US troops ordered to ignore Afghan allies pederast tendancies

#64
Which is pretty much my point. We went into Afghanistan to say thank you for 9/11, and arguably did a good job with a light footprint. We hung around because western liberal elites are uncomfortable with hammering foreigners for mundane reasons like self-defence and they saw a wonderful opportunity to impose a liberal western democratic model on arguably the most politically intractable and homicidally-inclined piece of real estate anywhere in the world, despite all the historical evidence to the contrary. Finally, we couldn't make a hasty exit because, yet again, the west found itself over-invested in a political tar pit of little or no strategic value and certainly nothing to compensate for the expenditure of blood and treasure.
That's a fascinating re-writing of history you have there. In your view, those lefty liberal elitists George Bush and Dick Cheney wanted to bring western liberalism and organic food to Afghanistan. I guess then it was a good thing that their legacy was overturned by that notorious rightist "hang em and flog em" Obama who won election by saying "WTF are we doing pissing away all our lives and money in Afghanistan and Iraq?"

"We" hung around in Afghanistan because the Americans wanted us there and we thought that if we didn't support them on this ill advised venture it would weaken NATO. The Americans had ambitions that reached across the Middle East, and didn't have the manpower to do it on their own.

The Americans hung around in Afghanistan because the neo-conservatives in the Bush government had dreams of transforming Afghanistan into a "model society" based on their social theories about free markets. It was based on the notion that deep down inside, everyone is an American, and all you have to do is remove the "burden" of government regulation and false religion (anything other than American style Christianity) and the inner cowboy will burst forth like flowers after a spring rain. Afghanistan was to be transformed into a new Texas in the middle of Asia. It would all pay for itself via the planned pipelines to tap the oil and natural gas wealth of Central Asia and the supposed vast mineral wealth of Afghanistan itself.

These successes in Afghanistan and Iraq were to be repeated across the Middle East, in Iran, Syria, and elsewhere, with the new transformed countries looking to the US for leadership, and this base of power was supposed to cement American dominance of the world through the rest of the 21st century. Read up on the "Project for a New American Century" and its successors for a bit of the flavour of how detached from reality the people behind Bush were.

All of this was combined with the idea that Afghanistan needed a strong, pro-western government so that al-Qaeda or something similar wouldn't simply set up shop again as soon as we left. This is the argument that persuaded the non-fruit-loop American politicians to go along with the plan.

This wasn't the first American attempt a "westernising" Afghanistan by the way. They poured foreign aid into the country during the middle part of the 20th century to try to counter Soviet influence. They built model towns and irrigation works based on American designs. This was the origin of many of the old photos you see which claim that Afghanistan was a comparatively "progressive" country prior to the wars. These efforts however were very localised and so had limited reach and barely scratched the surface of an age old way of life.

It's now China's turn to make the same miscalculation at some future time, at which point the Afghans can shout 'House'.
The Chinese have shown little inclination to stick their noses into countries where there are no clear signs of profit to be made at minimal cost. If they really think that someone needs to sort out Afghanistan, they'll be happy to let their ally Pakistan do that for them.
 

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
#65
That's a fascinating re-writing of history you have there. In your view, those lefty liberal elitists George Bush and Dick Cheney wanted to bring western liberalism and organic food to Afghanistan. I guess then it was a good thing that their legacy was overturned by that notorious rightist "hang em and flog em" Obama who won election by saying "WTF are we doing pissing away all our lives and money in Afghanistan and Iraq?"

(Snip)
Your post would make more sense if you:

1. Acknowledged who the neo-cons were and where they came from (clue, the 'con' tag was deliberately perjorative; revolutionary action to destroy existing systems and replace them with a big idea isn't, and never has been, part of conservative philosophy - it's why all other political movements describe conservatives as 'reactionary'). Here's a para from Wiki:

Neoconservatism (commonly shortened to neocon) is a political movement born in the United States during the 1960s among conservative-leaning Democrats who became disenchanted with the party's foreign policy. Many of its adherents became politically famous during the Republican presidential administrations of the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. Neoconservatives peaked in influence during the administration of George W. Bush, when they played a major role in promoting and planning the 2003 invasion of Iraq.[1] Prominent neoconservatives in the George W. Bush administration included Paul Wolfowitz, Elliott Abrams, Richard Perle and Paul Bremer. Senior officials Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, while not identifying as neoconservatives, listened closely to neoconservative advisers regarding foreign policy, especially the defense of Israel and the promotion of democracy in the Middle East.

