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Tue Mar 13, 2018, 08:06 AM

Mattis in Kabul: We 'look toward a victory in Afghanistan - not a military victory'

Source: Politico/AP




by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS 03/13/2018 06:11 AM EDT

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Tuesday he believes victory in Afghanistan is still possible — not necessarily on the battlefield but in facilitating a Taliban reconciliation with the Afghan government.

Mattis spoke shortly before arriving in Kabul, where security concerns were so high that reporters traveling with him were not allowed to publish stories until his party had moved from the Kabul airport to the U.S.-led military coalition’s headquarters. That was the first such restriction on coverage of a Pentagon chief’s visit in memory.

Mattis said he would be meeting with President Ashraf Ghani and top U.S. commanders.

“We do look toward a victory in Afghanistan,” he said, adding, “Not a military victory — the victory will be a political reconciliation” with the Taliban, which has achieved a stalemate in recent years and shown little interest in conceding to the Kabul government.

Read more: https://www.politico.com/story/2018/03/13/jim-mattis-afghanistan-end-game-458325

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Reply Mattis in Kabul: We 'look toward a victory in Afghanistan - not a military victory' (Original post)
DonViejo Mar 2018 OP
bucolic_frolic Mar 2018 #1
PatrickforO Mar 2018 #2
atreides1 Mar 2018 #7
karynnj Mar 2018 #11
sarge43 Mar 2018 #3
Crowman2009 Mar 2018 #4
Demsrule86 Mar 2018 #5
karynnj Mar 2018 #12
Demsrule86 Mar 2018 #14
GeorgeGist Mar 2018 #6
Roy Rolling Mar 2018 #8
Javaman Mar 2018 #9
KPN Mar 2018 #10
sandensea Mar 2018 #13

Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Tue Mar 13, 2018, 08:09 AM

1. Oh yes

Ancient conflicts will lay down their arms and make nice for you

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Tue Mar 13, 2018, 08:11 AM

2. What we should have been working toward in the first place.

But, hey, we HAD to spend those billions on war, don't you see? We HAD to!

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Response to PatrickforO (Reply #2)

Tue Mar 13, 2018, 08:50 AM

7. Treasure be damned

What about the broken bodies, broken minds, and the blood spilled...all just to reach this conclusion!!!

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Response to PatrickforO (Reply #2)

Tue Mar 13, 2018, 10:47 AM

11. We did work to achieve this during the Obama years

This is also not a new policy for the Trump administration. They tried last October - https://www.reuters.com/article/us-pakistan-afghanistan-talks/new-afghan-peace-talks-expected-in-oman-but-taliban-participation-unclear-idUSKBN1CG1FI However, since then, Trump has criticized Pakistan.

As to Obama, here is a link of him commending Karzai in starting an Afghan led reconciliation process - https://www.tolonews.com/afghanistan/obama-applauds-us-afghan-peace-talks-taliban

There was also a Norway led effort documented years later here - https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/26/world/asia/afghanistan-taliban-peace-talks.html As this article says that there have been several points where people were optimistic, but as of December 2016, they ahd all failed.

What Mattis is backing is an Afghan led effort that is supported by both Abdullah Abdullah and Ghani, the two men in the disputed election where Secretary Kerry brokered a result where both had a role going forward. It is interesting to see both supporting this effort, because their power sharing, according to many articles, has not gone smoothly. If they succeed in a pact with the Taliban, credit should go to these leaders who chose country over complete power then and are doing the same now. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/11/opinion/peace-taliban.html

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Tue Mar 13, 2018, 08:40 AM

3. Afghanistan: No cover charge to enter, but pay thru the nose to get out. n/t

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Tue Mar 13, 2018, 08:42 AM

4. None of those who work for cheetoh-face baby hands is "a good one".

Mattis is just a delusional war monger who talks big, but his results are dismal.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Tue Mar 13, 2018, 08:48 AM

5. So the Taliban gets back their power...can anyone tell me what has been accomplished or why we went

there?

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Response to Demsrule86 (Reply #5)

Tue Mar 13, 2018, 11:02 AM

12. No they don't

Before 2001, the Taliban was 100% in charge. The negotiations are to reconcile them with the other factions in Afghanistan. This is an Afghan lad effort that has international support. Given past attempts, it may be more likely to fail than to succeed. If it succeeds, the main credit should go to the two men sharing power in Afghanistan - Ghani and Abdullah. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/11/opinion/peace-taliban.html

There are many - including General McCrsytal, who have admitted that we should have taken an easy victory with the very limited goal of elimininating their hosting of Al Quaeda in 2001/2002 and left. Unsaid was that that could have left the Taliban in control. As it was, we entered a war of choice in Iraq and ended up with many countries destabalized -- the very situation where non state terrorist can set up and attack without concern that the host country will restrain them.

The US and the coalition has listed many things like the fact that women are less repressed and girls can go to schools. Only time will tell, if the peace talks succeed, whether these gains will continue. If they do, they will be the gains of all the costs in lives and treasure of the US and the coalition. Note that either of these potential gains (peace or civil rights) are close to sure things.

There is no a lot of glory to be had here for the US.

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Response to karynnj (Reply #12)

Tue Mar 13, 2018, 07:33 PM

14. And how soon do you suppose the Taliban will have 100% power. Just like Vietnam badly

fought and pointless.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Tue Mar 13, 2018, 08:49 AM

6. Keep looking, Mad Dog

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Tue Mar 13, 2018, 09:00 AM

8. For Heaven's Sake

Just declare victory and come home. That lie will hardly be noticed among the plethora of Trump's daily lie-apalooza.

On a totally unrelated note, I was thinking about Afghanistan 16-year war. The old tune by Country Joe and the Fish works great for Afghanistan.

And it's one, two, three,
What are we fighting for?
Don't ask me I don't give a damn,
Next stop Afghanistan

And it's five, six, seven,
open up the Pearly Gates,
Ah, there ain't no time to wonder why
Whoopee we're all gonna die.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Tue Mar 13, 2018, 09:06 AM

9. the fine art of double speak.

sure, whatever, mattis. keep telling yourself that.

war is peace

slavery is freedom

ignorance is strength

and a new one...

losing is victory.

just. get. the. hell. out.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Tue Mar 13, 2018, 10:22 AM

10. A Taliban Victory ... but, yeah, a victory nonetheless.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Tue Mar 13, 2018, 11:46 AM

13. The longer this fiasco goes on, the more money certain people make.

So yeah, no hurry.

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