The Afghan Papers

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Re: The Afghan Papers

Post by pp4me » Mon Aug 30, 2021 5:26 pm

pugchief wrote:
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.
I didn't intend to make any such assertion so I'm sorry you took it that way. It was actually a parenthetical addition to my original post that I thought people might find interesting.

I believe I read somewhere that 70% of the people in Vietnam share the surname of Nguyen so regardless of how they got here that would have been the obvious outcome.

In-laws, nieces and nephews of American servicemen with Vietnamese wives would also share the same surname. How many of them got here as the original boat people on their own or with the help of the wives and other family members of American servicemen during the evacuation or in the subsequent years would be hard to determine.

Stories about the Vietnamese people acquiring gold before having to exit the country and start a new life was one of the reasons I now have a good stash of my own.

Also, I looked up the most common surname in Afghanistan and it is Mohammad. Not nearly as prominent as Nguyen though.
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Re: The Afghan Papers

Post by Hal » Tue Aug 31, 2021 7:43 am

Kbg wrote:
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.
Should have retired/resigned first in my opinion....
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Re: The Afghan Papers

Post by vnatale » Tue Aug 31, 2021 11:15 pm

Seems to describe it all quite well...

Vinny

Joe Biden Finally Ended America’s Abominable ‘Forever Wars’

https://www.thedailybeast.com/joe-biden ... itter_page


Nonetheless, moments after the speech was over, his seriousness in addressing the issues was met by commentary on network after network by analysts who were more interested in defending the narratives they had been peddling for the past few weeks. Some seemed offended that Biden did not focus on their special issues of concern or that he did not simply repudiate his own decisions, throw up his hands and say, “You know, Mr. Talking Head, you were right all along.”

Of course, often they were not right. By and large, he was and is. And if what he has done deserves debate and analysis, many of the public platforms we have for such debate have become too politicized to permit it, too dominated by reporters and pundits as concerned with their brands as they are with the facts.

At a moment like this, the end of a war, we have an urgent need to have just the kind of substantive discussion that the president’s remarks should have triggered, a discussion at the level of detail and insight offered by the president. But that is nearly impossible in this hyper-partisan era of toxic politics—and that should worry us all greatly. Because in many ways it is symptomatic of some of the key reasons we ended up with the deeply unsatisfactory outcome we have had in Afghanistan.

In the months and years ahead, we need to do a deep accounting of the flaws in our system, our politics and our society that led us to make mistakes on the scale of the Afghanistan War, the Iraq War and the "War on Terror."

While the war in Afghanistan began with a natural impulse to seek justice in the wake of 9/11, the policy process guiding it quickly was hijacked by opportunists with personal agendas that were ideological or industry-driven. Lies, often supported by partisan media machinery, became the foundations for a massive national endeavor.

Those lies were not effectively challenged. The Iraq War was an indecent and indefensible distraction from the mission to get Al Qaeda and Bin Laden, but the majority of the foreign policy establishment supported it and accepted many lies without questioning them. Herd mentality dominated.

We violated our most deeply held principles. We accepted torture, rendition, Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, violation of other nations' sovereignty and the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians.


Within the system, too few people stood up and spoke truth to power and challenged the Cheney-Rumsfeld-neocon leviathan. The mission into which we drifted at their behest in Afghanistan became an impossible one in a country that had defied such efforts for centuries.

A nation hobbled by grief blindly accepted the idea of a "war on terror" as if such a thing was right or even possible. The idea that a few hundred or thousand terrorists living in caves and on the run possibly could pose a real existential threat to the world's greatest support was blindly accepted.

It was a ludicrous notion but in the wake of the Cold War, seemingly adrift without an enemy, we used the provocation of 9/11 to spin a narrative that was unsupported by facts or analysis but happened to suit the agenda of a political clique and our military-industrial complex.

The discussion became so overheated that we violated our most deeply held principles. We accepted torture, rendition, Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, violation of other nations' sovereignty and the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians.

Today we hear arguments that ending this era of war weakens us with our allies and diminishes our standing, but nothing could have done those things more than the way we conducted these wars. That is not to say that our soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen, intelligence community, diplomats, contractors, NGOs and others did not often display great courage while embracing sacrifice, advancing our values and making the lives of those with whom they came in contact better. They often did. Biden was very specific in noting this. But we conflated their goodness with policy rightness and the results were devastating.

Demagogues suggested that it would be an insult to the lives lost on 9/11 and after to question our leaders, particularly our military leaders. But time and again, those military leaders made errors. Some misrepresented what was achievable. Others just played the Washington game, seeking to work their way up the greasy pole, saluting and saying "yessir" when they should have called for a different course. They failed to admit our errors, the costs of those errors and how elusive our goals were becoming.

Politicians with a few notable exceptions were the most cowardly of all, hostage to a toxic environment in which to admit a mistake was a political death sentence. They issued authorizations to go to war to our presidents that were essentially a license to battle on indefinitely, results and costs be damned.

