Robert Gates: President Only Presented With Bad Options In Afghanistan | Morning Joe | MSNBC

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates weighs in on U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan and other areas of the globe, why he says the Taliban is gaining ground in Afghanistan and why he says the U.S. must continue with economic and military assistance in the region.

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Robert Gates: President Only Presented With Bad Options In Afghanistan | Morning Joe | MSNBC


  1. A good player knows how to read their competition and when to make their play. Never let ’em see your hand… Previous Player or “The Former Golden Shower Prez ”, ” didn’t telegraph his moves, he broadcast them..🤔

    1. @PJ Celeste Canadian here. TRUMP alienated America from it’s allies. He was so intolerable that the G7 refused to meet while he was still in office. Anything they worked on was without the US. The NAFTA re-write became a dog fight with your closest allies only because Trump wanted to win through strong arming. The tariff’s have been ridiculous. Trump was a nut.

      Now, with Biden at the helm what the world sees is the “US is back”. He is quiet. But in that quietness the world knows the US is back to business as usual. I wouldn’t call that weak. A strong message can be sent through silence. It doesn’t take a bombastic tweet with no actual threat behind it to get things done. It should be a worry to our collective adversaries that the US is back to normal. A well oiled US machine isn’t something to be mess with.

    2. How could he without a basic first amendment ? That iz why the white house has been dark since the fake inaug, sheeple

    3. @PJ Celeste Russia feared trump ? you got to be joking….. give us an example…
      if Russia feared trump they would not had worked toward getting him elected in 2016 and 2020 with their disinformation campaigns .

  2. And remember the executions, hands, feet, ears, and noses the Taliban cut off to intimidate the people in the countryside.

    1. “Peace is not a very big thing to ask for, is it?” ~ Fatima Gailani, Afghan activist and negotiator, pleading for continued U.S. military presence in Afghanistan
      It is when asking the Taliban, who do not seek peace or to bargain in good faith, but total domination once again. U.S. has spent 20 years and $2 trillion trying to achieve peace in Afghanistan, losing over 4000 American lives (military and civilian contractors), with tens of thousands of Americans wounded there.

      “The weakness of state institutions, malign actions of power-brokers, widespread corruption and abuse of power by various officials … have given Afghans little reason to support their government,” Gen. Stanley McChrystal, then the commander of U.S. forces in the country, wrote in a 2009 memorandum. “This crisis of confidence, coupled with a distinct lack of economic and educational opportunity, has created fertile ground for the insurgency.”

      That was 11 years ago, and little has changed since. Thought the invasion of Afghanistan by Bush was a mistake that would lead to a quagmire, and have been proven correct. Still, initially supported efforts to bring peace and stability there, along with basic human and civil-rights, because after invading felt we had an obligation to rebuild. However, while U.S. blunders there have contributed to a failure, Afghans are their own worst enemy, and no one can help them until enough of them are willing to help themselves.

  3. BillG posted an infographic that China from 2000 to.2010 poured 3.5 times the concrete poured in the US from 1900-1999

    1. No fan of China, but they have about 3.5 times the population, and an infrastructure that was much less developed than the U.S. That particular statistic isn’t as telling as some other comparisons demonstrating Republicans stifling American progress.

    2. @wily wascal China population is 1.44 billion and US had 330 million people. That’s a lot of CO2: China makes its cement from coal.

    3. @Stephen Jacks ~ Cement is not made from coal. Coal is just one type of fuel that can be used to heat the kilns required to produce cement through a chemical reaction process. The coal is first finely ground before burned, and about one ton of coal is burned to produce one ton of cement. Cement is the most commonly used substance by humans after water.

      According to your population figures given, China actually has over four times the population of the U.S., thus it produces LESS cement per capita than the U.S. However, you stated that it poured 3.5 times as much CONCRETE as the U.S. And concrete only contains 7-15% cement; the primary ingredient in concrete is rock aggregate, with 15-21% water and up to 8% air being the other components.

      So, you’re confusing and conflating things here, as well as making an erroneous claim. In turn, I apparently misunderstood the point of your comment to be a critique of the U.S. investing less in research, development, science and technology—-at least in terms of GDP, although that could also be total dollars—-than China. For instance, China is spending more on its research, development and implementation of green energy than the U.S.

      If your point was instead about China producing more CO2 and other pollutants than the U.S., one must again take into account that China has over four times the population of the U.S. The latest figures show the U.S. producing about 5,000 million metric tons of CO2 per year, which is led by only China, which produces about 9,000 million metric tons per year. So, with more than four times the population of the U.S., China only produces less than twice the amount as the U.S. Thus, per capita, which provides a more accurate picture or better perspective, the U.S. still leads China in CO2 emissions, by a fairly large margin.

