for every crisis that engulfs Biden -- just blame it all on the previous govt.
Why did you side even run for POTUS this time, if your only plan was to reflexively blame anything and everything on Trump? Obama did the same to Bush.
Trump himself at least spent less time deflecting, and more effort actually solving the situations he was faced with, even thinking out-of-the-box.
 

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Phys251

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All you wokesters

:LOL:

Biden simply followed through on the plan that Donnie Boy put into motion.


Was Donnie Boy's plan bad, or was it a bad plan to follow through with it?
 

sanman

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The Afghan army didn't care about democracy or Afghanistan as a nation.

All they care about is their tribal affiliation.

Okay, so that's a start -- they each care about their tribe, and wouldn't want to see their own tribe wiped out by Taliban.
That was the case last time too, and Taliban faced tough resistance from all the local tribes.

There was nothing for them to fight for. Certainly nothing to die for.

So they laid down their guns, dressed in civilian clothes and quietly slipped into the crowd.

Many Taliban today only care for their tribe. The Taliban are nearly all from one ethnic group - the Pashtuns.
 

Mycroft

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Listen carefully. ;)

This is very true.

Biden couldn't stop the process...without suffering enormous political blowback, which the Dems can't afford to suffer right now.

But Biden proved that he could **** the process all to hell.
 

sanman

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:LOL:

Biden simply followed through on the plan that Donnie Boy put into motion.

Was Donnie Boy's plan bad, or was it a bad plan to follow through with it?

The "fact checkers" have jumped the shark long ago -- people have wisened up to the "fact checking" racket. The "fact checkers" are no more objectively honest than the Taliban's "Ministry of Defeating Vice and Protecting Virtue"

So in other words, you don't know a thing about Afghanistan, so when an Afghan crisis happens, all you know to do is reflexively blame it on Trump.
You don't know a thing about medicine, so when a medical crisis happens, all you know to do is blame it on Trump.
You don't know a thing about economics, so when an economic crisis happens, all you think to do is blame it on Trump.

We get the pattern, man. You don't need to keep demonstrating it for us over and over.
 

MamboDervish

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How and Why Did the Afghan Army Fall so Quickly to The Taliban?​


It all came down to the breadth and depth of the corruption throughout the country, which dates all the way back to day 1. When the central government in Kabul fled, the army commanders fled. With the army commanders gone, why would the rank and file soldiers remain? Many hadn't been paid in a long time, because their salaries were supposed to be distributed by commanders who were corrupt and kept their money. At some point, any soldier has to ask who they are fighting for, if not for those who lead them.

When it is rotten all the way from the top down, the very bottom cannot be expected to defend the country.
Nor should they.
 

Phys251

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The "fact checkers" have jumped the shark long ago -- people have wisened up to the "fact checking" racket. The "fact checkers" are no more objectively honest than the Taliban's "Ministry of Defeating Vice and Protecting Virtue"

So in other words, you don't know a thing about Afghanistan, so when an Afghan crisis happens, all you know to do is reflexively blame it on Trump.
You don't know a thing about medicine, so when a medical crisis happens, all you know to do is blame it on Trump.
You don't know a thing about economics, so when an economic crisis happens, all you think to do is blame it on Trump.

We get the pattern, man. You don't need to keep demonstrating it for us over and over.

Those are documented dates of what both trump and Biden did. You are arguing against the facts. Cold, hard facts that you refuse to listen to because they don't suit your personal narrative that Donnie Boy had nothing to do with this. :)
 

MamboDervish

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All you wokesters are doing is reading from the same CYA talking points. None of you ever spoke up against this withdrawal or blamed it on Trump before. You simply didn't care.
It's only when your Sleep Joe & Co screw it up royally, that you're suddenly fearful for Joe's reign, and are now flooding forth to retroactively claim that it was all Trump's fault.
And that's your same tired recipe for every crisis that engulfs Biden -- just blame it all on the previous govt.
Why did you side even run for POTUS this time, if your only plan was to reflexively blame anything and everything on Trump? Obama did the same to Bush.
Trump himself at least spent less time deflecting, and more effort actually solving the situations he was faced with, even thinking out-of-the-box.
Boy, that's one huge steaming pile of bullshit for just two paragraphs.
Is that you, David Dennison?
Trump is getting blamed for the things he did - and rightly so. Those things are well known, and no barrage of feeble denials will ever make them go away.
Likewise the things that Bush the Lesser was responsible for. Nobody who wasn't born yesterday needed Obama to point them out - we all lived through them.
For a man who has been in office 8 months, Biden's accomplishments are many, and history will record him as the POTUS who finally took us out of the country's longest, stupidest, and most costly war. He may take some heat for it from the hawks who got us into that debacle, but in the end most of America, and most of the world, know he's right.

As for Trump, he spent ALL his time deflecting - from day one - and in every direction, including at his own hand-picked staff members. To Trump, everyone was a failure except Trump, and everything that went wrong was somebody else's fault.
 

Tbird19482

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:LOL:

Biden simply followed through on the plan that Donnie Boy put into motion.


