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Old 09-03-2018, 06:11 PM
 
Location: Honolulu, HI
4,605 posts, read 1,149,317 times
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In an effort to discuss something that doesn't involve the typical WW2 and Civil War subject ad nauseam I'd though I try giving a different war some attention. Admittedly I'm not well versed in this particular war. It's not something they teach you in America schools nor make Hollywood films about.

From what I've gathered this was a cold war proxy war and basically the Soviet Union bit off more than they could chew. Soviet Union wanted a friendly socialist government on its border in line with Brezhnev Doctrine that says a socialist country will not be permitted to go back to capitalism.

As we know, the result was failure by the Soviet Union to achieve their objective, the withdrawal of soviet troops, and the continuation of the Afghan civil war.

Today, we are obviously technically at war with Afghanistan (2001-present) which is far too complex for me to explain in this post.

But my question is simple, if the Soviet Union could not achieve their objective in Afghanistan why do we believe we will achieve our objective? I understand it's two different wars, two different objectives, but isn't it safe to assume the results will be similar? As in we won't change anything?

Quote:
As of May 2017, over 13,000 foreign troops remain in Afghanistan without any formal plans to withdraw, and continue their fight against the Taliban, which remains by far the largest single group fighting against the Afghan government and foreign troops
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_in...2%80%93present)
Quote:
In January 2018, the BBC reported that the Taliban are openly active in 70% of the country (being in full control of 14 districts and have an active and open physical presence in a further 263) and that Islamic State is more active in the country than before.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_in...3present)#2018
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Old 09-03-2018, 06:45 PM
 
Location: San Diego CA
3,848 posts, read 2,903,940 times
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If we did pull out the Taliban would overrun what's left of the puppet government installed in Kabul just like the North Vietnamese did in the South. It's kind of like a parallel universe Vietnam War on a smaller scale. President Johnson and his Defense Secretary expressed profound doubts in private about winning in Vietnam but never left because they were concerned that their reputations and historical legacy would be tarnished. Nothing has changed with our current President who will pass the buck on Afghanistan to the next commander in chief.
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Old 09-04-2018, 04:18 AM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
5,411 posts, read 9,562,699 times
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The possibility of achieving an acceptable outcome in Afghanistan was damaged, if not destroyed, by the decision to invade Iraq.
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Old 09-04-2018, 05:57 AM
 
11,572 posts, read 17,506,588 times
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There is no comparison to the Soviet invasion in regards to strategy, tactics, or desired outcome - with the Soviet objective to seize power and turn Afghanistan into a puppet state. The is quite the opposite to the US and Allies objectives. Actually the Soviet's were supposed to learn from America's mistake in Vietnam. That's the comparison.

The "war in Afghanistan" essentially ended in 2014, now our presence there is mainly a training and support role. At one time there were almost 150,000 western troops there, now it's about 10,000. With that, it's probably as good as it will ever get in Afghanistan - a functioning government in the urban areas with the rural areas controlled by various warlords and remaining elements of the Taliban. Our strategy seems to be "whack-a-mole" - when one insurgency group gets too powerful we send a couple drones over to kill their leaders. Regardless, they are not there planning how to bring down the next World Trade Center anymore.
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Old 09-05-2018, 03:02 AM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
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Afghanistan has broken every Great Power that tried to control it for the last 2 or 3 centuries.
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Old 09-05-2018, 05:50 AM
 
11,572 posts, read 17,506,588 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by North Beach Person View Post
Afghanistan has broken every Great Power that tried to control it for the last 2 or 3 centuries.
2 or 3 centuries isn't long, and Afghanistan has been conquered and occupied many times through history, be it Alexander the Great, the Mongols, the Muslims. After the Russian's left, the Taliban took over, they were the Great Power from outside that controlled Afghanistan for a few years after the Soviet's left. They were arguably outsiders many of them, Pakistanis, Saudis, etc., the only group left that had there sh*t together. No one is trying to control or conquer it now, they are just trying to stabilize a de-stable country and then get the hell out. It's officially a barely functional Islamic republic, do you think an Islamic Republic is a puppet government to the US or some Great western Power?

