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Afghanistan: for nought!
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Orion719
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February 11, 2018 - 8:57 am
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I was deployed to Afghanistan in 2010 with the 1/87 INF and in October of that year we cleared about 5 miles of a route we affectionately called Route Bananas. This Route had formerly been used as one of Osama's eastern escape routes. My company also manned two checkpoints on said route after clearing the route of all IEDs. About a year after id gone back stateside I ran into someone who was currently deployed there on leave for R&R. We got to talking and he told me that those 5 miles of route had been taken back over by the Tali fighters as well as my companies two checkpoints. I ask you....how could all that work have gone to hell and why did the Afghani Army and Police not fought more? This war really must be a loss despite what news agencies would tell you. I'm open to any feedback and thoughts on this post. Thanks!

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greeney2
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February 13, 2018 - 8:48 am
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First, thanks for your service, as an all volunteer military since Viet Nam, young people do not know what a draft is, and being called to serve their country. What you said happened in Viet Nam all the time, I did not go but was in the Marine reserve from 65-71. They would fight and die for a hill, take it, and end up giving it back.  God knows what they were thinking, and seems like this same thing happens in the middle east. 

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Mike
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December 18, 2018 - 4:03 pm
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I was going to reply and bring up the Viet Nam war, but 'greeny' beat me to it.  All the same, what you point out happened frequently in 'Nam.  There are a multitude of books out there that covers close to every aspect during that war.  It's not only the 'grunts that took it in the shorts, but pilots as well.  Narratives exist of where pilots reported construction of SAM sites, yet could not engage due to some lines on a map.  We're talking looking out their canopies off their wing tips and seeing those sites being built.  And they new full well that with in a few more sorties, those SAM sites would be targeting them - bombing missions that were flown in close succession where the route and altitude were the same.  LRRP units reporting enemy activity only to not be believed or their intel ignored.  You mention the Afghan military and police - same thing during 'Nam with a lot of the South Vietnamese govt. corrupt and some of the military units unwilling to actively seek out and destroy the enemy.  And again, like you typed, news agencies reporting success after success, yet if you talked to those in the 'bush, they'd tell you a different story about 'Charlie.  It's uncanny the amount of similarities between what happened in the 60's and what's happening today.   

While civilizations live, they may still aspire, and hope - as long as their legions can hold the far frontier. - T.R. Fehrenbach

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Rusty Shackleford
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November 6, 2018 - 6:05 pm
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Politics. While I wasn't in the 'stan, I was in Baghdad and in the Army from '99 until '14. From a military standpoint we would work our hardest to secure and control an area. Often times at the cost of our fellow soldiers lives. From a military standpoint, we dominated Iraq. The problem came in when politicians in our government, specifically Obama and the State Department, decided that they knew how to handle the situation over there. We would control a MSR, or whatever, and complaints from the locals would start to be heard. To appease them, since we were not trying to be an occupying force, we would back-off from that area to ease the locals lives. All this did was let the opposition reclaim the area. If politicians would have stayed out of this and let the military do what the military does, then the 'stan and Iraq would have been completely different. The issues we are seeing in those two are fairly closely related to the same stuff as the 'nam. At the beginning there is a lot of support for military action (I know 'nam was iffy). After awhile people get bored and move on. Then comes the "we shouldn't be there phase". What people don't realize is once we are there, we have to finish. To start a war, occupation, or anything else, then leave before it is finished creates a much more serious problem. So, once Bush started getting pushed back on the actions in the Middle East, the politicians and State Department starting playing politics, despite military advice. The military was seen as incompetent in many politicians eyes, when in reality it was those politicians that turned our objective into something that we could not achieve. So, we are treading water. History has repeatedly taught us that we can not just up and leave, but our hands are tied on what we can do. Not sure if my rambling makes sense, but hopefully it does. I can go further in depth, but want to wait to see if anyone cares. It is mostly military/political strategy and tactics along with lessons learned.

Don't think the man is keeping you down if you haven't picked yourself up yet.

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Nigfis
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March 16, 2019 - 2:42 pm
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How interesting. Over the years, and right up until you folks that spent time in theatre came here and told it how it is/was, the folks here wouldn't have a word of it. This has been one of the flag-wavingest, pro-war sites I ever had the pleasure to post in.

Different now though eh? 

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greeney2
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March 21, 2019 - 10:11 am
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Nigfis, over the years you haven't changed on bit Confused

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Nigfis
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March 30, 2019 - 12:34 pm
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Greeney,

 

True. In as much as I was right then.

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Mike
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April 2, 2019 - 10:02 am
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I'd be interested in knowing more about your stance regarding this thread or conflict in general.  Nothing wrong with being anti-war, not saying you are, but I'm always interested in hearing/reading a person's reasoning that makes them think as they do.  

While civilizations live, they may still aspire, and hope - as long as their legions can hold the far frontier. - T.R. Fehrenbach

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Nigfis
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April 5, 2019 - 5:36 pm
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Hi Mike.

For background. I'm a Brit. I served a few years in the British Army during the 70's. My politics are inarguably left of centre in general, which seems to put me at odds with most if not all of the flag-wavers and those that call for war as if it were the easy option. 

Greeney and I have an online history going back to the start of GW Bush's War on Terror. At the time, this forum was heaving with posters, almost exclusively calling for a war against people that had nothing whatsoever to do with 9/11.

Tenuous links became absolute justification within a few posts, usually by the same bunch of posters. As the military on the ground in Iraq searched for evidence of the WMD's that never was, here too, every hint, every rumour, every piece of rusted metal became conclusive evidence of 'them', the WMD's, or/and their plots to overthrow the West.

This forum became a war-hungry mess of armchair generals, all 'experts' in one field or another and all calling for war as if only the bad guys ever get hurt. At times it was difficult to even read as posters called for death to be dealt to innocent people that had already been dehumanised by the propaganda your country produced.

Things are different now though. The truth, for some, finally sank in. Iraq never did have wmd's prepared and ready to use. In fact. Well, we all know now. And it was indeed, all for nought.

 

So that's me. I was against the use of troops as a tool of some oil barons. Still am.

Pleased to meet you.

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Nigfis
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July 15, 2019 - 8:09 am
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You people that served in Afghanistan, I hope you are still here, and well.

 

If ever you ask yourself why, here's your answer.

In Afghanistan, pre-invasion, the Taliban had all but wiped out heroin production. 

In America, and the UK, stocks of painkillers to combat acute pain were running low. People with post-operation pain, serious trauma pain, the chronic pain of arthritis, old people dying, all faced a world without morphine.

Hey-ho. 

And now the war is over. Friends have long been buried, although some are still suffering even to this day.  

Opiate addiction has hit the ground running though.

What I would honestly like to know though is, 'How?'

We all know that Afghanistan is overlooked by a constant stream of drones, ground-based sensors and other airborne kit, so how can it be getting out of there? Surely it would take something like a military operation to get it all...... Oh!

 

You don't think? Surprised

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