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As US military sticks to airport, British and French forces are rescuing their citizens in Kabul: reports

Weinie

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463 people on a flight, CANSOF operating outside the airport but staying hush about any specifics — like we all assumed, our folks show up as professionals that set an example.

Well done people, keep it up 😎👍🏻💪🏼🍻
I have been told, by someone who has intel, that many on this flight were children. Fucking yay. We are giving opportunities to those who were being violently oppressed in a system where they didn't matter.
 

The Bread Guy

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I have been told, by someone who has intel, that many on this flight were children. Fucking yay. We are giving opportunities to those who were being violently oppressed in a system where they didn't matter.
VERY good to hear!
 

OldSolduer

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I have been told, by someone who has intel, that many on this flight were children. Fucking yay. We are giving opportunities to those who were being violently oppressed in a system where they didn't matter.
They will be the ones who remember how they were taken in and cared for by those who proudly wear the Canadian flag. Team Canada does it again
:salute:
 

KevinB

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I’m going to play ‘heartless dick’ for a moment here…

I understand evacuating government employees working at embassies.

I understand evacuating Afghan employees & contractors working at those embassies, as they face genuine and immediate danger.

I do not understand going out into a city which is very much under Taliban control, with checkpoints popping up all over the place, to rescue citizens who are there on their own volition & just happen to be stuck in place. (There was plenty of warning when the US was going to withdraw entirely, and being there on their own volition was piss poor judgement.)


I hope the latter isn’t the case.
A lot of the people who are stranded where working for various NGO's - you can't simply leave easily - and I think most of those had believed the published reports about the Afghanistan governments ability to hold on (which where bold face lies but...)
Generally in my experience most who work for humanitarian NGO's have rose colored glasses at best of times, and tend to down play or ignore security concerns.

As far as going out in Kabul - you can do it 1 of three ways:

1) Via Helicopter - the TB has no aircraft - and the MH-6 Littlebirds, MH-60 DAP's and AH-64's have enough firepower to delete any one trying to interfere with those.

2) Ground Overt: Brit and French SOF are running around like that - and the TB has avoided getting into any direct confrontations

3) Low Vis Ground: which I won't touch base on in any detail.

The fact remains all of the Coalition countries have a duty of care to Afghanistan, and the Afghan people.
 

Good2Golf

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…As far as going out in Kabul - you can do it 1 of three ways:

1) Via Helicopter - the TB has no aircraft - and the MH-6 Littlebirds, MH-60 DAP's and AH-64's have enough firepower to delete any one trying to interfere with those.

2) Ground Overt: Brit and French SOF are running around like that - and the TB has avoided getting into any direct confrontations

3) Low Vis Ground: which I won't touch base on in any detail.

The fact remains all of the Coalition countries have a duty of care to Afghanistan, and the Afghan people.
Like how Gen. Ahmadzai duded himself up to Kabul airport to catch a flight?
C0ED43FE-640A-4901-A40C-70D6F13A9985.jpeg
 

Good2Golf

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I'd have given hm a lot more credit for riding North and helping Massoud Jr.
Yeah, I was thinking more of just the walking up to the airport thing. He certainly wasn’t being very Commanderish in the weeks prior…not that Ghani was being very Presidential the months/years prior…
 

KevinB

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Yeah, I was thinking more of just the walking up to the airport thing. He certainly wasn’t being very Commanderish in the weeks prior…not that Ghani was being very Presidential the months/years prior…
I think Ghani was being very Presidential - of a Taliban based society...
He and others in the government sacked the majority of government loyal military commanders - while the new ones where clearly loyal to other influences.
 

CBH99

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A lot of the people who are stranded where working for various NGO's - you can't simply leave easily - and I think most of those had believed the published reports about the Afghanistan governments ability to hold on (which where bold face lies but...)
Generally in my experience most who work for humanitarian NGO's have rose colored glasses at best of times, and tend to down play or ignore security concerns.

The fact remains all of the Coalition countries have a duty of care to Afghanistan, and the Afghan people.
That makes a lot of sense actually. And I’ll be honest, I had believed - to an extent anyway - that the ANSF was numerous and effective enough to keep the country reasonably secure, especially the capital.

We knew the Taliban would come out with a pushback, but I was under the impression that Afghan forces were secured enough in place to keep it at the level of skirmishes. Between ANSF, Afghan Air Force, Afghan SF, and some very low-vis coalition support - I had believed (from reading media) that it would be an uphill battle for the Taliban.

NGO’s are notorious for having rose coloured glasses, and pretty skewed risk assessments. So what you say makes perfect sense.



We do have a duty of care to Afghanistan, but my question is to what extent?

^ Genuinely open question, for anybody’s thoughts.
 

