Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 08, 2019

To Leave Afghanistan Just Leave Afghanistan

AP reports: Trump calls off secret meeting with Taliban, Afghan leaders

President Donald Trump said Saturday he canceled a secret weekend meeting at Camp David with Taliban and Afghanistan leaders after a bombing in the past week in Kabul that killed 12 people, including an American soldier, and has called off peace negotiations with the insurgent group.

It is doubtful that the meeting was planned at all. The optics of such a meeting, shortly before an 9/11 anniversary, would have been too terrible. On Friday the Afghan President Ghani already said that he would not come to Washington. And would the Taliban leaders really step on a U.S. plane or helicopter to fly to Camp David when the real destination might well be Guantanamo Bay?

There is also this:

Dalchico @Dalchico 1:14 UTC· Sep 8, 2019

I hope reporters will investigate this. As a resident of Frederick County, where Camp David is located, I'm highly skeptical as I have seen no evidence of planning and preparation. There is usually increased helicopter activity for events held at CD.

It is good that there was no such meeting. The negotiations with the Taliban were never going to work anyway. The blob wants to keep U.S. troops in Afghanistan, the Taliban want them out. All of them. The recent negotiations in Qatar were going nowhere as neither side budged on those central points. Trump finally acknowledged that by calling off a meeting that was not going to happen anyway.

Trump had the right instinct to press for the U.S. to leave Afghanistan. The situation there is getting worse by the day and there is nothing that any number of U.S. troops can do to change that. The Afghan government is utterly corrupt. Its troops and police have high casualty rates and fail in every battle. The Taliban own most of the countryside.

Why negotiate with the Taliban at all? As the U.S. can do little to them they would have no incentive to stick to any promise they make.

The U.S. should just leave as long as it can. There will come a point when the only way out will be by helicopter from the embassy roof. Check the map. That day will come sooner than many assume.

Drexl Spivey @RisboLensky - 20:26 UTC · Sep 6 2019

Roads in #Afghanistan today's situation based on @ArianaNews_ and my data
red-total #Taliban control
orange-occasional #Taliban control


bigger

Posted by b on September 8, 2019 at 13:19 UTC | Permalink

Comments

Amerikan troops and contractors need to stay to protect the cia cash crop of poppies. Amerikan merchants of death also need the extra cash.

Happy Sunday everyone;-)

Posted by: jo6pac | Sep 8 2019 13:27 utc | 1

I will add that the taliban is on the offensive and captured several districts in the last few days. Plus it is besieging Kunduz, Farah and Pul-e Kumri provincial capitols and clashes are ongoing in those cities.

The afghan army can not operate without US support and the Government does not have the money to afford it - the army budget is equal to the total afghan government budget and relies on NATO financing.

The situation is dangerous and there are insider attacks all over the place, plus regular attacks in the capitol of Kabul. Taliban are isolating the cities by blowing up electicity pilons and blocking the roads.

The moment the US leaves everything collapses. But even if the US stays, the taliban continues to gain ground. Which will further escalate the conflict. The US is trapped in such a case. And this will lead to more refugees coming towards Europe.

Posted by: Passer by | Sep 8 2019 13:35 utc | 2


Article is from 2014, but it is as relevant as ever.

Afghanistan: The Making of a Narco State


If you understand the Afghan government as a narco state, then the fact that opium production has actually increased –while the U.S. spent billions on counternarcotics efforts and troop numbers surged – starts to make sense. A completely failed state – Afghanistan in 2001 – can’t really thrive in the drug trade. Traffickers have no reason to pay off a toothless government or a nonexistent police force. In such a libertarian paradise, freelance actors – like Saleem, the heroin cook – flourish.

But as the government builds capacity, officials can start to demand a cut. It’s not that there’s a grand conspiracy at the center of government, but rather that, in the absence of accountability and the rule of law, officials start to orient themselves around a powerful political economy. Big drug barons with links to the government take over the trade. People who don’t pay, or who fall out with government officials, might find themselves killed or arrested.

Was amused to read that the State Department spokeswoman had jello for lunch:


"The U.S. government, for its part, acknowledged that there are no quick solutions at hand. “The U.S. interagency is developing an updated counternarcotics strategy for Afghanistan,” says Jen Psaki, the State Department’s spokeswoman. “These are long-term efforts that build the foundation for eventual reductions in opium harvests.”"

Posted by: librul | Sep 8 2019 13:49 utc | 3

Hm.. Still there is Trumps need of a foreign policy "win" to sell at the elections.
With his insane middle east "peace plan" being delusional, North Korea peace plan equally delusional, Venezuela lost, Iran able to stand up against US, it only leaves Afghanistan for the Donald to achieve such a "win".
It seemed the Donald was ready to accept Talibans security guarantees and willing to remove US soldiers, the deal still seemed at least much more possible than the other options above. Just like in many other areas, the Borg seemed to be the major blocking factor.
I still believe that while the current time was not ripe for reasons of optics and appearance, he will desperately try to turn this around before the end of the year.
His major selling point for his presidency was beside migration the end of foreign military adventures. Afghanistan was on top of the list. With an end in Afghanistan, he could at least somehow claim to have delivered on his promises.
Without this, all he can do is whine about the deep state which prevented his plans. And this gets increasingly old, when nearly everyone knows he did not have the guts to take on the deep state and Borgs, and even took the worst of them into his admin and gov.
Despite his obvious intellectual problems, i think he was a good instinct for politics, and for what the people want. He sure knows this is about his political (and even legal) survival, so it will be very interesting how he will try to achieve some win in ending foreign military adventures.
Without it, he is fucked.

Posted by: DontBelieveEitherPr. | Sep 8 2019 13:59 utc | 4

I'm shocked! Shocked do you hear! To read that the most powerful nation in recorded history may have to leave a backward, pre-industrial country, that is actually a geographical expression, with its tail between its legs. To those who supported that idiotic intervention in 2001, what the hell did you morons expect to accomplish? Didn't you clods learn anything from the Vietnam debacle? Apparently not. Having served in Vietnam as a drafted, enlisted man, I saw first hand the utter futility of that intervention there. As a simple PFC I managed to learn what all those big shots with their fancy ivy league degrees and high government positions never seemed to learn: that you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink.

Posted by: GeorgeV | Sep 8 2019 14:19 utc | 5

Hey, it's been only 18 years so far.

As they say, the first 20 years are the hardest, and then it's a piece of cake.

Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | Sep 8 2019 14:41 utc | 6

The best way to get out of Afghanistan is to make a deal with the Russians and the Chinese. They will make it nice and easy.

Posted by: BM | Sep 8 2019 15:17 utc | 7

George V @5

What you say is true. However the MIC made and makes out like bandits, plus the CIA gets a very profitable revenue generator from the poppy production.

BM @8

Making nice with Iran would work too!

Posted by: Yonatan | Sep 8 2019 15:26 utc | 8

Barbara Ann @ 10.

Spot on. That war also arose out the arrogance and the ignorance of imperialists - the so-called forward policy. For some reason they thought they couldn’t do anything wrong, and other nations and races were inferior. What horrible people a lot of them were.