2. Understood that Blair's unconditional support for the US was part of a mis-guided belief that the UK could have a disproportionate influence on the US through active participation in whatever crazy idea made the day's agenda (and that also, by the way, Blair, in American terms, could be defined as neo-con).

3. Conceded that St Barack took six years to make good on his promise of withdrawal.

4. Recognised, as more astute posters have done, that the Chinese reference was meant as a joke. Personally I don't think they'd be that stupid, particularly as they wouldn't let the likes of Blair and Bush anywhere near the top job.

If you want to know why Afghanistan went wrong, you have to do more than make gallery points about Bush and Cheney - look at the tiers of government below, what was going on in the wider political sphere and look at who agreed to what in order to secure funding.

I haven't re-written anything - essentially the Bush government decided that the best way to secure bi-partisan support was to endow the war with a higher moral purpose and nation-building became the vehicle of choice. Everyone who led him in that direction is complicit in the debacle that followed and that list is longer than you seem prepared to admit including, possibly especially, your beloved liberal lobby.
 
#67
Your post would make more sense if you:

1. Acknowledged who the neo-cons were and where they came from (clue, the 'con' tag was deliberately perjorative; revolutionary action to destroy existing systems and replace them with a big idea isn't, and never has been, part of conservative philosophy - it's why all other political movements describe conservatives as 'reactionary'). Here's a para from Wiki:

Neoconservatism (commonly shortened to neocon) is a political movement born in the United States during the 1960s among conservative-leaning Democrats who became disenchanted with the party's foreign policy. Many of its adherents became politically famous during the Republican presidential administrations of the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. Neoconservatives peaked in influence during the administration of George W. Bush, when they played a major role in promoting and planning the 2003 invasion of Iraq.[1] Prominent neoconservatives in the George W. Bush administration included Paul Wolfowitz, Elliott Abrams, Richard Perle and Paul Bremer. Senior officials Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, while not identifying as neoconservatives, listened closely to neoconservative advisers regarding foreign policy, especially the defense of Israel and the promotion of democracy in the Middle East.
Let's go back to what you originally said in the bit that I quoted:
We went into Afghanistan to say thank you for 9/11, and arguably did a good job with a light footprint. We hung around because western liberal elites are uncomfortable with hammering foreigners for mundane reasons like self-defence and they saw a wonderful opportunity to impose a liberal western democratic model on arguably the most politically intractable and homicidally-inclined piece of real estate anywhere in the world, despite all the historical evidence to the contrary.
Now let's get a a concise definition of what an American "neo-conservative" is from the dictionary which Americans see as the authoritative reference to English as spoken in the US: Definition of NEOCONSERVATIVE
a conservative who advocates the assertive promotion of democracy and U.S. national interest in international affairs including through military means
I should note that the dictionary offers two meanings. However, the meaning of the word evolved and changed over time. The first applied to a group of people in the 1960s. The second, the one I quoted above, is the meaning as it had evolved to at the time of the Afghan war.

Here's an article from something called "The American Conservative" which gives you what I think is a relatively good background into a complex political phenomenon in the US. What’s a Neoconservative?

Note the following. Although the word has been around for several decades, the mainstream use of it was fairly new.
... it might be helpful to better explain what the term “neoconservative” means. “A lot of people don’t know,” he said. (...) Though decades old, the mainstream use of the word neoconservative is relatively new.
Here's a good explanation of the philosophy behind American neo-conservatism. It provides a pretty concise explanation of the line of thinking which went into Bush's adventures in Afghanistan and Iraq. To put it simply, "America" (the US) is destined to be the world's police, and if they don't take up that banner then they cease to be "America".
The “neocons” believe American greatness is measured by our willingness to be a great power—through vast and virtually unlimited global military involvement. Other nations’ problems invariably become our own because history and fate have designated America the world’s top authority.

