Welcome to TheOhioOutdoors
Wanting to join the rest of our members? Login or sign up today!
Login / Join

Veterans of TOO.COM

Jackalope

Dignitary Member
Staff member
34,699
223
Reminds me of this time We got a new female butter bar who just got out of college and loved to party, I was an E2.. Campfire story. :ROFLMAO:

 

Hedgelj

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
3,490
118
Mohicanish
From Facebook
Tyler Hackler posted this picture and I think it speaks to emotions being felt again by GWOT vets and the realization of the link between Vietnam veterans and the current vets. Although vastly different in how we were treated at home in comparison, the view of "failed" overall missions and the loss that they caused are pretty bonding I believe.

In Vietnam they couldn't go into Cambodia where their enemies sought refuge. When they did get to go in, they were called back before being able to accomplish the goals and left their enemies safe haven with the knowledge they would continue to be attacked without being able to truly retaliate. I've talked to some of these guys who went into Cambodia after years of being restrained and its pretty emotional, especially when they talk about having to turn around and go home before accomplishing their mission, which was in literal eye sight.

In Afghanistan we had Pakistan, where we openly received rockets and mortars from. They'd sneak across the border a few meters, set the rockets and leave back to their safe haven. They were able to slink down the mountains attack us and run back. Pakistan was supposed to be an ally, but never went into waziristan the neighboring province, and couldn't control it, yet we weren't permitted to go there either. Its hard to fight with both hands behind your back. Even the killing of Bin Laden was shockingly done without Pakistan knowledge for fear they would tip him off. His killing was symbolic only because he had not been relevant for several years by that point. Personally, I would have rather them let us fight the fighters in Pakistan than kill bin Laden, but no one asked me.

In both situations we left allies to be slaughtered after years of promising the opposite. The world currency isn't just the American dollar, its the actions of government, that's why we no longer have respect world wide and that is why terrorists have known that the western nations will collapse in a prolonged war. Britain, France, America, even Russia have capitulated despite technology.

This isn't the Afghans fault, we taught them to rely on the same technology that gave us the advantage while not giving them the technology to succeed and have the advantage. This war, like Iraq and Vietnam, was a generational game. We should have stayed and let the same little girls who we fought to give the privilege of education to grow up and become the same force that women are in America today. We should have stayed and let the boys who brought us phone cards and falafels grow up with their business savvy and the desire to be more than a serf to grow up to be the fierce fighter for independence that they wanted.

We've abandoned those who will not be able to defend themselves to suffer the same fate as those we fought for in Mosul and all over Iraq. They will be beheaded, burnt, and thrown into slavery. Those young boys, when family debt can't be paid, will be turned into chai boys (look it up). The girls who want to read, write, and be independent will be killed for attempting to do any of this, just like in Mosul.

We didn't fail in the battles. But our nation just failed those people who would have made their country stronger. This is more than a tragedy or depressing, its a massacre of innocence because those who sent us to fight didn't have the fortitude to see it through. While I'll be glad to know Americans won't be killed there, it'll be only at the cost that freedom will never exist and thousands upon thousands have and will be killed there because they believed our promises to never abandon them.
FB_IMG_1629294593446.jpg
 

Hedgelj

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
3,490
118
Mohicanish
So how's everyone doing with the Afghanistan stuff?

I know it's been in my head a lot. I've also been thinking the sacrifices of our brothers and sisters in arms, and my own sacrifice during my time in uniform. The question about was it worth it comes up often.

I've heard about increased veteran suicide in the last few days. If anyone needs to talk reach out. I don't have answers and I'm far from perfect but I'm there for you and will listen.
 

giles

Village idiot and local whore
Supporting Member
34,414
190
In a bar
Great post, Doug! I am here also. I will also add that I did alot of shit that was pointless while in, this is just another. Our current "leadership" couldn't lead a horse to water.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Hedgelj

Hedgelj

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
3,490
118
Mohicanish
I don't agree with this completely, comes across more as political pandering and not true leadership.
Screenshot_20210818-104229_Facebook.jpg
 

Attachments

  • Screenshot_20210818-104229_Facebook.jpg
    Screenshot_20210818-104229_Facebook.jpg
    119.6 KB · Views: 12
If leaving Afghanistan were easy, it would probably have been done a long time ago. Four presidents have presided over the 20-year war. Three have said they wanted to get out. None, until President Biden, were willing to pull the plug and face the consequences.

So America stayed in, spending a trillion dollars and losing thousands of lives for what we’re finding out was a failure in nation-building.

Why did America pursue a war it didn’t want to fight? The answer, according to experts, is that its leaders were caught between the politics of an unpopular conflict and the reality of an intractable conflict that could make America less safe if it ended.

“What they all realized was almost all the options we had for leaving would ultimately create an unstable Afghanistan where no one could predict what was going to happen next,” said Anthony Cordesman, a Middle East policy expert now at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “And the cost of getting out would be that failure.”

Here’s a brief history of America’s longest war through the lens of the decisions and statements of the four presidents who presided over it.

Bush: From hunting 9/11 terrorists to nation-building

Marines land in an undisclosed location in 2001 as the war on terror takes off. (Johnny Bivera/AFP/Getty Images)
This part of the story is well-known. America was attacked on Sept. 11, 2001, and then-President George W. Bush invaded Afghanistan and Iraq to find the attackers.

He had the support of Congress and much of the public for his mission, but he was forging a new conflict in a strange land, and that lent itself to plenty of mistakes, said Emily Harding, an intelligence expert now at CSIS.