We just kept writing blank checks to presidents who kept failing to live up to the responsibilities of their offices—until now.

One trillion dollars. Two trillion dollars. Three trillion dollars. All the way up to a debt burden including interest of $6.5 trillion according to one estimate as America mortgaged our futures on goals that could never be achieved. That fortune represents a generation of schools not built, teachers not hired, roads and bridges not restored, investments in research and development not made, defenses against next generation threats not undertaken, steps to address urgent needs like combatting the climate crisis not taken.

We just kept writing blank checks to presidents who kept failing to live up to the responsibilities of their offices. By 2010 there were 100,000 US troops in Afghanistan although the year before many including Biden had argued we should be drawing down our forces.

Bush and then Obama and then Trump could see we were faltering but none , until Biden, had the courage to actually end this era of cascading policy failures, failures of judgment, and failures of character.

They got away with those failures in part because many in the media failed as well. Sometimes they failed by accepting the jingoism of leaders without question. Sometimes it was because a twisted sense of "objectivity" led to both-sides-isms that gave credence to ideas without merit and defenses of the indefensible.

Others simply stopped covering the stories at all, letting them fade from public view as wars raged on and costs were piled ever higher. And the public too bought into a political discourse that divided America itself into warring tribes and replaced debate with reflexive name-calling.

Common interests were scoffed at. Serious exchanges of ideas among respectful opposing views were seen as weak, as betraying higher partisan causes. Those who wanted to rethink our approaches were castigated as traitors, un-American, un-patriotic.

We knew it was going wrong. 20 years later there are more terrorists in the world many times over than there were when our "war on terror began." Iraq was never really part of that war—until we drew the terrorists there and inspired the birth of ISIS.

While we sought to ensure Afghanistan could not be a haven for terrorists, it never stopped being one and all the while terrorist cells spread throughout the world, in part inspired by our abuses, our failures, the targets we presented.

For all those we helped, there were others we let down terribly. There were the deaths and there were the wounded, there was the suffering and the destruction. And we justified it and we enabled it to go on and on. And that, in the end, is on all of us.

So as we mark the end of this period, we owe it to ourselves to reflect and then, with seriousness of purpose commensurate with that demonstrated by the president and every member of his senior team, compile our lessons learned and then apply them with great urgency. This was one of the darkest periods in the history of U.S. foreign policy. We stumbled as a nation. It is time to lift ourselves up.
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Re: The Afghan Papers

Post by vnatale » Tue Aug 31, 2021 11:50 pm

Published today:

https://www.amazon.com/Afghanistan-Pape ... 982159006/

The Afghanistan Papers: A Secret History of the War Hardcover – August 31, 2021
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Re: The Afghan Papers

Post by I Shrugged » Thu Sep 02, 2021 6:42 pm

I'm suspicious of Biden's motives, but so far I have to strongly applaud his stated explanations for getting us out of there, and his disdain for remaking nations in our image. And of course Lindsay Graham is very angry.
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Re: The Afghan Papers

Post by vnatale » Thu Sep 02, 2021 7:26 pm

Simonjester wrote:
I Shrugged wrote:
Thu Sep 02, 2021 6:42 pm

I'm suspicious of Biden's motives, but so far I have to strongly applaud his stated explanations for getting us out of there, and his disdain for remaking nations in our image. And of course Lindsay Graham is very angry.

https://babylonbee.com/news/republican- ... tan-crisis


Of course I like this one! Thanks...
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Re: The Afghan Papers

Post by Kriegsspiel » Fri Sep 03, 2021 5:52 pm

Hal wrote:
Tue Aug 31, 2021 7:43 am
Kbg wrote:
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.
Should have retired/resigned first in my opinion....
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I agree with both of you. Sadly, IMO, the senior officers in the planetarium (the guys who should be resigning) are currently shitbags, so maybe the field grade officers are feeling mounting pressure.
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Re: The Afghan Papers

Post by Kbg » Tue Sep 14, 2021 11:52 am

Kriegsspiel wrote:
Fri Sep 03, 2021 5:52 pm
Hal wrote:
Tue Aug 31, 2021 7:43 am
Kbg wrote:
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.
Should have retired/resigned first in my opinion....
https://flagofficers4america.com/read-a ... bf2eec4e5b
I agree with both of you. Sadly, IMO, the senior officers in the planetarium (the guys who should be resigning) are currently shitbags, so maybe the field grade officers are feeling mounting pressure.
Most GOs I know are good folks and try to do the right thing. One notable exception is if they were promoted multiple years early and are in over their heads. I don't think people realize at the very senior levels where civilians are the ones giving the orders the same dynamic exists as between a Sergeant and a Private. "Thank you for your input, shut up and color. Am I clear?" Said more eloquently of course but the bottom line is the same. There is always the cry "they should have resigned" if they didn't agree with something. I pose the metaphorical, why, if it wasn't illegal, unethical or immoral? Biden was/is clearly within his prerogative/constitutional power as the President to wrap up any conflict he feels like. The US military is bought and paid for to execute political policy, full stop no exceptions (illegal, immoral, unethical excepted).