Posted by: Montreal | Sep 8 2019 16:19 utc | 9

Can't Trump buy the damned place already? Soooo much easier.

Posted by: Lurk | Sep 8 2019 16:19 utc | 10

Seriously though, while the golden brown may be making some nice additional pocket money for the Cocaine Importing Agency, I believe that the real rationale for invading Afghanistan is pipelines. Not for building pipelines, but for stopping pipelines. Afghanistan is the easiest route for a pipeline between Iran and China. Pakistan would be another option, but think Balochistan and Kashmir.

Even the Myanmar shortcut to the Malacca straits got pre-empted by those pesky Rohingyas.

Off course, all this is about fighting for Freedom and against Terrorism.

Posted by: Lurk | Sep 8 2019 16:32 utc | 11

/shortcut/s/to/around/

Posted by: Lurk | Sep 8 2019 16:34 utc | 12

2 more districts fell to the Taliban today.

Trump is being humiliated. He may call for peace talks later, but i have the feeling that he will leave that for the next president, as it is becoming clear that there will be no "dignified peace", but a Taliban take over of the country.

Trump wouldn't want that humiliation on his watch. So he will stay in Afghanistan. Expect an escalation of the war and lots of headlines and refugees coming from Afghanistan.

It is western pride that causes the refusal to withdraw. They hate what is happening, their loss for everyone to see. This was not supposed to happen to the people who are supposedly "number 1".

So it is emotions that will cause an even greater blunder for the US.

Lots of western targets will go up in smoke as the Taliban is inreasing its capabilities and gaining new ground and resources.

And it won't end well for the US, it will lead to greater humiliation later, as the US/NATO forces on the ground seem incapable of stopping the Taliban offensive.

Meanwhile the US share in the world economy is declining, a financial crisis is coming, and huge budget cuts (including military cuts) are coming.

Things will get really interesting. Have a humiliation today or have even greater humiliation tomorrow? Today of course, would say the rational mind.


But people taken over by emotions caused by their decline and loss of power won't think rationally and will make an even bigger mistake.

Posted by: Passer by | Sep 8 2019 17:16 utc | 13

"Trump had the right instinct to press for the U.S. to leave Afghanistan."

Exactly. Alas, Trump brought this instinct to the WH. Then he got Powerpointed by the Generals and reluctantly acceded. He's trying to bid a pre-election peace-with-honor adieu. Predictably, the Taliban will make this hard, just as they're doing now, without full withdrawal. And yes again, he needs to band aid something together before the enemy does it for him with a Saigon '75.

When Tulsi Gabbard made antiwar noises in Dem Debate 1, the public seized upon it like a dry sponge. An astonishing 35% of viewers said she won the debate, and this from a virtual unknown pre-debate! Trump saw this. If he carries Afghanistan into term 2, it becomes his war and the potential for a face-saving exit steepens. Also, a term 2 departure carries zero political benefit just as a term 1 non-departure carries reelection risk. Gabbard is to the Dems what Trump was to the Repubs, minus the unbeholdenness that only self-financing and celebrity can buy. Gabbard just lacks the $1 billion it takes to be an exogenous candidate in America. The American political system is like a ground beef machine. Though a sirloin steak can go in, only ground beef can come out. It's not about character deficits per se. Everything's 'governed' by the engineered specs of the machine that all must traverse.

Trump helicoptered in. He is detested in equal measure by McConnell and Pelosi alike. He bought himself a waiver from the CFR teleprompters. Trump is the best it gets.

Though it was panned for its antisemitic overtones, Trump was right-on when he acknowledged in 2016 before the Republican Jewish Coalition that while each might be in lockstep on issues, their lack of control over him made him a bad candidate for them. Why take a chance on an unbeholden candidate when you can buy politicians and enforce their political stands? You could hear a pin drop.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4_Y3YIN43c

Let's not forget Trump was sternly rebuked by a Quigley Uniparty majority this past February in a 68-22 Senate vote. The War Party is red-and-blue striped. Only the People want peace which is usually not enough.

Posted by: FSD | Sep 8 2019 18:06 utc | 14

I feel no pride in saying that I look forward to the impending justified utter humiliation of the ZOG of the outlaw Empire. ZOG: Zionist Occupied Government.

Posted by: Nathan Mulcahy | Sep 8 2019 18:43 utc | 15

I just watched "this is what winning looks like" by been Anderson and holy shit we need to leave Afghan. Most of the afgn national army and police are just drug addicts looking to steal stuff, no one esle will work that job. It's almost comical to watch the us Marines try to train a bunch of Afghan just nodding out

Posted by: Bob burger | Sep 8 2019 19:39 utc | 16

The USA is not in Afghanistan to win. It is there to make sure nobody else (Russia, China, Iran) wins.

Rubbelization is the word that summarizes what is going on. All formal and official statements are nothing more than an excercise in distraction.

Posted by: Lurk | Sep 8 2019 19:59 utc | 17

Excellent article at Sputnik providing further paint to b's picture. The Taliban have used the "cancellation" of the pseudo meeting for a very strong propaganda point of its own:

"'The Americans will suffer more than anyone else for cancelling the talks,' Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said, his comments cited by Reuters."

Then we have the pomposity Pompeo accusing the Taliban of misbehaving:

"'If the Taliban don't behave, if they don't deliver on the commitments that they've made to us now for weeks, and in some cases months, the president is not going to reduce the pressure, we're not going to reduce our support for the Afghan security forces that have fought so hard there in Afghanistan,' Pompeo told CNN's State of the Union."

Coming from the Outlaw US Empire that's committed thousands of atrocities including the #1 Biggie of waging Aggressive War, the pompous one's comments would be humorous if not for their utter baseness.

But the best and most correct observation is made at the conclusion, which I'll let barflies discover for themselves.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 8 2019 20:10 utc | 18

If you go back and look at your 2007 entries, you didn't think it was possible the surge could work in Iraq. The surge stabilized Iraq for several years. So why couldn't tens of thousands of more troops in Afghanistan bring a turnaround?

Posted by: crash | Sep 8 2019 20:37 utc | 19

5
It blocked the New Silk Rd for twenty years and the approved oil pipelines across the Kush
from Iran to China.
MacKinder is alive and well in DC.

Posted by: winston2 | Sep 8 2019 20:57 utc | 20

20
Take the road trip down the Khyber Pass, a shame the Pentagram brass didn't before committing itself to occupation.Many have tried and their war memorials are at nearly every turn,and its
nothing but hairpin turns.

