Months After Americans leave, an Afghan base in disrepair

  1. from:
    JALREZ VALLEY, AFGHANISTAN-After U.S. soldiers left Combat Outpost Conlon in February -packing up weapons, generators and portable toilets-their Afghan successors rushed to the American barracks and command center, eager to inspect their inheritance.
    Months later, it's a dismal scene. The 240 Afghan soldiers are down to three hours of electricity a day. Almost all of their vehicles have broken down. They don't have the night-vision goggles needed to guard their base after sunset.
    "The Americans left too early, and they left without giving us what we need," said Lt. Col. Hamidullah Kohdamany, the battalion commander.

    Sorry to say, but I'm not at all surprised at the rapid return to the not-so-modern status of the base. Nor am I surprised at the apparent attitude of "those darn Americans abandoned us after they kept getting shot, and they didn't give us what we thought we deserved."

    Good luck with that, Lt. Col. Kohdamany.
    Last edit by CrufflerJJ on Aug 4, '12
  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   herring_RN
    It IS sad. The people of Afghanistan have had decades of war. Most people cannot read.
    But i can't think of how having soldiers ther can help them.
    Perthaps IF they were wanted the Peace Corps could be of help.
    But it would need to be reasonably safe, not a war zone.
  4. by   tewdles
    But they wanted us the hell outta there...they were very clear about it.
  5. by   TopazLover
    This is AFGHANISTAN. They understand war and we, in the past century, introduced them to modern warfare. They were quite content to have hundred years wars one after another.

    We do not need to have our soldiers killed for their continued war time convenience. They can stop this madness.
  6. by   CrufflerJJ
    Quote from aknottedyarn
    This is AFGHANISTAN. They understand war and we, in the past century, introduced them to modern warfare. They were quite content to have hundred years wars one after another.

    We do not need to have our soldiers killed for their continued war time convenience. They can stop this madness.
    Agreed! Foreign soldiers in Afghanistan have existed for umpteen years.

    Just look back on Kipling's poem "The Young British Soldier" from 1895....117 years ago.
    When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains,
    And the women come out to cut up what remains,
    Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
    An' go to your Gawd like a soldier.

    Ours soldiers are still fighting/killing/dying in Afghanistan. For what? NOTHING, despite our politicians' claims of "fighting for freedom" and all that jazz.

    Once our soldiers have all left, Afghanistan will still remain...Afghanistan. In all its (Stone Aged) glory.

    Same as it ever was....same as it ever was.
  7. by   Not_A_Hat_Person
    Afghanistan is in a part of the world that has been at war for hundreds of years. The British occupation provided a common enemy, but it didn't resolve anything. The Soviet occupation did the same thing. I didn't expect an American occupation to accomplish anything once bin Laden was found (in Pakistan). Afghanistan is called "graveyard of empires" for a reason.
  8. by   heron
    And it's going to stay at war as long as it has rare earth minerals in the landscape. There are some commercially valuable minerals that are very hard to get unless you deal with someone like China.

    The person, country or company that gets control of Afghanistan gets to play with some serious wealth.

    There's a whole lot of entities experimenting with various methods of cat-skinning there.

    Meanwhile, people of the non-corporate kind are being rebranded as felines:
    On July 27, the website released graphic photos of the gruesome conditions faced by wounded Afghan soldiers in the U.S. funded Dawood National Military Hospital in Kabul.

    The condition of soldiers at the nation's premier military hospital was initially revealed by a Wall Street Journal article, published on September 3, 2011. The article prompted a congressional investigation that found the hospital's patients were routinely left in "Auschwitz-like" conditions while hospital staff siphoned off U.S. funds and solicited bribes from patient's family members for their care (the original Buzzfeed article and photos can be found here. Warning: the images contained within are extremely graphic).

    The articles by the WSJ and Buzzfeed as well as the subsequent congressional investigation have uncovered wrongdoing on the part of senior U.S. military officials as well as a chain of corruption that runs to the very top of the Afghan National Army (ANA) and Ministry of Defense (MoD). The scandal is proof that the Afghan War has failed and should be ended immediately.
    It's worth your time to follow the links in the quote. The WSJ and the Buzzfeed articles both say essentially the same thing. Compare and contrast ...
  9. by   ElvishDNP
    I'd disagree with the notion that the Afghan people are 'content' with war.

    'Accustomed to' it, perhaps, as they've been invaded over and over and managed to kick out invader after invader.

    What really galls me is that the entire area was divided by the British - who had no clue about tribal alliances, and drew borders splitting Uzbeks (or Tajiks, or Pashtuns, take your pick) right down the middle. I remember in one book I read - think it was Taliban by Ahmed Rashid - a person saying he's a Pashtun first, a Muslim second, and an Afghan third. Nationality and even religion take a back seat to tribal allegiance.

    It's just ridiculous that the US seems to think it is so different than the Soviet Union and the British. Get our kids out of there and leave these people alone. They don't want us there, we don't need to be there. But, as heron said, there is an enormous amount of mineral wealth under Afghanistan.....someone is always going to want a piece.
  10. by   TopazLover
    Elvish, I am not sure how to describe it. I don't think content is a word I used or would want used. Perhaps I can see the use of the familliar. We continue what we know. Unfortunately war is what has been known for many generations.
  11. by   ElvishDNP
    Quote from aknottedyarn
    elvish, i am not sure how to describe it. i don't think content is a word i used or would want used. perhaps i can see the use of the familliar. we continue what we know. unfortunately war is what has been known for many generations.
    i guess what got me was the phrase that they were content to have hundred years wars one after the other. just don't think 'content' is the way to describe it.

    we agree that these folks are tough as nails. living in that terrain, that climate, and with limited resources would make anyone tough after a while, i imagine. [color=#333333]