The Afghan Papers

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Re: The Afghan Papers

Post by pp4me » Mon Aug 16, 2021 2:58 pm

vnatale wrote:
Sun Aug 15, 2021 7:17 pm
I am remembering correctly that you were in the Vietnam War?

I know that at least two others here were also in military.

I assume you volunteered while those two enlisted.
Yes, you remember correctly but I don't know what the difference is between volunteering and enlisting (or did you mean to say "drafted" instead of volunteering).

I "volunteered" in the same sense that others like GWB volunteered for the National Guard. I joined the Navy because I expected to be drafted after I dropped out of college and lost my deferment. Only years later did I find out my number would have never come up. Most of us who joined the Navy or Air Force did so to avoid being drafted and ending up in the Army where the odds of ending up as a grunt fighting in the jungle were much higher.

Never even thought about going to Vietnam at the time. Actually, I didn't even know I was going there until the day before I arrived in DaNang which, needless to say, was quite a shock. According to my orders I was supposed to be going to a Technical Research Ship (AGTR-1) which sounded really interesting at the time. I spent a few months on that ship before it got decommissioned due to the U.S.S. Pueblo incident in N. Korea and then got transferred in-country where I spent the rest of the time in the mobile wolverine force, leaving just before the Cambodian invasion.
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Re: The Afghan Papers

Post by vnatale » Mon Aug 16, 2021 4:00 pm

Kbg wrote:
Mon Aug 16, 2021 10:43 am

Mark Leavy wrote:
Mon Aug 16, 2021 9:26 am

Kbg wrote:
Mon Aug 16, 2021 9:05 am

After almost three decades in the biz, I really think we should bring back conscription with a big random lottery that has no exemptions. If you don't want to go into the military then double the amount of time doing something else. An all volunteer force I think does make for a better military, but I also think it makes it entirely too easy to be used without political repercussions.


I really don't think that reintroducing slavery will magically make politicians less stupid and corrupt.


No, but it does get people more people involved who are checked out if a son or daughter is involved.


Exactly!!! Plus it gets ALL those sons and daughters involved!

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Re: The Afghan Papers

Post by pp4me » Mon Aug 16, 2021 4:34 pm

Kriegsspiel is our resident expert on Pentagon thinking so maybe he can enlighten us on what they think about military conscription nowadays.

My guess is that after Vietnam they decided never again unless it becomes absolutely necessary.
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Re: The Afghan Papers

Post by pugchief » Mon Aug 16, 2021 4:46 pm

I am vehemently against conscription. If circumstances absolutely require it (think Israel), the only acceptable way to do it is to require 100% of people to serve with virtually no exemptions.
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Re: The Afghan Papers

Post by Mark Leavy » Mon Aug 16, 2021 6:11 pm

pugchief wrote:
Mon Aug 16, 2021 4:46 pm
I am vehemently against conscription. If circumstances absolutely require it (think Israel), the only acceptable way to do it is to require 100% of people to serve with virtually no exemptions.
Yep.

And in addition, I would like to require all politicians that vote for war to each provide 10 close family members to be held as security. And anytime a volunteer soldier is lost in combat, a randomly selected security hostage gets a bullet.
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Re: The Afghan Papers

Post by Kriegsspiel » Mon Aug 16, 2021 6:20 pm

pp4me wrote:
Mon Aug 16, 2021 4:34 pm
Kriegsspiel is our resident expert on Pentagon thinking so maybe he can enlighten us on what they think about military conscription nowadays.

My guess is that after Vietnam they decided never again unless it becomes absolutely necessary.
I think you're confusing me with kbg, I'm not a Pentagon guy.
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Re: The Afghan Papers

Post by Kbg » Mon Aug 16, 2021 6:53 pm

I like Mark's idea...but no, stick them in the military. Close enough to being a hostage. :-)

The professional military likes the all-volunteer force. More disciplined, less likely to have problems with the troops who want to be there vs. those that are forced to be there, longer commitments, less turnover, more career length folks. From a military standpoint, it is a no-brainer. and I agree it is militarily a no-brainer. The main downside is it is a lot more expensive in terms of personnel costs.

Yeah, Vietnam was not a pleasant experience.

I think a lot of people have some long-term ingrained perceptions of what people in the military are like that came out of the 60s and remain the standard media caricature.

At least personally, I'm anti-war and pro draft. I happen to think the latter ups the odds of not having the former but it's not a guarantee of no wars by any means. It's alt-history so no way of knowing, but I'll bet if we had a draftee force there would have been a lot harder questions asked a lot earlier in both Afghanistan and Iraq and that we would have exited both a lot earlier than we ended up doing.