Posted by: winston2 | Sep 8 2019 21:02 utc | 21

5
You learned because you received negative feedback. The US self described "elite" have no such feedback. Actually the opposite is true. Well... they did see the downside to not completely controlling the narrative during the Vietnam war. They have put a lot of effort into controlling the mainstream media and it has done wonders for them. They will continue to try and get control of the internet so they can block access to malcontent like us and all will be well after that. I lauged at Danny's description of his one star. When their eyes meet as they are tacking small arms fire is priceless. You've probably met people like him too. Complete sociopaths and psychopaths. These are our "elite". https://libertarianinstitute.org/scotthortonshow/8-30-19-danny-sjursen-on-the-hidden-cost-of-americas-endless-wars-and-how-trump-could-end-them/

Posted by: goldhoarder | Sep 8 2019 21:11 utc | 22

lurk@18 "The USA is not in Afghanistan to win. It is there to make sure nobody else (Russia, China, Iran) wins.

Rubbelization is the word that summarizes what is going on. All formal and official statements are nothing more than an excercise in distraction."

Good post. Keeping a war going to destabilize global markets and deter real alliances between rising powers has been US foreign policy since Bush I. All posts with the premise Trump doesn't want war are entirely mistaken.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Sep 8 2019 21:13 utc | 23

The Pashtuns win again, primitive culture versus so called 5th. generational countries! This Pompeo entity is an absurd rendition of a functioning human. Can this pompous piece of humanity not say or do intelligent ideas. Lavrov and company are running circles against this band of foreign relation losers from the USA. It is hardly obvious how this will end, more dire statistics piled up against the Anglo-Zionist empire.

..."The war in Afghanistan has led to the deaths of over 2,400 US servicemen and women, with over 1,100 coalition troops and over 62,000 Afghan security forces personnel also killed. Tens of thousands of Taliban fighters and thousands of Afghan civilians have also been died, the latter as a result of terror attacks, coalition airstrikes gone awry and crossfire."...

https://sputniknews.com/asia/201909081076752541-taliban-vows-us-will-suffer-more-than-anyone-else-as-trump-cancels-secret-talks/

Posted by: Taffyboy | Sep 8 2019 21:17 utc | 24

Easy, just #AFEXIT

Posted by: eyegore | Sep 8 2019 21:39 utc | 25

Why should the Taliban et al talk to the USA?
They are bleeding the USA MICC and contributing to the death of the petrodollar empire.
They are #WINNING.

Posted by: eyegore | Sep 8 2019 21:43 utc | 26

thanks b...

@18 lurk... thanks.. i agree with your take and many of your comments here and on the moa open thread too...

Posted by: james | Sep 8 2019 21:54 utc | 27

Which ever way the US leaves, the Taliban will be the government of Afghanistan, same as before the US occupation. It is a declared terrorist organisation in Russia, but over the last year or more, Russia has been talking with them. Taliban attacks on Russia, I take it were a left over of the soviet move into Afghanistan. I see different relations ahead for Russia and Taliban because of the US occupation. More similar to Russia and Iran relations.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 8 2019 22:11 utc | 28

Posted by: crash | Sep 8 2019 20:37 utc | 20

"If you go back and look at your 2007 entries, you didn't think it was possible the surge could work in Iraq. The surge stabilized Iraq for several years. So why couldn't tens of thousands of more troops in Afghanistan bring a turnaround?"

I'm not b, but i remember those days of the iraqi conflict as i was following the conflict closely. And i actually supported the surge.

Several problems with that in Afghanistan.

1. The surge was used to pacify the sunni arab population, which was only 25 % of the iraqi population. The shia majority and the kurds worked actively to surpress the sunni arabs together with the US. In Afghanistan, the minority hazara and tajiks support the US, but the majority pashtuns oppose it. So it is worse situation than Iraq. The level of insider attacks is higher than in Iraq. There are too few people that support the US. This leads to serious Taliban infiltration everywhere. There are constant cases where an afghan soldier would suddenly attack and kill his colleagues at a checkpoint and bring their weapons to the Taliban. US generals got attacked too.

2. A surge was already tried in Afghanistan during the Obama times, troops reached more than 100 000. It temporarily pacified some areas, but after the troops withdrew, the locals rose up again. See what happened in Sangin.

3. There is active support for the Taliban by Pakistan. The border areas are under Taliban control. Taliban leave when under pressure and come back from there. The whole border area is a staging area for attacks in Afghanistan. The pakistani part is not controlled by the Pak government, but by pashtuns close to the taliban or taliban themseles. In contrast, the iraqi borders were relatively secure. Yes, there was some support for the sunni insurgency by Syria, but nothing comparable to pakistani border support.

4. The terrain is worse in Afghanistan. Mountains. US choppers have trouble operating in some high altidude areas due to that. They had to use russian helicopters for that purpose. Flat terrain in Iraq vs mountain terrain in Afghanistan. Again worse situation in Afg.

5. Iraq had the money and the people to field an army (shia majority army) and a police force to keep things under control. In contrast, Afghanistan is one of the poorest countries in the world. Many areas are literally in the stone age. Most "soldiers" and "police" are illiterate. The Government does not have the money to pay for police and an army. The US and NATO needs to stay there to constantly pay for all of it, replenish weapons, ammo, vehicles, repair things, provide training, etc. It is not sustainable. The moment the US leaves, it all collapses. From the looks of it, the country won't be able to pay for a quality security force for the next 20 tears at least.

6. Afghanistan war is more expensive war (per capita) than Iraq due to logistical issues - most stuff needs to be flown in or imported via taliban controlled areas (in Pakistan) via trucks. This led to lots of attacks on NATO logistic convoys.

Posted by: Passer by | Sep 8 2019 22:30 utc | 29

Oh, i forgot to mention that the cost per soldier is one million $ per annum. This means that a several year surge whould cost half trillion dollars, and the US is in way worse fiscal situation than in 2007. Who is going to pay for that?

Posted by: Passer by | Sep 8 2019 22:42 utc | 30

Mao Cheng Ji @ 6:

Yes but that advice was back in the old days when young people usually were able to board at college / university cheaply or could rent somewhere closely at equally cheap rates, and didn't need to stay at home and go to college / university.

Nowadays the advice is that the first 30 years are the hardest and then it's a piece of cake.

Oh, wait ... you talking 'bout Afghanistan?

Hmm, well ... maybe the current advice really is that the first 30 years are the hardest.

Posted by: Jen | Sep 8 2019 23:07 utc | 31

Hi all

Of course there will be an accord with the Taliban in the near future, now the "enemy" is China, and the MIC is dusting the old Brezezinski doctrine to give a hard punch in the islamic lower belly of China; it was a matter of time the jihadis and US fall in love again, because US does not have a islamist population and does not have any risk of an islamist uprising, as Russia and China have.
OK there is some risks of some terrorist attacks inside US but, as Brzezinski said after 911 "it was worth it compare to the fall of the soviet empire"

US is preparing a multi-front attack on China, in economic terms, but also spreading discontent and helping insurgency, for example in Hong Kong which is the place from where China receive the main part of the FDI, and also in the islamic east. The other front will be all the rest of countries sorrounding China in the south, stirring the fear of the "chinese threats", as a way to build more military bases and military teatries.

