TaleWorlds News: New News Necessary for the OT Neophytes

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Nodice83

Knight
WBWF&SNWVC
Sorry for being incoherent, I'm a bit inebriated.
Hi, me too mate :grin: Cheers, to you!

I must say your post precisely hit the nail of how deep political **** we live in. Those so-called leaders won't guarantee anything on their own, but I guess they may go back in line, especially now when the Daddy is back.
 

DanAngleland

Grandmaster Knight
M&BWBWF&SNW
Does anyone here have an insight into how the Taliban might be going about taking towns and cities from the Afghan government (I expect Seff and other military folk might be able to shed some light on this for me)? What I am thinking of is where are the Taliban fighters physically coming from, and at what point do the government forces know they are nearby. Did the Taliban assemble in villages friendly to them before setting off towards their targets in a convoy of utes, or were many Taliban fighters living 'undercover' in the cities now falling to the Taliban, and taking up arms when told to do so by mobile phone etc. and taking defenders by surprise? When those Taliban fighters approaching from outside the town arrive, do they dismount and use small arms to suppress and snipe the government forces guarding roadblocks to begin advancing into the town? I am curious as to how it works.
 
It varies a lot on conditions and commanders in various provinces. Sometimes the resistance will simply melt and they'll be welcomed by the former governors and government soldiers as brothers (this kind of deals are agreed beforehand).
In the military type of situations it seems it's crucial that the Taliban will attack from several directions at once causing disruption if not outright panic among the defenders who are liable to fall back to more fortified compounds instead of defending every building. The Taliban commanders are definitely more tactically savvy this time and go about their business more professionally, like in attacking a town airport first which was the only lifeline for reinforcements and support of the government troops in one province capital. They are going after Kabul in a more deliberate campaign of isolating it and surrounding it first. At the moment there's still one border crossing left to Pakistan for people fleeing by vehicles (a small minority of people wanting to get out is being evacuated by air, and no country will take the rest), but this may not last long.
Sources: The Guardian and my sister who is still running a US Aid project in Kabul (luckily from home) with Afghans and foreigners still working on it (even if it's pointless by now as the Taliban will wreck it).
 
It varies a lot on conditions and commanders in various provinces. Sometimes the resistance will simply melt and they'll be welcomed by the former governors and government soldiers as brothers (this kind of deals are agreed beforehand).
In the military type of situations it seems it's crucial that the Taliban will attack from several directions at once causing disruption if not outright panic among the defenders who are liable to fall back to more fortified compounds instead of defending every building. The Taliban commanders are definitely more tactically savvy this time and go about their business more professionally, like in attacking a town airport first which was the only lifeline for reinforcements and support of the government troops in one province capital. They are going after Kabul in a more deliberate campaign of isolating it and surrounding it first. At the moment there's still one border crossing left to Pakistan for people fleeing by vehicles (a small minority of people wanting to get out is being evacuated by air, and no country will take the rest), but this may not last long.
Sources: The Guardian and my sister who is still running a US Aid project in Kabul (luckily from home) with Afghans and foreigners still working on it (even if it's pointless by now as the Taliban will wreck it).
I hope your sister is planning to leave.

Edit - thanks @Adorno for pointing out my error. I should read things more carefully. :smile:
 
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Adorno

Bedroom Assassin
Archduke
WBNWM&BVC
(luckily from home)

I sounds like close to all the Taliban victories are local authorities surrendering, which explains the rapid advances.
It'll be interesting to see if government forces will try to hold them off at Kabul, however futile it may be - like Constantinople in 1453 :iamamoron:
 
I sounds like close to all the Taliban victories are local authorities surrendering, which explains the rapid advances.
It'll be interesting to see if government forces will try to hold them off at Kabul, however futile it may be - like Constantinople in 1453 :iamamoron:
I doubt it. The Taliban will treat resistance harshly and there's no prospect of western aid. We're just evacuating our own. Just like the US evacuating Saigon.
 

Adorno

Bedroom Assassin
Archduke
WBNWM&BVC
Despite the US pouring a lot of money into the Afghan military they're useless. It's corrupt, there's no disciplin or leadership.
With no allies to help them, and facing a determined, well equipped Taliban, they have no chances.
The Taliban can pretty much just walk into Kabul. There's no will to fight them.

What options do you see that doesn't make it futile?

EDIT: I see now the Taliban is taking Kabul and thereby the country, as the president flees.
On the plus side that was a very unbloody war :xf-tongue:
 
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Vermillion_Hawk

Butthurt Bushmaster
Grandmaster Knight
WF&SWBVC
The Taliban needs to lose momentum once, this is quite literally all or nothing for them. Far from hopeless but whatever, you do you.
 
