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Top US military officer says Taliban 'are not losing'

TU Curmudgeon

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From CNN

Top US military officer says Taliban 'are not losing'

(CNN)The top US military officer said Saturday that the Taliban "are not losing" in Afghanistan, and much more needs to be done to bring peace to the war-torn country.

"They are not losing right now, I think that is fair to say," Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said of the Taliban during a discussion at a security forum in Halifax, Nova Scotia. "We used the term stalemate a year ago and, relatively speaking, it has not changed much."

Dunford said that while there would never be a "military solution" on its own to bring peace to Afghanistan, the United States and its Nato partners are working to leverage military, political and economic pressure to convince the Taliban it is in their interest to negotiate a political solution to the crisis with the government in Kabul.

"Without going into detail here, we do believe the Taliban know that at some point they do have to reconcile," he said. "The key to success is to combine all that pressure to incentivize the Taliban" to negotiate.

COMMENT:-

When one side is "fighting the long war" and the other wants to quit, "not losing" (for the side that is "fighting the long war") is almost the same thing as "winning".

The US which wanted to get the Taliban out of Afghanistan now wants to negotiate its way out of Afghanistan while the Taliban wants to stay in Afghanistan. If the price for getting out of Afghanistan is letting the Taliban stay in Afghanistan, and the US pays it - who "won"?
 

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From CNN

Top US military officer says Taliban 'are not losing'

(CNN)The top US military officer said Saturday that the Taliban "are not losing" in Afghanistan, and much more needs to be done to bring peace to the war-torn country.

"They are not losing right now, I think that is fair to say," Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said of the Taliban during a discussion at a security forum in Halifax, Nova Scotia. "We used the term stalemate a year ago and, relatively speaking, it has not changed much."

Dunford said that while there would never be a "military solution" on its own to bring peace to Afghanistan, the United States and its Nato partners are working to leverage military, political and economic pressure to convince the Taliban it is in their interest to negotiate a political solution to the crisis with the government in Kabul.

"Without going into detail here, we do believe the Taliban know that at some point they do have to reconcile," he said. "The key to success is to combine all that pressure to incentivize the Taliban" to negotiate.

COMMENT:-

When one side is "fighting the long war" and the other wants to quit, "not losing" (for the side that is "fighting the long war") is almost the same thing as "winning".

The US which wanted to get the Taliban out of Afghanistan now wants to negotiate its way out of Afghanistan while the Taliban wants to stay in Afghanistan. If the price for getting out of Afghanistan is letting the Taliban stay in Afghanistan, and the US pays it - who "won"?

An eye for an eye until everyone is blind.
 

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From CNN

Top US military officer says Taliban 'are not losing'

(CNN)The top US military officer said Saturday that the Taliban "are not losing" in Afghanistan, and much more needs to be done to bring peace to the war-torn country.

"They are not losing right now, I think that is fair to say," Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said of the Taliban during a discussion at a security forum in Halifax, Nova Scotia. "We used the term stalemate a year ago and, relatively speaking, it has not changed much."

Dunford said that while there would never be a "military solution" on its own to bring peace to Afghanistan, the United States and its Nato partners are working to leverage military, political and economic pressure to convince the Taliban it is in their interest to negotiate a political solution to the crisis with the government in Kabul.

"Without going into detail here, we do believe the Taliban know that at some point they do have to reconcile," he said. "The key to success is to combine all that pressure to incentivize the Taliban" to negotiate.

COMMENT:-

When one side is "fighting the long war" and the other wants to quit, "not losing" (for the side that is "fighting the long war") is almost the same thing as "winning".

The US which wanted to get the Taliban out of Afghanistan now wants to negotiate its way out of Afghanistan while the Taliban wants to stay in Afghanistan. If the price for getting out of Afghanistan is letting the Taliban stay in Afghanistan, and the US pays it - who "won"?

America fails yet again.

And I have a son over there right now....this really sucks!
 

Verax

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Have we still not learned that middle easterners would rather die than be ruled?
 

MadLib

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Have we still not learned that middle easterners would rather die than be ruled?