Forget about this Great Power nonsense, there is no historical mystical hands off significance to this country.
The fact is that even Afghan's themeselves, never mind a foreign power, can't control Afghanistan. It's a collection of warlords and Islamic nutcases from other countries that have carved out there little fiefdoms in the middle of nowhere in this country. Always will be.
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Old 09-05-2018, 06:02 AM
 
Location: Texas
32,562 posts, read 17,658,120 times
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Quote:
Soviet-Afghan War: Did America learn from the Soviet Union's mistakes?
Perhaps a little in terms of military tactics.

But in the sphere of achieving any strategic objectives? Hell no.

The Soviets failed to learn what the Brits failed to learn. And what the Brits failed to learn was what Ghengis Khan failed to learn.

We've flunked the exact same test that all other foreign interventionism has failed in Afghanistan:

We'll eventually leave and the Afghans will remain.
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Old 09-06-2018, 11:10 PM
 
13,827 posts, read 12,618,250 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dd714 View Post
There is no comparison to the Soviet invasion in regards to strategy, tactics, or desired outcome - with the Soviet objective to seize power and turn Afghanistan into a puppet state. The is quite the opposite to the US and Allies objectives. Actually the Soviet's were supposed to learn from America's mistake in Vietnam. That's the comparison.

The "war in Afghanistan" essentially ended in 2014, now our presence there is mainly a training and support role. At one time there were almost 150,000 western troops there, now it's about 10,000. With that, it's probably as good as it will ever get in Afghanistan - a functioning government in the urban areas with the rural areas controlled by various warlords and remaining elements of the Taliban. Our strategy seems to be "whack-a-mole" - when one insurgency group gets too powerful we send a couple drones over to kill their leaders. Regardless, they are not there planning how to bring down the next World Trade Center anymore.
The USSR objective was first of all to NOT to have a radical muslim state on its border, since the USSR had sizable population from former Islamic countries, that bordered Afghanistan.
Russians might have achieved their goal, if not for a friendly help of Americans that supplied weapons ( and consultants I'm sure) to the *freedom fighters* like Osama Bin Laden.
So if anyone had to learn a lesson from the Russian war in Afghanistan, you'd think they would be Americans, but look at Syria today...
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Old 09-07-2018, 05:32 PM
 
4,759 posts, read 1,873,849 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dd714 View Post
There is no comparison to the Soviet invasion in regards to strategy, tactics, or desired outcome - with the Soviet objective to seize power and turn Afghanistan into a puppet state. The is quite the opposite to the US and Allies objectives. Actually the Soviet's were supposed to learn from America's mistake in Vietnam. That's the comparison.

The "war in Afghanistan" essentially ended in 2014, now our presence there is mainly a training and support role. At one time there were almost 150,000 western troops there, now it's about 10,000. With that, it's probably as good as it will ever get in Afghanistan - a functioning government in the urban areas with the rural areas controlled by various warlords and remaining elements of the Taliban. Our strategy seems to be "whack-a-mole" - when one insurgency group gets too powerful we send a couple drones over to kill their leaders. Regardless, they are not there planning how to bring down the next World Trade Center anymore.
This post is filled with inaccuracies. First off the USSR invaded no one. They were invited by the legitimate government of Afghanistan at the time. The USSRs objective was to maintain stability in the region and Afghanistan had been doing pretty well for awhile, at least progressing.

Enter the Taliban and America. The rest is history.

Beware of people who know nothing about the history. They'll get you in trouble.
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Old 09-07-2018, 08:38 PM
 
Location: SoCal
5,708 posts, read 4,284,308 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maf763 View Post
The possibility of achieving an acceptable outcome in Afghanistan was damaged, if not destroyed, by the decision to invade Iraq.
I've often heard that but I'm not sure just how much this statement is rooted in reality. I mean, Yes, we did ignore Afghanistan between 2003 and the late 2000s, but then we resumed focusing a lot on Afghanistan in the late 2000s. Heck, our troop levels in Afghanistan peaked at around 100,000 in the early 2010s, if I recall correctly.

If that wasn't enough to defeat the Taliban in the early 2010s, what makes you think that having those troop levels in the early 2000s would have made the difference in regards to this?

The way I see it is that as long as the Afghan government will be incapable of delivering effective services to its people, the longer that the Taliban will remain a powerful military force in Afghanistan.
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