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U.S. to keep about 650 troops in Afghanistan to provide security for diplomats

19 Comments
By LOLITA C. BALDOR and ROBERT BURNS

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...amid accelerating Taliban battlefield gains, fueling fears that the Afghan government and its military could collapse in a matter of months.

Which would mean the whole thing was a colossal and tragic waste of time and human lives. I predicted that 20 years ago, the day I first heard about Bush Junior's plan to go in (with little more than a tiny number of special forces using pack mules)

I often feel I have a crystal ball. However, I did read two books back then, about Britain's 19th century escapade and about the Soviet disaster there in the 70s-80s. Both stated that foreigners must stay away from Afghanistan, as that society cannot be changed by outsiders and it's not worth "saving" anyway.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

even as the White House tries to put the 20-year-old war behind it and focus more on threats from China and Russia.

This cannot be correct given how often we are told the Biden is a warmonger and in the pocket of China.

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So US is not actually leaving. This will give the Taliban an excellent reason to lead onslaught on government. Excuse will be that US never really left and is in cahoots with the government. So we need to get rid of them all. This whole mess was such a waste of lives and money

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You don't want any diplomat hanging from a tree like it happened to Najibullah.

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On Friday, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, chair of the High Council for National Reconciliation, are meeting with Biden at the White House.

Meeting for what? Just break up via text...oh, and don't forget to send them the bill for $800 billion we squandered there.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Diplomats. Paid by the CIA And they need 650 soldiers to protect them? Ridiculous

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This cannot be correct given how often we are told the Biden is a warmonger and in the pocket of China.his cannot be correct given how often we are told the Biden is a warmonger and in the pocket of China.

He’s only been on the job for 6 months, we still have 3 1/2 years to go before determining that, but so far it would seem the guy is trying., will he be successful in that attempt, depends on Congress and the Pentagon and let’s hope they’ll listen to Joe on this it that is his true intent.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Good. I was hoping for a small residual force to protect our interests.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Interests? List them?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The Afghan government law enforcers and security guards are not in a position to safeguard the security of their own top officials, what more that of foreign diplomats.

They have not been properly or adequately equipped or trained.

Some US troops must stay..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Interests? List them?

Preventing another 9-11 for starters.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Desert Tortoise

Interests? List them?

Preventing another 9-11 for starters.

But 9/11 came from Saudi?

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"But 9/11 came from Saudi?"

The 9/11 attackers were trained in Afghanistan. OBL was based in Afghanistan.

The Clinton administration nearly got OBL after the USS Cole bombings were traced back to Al Qaeda but backed out at the last moment when they saw that children could get hurt if they tried to assassinate Bin Laden. This was the time was Taliban was in power in Afghanistan and was recognized by a grand total of 3 countries of the world.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Secondly if countries wish to maintain diplomatic relations with the fledgling Afghanistan government in case of the hypothetical (but very probable) scenario of Taliban taking over vast swathes of the country they need to maintain some security forces in Kabul at least. You don't want a repeat of what happened to Dr. Najibullah the last time Taliban overran Kabul.

That time the world had made the mistake of ignoring the events in the war ravaged country but this time no one will be able to turn a blind eye if anything happens to any of the diplomats posted in Kabul.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

But 9/11 came from Saudi?

Bin Laden could not have pulled off the 9-11 attack without the safe haven for him and for his training activities afforded him by the Taliban. They gave Bin Laden a well protected base of operations and bear much responsibility for the 9-11 attacks. I bothers me greatly to see so many US troops leaving. The Mujahideen with US support defeated the Soviets but afterwards the US simply walked away and left a war ravaged Afghanistan to sort its problems out on its own. This created the opportunity that allowed the Pakistani ISI's attack dogs the Taliban to exploit and come to power in Afghanistan., providing Bin Laden the safe haven he needed that was unavailable elsewehre. The US is making a big mistake walking away from Afghanistan again. My only hope is that among those 650 are some good special operations troops who can do things if necessary to thwart a terrorist attack and some intel specialists to keep an eye on trends in the country so the US isn't blindsided again as it was on 9-11.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Biden has come full-circle on this, ending a war he voted for.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Diplomats have phones. They don’t need to be there, and the Afghan people won’t feel any less abandoned if they stay. If this is instead a way to keep troops there, then a lot more of them are needed. It sounds like both the diplomats and the soldiers are being hung out to dry.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Diplomats have phones. They don’t need to be there, and the Afghan people won’t feel any less abandoned if they stay.

That is not true. One needs to have diplomats in the nation who can meet people and talk face to face. You need people who are there every day and can see for themselves what is going on inside the nation. There is also no substitute to having one of your diplomats seeing the leaders of the host nation in person, in the flesh, to size them up, judge their health and intelligence by speaking directly with them. Diplomats do not stay locked up in their embassies. They travel around and speak to different groups. There is no substitute to having your own people in country on the ground talking to locals to really know what's going on. This is why nations like the US didn't sever diplomatic relations with the USSR during the Cold War or with China today. To do so would leave the US blind, unable to really know what's going on. Just leaving their apartment and going shopping is an opportunity to learn, and obtw, that shopping visit puts a face and a name to the Americans that is probably quite different from the snarling aggressive visage some host nations paint. That diplomat is the real face of the US, not the distorted on painted by their government. The shop owner goes home to their family and they know a real American and what they are like, not what their government tells them, it is important.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

He’s only been on the job for 6 months, we still have 3 1/2 years to go before determining that, but so far it would seem the guy is trying., will he be successful in that attempt, depends on Congress and the Pentagon and let’s hope they’ll listen to Joe on this it that is his true intent.

Glad to see you’ve dropped the Biden is a warmonger in the pocket of China line.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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