I think we need to seriously reassess our presence in Afghanistan but, come on dude, this is cheap Orientalism. The Taliban are widely despised in Afghanistan and are as successful as they are largely because they are backed more-or-less openly by Pakistan's military and intelligence service.
 

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I think we need to seriously reassess our presence in Afghanistan but, come on dude, this is cheap Orientalism. The Taliban are widely despised in Afghanistan and are as successful as they are largely because they are backed more-or-less openly by Pakistan's military and intelligence service.

Pakistan has been playing both sides of the coin for decades, and we've fallen for it every single time, and every single time they get busted on it, we give them a pass because the alternative is far worse.
 

Hawkeye10

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Pakistan has been playing both sides of the coin for decades, and we've fallen for it every single time, and every single time they get busted on it, we give them a pass because the alternative is far worse.

I have had enough....they can be China's problem now.....it is time for us to check out.

Out of Afghanistan as well.

DONE!
 

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That anyone thinks they can win the Gaveyard of Empires is a clear sign of mental illness.



Sendt fra min SM-N9005 med Tapatalk
 

TheParser

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The USSR was unable to deal with Afghanistan.

Even England in the 19th century had problems with Afghanistan.

The United States should face reality: the Afghans are tough dudes.

We have to let them settle their differences in their own way.

If the Taliban come back, so be it -- so long as they do not allow Afghanistan to become a base of terror.

Otherwise, it is the responsibility of the Afghans to deal with the Taliban.

Our great president wanted to withdraw from that country, but the American military pressured him into keeping our troops there.
 

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Pakistan has been playing both sides of the coin for decades, and we've fallen for it every single time, and every single time they get busted on it, we give them a pass because the alternative is far worse.

Well, the alternative was to stop backing Pakistan in the 1990s when it supported the Taliban, as India, Iran, and Russia supported Massoud's Northern Alliance against the Taliban. The CIA finally came around to seeing the light in 2000, but the planning for a supply route to the Northern Alliance, through Iran, came too late. Massoud was assassinated on September 10, 2001. Of course, then came the next 9/11 day and a year later Bush declaring Iran as a member of the Axis of Evil?!

Our foreign policy, since Wold War II, has constantly erred on the wrong side of history for a multiple of reasons - some rational and some very not. We don't do Limited War very well (as opposed to Total War) because politicians and diplomats expect too much from the military and lack imagination to do their part. Either they stick their noses in where it does not belong (Rumsfeld) or they go hands-off and expect unconditional surrenders. This is why conflicts since 1945 have resulted in dividing countries in half, "retreats with honor," defaulting to strongmen, or just scheming up ways to declare a victory out of a half war (Gulf War).

We should have long been out of Afghanistan. And this whole misnamed "War on Terror" was argued wrong from the get-go. NeoCon's pushed a simplified idea that was underdeveloped and argued in a way that created impractical expectations. This whole thing is regional and it is as generational as what European and our own history experienced. Democracy, and thus a move away from religious extremism, was never going to magically appear over night and they must do the lifting while weeding through their own local philosophical contradictions to define Islamic society in the modern age.
 
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Verax

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I think we need to seriously reassess our presence in Afghanistan but, come on dude, this is cheap Orientalism. The Taliban are widely despised in Afghanistan and are as successful as they are largely because they are backed more-or-less openly by Pakistan's military and intelligence service.

Look at every single conflict we have ever had in the middle east. The only time we have success is when we assault them and leave. We do not have success when we try to stick around and tell them how to run their country. It never works, it never will.
 

Rexedgar

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“Our foreign policy, since Wold War II, has constantly erred on the wrong side of history for a multiple of reasons - some rational and some very not.“

Top, our foreign policy has sucked much longer than that. The Corps impresses your history on all new Marines. Surely you know where the term “banana republic” originates?
 

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America fails yet again.

And I have a son over there right now....this really sucks!

I wish him a safe return home! My neighbor works in Kabul and the Taliban has been crazy aggressive with their attacks. We don't hear about it much anymore in the State.
 

Thoreau72

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From CNN

Top US military officer says Taliban 'are not losing'

(CNN)The top US military officer said Saturday that the Taliban "are not losing" in Afghanistan, and much more needs to be done to bring peace to the war-torn country.

