Yesterday's Kabul Attack

Ooh-Rah

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#2
No one has ever been able to give me a reasonable explanation as to why this does not happen here. After 9/11 I was convinced that the days of relaxing at the outdoor Starbucks were pretty much over.

A: Are "they" not as organized as some think?
B: Are "we" really that far ahead of any potential attacks (well done, alphabet soup agencies!)
C: Are we just lucky?
D: All of the above?
 

Ocoka

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#3
No one has ever been able to give me a reasonable explanation as to why this does not happen here. After 9/11 I was convinced that the days of relaxing at the outdoor Starbucks were pretty much over.

A: Are "they" not as organized as some think?
B: Are "we" really that far ahead of any potential attacks (well done, alphabet soup agencies!)
C: Are we just lucky?
D: All of the above?

I'd say in light of 9/11 and after almost two decades of fighting these people, we've made significant strides in security procedures, intel-gathering, information sharing and national and international cooperation with regard to terrorism. But nobody's immune. Ever.

And keep in mind in order to strike us the money, the means, the personnel all have to be in place. There's an ocean between us and the center of gravity of most of these terrorist organizations. 9/11 was a fluke of a success for AQ and an epic failure on our part. But in order for them to hit us they have to get here...As it stands, Europe seems to be in more imminent danger simply due to geographical proximity and the influx of refugees, with no doubt some hard-line Jihadists slipping in with them.
 

AWP

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#4
I don't if this says more about AFG or me, but when I saw the story I shrugged. I didn't even read it past the headline. The everyday level of violence, the people, and my 9 years of built-up apathy.... I can neither cheer nor mourn what happens to that country.
 

Ocoka

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#5
I don't if this says more about AFG or me, but when I saw the story I shrugged. I didn't even read it past the headline. The everyday level of violence, the people, and my 9 years of built-up apathy.... I can neither cheer nor mourn what happens to that country.
It's a slow Sunday, hence the link. But I can relate in a much less personal way. Nobody's surprised by a car bomb anymore, unless the car bomb goes off in a place where car bombs don't usually go off.
 

256

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#6
I don't if this says more about AFG or me, but when I saw the story I shrugged. I didn't even read it past the headline. The everyday level of violence, the people, and my 9 years of built-up apathy.... I can neither cheer nor mourn what happens to that country.
Agreed, good point. Seems to me the only people that can help the people of Afghanistan are Afghans. They have no alegence to their country, in my limited experience. The Valley and the people inside their Valley are important, everyone else is foreign.
 

Marauder06

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#7
No one has ever been able to give me a reasonable explanation as to why this does not happen here. After 9/11 I was convinced that the days of relaxing at the outdoor Starbucks were pretty much over.

A: Are "they" not as organized as some think?
B: Are "we" really that far ahead of any potential attacks (well done, alphabet soup agencies!)
C: Are we just lucky?
D: All of the above?
That's a great question.

I think it's a combination of "America spends a LOT of money on law enforcement and intel, and they're actually quite good at it," "America's really far away," "it's actually kind of hard to get into America (now) if you're a terrorist," "we're more likely to get the results we want by attacking people here rather than there," and "remember the last time we attacked America? Yeah? Well maybe we don't do that again."
 

Marauder06

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#8
Agreed, good point. Seems to me the only people that can help the people of Afghanistan are Afghans. They have no alegence to their country, in my limited experience. The Valley and the people inside their Valley are important, everyone else is foreign.
"Landlocked with bad neighbors" and "a state with no real nation" is a bad recipe. :(
 

Marauder06

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#10
Something else that might help if we let parts of it get broken off by more-stable neighbors or if we let it sort out it’s boundaries internally and let new states emerge. But that’s not really how the system works anymore.
 

x SF med

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#11
No matter what happens to the 'modern' political boundaries in the region, there are millennia old tribal and ethnic boundaries in the area that will not change. Part of the reason the radical Islamists have a hard time controlling the region is the almost proto-Islamic animistic version of the religion that still has multiple layers of it Zoroastrian roots. Family and Tribe trump any larger politics or conquering armies... these are the peoples (consolidated tribes?) that have resisted conquer by Darius, Philip, Alexander, India, the Mongol Khanate, Hannibal, Rome, Britain, France, Russia/USSR and most recently their own government... The Kush may very well be unconquerable. Kipling stated this 100 years ago... and every piece of evidence bears this out.
 

Ocoka

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#12
Think I have said this before.......but I'll say it again. That country can only be ruled/controlled by the old ways....War Lords controlling provinces.
They're growing more opium poppy than ever before, and last time I checked, exports generating some $ 4-billion annually...money that goes to growers, insurgents, traffickers, warlords etc...and leads to massive corruption.

With that kind of revenue eclipsing any and all kinds of income that legal means can generate, nobody's likely to change from the "old ways."
 
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AWP

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#13
"Landlocked with bad neighbors" and "a state with no real nation" is a bad recipe. :(
I'm arguably the hardest of the hardliners on SS where AFG/PK are concerned, but I genuinely, to my core, believe one of the best ways to stabilize the region is to eradicate Pakistan. Everything east of the Indus to India, west of the Indus to Afghanistan. It removes that nuclear "cloud" hanging over IN/ PK, gives AF a port for exports and imports, erases the Durand Line which is a major hindrance to stability, and forces the Taliban into one country (no more PK support for the TB or HiG and India won't play).

We will not have a chance at peace or stability in AF so long as PK exists.
 