Now brace for the stupid conspiracy theories that the amazing speed of victory and occupation proves something sinister and secret.
 

Swadius 2.0

Grandmaster Knight
Does anyone here have an insight into how the Taliban might be going about taking towns and cities from the Afghan government (I expect Seff and other military folk might be able to shed some light on this for me)? What I am thinking of is where are the Taliban fighters physically coming from, and at what point do the government forces know they are nearby. Did the Taliban assemble in villages friendly to them before setting off towards their targets in a convoy of utes, or were many Taliban fighters living 'undercover' in the cities now falling to the Taliban, and taking up arms when told to do so by mobile phone etc. and taking defenders by surprise? When those Taliban fighters approaching from outside the town arrive, do they dismount and use small arms to suppress and snipe the government forces guarding roadblocks to begin advancing into the town? I am curious as to how it works.

One explanation is that mid to high levels of leadership are surrendering and allowing the Taliban through. It's one explanation that allows for this fast of an advance. Some of these agreements may have been negotiated long beforehand, but this is mostly speculation on my part.

But what about individual soldiers, small groups of soldiers, or maybe a few lieutenant level officer wanted to continue fighting? If communication were to be completely cutoff, even some conscripts will continue to fight and it might take some weeks for them to fold. Hope that other groups are fighting with you, and trying to reach the same objectives, and that command/punishment exists if they abandon their posts can keep some groups fighting. And in a place as large as Afghanistan such fighting would likely be a slog.

But getting orders from above that the leadership has negotiated a truce or surrendered and that the entire unit is standing down is going to stop almost all people from fighting. Particularly if amnesty is involved. What are you going to do? Fight alone against a cohesive and determined force by yourself? It's like spitting into the ocean. And once a chunk of the army has surrendered in this way, the pressure on the existing officers and commanders will increase leading to more defections.

Some more context though. Before the US entered Afghanistan the Taliban never had complete unitary control over the country. It existed like a feudal conglomerate where warlords controlled their holds and would come into conflict with one another from time to time. The year the US invaded was one such time. The Taliban were fighting a group of warlords - The Northern Alliance. It had some roots in the Whole 9/11 thing. The alliance mainly consisted of the minorities in that local area with their own group allegiance. Afghanistan neighbors Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan in the North, and the sizeable ethnic population spill overs in the North of Afghanistan were the main members of this alliance. Mainly Uzbeks and Tajiks though.

Traditionally he Taliban are mainly composed of Pashtuns, the countries biggest ethnic majority. This was true pre-invasion, almost all Pashtuns and few if any other minorities even among the lower levels. This time however, Uzbeks and Tajiks are in positions of power within the Taliban. The Uzbek commander who switched sides over to the Taliban was promoted as governor for one of the provinces for example as well as in the higher armed echelons. That being said, whether these are truly positions of power, if they are going to stay, or indeed, the Taliban may have truly softened some of their stances, only time can tell.

tldr; It looks like the American invasion has glued everyone together under the Taliban flag. Most of the senior officers and governors had some kind of deal to keep their power after the last foreign forces left, and the Kabul government never really had that much control over the rest of the country anyway and far off places were pretty much on their own to deal with the Taliban or warlords themselves even with the foreign troops around.
 

Swadius 2.0

Grandmaster Knight
Why certain individuals do certain things is mostly a question of the person and the pacts they negotiate. Politics is principally about individuals and what those individuals chooses to do. But here are some things that may have influenced them:

Guesses:

1. There's always the common enemy element. But on its own, you usually need a bit more.

2. They are not really on the same side. When the Taliban was in control, the Northern warlords did cooperate with the Taliban and each other from time to time. It may be an alliance of convenience. The pressures that caused them to form their opposing groups before the war very well could still exist.

3. When a foremost leader, the person at the very top of the dog pile, says they're going to leave and never come back- abandoning all power. Everyone under him/her, everyone who is paid by this person, everyone who is protected, sells to, buys from, or is dependent on this person in some way are going to make a scramble to, at least, secure their own position and survive if not advance a few rungs higher. Even if the top dog doesn't want the job anymore, the people directly dependent on them are generally going to try and keep them in power. Very few people benefit from abject, and potentially violent, chaos.

Take for example this scenario. Top dog doesn't want the job anymore. Leaves without telling anyone. Just up and disappears on day with their vast resources enabling them to do so. Everyone in this scenario is going to scramble. Just a giant chaotic mess that will last for quite a while if there is no one with enough power to outright intimidate the other competitors down for the top job.