Critics say the US cannot afford to be the world’s policeman. Neoconservatives not only say that we can but we must—and that we will cease to be America if we don’t. Writes Boston Globe neoconservative columnist Jeff Jacoby: “Our world needs a policeman. And whether most Americans like it or not, only their indispensable nation is fit for the job.” Neocon intellectual Max Boot says explicitly that the US should be the world’s policeman because we are the best policeman.
Here's another quote that shows how neo-conservativism is sold to the Republican party base and the public in general as being necessary for US "greatness" and because of "American exceptionalism". The latter phrase refers to a facet of American ideology which dates back in one form or another to the founding of their country where they believe that God or destiny or some other primal force has destined the US to be uniquely great in the world.
Rubio’s flowery rhetoric is worth noting because neoconservatism has always been sold through the narrative of America’s “greatness” or “exceptionalism.” This is essentially the Republican Party’s version of the old liberal notion promoted by President Woodrow Wilson that it is America’s mission to “make the world safe for democracy.” Douthat describes Rubio as the “great neoconservative hope” because the freshman senator is seen by the neocon intelligentsia as one of the few reliable Tea Party-oriented spokesman willing to still promote this ideology to the GOP base. I say “still” because many Republicans have begun to question the old neocon foreign policy consensus that dominated Bush’s GOP.
Neo-conservatives don't apologise for their mistakes, instead they feel (in their own words) that "as long as evil exists, someone will have to protect peaceful people from predators".
Neoconservatives rarely show any reflection—much less regret—for foreign policy mistakes because for them there are no foreign policy mistakes. America’s wars are valid by their own volition. America’s “mission” is its missions. Writes Max Boot: “Why should America take on the thankless task of policing the globe… As long as evil exists, someone will have to protect peaceful people from predators.”
This is what drove US Republican party foreign policy under Bush.
Needless to say, perpetual war to rid the world of evil is about as far as one can get from traditional conservatism but it was also the mantra of Bush’s Republican Party.
What did Cheney have to say about this? In his book he said that it is the unique duty of the US to be "freedom's defender".
Exceptional: Why the World Needs a Powerful America - Wikipedia
"We must ensure our children know the truth about who we are, what we've done, and why it is uniquely America's duty to be freedom's defender... "
And he wasn't talking about the freedom of Americans, but that of other people as well.
"it is the brave men and women of the United States armed forces who defend our freedom and secure it for millions of others as well", and that America is "the most powerful, good, and honorable nation in the history of mankind, the exceptional nation.
The US was destined to be "the last, best hope of earth", and "essential to the preservation and progress of freedom".
"we are, as Lincoln said, 'the last, best hope of earth'." They argue that America is not just "one more indistinguishable entity on the world stage", but that the United States has, "been essential to the preservation and progress of freedom
The neo-conservative philosophy has been increasingly rejected in recent years in the US, with the failures of Iraq and Afghanistan I believe playing no small part in that. The "non-exceptionalist" (to coin a word) American conservatives who tend to take an "isolationist" stance of non-involvement in the world seem to be in the ascendancy at the moment. The neo-conservatives however are still stomping around on the sidelines and champing at the bit to get stuck in somewhere, anywhere, if given a chance.


2. Understood that Blair's unconditional support for the US was part of a mis-guided belief that the UK could have a disproportionate influence on the US through active participation in whatever crazy idea made the day's agenda (and that also, by the way, Blair, in American terms, could be defined as neo-con).
When I was referring to "we" with respect to supporting the US in Afghanistan, I was referring to the "West" in general, not the UK in particular. I don't live in the UK and I wasn't looking at things from strictly a UK perspective. I apologise if I wasn't clear enough on that. Blair had his own role to play in those fiascos alongside Bush.

I don't know UK politics intimately, but Blair himself always struck me as an unprincipled opportunist. I wouldn't ascribe any political philosophy to him other than unabashed self interest.

3. Conceded that St Barack took six years to make good on his promise of withdrawal.
I would not concede that Obama has made good on his promise to withdraw from Afghanistan, since so far as I am aware the US still has many thousands of troops there. It's possible that his original promise was hedged around with qualifications, but if so then it was just a reduction of effort, not a withdrawal.

However, whatever Obama actually said, the US public heard "pull out", which was contrary to the neo-conservative plan.

4. Recognised, as more astute posters have done, that the Chinese reference was meant as a joke. Personally I don't think they'd be that stupid, particularly as they wouldn't let the likes of Blair and Bush anywhere near the top job.
If meant as a joke, then I apologise if you felt my response was offensive.

If you want to know why Afghanistan went wrong, you have to do more than make gallery points about Bush and Cheney - look at the tiers of government below, what was going on in the wider political sphere and look at who agreed to what in order to secure funding.
As to why the Afghanistan adventure went wrong, it had no chance of going right once it went beyond the scope of a brief punitive expedition. The UK found this out to its cost in the 19th century.

