Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Briefly Noted: Scope Of Afghan Debacle Grows

Over the last week or so we've been reading about the scope of the debacle in Afghanistan. Much of the reporting has focused on the sheer quantity of military materiel that we've gifted to the Taliban, as well as the humanitarian crisis at the airport in Kabul.

This morning it appears that things are about to, if anything, get worse.

Thanks to a leaked State Department cable, we now have a handle on critical numbers. It appears that there are as many as 20,000 Americans still in Afghanistan. In the meantime, the US evacuation has been focusing--as far as one can speak of "focus" in this debacle--on evacuating Afghans. The upshot is that it appears unlikely, for reasons given below, that all Americans will be evacuated. Red State runs the numbers:

With the exact number in hand, educated guesses are no longer required. We know for a fact that this evacuation is going to fail. There are only 4-5 days left to get these people out due to the logistics of the 8/31 deadline, and according to the cable, there are perhaps 20,000+ Americans still stranded throughout Afghanistan. Even if you take the low-end estimate that only 10,000 Americans were originally stuck, that means we are still way behind schedule, and the situation on the ground in regards to getting to the airport is only getting worse. In other words, you will likely see fewer, not more Americans making it to planes over the next few days.

The Taliban is insisting on that 8/31 deadline, and the US, from all indications, isn't in a position to do anything about it. Or doesn't intend to. Word was that Zhou's CIA chief met with the Taliban to plead for an extension. It seems the Taliban are like most feral types--signs of weakness only encourage them. They told the CIA to pound sand. The result? The situation I speculated on last week:

The Taliban Just Pantsed Joe Biden and Signaled a Coming Hostage Crisis

I mean, if you're the Taliban you were probably saying long ago: 'Take American hostages? Hell yeah! That's the kind of thing we do.' That result was a no-brainer all along:

A Taliban spokesman has given another press conference, ... and he’s unequivocally stated that the terrorist group will not allow an extension of the 8/31 deadline to evacuate Americans and Afghan allies from the war-torn nation.

The Taliban just pantsed the President of the United States. [That's what Red State calls this guy.]

This is incredibly embarrassing. ... It’s hard to imagine how this situation can get any worse, though, it undoubtedly will.

Further, what the Taliban have done here is essentially announce a coming hostage crisis. As a leaked State Department cable showed last night, the evacuation of American citizens is lagging way behind the pace needed to end the operation on 8/31. Many can’t even attempt to get to the airport and are effectively trapped behind enemy lines. There could easily be tens of thousands of Americans left behind unless a genuine miracle occurs. As the deadline approaches and ultimately passes, the Taliban have every incentive to start using those abandoned by the president as leverage. What do they have to lose?

What is the US going to do--re-invade Afghanistan? With military preparedness hinging on vax status--according to some dude name Austin--and with at least a third of military personnel declining the injections, we're in no position to do anything of the sort. Unless I'm missing something.

Where do we stand now? Here's the latest:

Joe Biden will stick with 31 August withdrawal deadline - Reuters

SKY News ^ | August 24, 2021

The US president has agreed with a Pentagon recommendation to stick with his planned withdrawal deadline, despite pressure from NATO allies, an administration official has told Reuters news agency.

Yeah, that'll go down really well with "NATO allies." Breitbart has a pretty thorough article on the whole situation, including this:

Later Tuesday, G-7 leaders plan to discuss the crisis in Afghanistan, as European leaders press the U.S. to consider delaying its withdrawal to allow more time to evacuate those desperate to leave.

U.S. administration officials have refused to be pinned down about whether an extension is likely or even possible given that a Taliban spokesman has warned that Aug. 31 is a “red line” and that extending the American presence would “provoke a reaction.”

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said the majority of local staff who worked for his country in Afghanistan haven’t yet gotten out and called Tuesday’s meeting “very important” for discussing international access to the Kabul airport beyond the end of August. Britain’s defense minister separately has called the deadline a “mistake.”