And then this scenario: Ahmed Ben Bella. Unlike the above example, he announced that he was getting rid of some unnamed cabinet members, changing who was in charge of the military, and removing any opposition in the existing army. But no one will know who was going to be removed until he gets back from vacation and held the meeting! Long story short. Everybody saw that they may be removed, and ousted him.

In the book The Dictator's Handbook by Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Alastair Smith, there is a good rule that was violated in Ben's case and in Afghanistan's case: Silence is Golden. Especially in cases of changes to who holds power, the soonest the person should know about it is the moment they are removed from position. Some people give Trump flak for removing the head of the FBI over Twitter and over the news, but this is generally a very good practice... when you want as little accountability and blowback as possible.

In Ahmed's case, while he was on his trip, his advisors, political rivals, and those in the military formed a cohesive political coalition and removed him from power. Likewise in the Afghanistan case, everyone and their mother had been notified that the US and its allies would be leaving for probably over 10 years. You bet the local governors, military leaders, and any other person who holds power in that country already made deals with any potential power grabber in that time to at least preserve their own station. Politics is generally about getting and keeping power. All the Taliban had to do was probably flip enough people and their momentum would do the rest.

4. The people of Afghanistan have been at war for 20 years. The youngest people born at the beginning of the war in that country are old enough to lead a small group of fighters by now. I think they are a little bit more open to peacefully negotiated treaties with each other than before if peace is possible. The Taliban being the biggest coalition got to be the head of it.
 
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This was bound to happen, but few expected it to happen as quickly as it did. Just only a day before Kabul fell everyone was saying "they may take Kabul in a few months." This must have been what it felt like to live through Germany conquering France in a month; absolute shock and surprise at the reality and the speed it was achieved. Technically the US didn't even fully pull out yet when all this was happening. The main reason why I think this entire war has been so pointless is that it's lasted for 20 years with 200,000 dead, and now we are right at where we started: a Taliban government. Meaning that the conditions would be no different had NATO not gone in there at all, ever.

I still think it was good that the US pulled out, are we have supposed to stay there forever? No matter in what manner the US pulled out, the Taliban would've won. It's only now clear to everyone it seems how monstrously corrupt and incompetent America's puppet government and that government's armed forces truly were. If NATO couldn't come up with something better after 20 years, hundreds of thousands of troops participating with and training the ANA, and trillions of dollars spent, then there was no hope. The people who now think pulling out was bad because of how this played out let their emotions cloud their judgment. Just watch the documentary "This Is What Winning Looks Like" from a decade ago and it becomes abundantly clear how this easily happened.

The Afghani people don't want to be a puppet for foreign powers. The government that the US installed was corrupt and incompetent as they come. The people involved in the government were for the most part concerned with maximizing their own situation with no care for bettering the country or government, as it was that hopeless. Same story with the military. The military only managed to hire the bottom percentile of the country and were heroin addicts with no other path to take. Likely most of the military at this point considered a Taliban rule not that much worse than the American-backed government, and instead of fighting to the death against an inevitable end, they gave up. They had no patriotism for this joke of a country that America built, and thus no will to fight. I'm not sure if I blame soldiers saying "**** this" and opting out.

On top of that, the government, the ANA, and NATO forces were involved in war crimes and the abuse of the people on a level that the general public has little knowledge of. The Taliban are brutal, but they were for the most part not trashing villages, executing unarmed civilians for the hell of it, and generally completely disconnected from the people and their concerns. For every American soldier or CO that was genuinely trying to help the people, there were five others who viewed the Afghanis as less than trash and cared very little for their lives or concerns, and/or were more concerned with appeasing their own CO by lying about the state of things, right up the chain until you get to the Oval Office.

The Taliban are an extremely underrated fighting force, they've been doing guerilla warfare for years, but now they're better equipped and better organized than ever before, and they adapted to conventional war so well, even given the situation with the ANA. They were able to completely conquer the country with infiltration tactics and force concentration within the span of weeks, and meanwhile, in Syria, nobody has made major moves for five years. That should tell you something about the Taliban's fighting ability and adaptability compared to most other examples of irregular forces or low-level conventional forces. I'm frankly impressed by the Taliban.

I do not think that the Taliban government is a good thing. But I am not sure if they really are any worse than the American-backed government was. Of course, Western media and governments will say that the Taliban is unbelievably terrible, but they also naturally downplayed how bad the previous government was. The Taliban are different than they were in the 90s, they clearly want to be taken seriously and legitimately as a state and are trying to be professional towards the outside world. That obviously does not mean too much for their internal practices. The people of Afghanistan are going to have to sort this out on their own if the Taliban are as oppressive and violent as they were in the old Emirate. More war inside the country is likely. If Afghanistan will be made into a respected country, it will come from the inside, not from foreign intervention.
 
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