A Stalin or a Mao could have transformed Afghan society over the course of several generations. Not to a democracy I'll add, but to something different at least. Anyone using means remotely acceptable to the Western public or to Western troops however would face only failure. This is why the whole premise behind the occupation of Afghanistan was false.

"We" (the core Western countries) were looking at repeating that error in Syria. The UK parliament rejection of that struck the western world like a thunderbolt and made it impossible for any other western country to support it.

I haven't re-written anything - essentially the Bush government decided that the best way to secure bi-partisan support was to endow the war with a higher moral purpose and nation-building became the vehicle of choice. Everyone who led him in that direction is complicit in the debacle that followed and that list is longer than you seem prepared to admit including, possibly especially, your beloved liberal lobby.
My "beloved liberal lobby"? I don't see how US politics ought to become my problem any more than Afghanistan ought to be.

As I said, "we" (referring to Canada in particular in this case) supported the US when they asked their allies to support a reaction to an attack on the US. We had no influence on the overall war strategy or goals, but we paid the price of being an ally.

When it came to Iraq, our "Liberal elite" told Blair to ram it when he phoned us to go in on the invasion as we said there was no justification for it, and so we sat out that war. We told him we would support doing something about some of the bad actors in the Commonwealth "family" (Mugabe was mentioned in particular), as they arguably were our business, but Iraq was not our business and not our problem and we would not be taking part. Blair however had no interest in that alternative.
 
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#68
@terminal

Interesting post. Of course the USSR DID try to transform Afghanistan in a modern state and much of its early efforts were pretty benign and bore striking similarities with the approaches adopted by the Western powers over the last decade. (With much the same result) Brezhnev was no Stalin, of course. But I wonder how far even the man of steel would have got with transforming Afghanistan.
 
#69
(...) But I wonder how far even the man of steel would have got with transforming Afghanistan.
Stalin would have simply liquidated the existing social leaders and broken up existing property relationships by collectivisation. Tribal relationships would have been broken by mass relocations and the loss of leaders through the aforementioned processes.

Very likely millions would die in the process, but Afghanistan would have been transformed. I'm not saying that it would be a pleasant transformation or a good outcome, but it would not be the same.

I suspect that what will finally change Afghanistan in the long run will be changes in the countries in the surrounding region, particularly India. Increased wealth there will attract Afghans who will bring money back home along with different ideas about how things ought to be.
 

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
#70
Let's go back to what you originally said in the bit that I quoted:

(snip)
Thanks for taking the time to post at such length, it was worth the read.

My point is not simply what the individual actors got up to but also the zeitgeist within which those decisions were taken, and that was very much shaped by the liberal politicians, media and the spirit of Davos man, adding a huge, unecessary and unachievable moral component to the mission in order to generate the necessary consensus. Social engineering and nation-building on that scale is very much a liberal/left of centre concept and party labels are not helpful in understanding that.
 
#71
Thanks for taking the time to post at such length, it was worth the read.

My point is not simply what the individual actors got up to but also the zeitgeist within which those decisions were taken, and that was very much shaped by the liberal politicians, media and the spirit of Davos man, adding a huge, unecessary and unachievable moral component to the mission in order to generate the necessary consensus. Social engineering and nation-building on that scale is very much a liberal/left of centre concept and party labels are not helpful in understanding that.
Have a closer look at the quotes in my longer post above. There are plenty of mentions of neo-conservatives talking about a US duty to bring "freedom" and "democracy" throughout the world. That's "social engineering and nation-building" by any standard.

Social engineering and nation building are simply the inevitable accompaniment to regime change. If you are in the regime change business and you want it to stay changed in a manner which is to your satisfaction, you have to re-engineer the society to produce the desired outcome. If you're not going to do that, then what are you trying to do?

The following article in The Economist describes the American neo-conservative phenomenon quite well (see the text I have rendered in bold in particular).
http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2011/03/national-greatness_imperative
By keeping America perpetually involved in nation-building around the world, neoconservative rulers will have the opportunity to exercise their statesmanlike virtues. There can be no statesmanship without politics and there can be no truly magnanimous statesmanship without war, so the neocons fear and loathe moral principles that might deny them this outlet. A condition of permanent war, a policy of benevolent hegemony, and the creation of a republican empire means that there will always be a need for politics and statesmanship.
My personal feeling is that the American neo-conservatives are motivated by feelings of historical inadequacy. They want to go down in the history books as great statesmen who shaped world events and redrew the maps of the world, much like the European statesmen of the 17th to 19th centuries.

