Stavridis: We Lacked ‘The Imagination To Picture How Bad’ Taliban Take Over Could Be

Admiral James Staviridis discusses the Taliban taking control of Afghanistan and what we can learn from it. 

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Stavridis: We Lacked 'The Imagination To Picture How Bad' Taliban Take Over Could Be


  1. We have spent huge amounts of money and time in Afghanistan. Even worse, way too many American boys have lost their lives over there. If the Afghani people won’t fight for their own country thats on them. The cold truth is there isn’t a single Afghan citizen that is worth the life of another American soldier!

    1. You’re an ignoramus, my friend. We went there 20 years ago in response to 9/11, and the country was massively in support of it. Now we’re pulling out because we’re fed up, and, as usual, our allies will pay the price – or part of it. We’re disgraced and shamed in front of the world – again – now no one trusts us, nor should they.

    2. @Pete Rembranch Their military is the one who laid their arms down and ran. Their actions are the shameful ones. America came to their aid, armed them, trained them, and got them started on their path to freedom. They must not have wanted freedom because they quit in a week.

    3. @Kenneth Wright They laid their arms down and ran because they knew that they stood no chance on their own. You’re a real armchair warrior aren’t you. Full of guts when it’s not you that has to fight.
      And we did NOT start them “on their path to freedom”. We went there to fight Islamist terrorist groups on their own turf, after 9/11. Many people in Afghanistan support the Taliban; but it was we who encouraged the others to come out into the open. And it’s now we who are dropping them, because we lack the gumption for a fight.
      We’ll never recover from this humiliation.

  2. The UK’s defense minister blamed the chaos in Afghanistan on Trump on Monday.

    The withdrawal came after a conditional peace deal negotiated by then-President Trump in 2020 that mentioned the withdrawal of US and NATO forces.

    UK Defense Minister Ben Wallace has pointed the finger at Trump.

    He told “BBC Breakfast” on Monday: “The die was cast when the deal was done by Donald Trump, if you want my observation.”

    “President Biden inherited a momentum, a momentum that had been given to the Taliban because they felt they had now won. He’d also inherited a momentum of troop withdrawal from the international community, the US.”

    “So I think in that sense, the seeds of what we’re seeing today were before President Biden took office. The seeds were a peace deal that was [effectively] rushed, that wasn’t done in collaboration properly with the international community and then a dividend taken out incredibly quickly.”

    He had previously called Trump’s deal “rotten” and said the international community would likely “pay the consequences.”

    1. @Pete Rembranch Well, that makes it all better then. Give Biden a call and tell him he did a great job. 60-70,000 Afghan allies will feel much better now. Thanks!

    2. @Jim D Your comment makes no sense, and this doesn’t surprise me. I’m used to talking to Trumpers. You have almost no capacity for lucid thought. This is why you’re Trumpers.

    3. @Pete Rembranch I didn’t vote for the Stormy Daniels consort, Howard Stern hot daughter interviewee, bankrupt and ruin others ex-president. And Biden F’d veterans, Americans, our reputation around the world and most of all our Afghan allies. Is that lucid enough? Not open to argument.

    4. @Jim D As a matter of verifiable fact, it was Trump who, in accord with his policy of pulling troops out of everywhere, regardless of consequences, signed the treaty with the Taliban which committed the US to running away from Afghanistan as well. We have a different President now, but a treaty is a treaty and Biden was constrained to abide by it. He’ll take the heat for it, and Trump – of course – will blame him for it, but it’s down to Trump.
      As to you’re not being a Trumper. Sorry, but anyone that dumb and ignorant HAS to be a Trumper.
      Have the last word. Goodbye.

  3. Unfortunately this was always going to be the outcome. We’ve been fighting a losing battle for over 20 years now, and although it’s a real shame, this is no surprise.
    At this point the best thing we can do is save the people who helped with our efforts over there. If they don’t get out they’re just sitting ducks.

    1. We should’ve saved the people first, that’s the problem. We are literally flying around them to get out of there.

    2. @rjtheripper931 Why 9/11? We had terrorists in the capitol earlier this year. They didn’t come from over seas. Ever since the fall of the Ottoman Empire this region has been a mess, and even then, still was. Even in biblical times this region was extremely instable. Obviously we’re not going to sit idling by and let them conspire against us because of 9/11. Iran, Syria, ISIS, etc have been targeting the U.S for awhile and no 9/11 event has happened. Pulling out doesn’t necessary mean giving up, it’s changing strategy and policy. As cruel as it may be, Afghanistan is NOT a U.S territory or its responsibility. It’s its own sovereign nation, and frankly the people there don’t want nationalism or a strong central government, and no amount of influence and manpower will change that, which is why they are getting steam rolled.

    1. Because billions have been siphoned away. Someone may have to be held accountable and you can’t have that. Remember when Chaneys wife was on the board of a weapons company and her husband was Secretary of Defence? No conflict of interest there right? The corruption of the US government is long and very deep.

  4. the us government negotiated its withdrawal last year with the taliban, and we did not invite the afghan government to those negotiations

    we told them when and how we would be leaving

    this was always how it was going to go

    1. Actually Trump had a conditional withdrawal planned with support to protect the Afghan army and 60,000 Afghans who worked with us. That plan doesn’t matter even one little bit though since Biden formed and executed his own plan. Biden owns this.

  5. Feel bad about it. But so what. Can’t hold thier hand forever.
    If I trained and helped someone for 20 years an they were capable. I would not keep doing it

    1. After the US military completely pulled out of Vietnam, it took about a year and a half for Saigon to fall. His point is still valid.

  6. Imagination? Just pick up a damned history book. We already know how oppressive and murderous the Taliban is from their brutal regime in Afghanistan before 9/11. And yet Trump gave them the country back and Biden didn’t stop it.

    And why are so few talking about Pakistan’s involvement in the Taliban and 9/11 for that matter. Some of our greatest “friends” in the region…. really aren’t. And that includes Saudi Arabia. That is where the real lack of imagination in US foreign policy across that region shows.

    1. Second most stupid statement I have heard today. How do you expect a military trained to fight like the US does effectively pull it off without the equipment and infrastructure of the US capabilities? Their government is probably no more cowardly than ours and just as corrupt. Afghans have been warriors for centuries of nearly non stop warfare. They, as a whole, are not cowards.

  7. The gentleman in pink tie and gray suits stated: “be like me” to the path of success, meaning implementing democracy in foreign countries with different cultures and religions just doesn’t work?

  8. The US was clueless and inept going in to Afghanistan, and just as clueless and inept leaving. Let us at least hope that the Taliban have learnt from the mistakes they made the first time around and make a better job of governing Afghanistan this time.

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