"They are not losing right now, I think that is fair to say," Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said of the Taliban during a discussion at a security forum in Halifax, Nova Scotia. "We used the term stalemate a year ago and, relatively speaking, it has not changed much."

Dunford said that while there would never be a "military solution" on its own to bring peace to Afghanistan, the United States and its Nato partners are working to leverage military, political and economic pressure to convince the Taliban it is in their interest to negotiate a political solution to the crisis with the government in Kabul.

"Without going into detail here, we do believe the Taliban know that at some point they do have to reconcile," he said. "The key to success is to combine all that pressure to incentivize the Taliban" to negotiate.

COMMENT:-

When one side is "fighting the long war" and the other wants to quit, "not losing" (for the side that is "fighting the long war") is almost the same thing as "winning".

The US which wanted to get the Taliban out of Afghanistan now wants to negotiate its way out of Afghanistan while the Taliban wants to stay in Afghanistan. If the price for getting out of Afghanistan is letting the Taliban stay in Afghanistan, and the US pays it - who "won"?

Winning was never a declared goal. Waging the war is all that is required for the profits of the MIC. Expanding empire is all we're trying to do. It took the Soviets about 6 years to realize they could not prevail where Alexander The Great had failed. The US leadership is too stupid and compromised to understand.
 

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This is why conflicts since 1945 have resulted in dividing countries in half, "retreats with honor," defaulting to strongmen, or just scheming up ways to declare a victory out of a half war (Gulf War).

Funny, I just assumed it was because protracted and "managed" conflicts stretching out a decade or more were much more profitable to the defense industry. Perhaps it's a bit of both?
 

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I wish him a safe return home! My neighbor works in Kabul and the Taliban has been crazy aggressive with their attacks. We don't hear about it much anymore in the State.

This feels exactly like that last couple of years of Nam, when about the only thing on anyones mind was not having their loved one be the last to die in the lost cause.
 

Lord Tammerlain

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I think we need to seriously reassess our presence in Afghanistan but, come on dude, this is cheap Orientalism. The Taliban are widely despised in Afghanistan and are as successful as they are largely because they are backed more-or-less openly by Pakistan's military and intelligence service.

Compare resources

Pakistan's support to the Taliban and other groups, vs the US support of the Afghanistan government and various other groups. The success of the Taliban is far greater than just being supported by Pakistan. The Taliban have more members who are willing to fight, and potentially die for their cause than the Afghanistan government does. That region has a history of dislike for being ruled directly by outsiders, and having the US military there, makes it look like the Afghani government is controlled by outsiders.
 

TU Curmudgeon

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Compare resources

Pakistan's support to the Taliban and other groups, vs the US support of the Afghanistan government and various other groups. The success of the Taliban is far greater than just being supported by Pakistan. The Taliban have more members who are willing to fight, and potentially die for their cause than the Afghanistan government does. That region has a history of dislike for being ruled directly by outsiders, and having the US military there, makes it look like the Afghani government is controlled by outsiders.

Other than people who actually know something about Afghanistan, who would have suspected that?
 

MSgt

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Funny, I just assumed it was because protracted and "managed" conflicts stretching out a decade or more were much more profitable to the defense industry. Perhaps it's a bit of both?

Nah, I don't believe that. The Defense industry making money is just a consequence, not a goal. As we saw in the 1990s, war is not a necessity in order for government to create gross contracts and pass it off as "supporting the troop." When the military was hurting for training and maintenance, years before it had to send troops into Afghanistan and Iraq without body armor and with duct tape on their NBC suits, we were spending billions on military toys that the military didn't need. The F-22 Program is a perfect analogy:

- The F-22 Program was a means to fight Soviet MiGs in the 1980s. In the 1990s, without a Cold War, it was argued successfully that the now named F/A-22 would support the troops on the ground with close-air support. When troops had to wait for air support because CAS missions were being stacked, no F/A-22 was in the sky. To this day, the now named F-22 is a bench warmer. Yet, the money continued to flow to the Program as one President after another boast on their enthusiasm to fund the "military."