To do this, they need to create a global empire sustained by perpetual war. To sell this to an unwilling public (most Americans would normally be unwilling to underwrite such a venture) they repackage it in moral terms which Americans do find acceptable - freedom, democracy, and strong defence.

You have to look at American neo-conservatism in the context of American politics. Don't make the mistake of looking at the word and thinking that because it has the word "conservative" embedded within it that there is some philosophical relationship to the Conservative Party in Britain (or Canada). Don't make the mistake that it is just a slightly more dialled up version of mainstream "conservatives" in the US. It's neither. It is a fairly small but well connected and influential group in the US.

The inner circle of the Bush government was full of committed neo-conservatives who came into office looking for any excuse to put their ambitions into action despite Bush having promised to do nothing of the sort. Hilary Clinton seems to lean in that direction despite not openly adhering to the philosophy. I suspect that we would have seen a very neo-conservative foreign policy from her had she won the election.

As for what shaped US policy during the Bush governments, I think you would find that Bush and his associates would have been deeply puzzled to hear you say that you felt they were motivated by "liberal" concepts or that they even listened to people who espoused such views. In the US, "liberal" means something quite different to what it means in the rest of the world. Americans use the word liberal to mean what most other countries call "socialist", as "socialist" itself is beyond the pale. In most of the rest of the world "liberal" is vaguely centrist. US politics however has long been very polarised (and UK politics seems to have headed in that direction as well), so the idea of a "centrist" party that is neither left nor right is something they have difficulty wrapping their minds around.

The populist theme that is current in much of the Western world is the antithesis of American style neo-conservatism. Instead of "let's invade the world's trouble spots and reshape them to our liking", it's "let's build a wall and keep them out of our country". The Cheney book that I referenced in my previous but one post is I think an attempt to rehabilitate neo-conservative ideas within a currently hostile conservative political climate.
 
#72
Terminal I can agree with some of your opinions therein. America has a severe issue with anything remotely centrist...it's because the US political "system" has devolved into a two party affair...business if you may. Both political forces have been going to the extremes of their basic philosophical tennants for some time. It's always one party brand voting one way against the other and often against the people at large.
Bush was more centrist than Reagan , and it showed and he was a one term wonder. His son 'bushie' may have seemed like some to be more to the right , hardly so but he was by far the better of the choices offered in both elections he won. The whole clinton kabal is a nightmare of money , influence peddling and ego. It seems with their way of doing things everything has a price to the highest bidder whilst they cloaked themselves in a progressive blanket of halftruths. .
Even in the US today there are too many that don't know nor can grasp the concept of the electoral college and why it works as it was intended for the American republic . Yes that's sad , as it's not a mob rule democracy. In more and more circles americans are thinking in terms of "the establishment". That is that the government itself has become the cancer upon society. There is for sure a large strata of connected politicos and financial barons that view themselves and government as the one and only above all. America was founded on angst with government by decree and ujust taxation. With the government slowly but surely taking a broken two party system and swallowing it to - and it wants to - become a single ruling entity or class. You look at Bernie Sanders , he had soem good ideas and was well intentioned. But his party's elite establishment types would in no way allow him to upset their applecart. The behind the scenes backstabbing and manipulation to secure the establishments chosen demorat was exposed ...and the drones simply shrugged their shoulders. Again a sad time.
The other side of the bench had a mash of types that frightened the establishment class in government. The open backstabbing and party cannibalism was thoroughly encouraged and fed by them.
That Donald Trump came out on top may very well have been an establishment move to allow a candidate they felt whom was not a policy wonk nor aware of how the establishment circles do things so that in essence he could be controlled or blocked as they saw fit.




Have a closer look at the quotes in my longer post above. There are plenty of mentions of neo-conservatives talking about a US duty to bring "freedom" and "democracy" throughout the world. That's "social engineering and nation-building" by any standard.

Social engineering and nation building are simply the inevitable accompaniment to regime change. If you are in the regime change business and you want it to stay changed in a manner which is to your satisfaction, you have to re-engineer the society to produce the desired outcome. If you're not going to do that, then what are you trying to do?