Re that G-7 meetings, the Daily Mail is reporting:

Zhou Baidan today shrugged off pleas from Boris Johnson and other allies to extend the Kabul evacuation after the Taliban warned it will not tolerate delay to the August 31 deadline for troops leaving. Boris Johnson, Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel used a G7 meeting to urge the president to keep the operation going longer, but the entreaties appear to have fallen on deaf ears.

So it goes. In terms of politics, it's just about impossible to see this regime lasting much longer--although a successor regime is almost as difficult to envision. To be honest, however, I'm more concerned about the collapse of Western civilization at this point.


  1. Even if it's just about impossible to see this regime lasting much longer, the fact, that a successor regime is almost as difficult to envision, makes it more likely that this regime will last much longer, until a clear, plausible mechanism for its replacement emerges.

    When you express concern about the collapse of Western civilization, are you thinking mostly months, years, or decades?
    And, are you thinking mostly slowly, or more suddenly, via cops/ soldiers bugging out, financial/ supply chains/ food riots, or what?

  2. And, what would be the most likely signs of such a collapse, before the most obvious, e.g. the collapse of the web, then the radio/ TV networks, and then the whole grid?

    1. If it's a natural progression then I think it will be a combination of supply chain disruptions and fiscal crash.

      If unnaturally, then cyber attacks on any of our energy infrastructure.

      We have now added our European allies to the list of countries that might want to (and be able to) execute such attacks.

      I'm not suggesting the Europeans have become our enemies overnight, but they might be persuaded that America is a rabid dog that can no longer be allowed to terrorize the world.

    2. Yeah, mistcr, cyber attacks ring true.
      And, they *might* be persuaded that America is a rabid dog, unless Sil. Valley etc. has come to dominate their cultures like it has ours.

  3. And the latest report that the Taliban have announced they will no longer allow Afghanis to leave at all.

    Hey, these Taliban aren't ALL bad it seems.

  4. I don't know, but is it actually even possible to do worse than this? All the technology we have to rain hell on them and nothing happens, we have all the special forces that are not allowed to go in, the only Biden isn't doing is fiddling while it all burns. Perhaps that's next. sigh

  5. I'm becoming more convinced that a primary aim of this Afghanistan Demolition is a rerun of the post Vietnam war collapse in military morale. I'm just old enough to remember the years after Vietnam when being in the military was only for losers and drug addled dummies. No one wanted to join that volunteer force. Recruiting standards as i recall were bottom barrel. (USMC was still high). It wasn't until Reagan that the military started back to respectability.

    Maybe that's the commies' game now. They need to kneecap the military as insurance against any uprising or resistance to their unfolding revolution. Part of that is the ongoing purge of conservatives and Jab Resisters but a huge blow will be struck by tarring the military with shame and disgrace for leaving behind thousands of hostages.

    And while we're at it, what makes us think the CIA chief was asking the Taliban to extend time to remove Americans from Kabul? I'd bet he was doing proactive hostage negotiation--- telling ol' T-Ban that the Regime is cool w hostages and will make it worth their while to drag it out and create a real spectacle. Why? Many reasons. 1) keep up maximum distraction from domestic tyranny 2) enable continued funding of Islamic radicals to further destabilize the region and justify continuing domestic tyranny and defense budgets 3) further embarrass the military including even another humiliating Desert One rescue mission 4) a pipeline to Iran for funding and covert communications.

    In the end it doesn't matter who's in the WH. The program is set or if you prefer, the hand in the sock puppet doesn't change so the sock is irrelevant. Diciar

  6. Trying to fit all of the facts into incompetence and cowardice is like forcing the math to defend a geocentric worldview.

    The alternative is screaming at us: this is intentional.

    1. Yes. And whoever did this effectively has the power to control "our" government. And whoever did this cares nothing for the lives of the thousands of American citizens left behind. What does that say about our future as citizens living in the U.S.?

