Over the weekend a second provincial capital has fallen to the Taliban, this time in the north of Afghanistan, just days after the southern Nimruz province which borders Iran fell reportedly with barely any resistance from US-trained Afghan national forces.
On Saturday Sheberghan, the capital of Jowzjan province, was captured at a moment the US State Department has sounded the alarm for any American citizens still remaining in the country, with just a little over a month to go until Biden's Sept.11 complete troop exit deadline. The US embassy in Kabul had urged Americans to leave the war-torn country "immediately" while noting they can't rely on government flights.
A US Embassy security alert on Saturday stated that "Given the security conditions and reduced staffing, the Embassy’s ability to assist U.S. citizens in Afghanistan is extremely limited even within Kabul."
At the moment southern Helmand province is also under threat of imminent fall the Taliban, who are gaining momentum also through increasing capture of military bases and equipment, including US Humvees and weaponry - which the Islamist militants have been parading of late.
The Wall Street Journal summarizes the significance of this latest provincial capital to fall to the Taliban advance as follows:
"The fall of the city of Sheberghan is particularly important because Jowzjan has long been the traditional stronghold of ethnic Uzbek warlord Abdul Rashid Dostum, one of the country’s main anti-Taliban leaders who served as Afghanistan’s vice president until last year."
Sheberghan also borders Turkmenistan, which means it's yet another huge blow to Kabul in terms of losing an important hub of regional trade, also at a moment the Taliban controls the vast majority of key border crossing areas.
Crucially these latest rapid Taliban gains have been made in the south and north even as Afghanistan's military with the aid of the United States has conducted large-scale airstrikes. "As attacks intensify, Afghan security forces and government troops have retaliated with increasing airstrikes, aided by the United States. This has raised growing concerns about civilian casualties across the country," NBC News writes.
This strongly suggests that even if the Pentagon were to provide full and immediate air support to Afghan forces across all theaters, it would likely do little to blunt the insurgents' offensive. It could now be a mere matter of months or even weeks before Kabul finds itself under siege.
"Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it."
Who didn’t see the T’bans doing this? We pull out, the thugs return, like rats. Not worth one more GI’s blood let alone life. As usual, it’s been a waste all the way around.
|A Grateful American|
So, the Soviets going to go back for a second helping?
Or maybe the Chicoms would like to go test all their newfangled toys.
"the meaning of life, is to give life meaning" ✡ I could explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.
Kabul will be surrounded and a handful of warlords will hold-out against whatever offensive the Taliban will throw. Afghan's don't know how to do defense, its a foreign concept for them so resistance or, simply pushing-out a parameter isn't in the cards.
There goes Kunduz. Wider scene of the defining nine-hour Good Friday Battle in 2010 which made Germans aware that the Bundeswehr was in a shooting war, not just some "stabilization mission" to build schools and drill wells. The day totaled three KIA and eight WIA, plus six Afghan soldiers who were killed in a friendly fire incident as a German Marder IFV lit up the civilian vehicles they were riding in. Participants were later awarded six Honor Crosses for Bravery (about equal to a Silver Star) and 17 Special Honor Crosses in Gold (think Bronze Star with V device), 14 of which to the crews of two American Blackhawks who evacuated the wounded under fire.
Thank you for that photo Banshee…I was in the same task force as Chief Lacrosse, back west when the Good Friday fight took place. Quite an event, and for as crummy as it was it certainly improved relations between US Soldiers and the Ansbach people when we came home.
Very sad to see the current events unfolding around AFG.
|SIGForum Official Hand Model|
Now I wasn't around for Vietnam, but this kinda sounds like the same thing from the fall of Saigon.....
"da evil Count Glockula."-Para
Yup: It do, don't it?
One of many disadvantages of living a long life is being disappointed in one’s hopes to never see certain things more than once.
“To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.”
— Thomas Paine
Your guys were actually the first, German or otherwise, to get that particular decoration. All the bravery awards had only been instituted two years before as part of the slow realization that the Bundeswehr actually had to fight in Afghanistan and there was a need to recognize individual courage, difficult military history or not. 2008 was bad enough to make that happen. Additionally all the German KIAs that year came from the district of the Bundestag member I was working for at the time, including two who died in the crash of a Spanish helicopter in Bosnia. She went to a lot of funerals at the time.