The following article in The Economist describes the American neo-conservative phenomenon quite well (see the text I have rendered in bold in particular).
http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2011/03/national-greatness_imperative


My personal feeling is that the American neo-conservatives are motivated by feelings of historical inadequacy. They want to go down in the history books as great statesmen who shaped world events and redrew the maps of the world, much like the European statesmen of the 17th to 19th centuries.

To do this, they need to create a global empire sustained by perpetual war. To sell this to an unwilling public (most Americans would normally be unwilling to underwrite such a venture) they repackage it in moral terms which Americans do find acceptable - freedom, democracy, and strong defence.

You have to look at American neo-conservatism in the context of American politics. Don't make the mistake of looking at the word and thinking that because it has the word "conservative" embedded within it that there is some philosophical relationship to the Conservative Party in Britain (or Canada). Don't make the mistake that it is just a slightly more dialled up version of mainstream "conservatives" in the US. It's neither. It is a fairly small but well connected and influential group in the US.

The inner circle of the Bush government was full of committed neo-conservatives who came into office looking for any excuse to put their ambitions into action despite Bush having promised to do nothing of the sort. Hilary Clinton seems to lean in that direction despite not openly adhering to the philosophy. I suspect that we would have seen a very neo-conservative foreign policy from her had she won the election.

As for what shaped US policy during the Bush governments, I think you would find that Bush and his associates would have been deeply puzzled to hear you say that you felt they were motivated by "liberal" concepts or that they even listened to people who espoused such views. In the US, "liberal" means something quite different to what it means in the rest of the world. Americans use the word liberal to mean what most other countries call "socialist", as "socialist" itself is beyond the pale. In most of the rest of the world "liberal" is vaguely centrist. US politics however has long been very polarised (and UK politics seems to have headed in that direction as well), so the idea of a "centrist" party that is neither left nor right is something they have difficulty wrapping their minds around.

The populist theme that is current in much of the Western world is the antithesis of American style neo-conservatism. Instead of "let's invade the world's trouble spots and reshape them to our liking", it's "let's build a wall and keep them out of our country". The Cheney book that I referenced in my previous but one post is I think an attempt to rehabilitate neo-conservative ideas within a currently hostile conservative political climate.
 
#73
Oh and to stay on topic... A good friend and fellow arms collector is an officer in the Army reserve - 20 years , a major now and has been with 5th group SF for 15 years + . He is also a doctor at a hospital in a big city.
In his first deployment to Asscrackistan he mentioned to the terp that it was nice to see fathers taking their sons to the markets and about the village. The terp had to explain to him the dymanics of boys & toys and not fathers & sons he thought he was seeing. It did not take my friend long to see the perverse nature of the tribal inbred nature of islam there.
As a doctor he did alot of work with the civilian population - the diseases they allowed to fester . The absolute beastiality they treated children and women like all around was maddening to him. Punishing a child so bad - to near death and then bringing him to US medics for help after they intentionally beat the kid(s) half to death or cripple status. Same for the women. I think the stoneage has that beat for if a women could swing a club she would have had more respect then compared to the whole tribal islam blight humanity has continued to suffer under..
 
#74
The reason we were here is because we heard the terrible things the Taliban were doing to people, how they were taking away human rights,” said Dan Quinn, a former Special Forces captain who beat up an American-backed militia commander for keeping a boy chained to his bed as a sex slave. “But we were putting people into power who would do things that were worse than the Taliban did — that was something village elders voiced to me.”

The policy of instructing soldiers to ignore child sexual abuse by their Afghan allies is coming under new scrutiny, particularly as it emerges that service members like Captain Quinn have faced discipline, even career ruin, for disobeying it.

After the beating, the Army relieved Captain Quinn of his command and pulled him from Afghanistan. He has since left the military.

U.S. Soldiers Told to Ignore Sexual Abuse of Boys by Afghan Allies

Hardly news but the issue is finally gaining traction in the US, at the cost of some good men's careers, every other military in theatre has done pretty much the same .

Putting a very robust stop to this sort of thing was one of the reasons why the Taliban were popular originally and the reason why they are the only people to go to for real redress in these situations
I have been seeing this subject mentioned more and more on US political twitter feeds of late, seemingly part of a backlash against the open ended commitment to Afghanistan and the fact that even now there is still no political plan for exit.
 
