I live in Japan - am a long-term resident. Anointing Emanuel, ambassador to Japan, is not welcome. I also, happen to be from Chicago - Rahm is a scoundrel, which is to be kind. He does not speak Japanese, certainly is not in tune with the culture. Obama, appointed Caroline Kennedy which was abhorrent, for differing reasons.

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Biden, didn't sit down and draw up a plan for withdrawal. That was undertaken by the Pentagon, which has a budget of almost 800 billion dollars. The military has been in Afghanistan for 20 years and has been aware that eventually it will be time to abandon ship. There has been a plan, not a contingency, but a master plan for the withdrawal. Biden is a dimwitted asshole, but hardly responsible for a 20 year war, no matter his contributions along the way. That the Pentagon aka the U.S. military is being chased out of town by a peasant army driving pick-up trucks and cannot do so in an orderly fashion does not speak well of their talents. Though an aside, individuals who acted as collaborators, for instance interpreters during interrogations aka torture sessions which may qualify them as true blue Americans - sympathy should be tempered and spinning it as if they are suburbanites lost on vacation is rather inaccurate.

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I am pleasantly surprised that Biden is remaining steadfast on the withdrawal and am very encouraged. Afghanistan is messy and clearly Biden & staff were caught off guard by the consequences of the withdrawl. Meanwhile he gets props for staying steadfast. Fingers crossed.

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The real disaster might happen later (especially in the winter) if international aid agencies that supply food, clothing, housing, medicine fuel, etc. decide to boycott the Taliban because of human rights violations.

If they supply the food and medicine, they will be seen as collaborating with a backward totalitarian regime.

If they withhold it, 100,000s or 1,000,000s of Afghans starve and die during the winter.

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The military activated CRAF last sunday (22-August-2021), which put 18 large, commerical passenger planes that are already on contract under immediate military evacuation command, with over 400 more CRAF aircraft available if needed.

The CRAF planes do NOT fly directly into Kabul, rather they flying into airports that are close to Afghanistan, picking up americans (and maybe refugees) for flights onto other destinations, including the USA (and maybe Germany, etc.)

The planes that are flying in/out of Kabul are the first flight segment, getting americans and qualified refugees to the CRAF planes in nearby countries for the next flight segment.

The Biden administration claims to have moved something like 80,000 out of Afghanistan, which is obviously a huge, but complete, success. yet.

What Biden screwed up was not understanding the pervasive, deep corruption in the former Afghan govt military. Most of the former Afghan military had been collaborating locally with the Taliban for many years to soak up american money and aid resources and then push it down into the Afghan corruption-patronage networks.

The Afghan military never intended to fight the Taliban and were pretty much too corrupt to fight them even if they wanted to.

The US military has been lying about all that for at least a decade, and apparently Biden did not question the lies, or ignored the lies the UA military was telling him.

Biden either ignored the pervasive corruption in the former Afghan govt's military, or was ignorant of it.

A more coherent withdrawal plan would have accounted for the need to vastly increase the US military presence in Afghanistan temporarily while non-military personnel, including Afghans that worked for the US, were able to get out. It would have also allowed for moving US military equipment out, or for the gutting and destruction of the equipment so it could not be used by the Taliban. None of that would have probably been perfect, but holding onto Bagram and a few other military facilities until the rest of the withdrawal was done would have been a huge improvement.

So, yes, Biden appears to be severely incompetent (no surprise), but the military still has enough semi-competent people to pull off a large airlift, regardless.

My guess is that there will be 100s of stranded americans and other westerners that the Taliban will use as hostages to leverage favors from Biden and NATO after the withdrawal deadline.

Because of the chaos on the ground, and the presence of so called ISIS-K, some number of additional tragedies will probably happen, unless the Taliban decide to hunt down ISIS-K, which seems unlikely.

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I saw a news headline, but didn't read the article:

"China spends $40 million on Afghan food aid" or something like that.

So, maybe western NGOs protesting "human rights abuses" won't matter if China is willing to provide aid to stop Afghanistanis from starving this winter? Wonder what China will leverage with that?

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sorry if this was cited previous, but it is an expert source that confirms Matt Taibbi's view that the problems with Biden's pullout were mostly inevitable.


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Did you guys see the "Taliban's arsenal" graphic in the Times? "Good job Joe?" Please explain that.

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Where is Afgan Post: A Memoir available?

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