The Afghanistan conflict has been stretched out because they really haven't known for years and years what to do about it other than kick the can down the road. It was never going to be a fifty-first state, so conquering Afghanistan was never the goal. There was a plan. It involved Massoud and Afghanistan's historical governing principle of autonomous provinces under a larger national umbrella. But he was assassinated. Beyond him and his Northern Alliance, there really was nobody that could organize and lead the country in the way that it had been successful prior to the Soviet invasion. And so, once we kicked the Taliban off the throne, we simply lingered about with impractical promises of Western-inspired democracy with no regard of local culture. Sound familiar? We can take this typical mistake back to 1950 Korea.

We denied Iran its valuable support because of our absurd grudge. Iran, having been supporting Massoud and fighting the Taliban for years prior to 9/11, volunteered to help train Afghan security forces and lock down the western side. We refused and a year later Bush defaulted to his "Axis of Evil"...cuz. Years later, with Iraq overdue, we eventually shifted Marine Corps focus away from Anbar Province and tossed it into Helmand Province in Afghanistan to fix that hornet's mess. But all that did was "pacify" that Province, with fierce battles such as in Sangin, Gereshk, and Lashkar Gah, and send the hornet's nest towards other Provinces. In a sense, the mess just followed the Army. In the meantime, NATO forces, made up of dozens of countries, had been training Afghan security forces differently, which caused later problems (clearing weapons, patrolling, etc) to be figured out by receiving NATO forces in other locations. The Mentor Teams were in a special pickle in this regard. And because Marines were not authorized to operate on a large scale in neighboring Nimruz Province (too close to Iranian border), gun running and other support to the Taliban was near impossible to stop.

Of course, then there was the Poppy problem. Our overzealous and ideological brain had us combining the "War on Terror" with the "War on Drugs." Destroying poppy fields angered locals who relied on that commerce, sending more and more of them to sympathize and even support Taliban operations. Years into this, policy reversed and we were ordered to leave the Poppy fields alone.

Anyway....here we are...lingering because we don't want people to think we "lost," after having given people the highly impractical expectation that this was ever going to be more than what the result was always going to be. There was never going to be a peace table where the Taliban unconditionally surrendered. Never a day where all of Afghanistan joined hand-in-hand to cheer for elections and McDonalds. We had three goals: knock off the Taliban, kill Bin Laden, and leave Afghanistan to its own determined fate. Well, we accomplished the first quickly and eventually found Bin Laden in Pakistan, but after so much blood, treasure, and time, we can't seem to accept that Afghanistan has long chosen its determined fate. Afghanistan is a matter for Afghans. Our only problem was al-Qaeda.
 

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Winning was never a declared goal. Waging the war is all that is required for the profits of the MIC. Expanding empire is all we're trying to do. It took the Soviets about 6 years to realize they could not prevail where Alexander The Great had failed. The US leadership is too stupid and compromised to understand.

Incorrect, as usual.
 

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OTOH, it's nice to see Dunford recognize reality. General Nicholson, the former COM-RS Commander, was a disaster of naivite. Khalizaid, too, has been going around claiming that "the Taliban have accepted that they cannot win militarily", a statement for which I see no evidence, as that is what they are currently engaged in doing.

Hopefully General Miller really takes the gloves off, and forces everyone to focus on a single plan.

Sent from my Moto G (5S) Plus using Tapatalk
 

TU Curmudgeon

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OTOH, it's nice to see Dunford recognize reality. General Nicholson, the former COM-RS Commander, was a disaster of naivite. Khalizaid, too, has been going around claiming that "the Taliban have accepted that they cannot win militarily", a statement for which I see no evidence, as that is what they are currently engaged in doing.

Hopefully General Miller really takes the gloves off, and forces everyone to focus on a single plan.

Sent from my Moto G (5S) Plus using Tapatalk

I suspect that a goodly part of the Taliban's definition of "win militarily" is "getting the other side to stop fighting first (and permanently)" whereas the definition in DC appears to be "to conduct a smashing coordinated all arms nationwide campaign that rolls up the organized armies of the other side and allows us to mount a huge victory parade (without necessarily changing the underlying political climate)".

All in all, the definition which I think that the Taliban is using has a whole lot more historical validity that the one the DC appears to be using.
 
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