The idea is, in case of military confrontation, to cut completelly China from the sources of oil and raw materials, by controlling the straight of Malacca, the Indian ocean, all the access to the Middle East (even through Pakistan and Afghanistan), and of course cut the communications with Latin America in the Pacific using the chain of islands and the "unsinkable carriers" Australia and NZ.
Once the full naval blockade is set, only wait for the social situation to rot inside China; it is not worth, and very risky, to try to sink chinese military ships or attack the mainland, only the oil super tankers and merchant vessels from and to China would be targets (using mines, submarines and land based planes; forget carriers for this mission)

Of course the ultimate goal will be the division of China in many different states that could be easily managed by the western powers, or at least decrease the size of the "monster" and delay the rise of a real threat to the US empire some decades (the Mahan doctrine of naval power).

will they succeed?


Posted by: DFC | Sep 8 2019 23:17 utc | 32

Posted by: DFC | Sep 8 2019 23:17 utc | 33

They won't succeed as long as Russia is allied with China. Russia can prove China with all the things you mentioned.

Btw there will be no good relations between the Taliban and the US for at least 20 years. You can't just go there and kill hundreds of thousands of people, mostly pashtuns, not to mention the destruction caused, and expect love after that. Several generations will have to change for that.

The Taliban hates the US, it is enough to see their public communication for the last 10 years. It said openly that the US deserved the 9/11 attacks, although it said its not responsible for them.

Their key demand has been no US presence in Afghanistan. It is key demand. And i mean key.

Posted by: Passer by | Sep 9 2019 0:07 utc | 33

DFC

I think a naval blockade of China was in the making with Obama's pivot on China, but the US have left their run too late. US may well be pushed out of the Asia pacific if they try.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 9 2019 0:18 utc | 34

20
30

Iraq was stabilized for several decades by a US/UK tinpot general. Ruthlessly stabilized. All it took was toppling Saddam and his generals, and then imposing a Central Bank and pallets of $100s flown in. Modern culture, liberalized population with free education and healthcare, they went with the flow.

--

Afghanistan never had a central government or martial law. It's not even part of their culture. Each of its regions are ethnically balkanized. Then Cheney imposed a new currency, a new flag, even a new national anthem, and of course, Ahmed Karzai, a CIA operative and former paymaster to the Taliban, Cheney ruthlessly imposed a Federalist ANArmy and ANPolie over the provinces, then Cheney wrote the Afghan Petroleum and Strategic Minerals laws, IN ENGLISH, in November 2001, that Karzai later imposed.

Afghans received ZERO royalties under Cheney's arrangement, even as the US took out village strong-men, seed-men, water-men and mullahs, aiming at a Saddam military strong-man model for Karzai. FAIL.

There was no surge in Bosnia either. Just get the hell out.

Posted by: Frank Kelowna | Sep 9 2019 4:19 utc | 35

The optics of leaving from the embassy roof clinging to to the skids of a chopper while being shot at are not good. The meeting planned the week of September 11 was a strange paranormal event that has become the normal in Trumplandia. Push one way, pull the other.

I always said, the Taliban was running the country when we got there and the Taliban will be running the country when we leave. Who can makes sense out of the senseless?

Only one thing makes sense. Chaos makes out leaders happy. Our leaders belong to a ancient death cult currently driven by the isms of the last few centuries with a powerful dose of modern technology added in. Their religion is cloaked in secrecy and wrapped around everything. Education, banking, farming, food services, government, religious institutions, military establishments, civilian services, intelligence services, think tanks, foundations, medical institutions, pharmaceuticals, retail, sports, entertainment, advertising, non profits, local governments, NGO's.

Everything has the seed of their evil planted inside, its toxins sprayed upon the leaves of its institutions or has been genetically modified to comply.

Everything. We are doomed to comply, complain, give up, ignore, entertain ourselves endlessly, or die.

Most of this is accomplished in our education establishments. Training the leaders of the future. Only the top leadership worships this Beast System religion with other peoples blood. Most are just compliant functionaries.


Posted by: dltravers | Sep 9 2019 5:07 utc | 36

The Outlaw US Empire will remain in Afghanistan until the Dollar becomes the worthless paper it's already recognized to be by the astute. After that, it might prolong its presence by using counterfeit Rubles and/or Yuan, but that won't last long. People forget the Outlaw US Empire talked with North Vietnam until they were summarily evicted, then refused to pay reparations in a decision that rendered into fertilizer an unknown number of POWs. The Empire's financial stability and its domestic political scene will be the deciding factors. Sanders agrees with Gabbard on the utter uselessness of the vast majority of the Outlaw US Empire, which is why we see Clinton convening with Warren, who is also a "former" Republican.

The Outlaw US Empire was involved in Indochina for thirty years and totally destabilized it to the point where it's just now beginning to recover along a development pathway that ought to have begun in the late 1940s. Afghanistan's turning out not much different, except the false-flag used for entry was far worse than Gulf of Tonkin and comes up for another recognition in a few days. The forced exit will be just as ugly and wasteful as before except the debt used now is compounded atop of what was already compounding from before. 911 will eventually be the bullet in the head that kills the Outlaw US Empire; I'm 100% certain of that.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 9 2019 5:27 utc | 37

karlof1@ 38, Regarding 9/11: Yes, once it was clear "they" intended to go full jingo after 9/11 (as Hoarsewhisperer mentions it was not the obvious choice to everybody at the time ...) I figured it was just a matter of time before we got where we are now. They sure were in a hurry. Boy did we kick that Vietnam syndrome. So I find it fascinating to watch it unfold, a really unique moment in history, the final collapse of the Reagan Reaction in a puddle of its own bullshit.

Medialab: it always looked to me like HiTech(tm) bullshit from the beginning. Hype all the way, so I'm not really surprised to see spooks involved. MIT was rhe gold standard at one time, MIT, Berkeley, Stanford, Princeton. Those were the days.

Posted by: Bemildred | Sep 9 2019 5:55 utc | 38

i don't remember the surge working, it just kept a lid on the domestic resistance to the u.s. takeover till bush was out of office. we didn't stabilize iraq, we destabilized it, and if they hadn't kicked us out (under obama) we would still be doing so.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Sep 9 2019 6:35 utc | 39

Unbelievable. Gen James Mattis just said IRAN killed Hariri! To justify an attack on Iran? Really??? http://www.naharnet.com/stories/en/264607-mattis-says-iran-assassinated-hariri THAT is fake news. http://www.arkofcrisis.com/id51.html

Posted by: Idlib No Fly Zone | Sep 9 2019 7:28 utc | 40

My doubt about the reality of the meeting in Camp David is now confirmed:

The Camp David meeting — according to Afghan, Taliban, and Western officials — was actually a failed gamble by the Trump administration. The summit, which the Trump team proposed late last month, was an attempt rush a conclusion to the negotiations by flying Taliban and Afghan leaders to the U.S. so that the parties could iron out the remaining details and conclude with a big peace-deal announcement and photo op.
...
Though Afghan President Ashraf Ghani — who is facing reelection at the end of month and had been mostly excluded from the talks — had agreed to the summit, Taliban leaders objected to the plan. They insisted that they would not meet directly with the Afghan government or travel to America until after the deal with the U.S. had been finalized. That didn’t happen, so the hastily arranged summit was scrapped and the Taliban was blamed.