“I know some of the guys who were in on the first wave,” she said. “And they went in with a pocket knife and a prayer to say: ‘We’re going to try to find somebody we can work with who can help us find al-Qaeda and get rid of them.’ ”

They did. “That mission went extraordinarily well,” Harding said.

The Bush administration had hoped that after the bad guys were run out of Afghanistan, they could safely hand the keys of power back to Afghans. They quickly realized that was impossible, and they got stuck in the country with no clear path on what to do next, Harding said.

Bush pivoted to nation-building. He sold it as the next, necessary step in his war on terror. “By helping to build an Afghanistan that is free from this evil and is a better place in which to live, we are working in the best traditions of George Marshall,” he said as he announced a Marshall plan of his own for Afghanistan.

Bush’s optimism in Afghanistan was underpinned by a belief that democracy would flourish when given the opportunity. “The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands,” he told Congress in 2005.

When Bush left office in 2009, there were about 25,000 troops in Afghanistan. And the war was about to escalate.

Obama: Ramping up to ramp down
Former president Barack Obama campaigned on his opposition to the invasion of Iraq and his skepticism of the war on terror more broadly. Yet in office, he presided over the largest troop presence in Afghanistan and a false declaration that the war was over.

Obama ended the war in Iraq and aimed to do the same in Afghanistan. His strategy was to ramp up so he could ramp down. He initiated several surges of tens of thousands of troops there, at one point reaching 100,000 as violence escalated.

Obama also called for an end to combat there in 2014, and when that date came, he declared the fighting was over. “[O]ur combat mission in Afghanistan is ending and the longest war in American history is coming to a responsible conclusion,” he told Americans at the end of that year.


Obama meets with Gen. Stanley McChrystal, head of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, in 2009. (The White House/Getty Images)
But The Washington Post’s Craig Whitlock reports that the Obama administration’s assertion that the fighting had ended was “among the most egregious deceptions and lies that U.S. leaders spread during two decades of warfare.” The war was nowhere near done, and Obama wasn’t willing to actually end it, lest he face exactly what Biden is facing right now.

A hugely symbolic moment in the war on terror did come under Obama: The United States found and killed Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of the 2001 terrorist attacks, after a decade on the run.

When Obama left office in 2017, there were about 9,000 troops on the ground in Afghanistan.

Trump: Let’s just get out

President Donald Trump addresses U.S. troops, with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani standing behind him, in 2019. (Reuters)
By the time Donald Trump came into office in 2017, he — and much of the American public — were so over this war. He upended the Republican Party in part by attacking Bush and other establishment Republicans for their handling of foreign policy in general and, specifically, for pursuing “endless wars.” He promised to bring the troops home.

“Are they going to be there for the next 200 years? At some point, what’s going on?” he said in 2015 on the campaign trail.

Trump signed a peace agreement with the Taliban that said the United States would leave in about a year, and in exchange the Taliban would promise not to let Afghanistan harbor terrorists who would launch attacks on America.


“I really believe the Taliban wants to do something to show that we're not all wasting time,” Trump said, continuing a tradition of American presidents offering rosy assessments that didn’t match reality in Afghanistan. Almost as an aside, he added this: “If bad things happen, we’ll go back with a force like no one’s ever seen.”

But Trump failed to publicly share that there was no enforcement mechanism to keep the Taliban from harboring terrorists, and signs pointed to them doing just that, recounts Paul Miller, a veteran of Afghanistan now teaching at Georgetown University, in the Dispatch.

Trump drew down troops in Afghanistan to 2,500. But even he didn’t officially end the war.

Biden: “We’re ending America’s longest war.”

Afghans climb atop a plane as they wait at the Kabul airport on Monday to get out of the country. (AFP/Getty Images)
By the time Biden came into office, the American debate on whether to withdrawal had been settled, and Biden was the president to actually do it.


Biden reversed many of Trump’s international agreements. But Trump’s peace deal with the Taliban he notably kept. America would be out of Afghanistan by the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

No war was worth this cost, Biden argued.

“[T]he United States did what we went to do in Afghanistan: to get the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11 and to deliver justice to Osama bin Laden, and to degrade the terrorist threat to keep Afghanistan from becoming a base from which attacks could be continued against the United States. We achieved those objectives. That’s why we went,” he said in July. “We did not go to Afghanistan to nation-build. And it’s the right and the responsibility of the Afghan people alone to decide their future and how they want to run their country.”

Even Republican hawks acknowledge that there was no political will to stay in Afghanistan. Where Biden is facing intense heat and criticism now is in the execution of the final withdrawal, which has been chaotic, as Biden and his administration were caught flat-footed by the swift collapse of the Afghan government.

Intelligence was warning that the Taliban could take over in as soon as six months. Yet in July, as a resurgent Taliban advanced toward Kabul and Americans shuttered military bases, Biden assured Americans: “The likelihood there’s going to be the Taliban overrunning everything and owning the whole country is highly unlikely.”

The Taliban overran the country even before the U.S. military officially left.

Both Republicans and Democrats say they’re frustrated that Biden failed to plan for a worst-case scenario and for how to get the United States’ Afghan allies out of the country before the Taliban took over.

Despite doing what no other president was willing to do, Biden was arguably the most disingenuous about what the consequences would be in ending the war, some analysts say.

“I just find it amazing to say you didn’t realize you could have a catalytic collapse,” Cordesman said, “to deny a Vietnam-like case as possible … that borders on just plain lying.”

The legacy of the Afghanistan war is one for the history books, to be debated and studied for years to come. And Biden’s bungled withdrawal could add a new chapter, depending on how events play out in the coming days and weeks. But the shared experiences of four very different presidents — and the evolving justifications for two decades of costly and increasingly unpopular conflict — suggest that there will be little political appetite for American military