"The U.S. defeat in Afghanistan is worse than the Soviet failure...how has this happened?"

The U.S. defeat in Afghanistan is worse than the Soviet failure...how has this happened?

As the last men of the dwindling American garrison in Afghanistan pack their bags, there is an echo of the Soviet Union's own withdrawal from the country, more than 30 years ago. But, in truth, Washington's defeat is far greater.

In December 1979, Soviet forces invaded Afghanistan to support the unpopular government of the ruling People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA). They soon found themselves bogged down in a bloody war against the mujahideen guerillas.

Nine years later, the Soviets decided that there had been enough bloodshed and, in May 1988, they began their exit. The final contingent of Soviet troops drove back across the bridge to the USSR in February the following year.

Twelve years later, US troops arrived to fight the Taliban. Soldiers of other NATO states then followed. Together, they stayed even longer than the Soviets, but are now on the way out. US President Joe Biden has promised that American soldiers will leave Afghanistan by the end of August.

As the US completes its retreat from its longest war, its enemy is on the march. In the past week, the Taliban have captured 12 of Afghanistan’s 34 provincial capitals, including the second and third largest cities in the country, Kandahar and Herat, both of which fell on Thursday.

The pace of the Taliban advance has been remarkable. In some places, government forces simply ran away without a fight. The governor of Ghazni province was said to have surrendered his city in exchange for free passage out of the area. US-trained government troops have fled or deserted en masse and, in some cases, gone over to the Taliban. It’s fair to say that it’s been a rout, and the Americans haven’t even fully left yet. The government may be able to hold onto the country’s capital Kabul, but even that is no longer certain.

In short, the 20 years of America’s and NATO’s war in Afghanistan has ended in ignominious failure – total and absolute. So, of course, did the Soviets’ war, but not quite so abruptly.

After the last Soviet troops crossed over the Friendship Bridge linking Afghanistan and Soviet Uzbekistan, the mujahideen launched a major offensive, confident that they would be able to defeat the government forces in short order. Their offensive collapsed completely. The Afghan army stood its ground and not a single major population center fell into the hands of their opponents. It was not until two years later, when the post-Soviet Russian government of Boris Yeltsin cut off funding to the Afghans that the PDPA regime finally fell.

The contrast with what has happened this past week could not be clearer. Even after the Soviets had left, the troops they had trained and equipped fought hard and successfully. Today, the troops that America and its allies trained and equipped at a cost of hundreds of billions of dollars have scattered to the four winds with only the slightest effort at resistance.

But, to be fair, the problem lies not in army exercises or crates of machine guns. The current batch of Afghans have had plenty of both. They outnumber the Taliban and are better supplied. The problem is one of morale: simply put, not many of them are willing to die for their government.

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I suppose this can be a thread of threads.


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Told you guys that Kabul will fall in a matter of days, what us baffling me is how easy the taliban had conquered all those cities.

Afghan army did not shot any single bullet, they just run away , it is a shame after decades of training and billions of dollars of military equipements donation.

Taliban have now helicopters and all sort of sophisticated weapons, those guys will run the country for many decades to come.
 
The US has not had many military victories in recent times. They lost the Vietnam War to the North Vietnamese, they lost the Syrian War to Russia and now the Afghan War to the Taliban. Another strategic blunder for the US.
 

Yahya

VIP
2020 GRANDMASTER
Told you guys that Kabul will fall in a matter of days, what us baffling me is how easy the taliban had conquered all those cities.

Afghan army did not shot any single bullet, they just run away , it is a shame after decades of training and billions of dollars of military equipements donation.

Taliban have now helicopters and all sort of sophisticated weapons, those guys will run the country for many decades to come.
The legal government bought all those weapons and the taliban came 20yrs later and picked up shiny new weapons for free.

Smart long-term investment.

:pachah1:
 
The Taliban has done well to wait 20 years and then step in to brand new military bases, first rate military equipment, government offices, presidential palace, and tons of money/cash/gold etc. They would not have achieved 5% of this had they remained in control! Incredible.
 
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