Posted by: b | Sep 9 2019 7:39 utc | 41

@ Paser by

Russia will have serious problems with China in the longterm, because Russia has "too many resources and too few people" and China the opposite. When climate change bite and the fresh water, raw materials, fertile lands, and fossil fuels be scarcer, chinese people will turn North for a "Lebensraum", and the russians know perfectly well this (it has always been their curse to be the Lebesraum of somebody = polish, swedes, french, germans, japanese, etc...) .
In 1966 the soviet union threatened China with nuclear strikes after the incidents in the Amur and after the threat of Mao and other chinese oficials of an attack on Siberia.

Russia has zero interest that China become the main/only superpower in the world, it is much better to have the bully far away from your borders and having less thirst of resources and land for his people.

The real interest of Russia is a much less powerful China and in the case of military confrontation, Russia probably will "fine tune" the support to avoid a chinese victory but not a complete collapse, but I think it is also in the interest of Russia to see China divided in some much less dangerous entities

About Taliban, of course the accord and the support of US for a new jihad in China would be clandestine/secret; and, as was in the case of the jihad against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, the main actors will be the wahabi Gulf monarchies. As in the case of Vietnam today, your former enemy, if he is far away, is always less dangerous than your eternal powerful/bully neighbour, so it will became soon your friend, and you quickly forget the damage he made to your people.

In politics there is no eternal enemy, nor friend, interest only

Posted by: DFC | Sep 9 2019 9:47 utc | 42

karlof1 @ 38 says:

911 will eventually be the bullet in the head that kills the Outlaw US Empire; I'm 100% certain of that

i like the suggestion, but don't see the rationale. can you elaborate? are you expecting full disclosure?

Posted by: john | Sep 9 2019 10:18 utc | 43

DFC@43:

Definitely expect a Kissinger like move to Moscow if all Hell breaks out with China.

Posted by: morongobill | Sep 9 2019 12:40 utc | 44

Hm.. Still there is Trumps need of a foreign policy "win" to sell at the elections.
With his insane middle east "peace plan" being delusional, North Korea peace plan equally delusional, Venezuela lost, Iran able to stand up against US, it only leaves Afghanistan for the Donald to achieve such a "win".
Posted by: DontBelieveEitherPr. | Sep 8 2019 13:59 utc | 4

The most plausible scenario would be for Trump to make "definite" and "irreversible" commitments to a complete withdrawal before the election, that can be reversed by Trump after his reelection. To have the desired result, the plans would have to be fairly well into execution before the election, but with the most crucial actions all taking place some 6 months later. Otherwise too many people are going to suspect a subsequent reversal, the unclarity of which would remove the electoral advantage. Once the election is safely past, if Trump gets reelected then a big fat false flag sets the scen for a policy reversal. If someone else gets elected, the false flag is not required.

Posted by: BM | Sep 9 2019 12:59 utc | 45

According to information available at this point US special envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad had met with the Afghan leader to present to him a draft peace agreement between the Taliban and the US administration. Ghani has two days to consider the draft agreement and make up his mind.
Posted by: RST | Sep 9 2019 12:50 utc | 46

Quite Lewis Caroll-esque! Ghani decides on a draft agreement between the Taliban and the US? Is he one of the signatories? Maybe it doesn't matter if the Taliban don't agree, after all Ghani can sign for them, as "their" representative and democratic representative /sarc.

The only peace agreement that makes any sense is one between Taliban, Afghan government, Russia, China and Iran. US should not be a signatory. One condition under the agreement will have to be the complete withdrawal of the US, and it will have to be imposed on the US. Somehow or other, I think that will happen, eventually. The US have to comply because they cannot afford not to. Unfortunately, I think we will have to get to that point before any real solution becomes possible.

Until that point, the US will continue to claw on with every last fingernail, clutch at every imagined straw they can imagine, and continue to throw planeloads of other people's money at it.

Posted by: BM | Sep 9 2019 13:15 utc | 46

@ Peter AU 1

The naval blockade of China would not need to be done near the chinese ports, tha naval blockade will be firstly to cut to zero all the oil imports of China from the Middle East (KSA, Iran, Oman, etc...), Americas (US, Brasil, Venezuela, Colombia) and Africa (Angola, Congo, Libya), only the oil from Russia (15% of the total) would not be affected (at least in the beginning), so cut down from 10 millions barrels/day to 1,5 millions barrels/day. Looking the world map and the number of US air and naval bases around the globe, US could do that far far away from China.
After the oil (which is what maintains a functional industrial country and a modern army alive), the target will be food and other raw materials as iorn, copper, etc... using the same tactics.

The Pentagon planners are salivating with the prospect of a China more and more dependent from far away lands for the oil, food and all the basics needs of the country, this is the Achilles Heel of China and will be fully exploited as in the case of Japan or Germany in the past

Posted by: DFC | Sep 9 2019 13:20 utc | 47

DFC 49

Cutting supplies at or near source has been my thought also. China looks to be making a move to secure a large portion of its oil imports from Iran Which will be much harder for US to cut at source.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 9 2019 13:30 utc | 48

@ 49

They tell me no plan survives first contact. Your outline implies a large universe of more or less incompetent and static opponents. Some might venture to make derogatory remarks, such as it's a delusional plan - but I shall refrain! Who knows? It might work, somehow...

General Jack Ripper at Burpulton AFB outside Omaha said it best " Two can play that Game, Soldier!"

Posted by: Walter | Sep 9 2019 13:32 utc | 49

Posted by: DFC | Sep 9 2019 9:47 utc | 43

>>Russia will have serious problems with China in the longterm, because Russia has "too many resources and too few people" and China the opposite. When climate change bite and the fresh water, raw materials, fertile lands, and fossil fuels be scarcer, chinese people will turn North for a "Lebensraum", and the russians know perfectly well this (it has always been their curse to be the Lebesraum of somebody = polish, swedes, french, germans, japanese, etc...) .

Have you seen the actual climate change studies on that issue? About who gains and who loses from it?

Russia, Canada and Scandinavia gain.

US and China are neutral. Overall no loss, but no gain either.

The big losses are estimated to be in the global south.

>>Russia has zero interest that China become the main/only superpower in the world, it is much better to have the bully far away from your borders and having less thirst of resources and land for his people.

It will be a multipolar world, this is what all estimates by various institutions show. Not Unipolar. Not Chinese dominated. India, for example, is also estimated to have an economy bigger than that of the US. China will stabilise at 20 % of world GDP. There will be 4 billion people in Africa. The world's largest religion will be Islam, surprassing Christianity. This is a multipolar world that is coming, not Unipolar or Chinese dominated.

>>About Taliban, of course the accord and the support of US for a new jihad in China would be clandestine/secret; and, as was in the case of the jihad against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, the main actors will be the wahabi Gulf monarchies. As in the case of Vietnam today..