Bottom line: It's a lot easier not to care if it's not your kid.
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Re: The Afghan Papers

Post by vnatale » Mon Aug 16, 2021 7:46 pm

pp4me wrote:
Mon Aug 16, 2021 2:58 pm

vnatale wrote:
Sun Aug 15, 2021 7:17 pm

I am remembering correctly that you were in the Vietnam War?

I know that at least two others here were also in military.

I assume you volunteered while those two enlisted.



Yes, you remember correctly but I don't know what the difference is between volunteering and enlisting (or did you mean to say "drafted" instead of volunteering).

I "volunteered" in the same sense that others like GWB volunteered for the National Guard. I joined the Navy because I expected to be drafted after I dropped out of college and lost my deferment. Only years later did I find out my number would have never come up. Most of us who joined the Navy or Air Force did so to avoid being drafted and ending up in the Army where the odds of ending up as a grunt fighting in the jungle were much higher.



Yes, definitely meant "drafted" rather than "volunteered". Poor, poor proofreading on my part.

In 1971 I was assigned #8, which was not going to be missed in a town of 70,000 if one was 1A. Later that year I became 1A after losing my 2S student deferment. In November I went for my draft physical. I was never inducted. The full story for another day.
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Re: The Afghan Papers

Post by vnatale » Wed Aug 18, 2021 8:34 pm

Does this article partially answer Pugchief's question as to why the United States could not win in Afghanistan?

Vinny

Billions Spent on Afghan Army Ultimately Benefited Taliban

https://www.military.com/daily-news/202 ... liban.html
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Re: The Afghan Papers

Post by pp4me » Sun Aug 22, 2021 9:20 pm

Saw this on a website today. Should be captioned as "What's wrong with this picture"...

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Re: The Afghan Papers

Post by Mark Leavy » Sun Aug 22, 2021 10:50 pm

chart.jpg
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Re: The Afghan Papers

Post by Hal » Fri Aug 27, 2021 9:06 pm

Well, at least one officer is not happy with the status-quo..
https://www.zerohedge.com/political/i-d ... afghan-war
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Re: The Afghan Papers

Post by Kbg » Sat Aug 28, 2021 4:09 pm

Completely over the line for a serving military officer.

It will be interesting to see if he does get court martialed and booted out. I hope he didn’t do it on the spur of the moment and talked to his wife about the potential consequences in advance. If he does get kicked out his pension is gone.
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Re: The Afghan Papers

Post by Kriegsspiel » Sun Aug 29, 2021 1:22 pm

A State Department spokesman said Saturday that approximately 250 Americans are still seeking evacuation.

“Our team on the ground continues to coordinate assistance around the clock for this group, while taking the current security situation into account,” the spokesman said.

“Additionally, we have been in regular contact with a group of roughly 280 individuals who have self-identified as Americans in Afghanistan but who remain undecided about whether to leave the country or who have told us they do not intend to depart,” the spokesman added. link
Does this sound shady as fuck to anyone else? What is "self-identifying" as American? What Americans have their families in Afghanistan? And they don't intend to depart??? Are they just calling Afghans and their families "Americans" at this point?
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Re: The Afghan Papers

Post by Kbg » Sun Aug 29, 2021 2:05 pm

I have a much simpler theory and I’ll bet more accurate…there are 250-280 Americans just that stupid.

On a human level, what a tough decision; try to make it to Kabul or hunker down and hope everything works out.
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Re: The Afghan Papers

Post by pp4me » Sun Aug 29, 2021 2:19 pm

In Vietnam a lot of American citizens refused to leave unless they could take their Vietnamese families with them. Eventually they were allowed to bring them (Nguyen is now the 38th most common surname in the U.S.A.,BTW). Might be something similar going on.

Also, some could be naturalized American citizens originally born in Afghanistan who decided to return and want to stay.
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Re: The Afghan Papers

Post by Kbg » Sun Aug 29, 2021 2:45 pm

Definitely a possibility. Hopefully everything works out well for them. I kinda see at the top of the TB it being in their interest to let everyone out who wants to go with press stories from returning Americans saying how helpful they were. Everything to gain, nothing to lose. Flip side, local 40 YO TB who thinks and acts like someone from centuries ago.
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Re: The Afghan Papers

Post by Kriegsspiel » Sun Aug 29, 2021 2:49 pm

Kbg wrote:
Sun Aug 29, 2021 2:05 pm
I have a much simpler theory and I’ll bet more accurate…there are 250-280 Americans just that stupid.
You think it's simpler and more accurate that there are 280 stupid Americans, who brought their families with them to Afghanistan, and they haven't decided if they want to stay or leave? That could be the case, but I think the simpler explanation is that (at least a majority of them) they are families of Afghans who someone has conferred US citizenship on at some point and they haven't "come home" because they are home, in Afghanistan.
On a human level, what a tough decision; try to make it to Kabul or hunker down and hope everything works out.
Yea definitely. IMO they shouldn't have gone there in the first place. Just an awful predicament in an awful place.
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Re: The Afghan Papers