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#14
I'm arguably the hardest of the hardliners on SS where AFG/PK are concerned, but I genuinely, to my core, believe one of the best ways to stabilize the region is to eradicate Pakistan. Everything east of the Indus to India, west of the Indus to Afghanistan. It removes that nuclear "cloud" hanging over IN/ PK, gives AF a port for exports and imports, erases the Durand Line which is a major hindrance to stability, and forces the Taliban into one country (no more PK support for the TB or HiG and India won't play).

We will not have a chance at peace or stability in AF so long as PK exists.

I'm fairly ignorant when it comes to understanding the complex problems and situations involving the ME compared to everyone on this board, but wouldn't groups like the Taliban and al Qaeda just find safe haven in AF? Obviously erasing PK from the map would solve a lot of problems in theory especially the direct support to local terror groups, but wouldn't the population as a whole greatly resent this decision to erase the countries borders and split it between IN and AF and possibly radicalize even more people?

I'm not challenging just looking to be more knowledgable.
 

AWP

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#15
I'm fairly ignorant when it comes to understanding the complex problems and situations involving the ME compared to everyone on this board, but wouldn't groups like the Taliban and al Qaeda just find safe haven in AF? Obviously erasing PK from the map would solve a lot of problems in theory especially the direct support to local terror groups, but wouldn't the population as a whole greatly resent this decision to erase the countries borders and split it between IN and AF and possibly radicalize even more people?

I'm not challenging just looking to be more knowledgable.
Yes. My post also lives in a perfect world in that nations would even consider such a move. Let's say they did....

East of the Indus the Muslim population is still strong, but you'd find more support for India than the western banks. The Western side of the river contains mostly ethnic Pastuns. Essentially, using the river as a demarcation provides both a universally accepted "hard" geographic feature, but unites (country-wise) a large ethnic population.

Combining the Pashtuns, does that increase your odds for failure? Yes and no. Yes in that they are now "together" (In reality the border is largely ignored by the population, though it serves some purpose), but no because they no longer have a safe haven in PK; you're trading short term chaos for better odds at long term stability.

The occupation will be bloody, but combining the Pashtuns means you can address them as a whole and not half-ish (whatever the numbers) of that ethnic group. Again, short term pain for better odds at a long term solution.

There are always wildcards in the mix and other factors that matter and we cannot ignore these. With that said, I emphatically believe AFG has zero chance at stability (to say nothing of peace) as long as PK exists in its current form. PK is a known supporter of terrorism, a known exporter of nuclear technology, and just a general destabilizing PITA for the region. It needs to go away or undergo massive changes, but unfortunately neither of those are likely.

"Strip the flesh, salt the wound."
 
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#16
Thanks for explaining the ethnic relations more and wouldn't the possibility of an "Israel 2.0" develop? Or a possible conflict with AF Pashtuns and PK Punjabi or is there not much tension between the two ethnic groups?
 

256

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#17
Yes. My post also lives in a perfect world in that nations would even consider such a move. Let's say they did....

East of the Indus the Muslim population is still strong, but you'd find more support for India than the western banks. The Western side of the river contains mostly ethnic Pastuns. Essentially, using the river as a demarcation provides both a universally accepted "hard" geographic feature, but unites (country-wise) a large ethnic population.

Combining the Pashtuns, does that increase your odds for failure? Yes and no. Yes in that they are now "together" (In reality the border is largely ignored by the population, though it serves some purpose), but no because they no longer have a safe haven in PK; you're trading short term chaos for better odds at long term stability.

The occupation will be bloody, but combining the Pashtuns means you can address them as a whole and not half-ish (whatever the numbers) of that ethnic group. Again, short term pain for better odds at a long term solution.

There are always wildcards in the mix and other factors that matter and we cannot ignore these. With that said, I emphatically believe AFG has zero chance at stability (to say nothing of peace) as long as PK exists in its current form. PK is a known supporter of terrorism, a known exporter of nuclear technology, and just a general destabilizing PITA for the region. It needs to go away or undergo massive changes, but unfortunately neither of those are likely.

"Strip the flesh, salt the wound."

Something else that might help if we let parts of it get broken off by more-stable neighbors or if we let it sort out it’s boundaries internally and let new states emerge. But that’s not really how the system works anymore.
No matter what happens to the 'modern' political boundaries in the region, there are millennia old tribal and ethnic boundaries in the area that will not change. Part of the reason the radical Islamists have a hard time controlling the region is the almost proto-Islamic animistic version of the religion that still has multiple layers of it Zoroastrian roots. Family and Tribe trump any larger politics or conquering armies... these are the peoples (consolidated tribes?) that have resisted conquer by Darius, Philip, Alexander, India, the Mongol Khanate, Hannibal, Rome, Britain, France, Russia/USSR and most recently their own government... The Kush may very well be unconquerable. Kipling stated this 100 years ago... and every piece of evidence bears this out.
It's so funny to read information like this and then think back to the teacher telling his students that the Armed Forces are full of knuckle draggers. I think our Vietnam brothers could relate to this population discussion, of course, a much different fight (big salute to them*). I've read opinions about Afghanistan strictly being a "buffer" state, keeping other countries away from one another. Good reading folks, thanks.
 

AWP

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#19
Thanks for explaining the ethnic relations more and wouldn't the possibility of an "Israel 2.0" develop? Or a possible conflict with AF Pashtuns and PK Punjabi or is there not much tension between the two ethnic groups?
Pashtuns v. Punjabis? I couldn't speak to that except to say there's obviously some "discord" but I don't know how much.
 
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#20
Gotcha, I didn't know if it was on the scale of say the Israelites and the Palestinians in the early 1900's late 1800's or if it was just mild in comparison tension.
 
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