I wondered whether to mention Vietnam issue too. So i will mention it now. Vietnam did not become pro-US in the 70s or 80s. It took 30-40 years for this to happen. There are technical issues with that. When you kill hundreds of thousands in a certain country, you will be hated there, until the generation change.

The prospects of central asian jihad depend heavily on Pakistan, and due to the US moving closer to India in recent years this isn't going to work. Pakistan is very closely connected with China now, especially economically. The taliban are in many ways close to Pakistan.

Posted by: Passer by | Sep 9 2019 13:49 utc | 50

Frank Kelowna 36

Iraq was stabilized for several decades by a US/UK tinpot general. Ruthlessly stabilized. All it took was toppling Saddam and his generals, and then imposing a Central Bank and pallets of $100s flown in. Modern culture, liberalized population with free education and healthcare, they went with the flow.
What are you smoking? The retired general was kicked out the day he arrived in a political coup that has never been explained, and a civilian, J. Paul Bremer, was installed as the "President's Special Envoy." He brought in some loyal but dumb Young Republicans with no experience at a regular job, and thoroughly screwed up the country, disbanded the Army without paying them or disarming them, and tried to sell American corporations into investing without offering them any reliable security. No free healthcare was offered -- theae were Republicans. The schools mostly were opened, but with no books, pencils, or notebooks. I swear, what year were you born? Do you think the rest of us cannot remember past last Tuesday? Look up the story, "Baghdad: Year Zero." Do you know what event "year zero" refers to? I'll leave it to you to find out.

Posted by: Procopius | Sep 9 2019 13:58 utc | 51

The video from Burpelson AFB (enjoy!) see minute 2:10 or so

search YT for "Dr. Strangelove - Water Fluoridation"

(Interestingly, "Ripper" in real life was OSS, and ran guns across the Adriatic to the commies in Yugoslavia, the M2 he's playing with was not new to him)

But seriously, the classical strategy natural to China is to suck it up at home and conserve power, while the empire bankrupts itself. Sun Tsu wrote of this, It's Tai Chi, just as is the Ruski strategy.

So how embargo C with no money and no viable domestic basic industries?

The plan is very optimistic, Comrade. But enjoy the clip from Strangelove, er "Merkwurdigliebe" - and do let us know about the mineshaft gap...

Posted by: Walter | Sep 9 2019 13:59 utc | 52

Some might say, from the ramparts of MacBeth's Fortress, or the hubristic citadel of Empire, that they're rats leaving the ship, and ungrateful at that.

Huh? lookit> "French ministers urge easing of tensions with Russia during key meeting in Moscow" @ RT

No plan survives in a > 3 element dynamic system - particularly when ideologies become hallucinations...

Posted by: Walter | Sep 9 2019 14:30 utc | 53

As long as Trump remains the main person in power advocating for a withdrawal it's not going to happen. From the WSJ today:


The president had continued to equivocate over a deal. “I don’t know that it’s going to happen,” he said Aug. 29 on Fox News Radio. “It’s getting close, but if it happens—who knows if it’s going to happen.”

While some of is just his normal patter, he sounds bored of the issue. That means US policy will revert by default into the hands of people who have a more cynical agenda for the country/region and who are operating on a much longer time-scale. Those interest groups, whether they be US intelligence or private interests, are also better equipped to withstand the four-year presidential election cycle than Trump.

From the same article:

Mr. Khalilzad has been under intense pressure to reach a deal by Sept. 1. Former officials who follow Afghanistan closely said Mr. Trump has been trapped in the same corner as his predecessor, President Obama, in the face of warnings from the national security establishment that pulling out could expose the U.S. to another major terrorist attack.

When Trump "lost interest" in Venezuela this summer the US operation there didn't cease, the PR side of it just moved events to the back pages for the time being. Unless events in Afghanistan force the US hand, as suggested in the OP, I suspect the same will happen here. If bad news coming out of Afghanistan was enough to end the war it would have ended years ago.

Fearmongering about another terrorist attack will be effective in the US as long as there is no organized group or influential person that is able to point out the US/Saudi/Israeli role in arming Al-Qaeda and similar groups in the first place.

Posted by: Frank Little | Sep 9 2019 15:25 utc | 54

DFC - 43
The situation in Siberia and Russian Far East was already dire in the late 19th century. That's actually why they built the Transsiberian railway: to have a way of sending troops there if the Qing empire became too greedy and adventurous.
Arguably, USSR with its gulags and, ironically WWII, led to a more balanced situation, since USSR had to develop way more beyond the Urals as a safer place for some industries, and they at long last had the railway to send plenty of forced manpower to work the area. Granted, Russia isn't in a great situation (specially since it's just "Russia", not the far bigger Russian Empire or USSR), but thankfully the 1-child policy of the last decades meant that China wouldn't be as overcrowded by men of military age than it would've been, had they gone with the flow, like India for instance.
Of course, there's always the possibility of a true superpower rising in the East. I've been of the opinion that, could India and China actually ally for good and create a genuine Delhi-Beijing axis, we would be closer to a game over as we've been for the last 10.000 years. That would be a pool of manpower and human resources unheard of - whatever Westerners might think, they would still have an insanely huge amount of searchers, scientists and engineers available for whatever project they wished -, and a behemoth that would make up a good 1/3 of world population.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Sep 9 2019 15:50 utc | 55

The Americans deserve to experience their own "Basra Highway of Death" event when they they begin their inevitable cowardly retreat from Afghanistan.

The Basra Highway was the roadway where America slaughtered convoys of Iraqi troops who were withdrawing from Kuwait at the end of the USA's first Iraq War in 1991.

America massacred thousands of Iraqis in one of the greatest war crimes in modern history and violates the Geneva Conventions of 1949, Common Article III on attacking soldiers who are out of combat.

But in the Orwellian reality of the United Snakes, Americans celebrated their Operation Desert Slaughter war with a sick patriotic feeding frenzy of self-congratulatory bloodlust that is quintessentially American.

America as a nation and as a people are nothing more than a Death Cult--but one that conceals its malign nature behind empty propaganda slogans about freedom or democracy.