    2. I'm on record here saying the future of America is grim.

  7. I watch with some "amusement" as our transport planes execute "combat dives" in order to land in Kabul with as little exposure as possible...knowing full well how vulnerable these planes are to random gunfire. Furthermore, firing off flares upon takeoff to ward off heat seeking missiles is a waste of time since the more likely scenario is an RPG a la Blackhawk Down...there is no defense against an RPG at low altitude, whereas takeoffs from Bagram would have had the necessary separation to pretty much make RPGs useless - there you would worry about MANPADs, but I digress.

    After 42 years working with our military, this is the biggest disgrace and greatest fustercluck fact, on our worst case contingency planning scenarios at the Pentagon we never considered something like this - how could we? It's as if the Bay of Pigs met the Mayaguez while on the way to Desert One to meet their commanding general Elphinstone...words fail me, but my anger knows no bounds. God help us

    1. the closest planning perspective to this debacle I can recall is in the summer of 1995 which we spent planning for an operation rashly offered by Boy Clinton who agreed to the potential extraction of UNPROFOR by U.S. forces...geez, what a nightmare scenario we had to contemplate. We fully expected we'd have to fight our way into Bosnia against hardened Serbian combat veterans - it was not going to be pretty, but we weren't planning on evacuating non-combatants at the same time so the current situation is an 11 on a scale of 10 by way of comparison

  8. I just keep wondering if this is to embarrass the US, kneecap us, provoke so much anger there is a backlash that give them the excuse to go after opposing citizens? Perhaps it's to distract us from the fact that nervous Nancy changed the rules late last night to get their Brown new deal through? All of the above S**k.

  9. Why did Bi Den just “Jimmy Carter” his administration?

  10. Could this be the U.S.military’s “1916 mutiny” moment? In 1916, due to the profligate expenditure of their soldiers @ Verdun as well as all along the Western Front for over two years, the French Army basically mutinied & refused to attack German positions. Britain took up the slack pretty much from then on but I digress.

    Combined with the mandatory vaxes, could the muscle arm (line elements/fighting echelons) of the U.S. Military stand up & refuse this nonsense? If a large segment of the U.S. military walked off the job there’d be virtually nothing the U.S. govt could do; it would overwhelm the system.

    We may also be seeing an entire geopolitical shift away from DC - who’s going to trust Bi Den/us now? Question is where - Berlin? Beijing?


  11. Any full pullout would have issues. Yet, Biden did it in a way that is not only visually reminiscent of the fall of Saigon, but had the same effect. I’ll bet the ramifications of this will be the same as our departure from Vietnam. I fully believe we should not be there and should have left after Bin Laden was killed, ya know, our reason for being there in the first place.

    Biden, as a young Senator, voted to stop $$$ to South Vietnam, creating the fall of Saigon moment.

    Today, as president, he did the same damn thing unilaterally.

    Our top military went along. To suggest our top military mutinied is belied by what occurred just now.

    Biden has no Col. Vindman or Generals going on record opposing him on this or elsewhere.

  12. The real catastrophe occurred post-November 3 when there was no legal authority willing to go into the credible allegations of election fraud. We were told it was the job of the legislatures. Politicians elected by fraud are supposed to control things when they have every incentive to perpetuate the fraud that keeps them in power. Where are the laws? We are no longer a nation of laws. As a result the government feels they have no accountability to the citizens. Not to worry-the citizens will in turn figure out ways to avoid compliance with the law.

    1. For Jen Dyer's view of the complexities of knowing the real deal of that election, see .

  13. Trump Ad - Wow. It compares well to the Daisy Ad that sank Goldwater.

  14. Considering the Taliban now has our sophisticated SAM's, they have us by the proverbial balls. I'm guessing planes will be shot out of the air come Sept 1st. This had to be planned, no one could f this up any worse. Maybe I'm giving them too much credit.