Without those Blackhawk crews, the body count on that Good Friday would certainly have been higher. You can see the scars some of the troops retained in the picture; the MSgt second from left was permanently blinded. The Army found a way to keep him in service by putting him in charge of the base range office and equipping it accordingly.
My brother #3 did two tours in Mazar-i Sharif as an MP, but luckily returned unscathed despite frequent convoy escort missions.
|Fighting the good fight|
“Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” - Sir Winston Churchill
I don't think anybody with at least two functioning neurons to rub together didn't see this coming.
"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system,,,, but too early to shoot the bastards." -- Claire Wolfe
"If we let things terrify us, life will not be worth living." -- Seneca the Younger, Roman Stoic philosopher
"The dominant media is no more ``mainstream`` than leftists are liberals." -- me
Taliban = 7th century mindset with cellphones.
The next plane you see taking off from Afghanistan may be the last one for the next 1500 years.
|Just because you can, |
doesn't mean you should
Let either or both take a swing at it since the crazies can walk to those countries from there.
Vietnam Mk.II for sure except they at least were polite enough to let us get out when we declared peace in '73. Our government just wasn't smart enough to get completely out so they finished the job a few years later resulting in the embassy photos.
What is about the "those that forget history expression" that seems so hard to remember?
The middle east has been a sh*t hole for most of human history due to it being controlled by religious zealots that predictably can't get along. Spending billions to build infrastructure wasn't the solution after all. Sorry about all our people that were killed and maimed to prove the concept once again.
Avoid buying ChiCom/CCP products whenever possible.
This is similar to the fall of Saigon. I was at a different embassy when Saigon fell but my friend wasn't. The US Ambassador to Vietnam was an idiot.
In any case, this ^^ was predictable and the ending in AF will be as well.
Same thing will probably happen in Iraq. I believe the Embassy in Iraq is our most expensive in the world. We'll probably just freshen it up a bit before the Iranians occupy it if the Russians to get there first.
agree Saigon all over again. so many parallels.
and so much waste all the way around. the fact that AFG had 15+ years to get their sh*t together defies western reason.
they should have seen this coming years ago. but in the final analysis -- 'uniting' a backward, tribal culture is not possible no matter how much $$$ we throw at it especially when the rural countryside can not be secured.
Proverbs 27:17 - As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.
|Like a party |
in your pants
We stopped FIGHTING WARS after WW2!
|His diet consists of black|
coffee, and sarcasm.
There's nothing we can do about it. We were unwilling and unable to defeat and occupy them in the manner of World War II Japan and Germany. It was a mistake to believe they would embrace Western-style democracy. Some people just need a boot firmly planted on their heads. Get everybody out safely, and destroy any equipment that can't be taken. That includes Afghans who helped us.
Unfortunately, we'll be back in both Sh*t holes - AF and Irag. Except next time it will be our grandchildren.
I don't see either country emerging like Vietnam and Laos. They will probably have a Cambodian style Khmer regime or slide back into ISIS territory. Heads will roll soon.
After we leave, we'll periodically run SF operations like we do in Africa for pest control.
Our presence in Afghanistan should've been purely punitive. 9/11 happened, we rolled in, crushed those who challenged us, hunt down AQ and gathered-up all the intel possible.
Instead, what was originally a SOF operation, evolved into Big Army/All-Joint/NATO article-5 disaster, let alone setting up these giant logistics tails; everybody had to get in. Just the geography and logistics alone should prevented any notions or, dreams of 'building a country'. Iraq and Vietnam, were better build options than Afghanistan. State Dept got involved, and everyone there was stuck in Model UN mode, instead of merely being functionaries to the outside world while the Afghan govt got stood-up, everybody had to have a say-so; everyone had to have their own special pet program. Laura Bush, First Lady, openly questioned 'what about the Afghan women and how they're treated?' Sorry Madame First Lady, that's an Afghan problem, not an American problem.
|Keeping the economy moving since 1964|
For all that happened there and as lousy as it is ending, did it not for years act as a magnet for all form of islamic crazies to go there and fight the US and coalition forces, and get killed? As opposed to coming here?
What is happening there now reminds me of what I read happened when the Russians pulled out.
You can't fall off the floor.
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