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#76
They did make a start.....and then it stopped...

The Story Behind China's Long-Stalled Mine in Afghanistan

as the article makes clear the Afghan government is resisting attempts by the Chinese contractors to come up with new terms, whilst the Chinese are effectively refusing to do anything.
I've been involved with one Chinese project out here. The Afghans (ANSF/Government) don't have the capacity to deal with mining/contracts of this nature. The Chinese rightly want the contract (for the one I was involved in) renegotiated as the Government failed to provide security for them.

However, I will admit that there has been a fair bit of fu*****g about by the Chinese too.
 
#77
I've been involved with one Chinese project out here. The Afghans (ANSF/Government) don't have the capacity to deal with mining/contracts of this nature. The Chinese rightly want the contract (for the one I was involved in) renegotiated as the Government failed to provide security for them.

However, I will admit that there has been a fair bit of fu*****g about by the Chinese too.
If I were running a mining company, Afghanistan would be well down on my list of places to invest huge sums money. The Diplomat (the source of the story) dismisses the security problems in Afghanistan far too lightly in my view.

That doesn't even begin to address the issues of lack of transportation and electric power infrastructure, the lack of any existing mining industry to provide support in the way of skilled labour or equipment distributors and service, and the extensive corruption pervading the whole society. I suspect that the lack of a history of mining also means there isn't a well tested body of law and regulation, which means that anything you do could turn into a legal mine field.

If I were running a Chinese mining company, I would rather take the 5 to 10 billion dollars (or whatever it would cost) and put the money into Chile, Peru, Argentina, Indonesia, Africa, or Mongolia. Invest that money in Afghanistan, and it will be a long time, if ever, before you see a return on it.
 
#78
If I were running a mining company, Afghanistan would be well down on my list of places to invest huge sums money. The Diplomat (the source of the story) dismisses the security problems in Afghanistan far too lightly in my view.

That doesn't even begin to address the issues of lack of transportation and electric power infrastructure, the lack of any existing mining industry to provide support in the way of skilled labour or equipment distributors and service, and the extensive corruption pervading the whole society. I suspect that the lack of a history of mining also means there isn't a well tested body of law and regulation, which means that anything you do could turn into a legal mine field.

If I were running a Chinese mining company, I would rather take the 5 to 10 billion dollars (or whatever it would cost) and put the money into Chile, Peru, Argentina, Indonesia, Africa, or Mongolia. Invest that money in Afghanistan, and it will be a long time, if ever, before you see a return on it.

Agreed. Though to be fair, for the project I was on the Afghan Govenrmnet promised the world and failed to deliver a village. The infrastructure is just not there and never will be.

I was reading an article yesterday about the Trillions$ of minerals that are supposed to be in Afghanistan. The report does not deny that Afghanistan has the minerals, but what everyone else in the past has failed to consider is the cost of getting it out. The report states that under most circumstances, it would cost more to get it out than would be made from selling it. I'll try and find it and link it up.
 
#79
Agreed. Though to be fair, for the project I was on the Afghan Govenrmnet promised the world and failed to deliver a village. The infrastructure is just not there and never will be.

I was reading an article yesterday about the Trillions$ of minerals that are supposed to be in Afghanistan. The report does not deny that Afghanistan has the minerals, but what everyone else in the past has failed to consider is the cost of getting it out. The report states that under most circumstances, it would cost more to get it out than would be made from selling it. I'll try and find it and link it up.
A lot of people forget that finding a mineral deposit is only the start of the process which results in having a producing mine. "Ore" is defined as a mineral deposit which is profitable to mine!

There are huge chromium deposits in Canada, but they exist in an area without the necessary road, rail, and electric power infrastructure. The infrastructure could be built, but to make that economic would require producing so much chromium that the global market for chromium would collapse, making the whole exercise pointless. Government and industry are presently still scratching their heads over how to make that work (although things may finally be moving after 10 years), and this is in a country with a very large and advanced mining industry.

I got the impression that in the case of Afghanistan, the idea of developing mining was another solution dreamed up for the sake of finding some way of making the national government financially self sufficient while supporting large security forces which are modeled on western lines. The TAPI (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India) gas pipeline (pipe dream) is the same. Both would make a lot of sense, but only if Afghanistan was another country with different people located somewhere else in the world.
 

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