Post by Kriegsspiel » Sun Aug 29, 2021 2:54 pm

pp4me wrote:
Sun Aug 29, 2021 2:19 pm
In Vietnam a lot of American citizens refused to leave unless they could take their Vietnamese families with them. Eventually they were allowed to bring them (Nguyen is now the 38th most common surname in the U.S.A.,BTW). Might be something similar going on.

It would be beyond shocking to find even one example of an American starting a family with an Afghan.
Also, some could be naturalized American citizens originally born in Afghanistan who decided to return and want to stay.
True. So they don't need "rescued" then.
Last edited by Kriegsspiel on Sun Aug 29, 2021 3:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Civil service life was adapted as far as possible to the habits of the Oxford and Cambridge graduates entering the Administrative Section. Late rising in the mornings was safeguarded by starting work at 11:00am. The day ended at 5:00pm with one hour's break for lunch. There were two month's holiday a year, plus bank holidays and of course Derby Day. Saturday hours were from 11-1.
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Re: The Afghan Papers

Post by Kriegsspiel » Sun Aug 29, 2021 2:59 pm

Kbg wrote:
Sun Aug 29, 2021 2:45 pm
Definitely a possibility. Hopefully everything works out well for them. I kinda see at the top of the TB it being in their interest to let everyone out who wants to go with press stories from returning Americans saying how helpful they were. Everything to gain, nothing to lose. Flip side, local 40 YO TB who thinks and acts like someone from centuries ago.
Yea, that's something I've been mulling over the past couple days. If these civilians are scattered around, trying to get TO Kabul, then they've been living in de facto Taliban-controlled areas for years now. The Talibans been watching them this whole time and haven't snatched them up yet? It sounds like they are under orders not to, probably to your point. Needless to say, rogue elements might disregard those orders if they felt like they could get away with keeping a war prize or two.

I had to laugh at "40 year old Taliban" though. I don't think I saw many 40+ year olds there period, much less fighters.
Civil service life was adapted as far as possible to the habits of the Oxford and Cambridge graduates entering the Administrative Section. Late rising in the mornings was safeguarded by starting work at 11:00am. The day ended at 5:00pm with one hour's break for lunch. There were two month's holiday a year, plus bank holidays and of course Derby Day. Saturday hours were from 11-1.
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Re: The Afghan Papers

Post by pugchief » Sun Aug 29, 2021 4:36 pm

pp4me wrote:
Sun Aug 29, 2021 2:19 pm
In Vietnam a lot of American citizens refused to leave unless they could take their Vietnamese families with them. Eventually they were allowed to bring them (Nguyen is now the 38th most common surname in the U.S.A.,BTW). Might be something similar going on.

Also, some could be naturalized American citizens originally born in Afghanistan who decided to return and want to stay.
I don't doubt this statistic, but don't see how it relates to your explanation in the prior sentence. Almost all of the US soldiers in Viet Nam were men, so even if they married there and brought their wives and kids back, unless they took their wives' names it wouldn't explain how all those Nguyens got here as a result.
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Re: The Afghan Papers

Post by Xan » Sun Aug 29, 2021 4:42 pm

pugchief wrote:
Sun Aug 29, 2021 4:36 pm
pp4me wrote:
Sun Aug 29, 2021 2:19 pm
In Vietnam a lot of American citizens refused to leave unless they could take their Vietnamese families with them. Eventually they were allowed to bring them (Nguyen is now the 38th most common surname in the U.S.A.,BTW). Might be something similar going on.

Also, some could be naturalized American citizens originally born in Afghanistan who decided to return and want to stay.
I don't doubt this statistic, but don't see how it relates to your explanation in the prior sentence. Almost all of the US soldiers in Viet Nam were men, so even if they married there and brought their wives and kids back, unless they took their wives' names it wouldn't explain how all those Nguyens got here as a result.
Pug, these women are not beholden to their husbands. They kept their maiden names and made sure that their kids had those names too. As glenn has told us, only the Taliban hold to such antiquated patriarchal ideas as yours.

Fortunately with today's modern military in Afghanistan, you have women in combat who can marry Afghan men, men who can marry Afghan men, you name it. It's a free for all.