Twenty-five Years Ago: The 1991 Iraq Gulf War, America Bombs the “Highway of Death”
https://www.globalresearch.ca/twenty-five-years-ago-the-1991-iraq-gulf-war-america-bombs-the-highway-of-death/5518407

Posted by: AK74 | Sep 9 2019 16:00 utc | 56

john @44--

If you re-read my comment, you'll see that the bullet is financial--the insane amount of untenable war spending/debt piled atop neoliberal bubble economics--the last round of which was enabled by 911--and the resulting waste of trillions in trying to fulfill the imperial fantasy of gaining Full Spectrum Dominance, the fantasy still being clung to despite the obviousness of its unattainability. I'll have more to say about that in a comment I'm about to write for the open thread.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 9 2019 16:02 utc | 57

@ Passer by

The climate change estimations point to a huge reduction of ice in the Himalaya (the "third pole" of the Earth), and that means a decreasing amount of fresh water for over a billion people in Asia, taking account that the North of China is depleting their underground water at a jaw dropping pace and China is busy building huge dams and water transfer projects that probably will make, in the long term, the Mekong Delta and the Tang Tse the new Aral Seas; the longterm prospect for South and North of China will be dire if the climate change estimations are met; but Siberia is so close...
The same could be said about the fertile lands, wood sources, mines, natural gas, oil, etc...1,5 billions people trying to achieve a western middle class way of life neeed a lot of resources

Yes China is the more important longterm threat to Russia (Far East)

Those rants about "multipolar world" are pure bulk s**t, the US dollar is the reserve currency, and still sea transport account for 85% of the world goods, and the seas are controlled by only one navy in the world that can decide who and when a commodity will be received or not. It is the same game played again and again from the XVI century when global trade start to take-off.
If you start to build a powerful blue ocean navy this is a casus belli for the dominant empire, as was the case of Britain against Germany in WWI, or US against Japan en WWII, and now China is trying to build 6 carriers, which is a casus belli for US (you can have an overseas empire, you can depend of raw materials from overseas lands, but you cannot have the means to protect your supply chains or you will be at war with the dominant empire, that's all)

OK, if you want a multipolar world, China, be ready to fight a war for it, no global empire had never retreat without a nasty fight before give up the empire (British empire fight two WW before dissolve)

About Vietnam, if they did not have the "protection" of the Soviet Union during the chinese attack in 1979, I am sure they would have some kind converstions with US.
France had a lot of wars and suffers a lot of defeats against England, but when you have the bully (Germany) at the doors....In all cases survival is more important than memory

India is also a fully convinced american ally against China for the same reason than Vietnam, Philippines, Australia, Japan and others that sorround China; in the case of India they had a nasty war with China in 1962, when US (JFK) almost intervened to help the indians to deter the chinese avalanche. The reason India has nuclear bombs is because China had them before, Pakistan is not such a threat to India

Posted by: DFC | Sep 9 2019 17:01 utc | 58

Posted by: DFC | Sep 9 2019 17:01 utc | 60

..The climate change estimations point to a huge reduction of ice in the Himalaya (the "third pole" of the Earth), and that means a decreasing amount of fresh water for over a billion people in Asia, taking account that the North of China is depleting their underground water at a jaw dropping pace and China is busy building huge dams and water transfer projects that probably will make, in the long term, the Mekong Delta and the Tang Tse the new Aral Seas; the longterm prospect for South and North of China will be dire if the climate change estimations are met; but Siberia is so close...
The same could be said about the fertile lands, wood sources, mines, natural gas, oil, etc...1,5 billions people trying to achieve a western middle class way of life neeed a lot of resources


I told you i have seen several studies on that issue and the overall loss for China due to Climate Change is close to zero. Most losses are estimated to be in the Global South.

>>Those rants about "multipolar world" are pure bulk s**t, the US dollar is the reserve currency

They are not, the US share in the global economy is dropping and is projected to continue to drop up to 2050 and according to almost all available studies on the issue, up to 2100 as well.

In 2015, the US dollar was used in 52% of international payments.

In 2017, that percentage had declined to 40%. According to SWIFT data.

The US will have to start massive cuts in its budget by 2025, including the military budget. There is no money for a new war. The US itself admits we are entering a multipolar world.

JPMorgan is short on the US dollar for the medium term due to the reasons i mentioned.

US Navy you say? The era of the US Navy is over due to the advent of hypersonic missiles and the rise of Asia.

Trade? Asia is projected to account for 53 % of the global economy by 2050. Not much a blue water navy can do about it, most world trade will be inter-asian trade and not oceanic trade. Plus Russia can supply China with all the resources it needs via pipelines and land routes, just like Canada supplies the US. There is nothing the US can do against a Russia - China combo.


>>OK, if you want a multipolar world, China, be ready to fight a war for it,

There will be no war due to the large scale deployment of nukes. What kind of naive comment is that?

>>India is also a fully convinced american ally against China for the same

India is not a full US ally, you live in La La land. India is part of BRICS and the SCO. It wants a multipolar world too, and greater role for India in international Institutions at the expense of the US. Including a greater role for its currency at the expense of the dollar. India just had a massive defense and energy deal with Russia. Nope, this is not a full US ally, you don't know what you are talking about.

Posted by: Passer by | Sep 9 2019 18:22 utc | 59

@ DFC

You are right about one thing: America will not give up its global dictatorship ... er "unipolar world leadership" peacefully.

It will wage World War 3 in order to maintain its system of capitalist exploitation and Dollar Hegemony upon which American dominance, power, and ultimately the parasitic American Way of Life are based.

In fact, Americans only comprise around 5% of the world's population yet consume close to 20% of the world's energy!

What gives Americans the "right" to devour a disproportionate share of the world's energy resources? Not its phony values of democracy or freedom, but the American war machine.

As people from Dick Cheney to George H.W. Bush have openly stated: The American Way of Life is non-negotiable!

That is a barely concealed American threat.

Furthermore, American national identity itself is based on a fanatical belief in its Manifest Destiny to rule the planet in all but name, since it is the self-styled Shining City on Hill, (mis)Leader of the Free World, etc.

In many ways, Americanism is much like Zionism in that you have entire nations (America and Israel) who have deluded themselves that they are God's chosen people ... and have a inbred sense of entitlement to match this hubris.

Indeed, America is *already* waging a world war, though its bogus War on Terrorism, aggressions against Iraq and Libya, or its thinly disguised hybrid war against China, Russia, and Iran.

The real issue is whether this American world war will go nuclear.

As for Russia, China, or India, the American agenda is to Divide and Conquer Eurasia in general by playing one country off against the other, fomenting distrust between them based on pretext issues such as the Russian Far East and the Yellow Peril "threat."

In many ways, America is nothing more than the benighted spawn of the British Empire in that both share an obsessive fixation with keeping Eurasia in a perpetual state of conflict and enmity.

As openly admitted by British imperial strategists like Halford Mackinder and American imperial strategists like Zbig. Brzezinski, the Anglo American Empire must keep the Eurasian "barbarians" from coming together and prevent any opposition to what is an Anglo American world dictatorship in everything but name.

Machiavellianism is America's true "core value."

Posted by: AK74 | Sep 9 2019 18:29 utc | 60

@ Passer by and AK74 with the response to DFC.....Thanks for that so I don't feel compelled to do so.

We get some strange ones coming into the MoA bar that spout TINA support for dying empire and believe that all of us here are enamored with their postulates.

I read today that France's Marcon is saying that Europe must reconcile with Russia and I find it funny that he is not admitting that China and Russia are currently quite close and so isolating Russia from China is a non starter....I also read recently where China/Russia are floating debt not in US dollars soon.

