T Nation

Trump and "The Graveyard of Empires"


Let me say right off the top…that I want more than anything for the President and Our Military to “win” in Afghanistan… where we have spent both Blood and Treasure for more than 17 years.

But can we? What is a “win” in this Corrupt Hell-Hole that drains us with each passing day?

I thought the President’s speech was very “Patton-ish”…and overall; (even though his instincts will probably never allow him to not take a jab at his predecessors)…I thought it was a good one.

I hope and pray that the President and his Cabinet have figured out something that no one else has…and that’s how to “win” in Afghanistan.

What say ye?

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Since I am in Afghanistan, I say read this:


Thank you for your service and your sacrifice.

In no way is my hesitation because of lost faith in our Military. To me…our Military truly does represent our best and brightest.

My question is this…

Is desire, will, ability, and even firepower enough to “win”?

I hope so.

There were some great points in that article, Idaho.

For me…this one stood out:

“…You can’t bring 17th century culture and tribal divisions into the 21st century…

No, unless you undertake a war that will leave a "scorched earth’ we will never, ever, fucking ever, “win” here( and America does not fight wars in that mindset) I thought the Iraqis were bad, but, this “culture” is the worst I have ever been exposed to, worse than my time in Egypt, Somalia, and Libya.

This is most corrupt, morally deficient, thieving, lying, stealing, “people” I have ever seen. Corruption rules the day and the only thing the Afghans want is more US dollars, they have no loyalty to anything but their countless ways to fuck over the USG. Corruption rides their red blood cells like a remorra on a shark. And never forget, they are Sunni, which means anything is legal against a non-believer.

This country is not worth saving for anything. The USG has pumped 700 billion dollars of US taxpayer money into this shit hole, Dont you think the south side of Chicago, east side of Detroit or the opioid flooded state of Ohio could use that money?

The most amazing thing to me is why the USG cares more about a filthy , rotten ,culture than its own citizens.

Enough ranting.

Source for the money quote:



We need a Christian version of the Taliban to go in and cut heads off every motherfucker who looks at us cross eyed. Just split their nuts from their head to the back of their ass then make them eat their fucking shoes. #totalwar

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Then send them back to the stone age with fire and fury. Collective punishment and reprisals against hostile civilians(everyone). The use of civilians as forced labor. Commerce raiding against non-compliant warlords. And most importantly giving no quarter.

I hate to break it to you, but you’re not the first to come up with this idea.

Seleucids, Persians, Mughals, Mongols, Chinese, British, Soviets…pretty much everyone started killing Pashtuns left and right before eventually saying “ah…fuck it” and leaving what is now Afghanistan to itself.


I married into a prominent Pashtun/Afghan diaspora family almost 20 years ago. Loppar and Idaho are correct but I’d like to add something that I rarely if ever see mentioned in relation to the situation over there. Since the Soviet invasion that country has seen a massive brain drain of educated professionals leaving and going to Europe and America. To be very frank the bulk of the people still there aren’t exactly the best of the best. Add that to the culture, which combines Sunni Islam and Pashtunwali and you don’t exactly have a recipe for success in any Western sense.

Not very encouraging stuff…at all…

Potential Raj gimmick! If confirmed this could be up to 10!

Sol Rosenberg – a frail, insecure, male middle-aged to elderly New York Jew who suffers from various, and often comical problems and ailments. Somewhat childish in his demeanor, Sol seeks treatment for problems ranging from genital warts to a fear of his own shadow.(voiced by Johnny Brennan).

Sounds about right.


I don’t expect you guys to get into the mind of the President…(or anyone else, for that matter)…

What do you think he and his Cabinet have “figured out” that others haven’t in the past?

Why do our Politicians continue to “discount?” the effect of Culture on these Middle Eastern Societies?

I just don’t get it…nor do I have any answers…

I think there’s probably very little his cabinet (sans Mattis and Sessions) have figured out that others in the past didn’t.

Because they have a shitton of oil.

Afghan culture, Pashtun in particular, is very complicated. That’s true even for the westernized version that I’ve been exposed to. I have noticed something about it though and maybe it will be of some insight in this discussion. Loppar mentioned how many other countries and cultures have failed at conquering Afghanistan. They are very proud and extremely hard headed and they don’t take well to outsiders imposing themselves. With one notable exception… Arab (Sunni) Islam. The Pashtuns are an ethnically Persian people for the most part and were previously Zoroastrian. They had Islam literally forced upon them by the sword and I think because of their nature they respected the Islamic way. They respect force and strength and see negotiations and diplomacy as weak. Perhaps we can figure out a way to use that to change them.

Also, one thing I forgot to mention. A ton of Afghans still celebrate a Persian/Zoroastrian holiday called Nowruz. The Taliban hate it and even though it’s not Islamic a lot of otherwise orthodox Sunni Afghans still participate because it’s “their” holiday.

If someone were to take all of the oil in Afghanistan and give it to the US government, would it pay for the war we have been waging there? This war just doesn’t seem to make economic sense if its really about oil.

Nobody ever said politicians are in the business of making sense.

A thousand year supply of a variety of semi precious minerals.


Do you reckon we should just disengage even if a new ISIS is the result? Or is any strategy just bound for disaster?

I have no wish to waste more blood on a lost cause.