Was Donnie Boy's plan bad, or was it a bad plan to follow through with it?
Most people haven't read the Trump agreement and should ( it took me a long time to actually find it )
and after Trump made this agreement Trump claimed full, unequivocal credit for the withdrawal in Afghanistan. "I started the [withdrawal] process. [Biden] couldn't stop the process."
Trump gave the Taliban EVERYTHING they have been fighting for and we have been fighting against for the last 20 years
not only did we fight against them for 20 years we " Trained the Afghan Military and gave them aid and we had thousands of our military personal hurt and killed
and Trump set it up to just give them everything and walk away
What a wonderful Deal Trump made with the Taliban ( for them that is )
have a nice night
 

Tbird19482

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How and Why Did the Afghan Army Fall so Quickly to The Taliban?​


It all came down to the breadth and depth of the corruption throughout the country, which dates all the way back to day 1. When the central government in Kabul fled, the army commanders fled. With the army commanders gone, why would the rank and file soldiers remain? Many hadn't been paid in a long time, because their salaries were supposed to be distributed by commanders who were corrupt and kept their money. At some point, any soldier has to ask who they are fighting for, if not for those who lead them.

When it is rotten all the way from the top down, the very bottom cannot be expected to defend the country.
Nor should they.
yes they were corrupt but it also didn't help the Afghan Gov. when Trump ( with out even talking to the Afghan gov ) agreed to give the Taliban control of the Gov.
I believe it was Miller in the Def. dept that said Trump was giving them something like 75% control ( soon to be 100% ) to the Taliban
again it is all in the Agreement Trump made with the Taliban
Have a nice night
 

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Regardless of whether or not the deal Trump made was a good idea. the Biden administration has had seven months to put an organized plan in place for an orderly withdrawal. This would include a planned withdrawal of troops including taking their weapons and material with them, an organized method of allowing the Afghans who worked with us to emigrate and a working plan to evacuate American citizens.

I don't see much evidence that any of those things have happened.
 

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:LOL:

Biden simply followed through on the plan that Donnie Boy put into motion.


Was Donnie Boy's plan bad, or was it a bad plan to follow through with it?
It's pretty easy to research the Trump plan and then to see that Trump has some conditions tied to the agreement and the withdrawal. Biden on the other hand had none, just a unconditional withdrawal that he did nothing to get his team prepared for success. He failed to let out two biggest allies know prior to pulling out of Bagram and moving down to HKIA, he blames the debacle on Trump with the "I inherited this agreement" excuse. We all know he undid almost every policy of the Trump administration so that's a BS excuse. Biden wanted out, has said so over and over but he had no idea how to go about it, and apparently his team is ignorant or were orverruled.
 

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This is what I understand about why the Afghans may have caved. Keep in mind that there is resistance movement in the Panjshir province. Anyway, this is what I've heard and read.
Afghans training to fight the Taliban is centered around using close air support provided by US aircraft and pilots and about 230 Afghan aircraft. With the US withdrawing that air support would effectively be gone and that's scary, plus the closing of Bagram.
Second, that as the Taliban moved across Afghanistan the past two months they made a point to be vicious and brutal making shows of force and executing some opponents with the, "this is what will happen to you if you resist" message being shipped ahead of them.
 

TU Curmudgeon

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Regardless of whether or not the deal Trump made was a good idea. the Biden administration has had seven months to put an organized plan in place for an orderly withdrawal. This would include a planned withdrawal of troops including taking their weapons and material with them, an organized method of allowing the Afghans who worked with us to emigrate and a working plan to evacuate American citizens.

I don't see much evidence that any of those things have happened.

Possibly the delay was because Mr. Biden couldn't locate the detailed plan that the Trump administration had drawn up for the repatriation of 100% of the Americans in Afghanistan (plus all of the Afghans whose lives would have been endangered due to the fact that they had worked with the Americans) and had put into place within days of Mr. Trump signing the agreement with the Taliban that the US would shuffle on home.

We know that there was such a plan because Mr. Trump has released all of its details - right?
 

cpwill

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The Afghan Army spent 7 years fighting after we declared an "end to combat operations" for U.S. forces. It spent a year and a half fighting after we signed a deal with the Taliban to leave the country and abandon them - what, around 50,000 dead?

They then finally collapsed when, abandoned by the U.S. and surrounded, their own government failed to reinforce or resupply them, or even come up with a strategy for retaining control.

This was a long time coming.
 

natman

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Possibly the delay was because Mr. Biden couldn't locate the detailed plan that the Trump administration had drawn up for the repatriation of 100% of the Americans in Afghanistan (plus all of the Afghans whose lives would have been endangered due to the fact that they had worked with the Americans) and had put into place within days of Mr. Trump signing the agreement with the Taliban that the US would shuffle on home.

We know that there was such a plan because Mr. Trump has released all of its details - right?
Maybe Trump had a plan for all those things or maybe he didn't. but the fact is that Biden has been President for seven months and there is no indication that he did anything to prepare for a date that was known well in advance.
 

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Possibly the delay was because Mr. Biden couldn't locate the detailed plan that the Trump administration had drawn up for the repatriation of 100% of the Americans in Afghanistan (plus all of the Afghans whose lives would have been endangered due to the fact that they had worked with the Americans) and had put into place within days of Mr. Trump signing the agreement with the Taliban that the US would shuffle on home.

We know that there was such a plan because Mr. Trump has released all of its details - right?
More likely Biden couldn't remember he was the President. Biden is clearly not up to the task. He's got less than a week to get ALL Americans out, (that want to leave) plus our allies and vulnerable. And, remember he has to get the troops out as well. We will see.
 
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