I continue to posit that we are in WWIII over public/private global finance and the global private finance cult has not yet resorted to nuclear war to prove their ultimate barbarism....but I keep seeing the picture online of Trump wielding a baseball bat like a mafia don of the movies threatening all who do not comply

How does one pop the global debt bubble with its underlying fiat base? Being thrown out of Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria while being stifled in Iran, Venezuela, HK, and NK haven't yet done the job.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 9 2019 19:23 utc | 61

@ Passer by

In the Korean War thousand of american soldiers were killed by chinese soldiers, and also much more thousands of chinese soldiers were killed by american soldiers, both countries have been fighting before without resorting to nukes (even in this case the US had and China had not)

In WWII Germany and the allies had huge amounts of chemical weapons (WMD), and nobody used them in the war (except Japan agaisnt China), this could happens again with nukes, in the kind of war I explained when the mainland of the contenders is not the main target, nobody has interest to escalate the war using nukes.
Why the countries still have big armies if what they need are only nukes?, it is a dangerous policy to your own country if the only mean of defense is to use nukes or surrender...No, a conventional war between big countries is not impossible even today.

The US is preparing for a multi-front war on China, and one of the front will be military, of course; this is what the empires always do when they feel threatened by a rising power.
And for the moment, the US has more cards, in this multifront fight, than China; but not for too long, of course US have also many internal problems, the window is closing with time.

I am not talking at all about the "justice" of this policy, or if the US has or not the "right" to do this or that, or if this or that is "ethical" or not, I have described how empires behave, and the US is now the dominant empire, and that is a fact. The MSM do not like to talk of the US in these terms, as an empire maintained by a huge army, sanctions and threats, but this is the truth of our world.

Other forms to see the world is to live in La La Land

Posted by: DFC | Sep 9 2019 20:01 utc | 62

AK74 - 62
Mackinder? Come on, "making sure the continent can't come together" was already the English foreign policy at the time of Henry VIII, who spent his whole reign switching alliance between the Habsburg German-Spanish empire and France.

Psychohistorian - 63
"How does one pop the global debt bubble with its underlying fiat base? Being thrown out of Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria while being stifled in Iran, Venezuela, HK, and NK haven't yet done the job."
I'm kicking myself right now for not having realized it before, or at least not to have a vision clear enough, but I'll state it here: if Trump is ever reelected, he's going to be the American Gorbachev. Trying to save the superpower's bacon by going back to previous less insane ways of doing things, yet dooming the superpower in the attempt because it is too far gone to be truly saved. Granted, this might have been a good thing, because a later collapse could've been even worse for the USSR people; we'll see what befalls the USA, which had an even longer run at consuming, polluting and wasting stuff.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Sep 9 2019 20:02 utc | 63

afghanistan is the topic here. if you tied going into afghanistan with being on the door steps of china, i could see that. but you didn't. the empire's troops will cut losses and retreat all the way back to where pre iraq positions were unless they like burning through their own military readiness.

i do want to comment on one thing though.... the war in afghanistan has been written in US history books as something of a victor, with osama tied to it and taliban of course out of the picture for now with much nicer people on the ground now i suppose.

yet, the same could be said with vietnam and korean wars in US academic books. have you ever stopped to think about how afghanistan's book will read? perhaps you don't but if you ever genuinely cared if those starry eyed pre war US servicemen and if they are able to put it behind them even if they are lucky enough to get out, say decades afterwards.......it would be nice before you start spouting off your views of empire and its supposed superior strategies, which time and time again doesn't seem to match what it says. winning never looked this badly.

Posted by: jason | Sep 9 2019 20:30 utc | 64

Some general or Pentagon official came out and said the US only spends 21 billion a year in Afghanistan costs. Only... The military industrial complex doesn’t ever want that to stop. Out of that figure who knows how much just disappears. Most Americans don’t even pay attention to Afghanistan. It’s why they’ll never let Trump or any President completely withdraw. It’s big business

Posted by: Danny | Sep 10 2019 5:25 utc | 65

The concerns voiced above about the threat to Russia from China strikes me as board game level geopolitics.

First of all, China doesn't need territory. The country is rapidly urbanizing, as did Japan half a century ago. It may not yet be visible from the outside, but China's countrysides are already depopulating. Sure, there is a "back to the village" movement in China, but it is tiny and is mostly burned out techies and Chinese style back-to-nature hippies. China's real problem in this regard is that in the coming years pretty much the only people left in the countryside will be senior citizens and so support networks will have to be built out for them.

Sure, climate change will be impacting everyone, including the Chinese. It will take the world decades to prepare for the coming changes. That said, China started their preparations more than a decade ago with projects including three massive water diversion efforts. Will those efforts be enough to keep climate change from impacting China's growth? Maybe not, but it will certainly be enough to avoid disaster and probably be enough to avoid discomfort.

What does Siberia have that China wants? It obviously isn't real estate (China is bigger than the US), so perhaps oil and gas, timber, soybeans? Re-anchor yourselves in economic reality and then ask yourselves if invading and militarily occupying Siberia would be more economically feasible than China just buying those things from Russia that they want. Hint: Wars are expensive, even for China. Unlike the people running America, the ones running China are not nursing delusions on that score.

It is by far more realistic to think the United States will invade Canada as a response to climate change than to think China will invade Siberia.

The real disaster in the making is India, so you should save your concern for them. China has their shit together and is squarely facing their challenges, while India is just blissfully ignoring the warning signs and deluding themselves into believing that everything will somehow work out without them having to actually do anything. India barely avoided real disaster this year, but their luck cannot hold out forever.

China is carefully planning many years into the future so it is unlikely that they will have to resort to anything so rash a war to provide for their population. India, on the other hand? It is tough to say how they will react to the inevitable disasters in their near future, but when their people are dying by the tens or hundreds of thousands anyway then war isn't such a big step.

In short, it is more reasonable to expect China to invade Afghanistan (like the US did), and that is not very likely at all.

Posted by: William Gruff | Sep 10 2019 14:18 utc | 66

Posted by: DFC | Sep 9 2019 20:01 utc | 63

>>In the Korean War thousand of american soldiers were killed by chinese soldiers, and also much more thousands of chinese soldiers were killed by american soldiers, both countries have been fighting before without resorting to nukes (even in this case the US had and China had not)

That's the point, China did not have nukes back then. There will be no war (other than proxy wars) between nuclear armed superpowers.

>>The US is preparing for a multi-front war on China, and one of the front will be military, of course; this is what the empires always do when they feel threatened by a rising power.

Yes, armies always prepare for war, but the Soviet Union vs US superpower standoff is a good example. There will be no large scale war between nuclear armed super powers. Cold War and proxy war methods will be used. Moreover, it is enough to look at the US fiscal situation to see that there is no money for a large new war. The US military budget is projected to drop (under current law) to all time low (for last 100 years) of 2,5 % of GDP. That is - without taking into account the further large cuts that will be needed to stabilise the US budget.

Posted by: Passer by | Sep 11 2019 2:38 utc | 67

where empires go to fail or DIE................... except the mongols..... but they gave everyone a wooping......

Posted by: gino | Sep 11 2019 19:36 utc | 68

brings to mind a portion of an old Mort Sahl routine on Vietnam:
"i just don't know how we can get our troops out of there"
his son "why not turn the boats around, dad?"

Posted by: Osito | Sep 28 2019 22:54 utc | 69

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