      In fact, a number of countries, such as Canada and Australia, actually contribute more CO2 per capita than even the U.S., although their total amounts are less. For a fair comparison, tons of CO2 emitted per capita per year is commonly used. The following figures from 2017 using that method provide a good barometer or metric of where the U.S. and China stand in the world, and who are among the worst offenders: Australia = 16.5; Canada = 16.9; China = 7.7; Russia = 12.3; South Korea = 13.2; Taiwan = 11.8; U.S. = 15.7; European Union = 7.0. It should be noted that none of those listed here are the very worst offenders even, as some small or more sparsely populated nations, particularly heavy oil producing nations with large petroleum refinery operations, produce significantly more per capita, but the nations listed were to provide a more apples-to-apples comparison.

  4. mr gates how much have we wasted in tax dollars post IKE saying look out for these military industrial complex tax leaches.

  5. Good thing rehypothecation especially on the short side comes with a time limit
    do you know any of you get to make multiples of your multiples of your money?
    Larry the Cable Guy Joe the plumber??

  6. Do you got to invent exotic derivatives?
    And so long as some suckers willing to purchase so many they become legitimate instruments?
    I’ll wait

  7. Having served in Vietnam, I remembered the lesson learned there well. Too bad W. was so weak a leader, he let Cheney and Wolfowitz lead him into yet two more Vietnam like scenarios – Afghanistan and Iraq.

    1. Bush Sr. took flakk and supposedly lost his reelection for not pushing into Iraq, but his years in the CIA taught him the Middle East was a quagmire that would tie the US down for decades.

  8. Why does not someone constantly harp on the fact that Trump according to him was a coward on Jan.6.? Trump said a true leader would not have done what McConnell or Pence did (value the law, the Constitution, and reality), but where was he on the steps of the Capitol after he said he would be there with them and then scurried home? If he truly believed what he was saying, would he not storm the capitol himself as a leader would do? A hypocrite and coward to the last.

  9. How can Gates claim there is a lot of continuity between the Biden and Trump administrations? He said that the American tough on Russia is the right way to go, but when was Trump ever tough on Putin? Trump was willing Putin’s little ally of the Russian government.

  10. We and other U. N. Members should have been out of there a decade ago. At that time the government should have been able to resist the Taliban retaking Afghanistan. If they couldn’t do it then, and they can’t do it now, they will never be strong enough—probably because they don’t have popular support. So let them have the government THEY WANT, not what we want.

    1. A major problem has been that it hasn’t been possible to fight the Talibans in Pakistan (probably the Pakistani forces couldn’t themselves). The Talibans forces people in areas they conquer to support them. Not only do they forcefully and successfully suppress and indoctrinate everyone in the places they occupy. But if you’re of appropriate age you’ll also really have to either join or starve or get killed. So the phrase “popular support” can’t really be applied. It’s just like any other totalitarian regime where one can argue that the people support its suppressing government because they haven’t managed to do something about it.
      The talibans have been the aggressive fighters in this region. Most of the others just want to peace. To get people of peace to fight people of war successfully is a tough quest. Then there are the corrupt ones who screws things up even more.
      It’s a complicated and hard call to make. The Afghans will obviously suffer horrendously. I’d guess the Afghani government won’t have much choice but hiring mercenaries. And we all know that the big businesses in the mercenary trade are American and employees former US troops. So some Americans will continue to fight the war on worse premises than now. But the Talibans will anyway soon be in control of all the weapons of the Afghani Army and the US/NATO trained Afghani solders. They will likely get money to arm themselves even more, and get some revenge, by flooding America and Europe with heroine and opiats. And Europe will likely soon find themselves in a new refugee crisis when many will flee the taliban’s horror.
      If the talibans will support international terrorism again we’ll just have to wait and see. They may not, to not risk a new invasion. But they also may, since they are fundamentalist who now simply will be sure nothing can defeat them, and also will be so much more armed and military organized that it will be impossible to do anything about it. My guess is that they‘ll do what they can to get WMDs. To prevent anyone from ever invading them again. I’m sure there are Iranian and Pakistani anti-American experts who’d sign up, and NK likely wouldn’t mind selling their technology.

  11. For our adversaries, this is a perfect situation they find us in. Infighting within our government to a level of internal cold war. They are sitting back eating popcorn while we do ourselves in. Just think how weak and foolish we must look to them.

  12. yea just let the afgans grow poppys just like n. carolina farmers grow tabacco what kills more people

  13. War you lose all faith. Difficult arrive back in Good Ole High Life Morale So High Here. 😁

  14. Gates has been at the forefront of so many of the bad choices U.S. made in the last decades. He is just as culpable as Bush, Cheney, and the gang members. He deserves the same treatment as they are getting.

  15. The misconception of Americans is that you cannot change a country to follow your democracy even colonization is not a 2021 dictionary word

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