KevinB

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That makes a lot of sense actually. And I’ll be honest, I had believed - to an extent anyway - that the ANSF was numerous and effective enough to keep the country reasonably secure, especially the capital.

We knew the Taliban would come out with a pushback, but I was under the impression that Afghan forces were secured enough in place to keep it at the level of skirmishes. Between ANSF, Afghan Air Force, Afghan SF, and some very low-vis coalition support - I had believed (from reading media) that it would be an uphill battle for the Taliban.

NGO’s are notorious for having rose coloured glasses, and pretty skewed risk assessments. So what you say makes perfect sense.



We do have a duty of care to Afghanistan, but my question is to what extent?

^ Genuinely open question, for anybody’s thoughts.
Well the illustrious former President gutted the ANA of loyal commanders. It seems clear he stuck a deal with the TB, and the Russians ferried him to safety (probably for both a share of the money he'd embezzled - and to stick their thumb in our eye)
President Biden had been informed that the country would fall if he left, and China would expand into the vacuum.

I suspect that the CIA Special Activities Division has Ground Branch personnel in to help the Norther Alliance - they have been there forever* - and generally rarely get help from DoD or other part of the US Gov.
*open source info - Sean Naylor's book Relentless Strike has some detail of that in the pre and post 9/11 world.

Most of the ANA was ordered to 1)either desert their post by the new commanders, or 2) not to fire on their "brothers" (Taliban). Part of the problem with training an army - is soldiers generally listen to the chain of command - and so Ghani gutted the ANA of any real effective resistance with the recent changes. Government Loyal forces where hunted down and executed if they could by the TB - who then followed up by trying to do in all the Hazara they can find.


As to the extend of the Duty of Care.
I view it like starting CPR, you don't leave until the person is either pronounced dead, or you have been relived by higher competent medical authority, or the person is resuscitated.
You cannot invade a country - utterly change its entire geopolitical landscape - and then run away - that is moral bankruptcy.
 

Kirkhill

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Does it mean anything that both Karzai and Ghani are Pashtun? And that Karzai had time in with the Islamic State of Afghanistan and the mujahideen as well as time in Pakistan?


I'm minded of Dirk Bogarde's line. "Well. As you know. I always thought it was a bridge too far."


Playing the what if game, what if the game had stopped when the Northerners entered Kabul? And the country was split.
 

CBH99

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Well the illustrious former President gutted the ANA of loyal commanders. It seems clear he stuck a deal with the TB, and the Russians ferried him to safety (probably for both a share of the money he'd embezzled - and to stick their thumb in our eye)
President Biden had been informed that the country would fall if he left, and China would expand into the vacuum.

I suspect that the CIA Special Activities Division has Ground Branch personnel in to help the Norther Alliance - they have been there forever* - and generally rarely get help from DoD or other part of the US Gov.
*open source info - Sean Naylor's book Relentless Strike has some detail of that in the pre and post 9/11 world.

Most of the ANA was ordered to 1)either desert their post by the new commanders, or 2) not to fire on their "brothers" (Taliban). Part of the problem with training an army - is soldiers generally listen to the chain of command - and so Ghani gutted the ANA of any real effective resistance with the recent changes. Government Loyal forces where hunted down and executed if they could by the TB - who then followed up by trying to do in all the Hazara they can find.


As to the extend of the Duty of Care.
I view it like starting CPR, you don't leave until the person is either pronounced dead, or you have been relived by higher competent medical authority, or the person is resuscitated.
You cannot invade a country - utterly change its entire geopolitical landscape - and then run away - that is moral bankruptcy.
- Agreed. He seemed to know with a fair amount of confidence when the Taliban would announce their presence in the city. He also sacked several ANA commanders that would have been loyal to the government, and made changes behind the scenes so that the ANA would essentially blend away into the abyss.

China was always expected to enter the vacuum.

Money talks, regardless of how religious or committed some claim to be. Lots of money to support and expand a new Taliban government, and the military/intelligence partnerships to keep the west out of the east? Plus help with developing a huge cradle of natural resources? I don’t even blame China for seizing an opportunity like this.



- Agreed very much so.



- On the surface, it is mind blowing that a force of 300,000 trained and equipped troops could be displaced and replaced by the enemy so easily.

But having commanders sacked, financial and material assets seized or not forwarded to units, and a very discreet relationship which had government loyal commanders killed…. Betrayed in every single sense of the word by their own President, who then f**ked right off. Literally Treason.



- The reason I ask to what extent we provide Duty of Care realistically - is because of the current situation. I’ve heard many answers from many individuals who I appreciate their opinions, so I’m more of a sponge when it comes to this question. (Many opinions that vary quite a bit, yet all have merit.)