Oh hell now I've turned into tom...
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Re: The Afghan Papers

Post by pugchief » Sun Aug 29, 2021 4:51 pm

Xan wrote:
Sun Aug 29, 2021 4:42 pm
pugchief wrote:
Sun Aug 29, 2021 4:36 pm
pp4me wrote:
Sun Aug 29, 2021 2:19 pm
In Vietnam a lot of American citizens refused to leave unless they could take their Vietnamese families with them. Eventually they were allowed to bring them (Nguyen is now the 38th most common surname in the U.S.A.,BTW). Might be something similar going on.

Also, some could be naturalized American citizens originally born in Afghanistan who decided to return and want to stay.
I don't doubt this statistic, but don't see how it relates to your explanation in the prior sentence. Almost all of the US soldiers in Viet Nam were men, so even if they married there and brought their wives and kids back, unless they took their wives' names it wouldn't explain how all those Nguyens got here as a result.
Pug, these women are not beholden to their husbands. They kept their maiden names and made sure that their kids had those names too. As glenn has told us, only the Taliban hold to such antiquated patriarchal ideas as yours.

Fortunately with today's modern military in Afghanistan, you have women in combat who can marry Afghan men, men who can marry Afghan men, you name it. It's a free for all.

Oh hell now I've turned into tom...
Okay, then I assume you're kidding. Women never kept their maiden names or passed them on to their kids in the 60s.
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Re: The Afghan Papers

Post by glennds » Mon Aug 30, 2021 9:50 am

pugchief wrote:
Sun Aug 29, 2021 4:36 pm
pp4me wrote:
Sun Aug 29, 2021 2:19 pm
In Vietnam a lot of American citizens refused to leave unless they could take their Vietnamese families with them. Eventually they were allowed to bring them (Nguyen is now the 38th most common surname in the U.S.A.,BTW). Might be something similar going on.

Also, some could be naturalized American citizens originally born in Afghanistan who decided to return and want to stay.
I don't doubt this statistic, but don't see how it relates to your explanation in the prior sentence. Almost all of the US soldiers in Viet Nam were men, so even if they married there and brought their wives and kids back, unless they took their wives' names it wouldn't explain how all those Nguyens got here as a result.
A PP investor would appreciate this story.
The larger influx of people resettling in the US from Vietnam happened 3 years after the war ended, mostly 1978-1979. The term "boat people" was used for the exodus.
The Vietnamese government was not letting people leave for free, and their currency had collapsed, so they came up with an "exit fee" which most people paid in gold coins or bars. If you had access to gold, you could buy your way out. The boat people were mostly resettled from refugee camps in other Asian countries to the US, Canada, France, UK and a few other places (400,000 to the US alone).
A friend of mine married a Vietnamese girl (named Nguyen) in the 1980's whose family had gotten out because Dad had buried a coffee can of silver in the backyard which was enough to buy their exit papers.
Some boats carried people who did not pay and thus had no exit papers, and many of those boats were attacked by "pirates" so paying was the safer thing to do.

*not satire or parody*
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Re: The Afghan Papers

Post by pugchief » Mon Aug 30, 2021 11:15 am

glennds wrote:
Mon Aug 30, 2021 9:50 am
pugchief wrote:
Sun Aug 29, 2021 4:36 pm
pp4me wrote:
Sun Aug 29, 2021 2:19 pm
In Vietnam a lot of American citizens refused to leave unless they could take their Vietnamese families with them. Eventually they were allowed to bring them (Nguyen is now the 38th most common surname in the U.S.A.,BTW). Might be something similar going on.

Also, some could be naturalized American citizens originally born in Afghanistan who decided to return and want to stay.
I don't doubt this statistic, but don't see how it relates to your explanation in the prior sentence. Almost all of the US soldiers in Viet Nam were men, so even if they married there and brought their wives and kids back, unless they took their wives' names it wouldn't explain how all those Nguyens got here as a result.
A PP investor would appreciate this story.
The larger influx of people resettling in the US from Vietnam happened 3 years after the war ended, mostly 1978-1979. The term "boat people" was used for the exodus.
The Vietnamese government was not letting people leave for free, and their currency had collapsed, so they came up with an "exit fee" which most people paid in gold coins or bars. If you had access to gold, you could buy your way out. The boat people were mostly resettled from refugee camps in other Asian countries to the US, Canada, France, UK and a few other places (400,000 to the US alone).
A friend of mine married a Vietnamese girl (named Nguyen) in the 1980's whose family had gotten out because Dad had buried a coffee can of silver in the backyard which was enough to buy their exit papers.
Some boats carried people who did not pay and thus had no exit papers, and many of those boats were attacked by "pirates" so paying was the safer thing to do.

*not satire or parody*
Well that makes more sense. My confusion came from the assertion in PP4me's post that the name resulted from US soldiers bringing families home.
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