We’ve spent billions upon billions of dollars to build highways, roads, water pumps and sanitation, dams, schools, businesses, modernize communications, provide electricity, etc.

We’ve engaged the Taliban in areas where they weren’t wanted. We took the fight to them, and forced them into hiding or into reorganizing in safety across the Pakistani border.

We’ve provided medical outreaches to villages, providing professional medical care & medicine to anybody who showed up.

Was it perfect? Not even close. Were there cultural, tactical, and procedural lessons to be learned the hard way? Oh yeah. The fact that our interpreters were there when this whole Taliban comeback started, despite our mission ending in 2011, is a solid example of how badly our government failed in some respects. (That’s on multiple governments, not the CAF.)

And finally we paid with the blood of many sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, one of whom is quite active on this site with us.


Once we have our embassy staff/contractors out, contracted support like interpreters & citizens working for NGO’s out, and as many vulnerable people as possible out. At what point does our duty of care end?

(I haven’t formed a solid opinion on this yet, just listening to the opinions of folks who know more about the region/history/conflict than I do. There is no pretence in my question.)
 

KevinB

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- Agreed. He seemed to know with a fair amount of confidence when the Taliban would announce their presence in the city. He also sacked several ANA commanders that would have been loyal to the government, and made changes behind the scenes so that the ANA would essentially blend away into the abyss.

China was always expected to enter the vacuum.

Money talks, regardless of how religious or committed some claim to be. Lots of money to support and expand a new Taliban government, and the military/intelligence partnerships to keep the west out of the east? Plus help with developing a huge cradle of natural resources? I don’t even blame China for seizing an opportunity like this.



- Agreed very much so.



- On the surface, it is mind blowing that a force of 300,000 trained and equipped troops could be displaced and replaced by the enemy so easily.

But having commanders sacked, financial and material assets seized or not forwarded to units, and a very discreet relationship which had government loyal commanders killed…. Betrayed in every single sense of the word by their own President, who then f**ked right off. Literally Treason.
Agreed - the fact that West watched this happen was pretty appalling as well.
For years we've tried to kill our way out of an insurgency - and when we had a few guys that really needed to go, we didn't.


- The reason I ask to what extent we provide Duty of Care realistically - is because of the current situation. I’ve heard many answers from many individuals who I appreciate their opinions, so I’m more of a sponge when it comes to this question. (Many opinions that vary quite a bit, yet all have merit.)

We’ve spent billions upon billions of dollars to build highways, roads, water pumps and sanitation, dams, schools, businesses, modernize communications, provide electricity, etc.

We’ve engaged the Taliban in areas where they weren’t wanted. We took the fight to them, and forced them into hiding or into reorganizing in safety across the Pakistani border.

We’ve provided medical outreaches to villages, providing professional medical care & medicine to anybody who showed up.

Was it perfect? Not even close. Were there cultural, tactical, and procedural lessons to be learned the hard way? Oh yeah. The fact that our interpreters were there when this whole Taliban comeback started, despite our mission ending in 2011, is a solid example of how badly our government failed in some respects. (That’s on multiple governments, not the CAF.)
I've been a fairly vocal proponent that very few folks understand COIN
There is no military way out of an insurgency - unless you are willing to do what the West won't, (and shouldn't do) by killing anything in the area.
The ABSOLUTE FIRST QUESTION that needs to be asked before committing to a Nation building or COIN related strategy
What do the people want?
With that question you then need to say can we, will we, or are we willing to give that to them.
You also need to understand that the answers (to both the question on what THEY want, versus what WE can give) most likely will be different in parts of the country -- and before intervention (or mission change) - the question of Partitioning the country needs to be addressed.
And finally we paid with the blood of many sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, one of whom is quite active on this site with us.


Once we have our embassy staff/contractors out, contracted support like interpreters & citizens working for NGO’s out, and as many vulnerable people as possible out. At what point does our duty of care end?

(I haven’t formed a solid opinion on this yet, just listening to the opinions of folks who know more about the region/history/conflict than I do. There is no pretence in my question.)

Countless countries promised NEVER AGAIN, after the Holocaust in WWII - which spawned the intervention in Somalia (more about food/famine than genocide), and FYR -- however Somalia showed most the West will turn when soldiers die -- and as a result the West for the most part ignored the Genocide in Rwanda - and areas of FYR for being gun shy -- I think we can trace back a lot of our woes today to the Clinton Administration.

The other aspect in the Duty of Care - its also selfish - our enemies play a long game for the most part - leaving Afghanistan proves to then that yet again the West has no spine for protracted conflict - and given Afghanistan currently has all sorts of terrorist groups running around in it now since Biden stopped airstrikes and JSOC missions to deal with - that the next 911 will come from there yet again.
 
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