We as US citizens have the right to vote for someone else in the next election.
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Re: The Afghan Papers

Post by Kriegsspiel » Wed Sep 15, 2021 3:40 pm

Kbg wrote:
Tue Sep 14, 2021 11:52 am
Most GOs I know are good folks and try to do the right thing.
Did you know General Milley, by any chance?
There is always the cry "they should have resigned" if they didn't agree with something. I pose the metaphorical, why, if it wasn't illegal, unethical or immoral? . . . The US military is bought and paid for to execute political policy, full stop no exceptions (illegal, immoral, unethical excepted).

We as US citizens have the right to vote for someone else in the next election.
At first glance, it looks like he hits all 3 points.
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 Kbg » Wed Sep 15, 2021 6:28 pm

I don't.

Lay out the case for one of the three.

And a slight hint, stupid isn't the same as the three items mentioned.
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Re: The Afghan Papers

Post by Kbg » Thu Sep 16, 2021 10:32 pm

With a little research, I was able to find out why Milley called his Chinese counterpart...Milley made the right call in my view. On the nuclear stuff, a bit different than the norm for sure but totally within his purview as the CJCS.

This summary article I think is neutral, accurate and it gets into the nuance of what and when something is/is not appropriate for the two items that are the latest news outrage. https://www.politifact.com/article/2021 ... ch-meetin/

Many on the board aren't good with nuance, complexity and neutrality...reading the above may be hard. You may want to stay away lest your brain explode.

Gray is hard, it really is. It's OK if you can't deal with it, not many people can these days. You are NOT alone.
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Re: The Afghan Papers

Post by vnatale » Thu Sep 16, 2021 10:47 pm

Kbg wrote:
Thu Sep 16, 2021 10:32 pm

With a little research, I was able to find out why Milley called his Chinese counterpart...Milley made the right call in my view. On the nuclear stuff, a bit different than the norm for sure but totally within his purview as the CJCS.

This summary article I think is neutral, accurate and it gets into the nuance of what and when something is/is not appropriate for the two items that are the latest news outrage. https://www.politifact.com/article/2021 ... ch-meetin/

Many on the board aren't good with nuance, complexity and neutrality...reading the above may be hard. You may want to stay away lest your brain explode.

Gray is hard, it really is. It's OK if you can't deal with it, not many people can these days. You are NOT alone.


I had on Fox News yesterday because it does offer a form of entertainment. They were calling for his head. They never deal with any nuance.
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Re: The Afghan Papers

Post by vnatale » Thu Sep 16, 2021 11:05 pm

Kbg wrote:
Thu Sep 16, 2021 10:32 pm

With a little research, I was able to find out why Milley called his Chinese counterpart...Milley made the right call in my view. On the nuclear stuff, a bit different than the norm for sure but totally within his purview as the CJCS.

This summary article I think is neutral, accurate and it gets into the nuance of what and when something is/is not appropriate for the two items that are the latest news outrage. https://www.politifact.com/article/2021 ... ch-meetin/

Many on the board aren't good with nuance, complexity and neutrality...reading the above may be hard. You may want to stay away lest your brain explode.

Gray is hard, it really is. It's OK if you can't deal with it, not many people can these days. You are NOT alone.


Just read it.

I was expecting a far longer article. It was actually a fairly short one.

It also seemed fairly straightforward in explaining the issues involved.
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Re: The Afghan Papers

Post by glennds » Fri Sep 17, 2021 11:28 am

Kbg wrote:
Thu Sep 16, 2021 10:32 pm

This summary article I think is neutral, accurate and it gets into the nuance of what and when something is/is not appropriate for the two items that are the latest news outrage. https://www.politifact.com/article/2021 ... ch-meetin/

Many on the board aren't good with nuance, complexity and neutrality...reading the above may be hard. You may want to stay away lest your brain explode.

Gray is hard, it really is. It's OK if you can't deal with it, not many people can these days. You are NOT alone.
That was an interesting article, thank you for posting the link. Doing my very best to comprehend the nuance, it seems to me that Milley was (and is) in a difficult position.
His role is about as senior as it gets, so some demand for judgment goes along with the territory. It is not his prerogative to simply not think and follow orders.
But the article was useful to me because it dissects the nuclear protocols that exist and how they evolved to be what they are. There seems to be a complicated interplay between what's legal, what's convention, and what's smart. Further complicated is that the protocols provide protection against a rogue military, but apparently weren't built for proportional protection in the other direction, i.e. a rogue president.

On the subject of the China communication, the article was silent on whether the communication was originally initiated by Secretary of Defense Esper.
I'm still researching the events, but according to Axios, the backchannel communication was initiated by Esper based on intel that the Chinese could act on bad information and mis-perception. Their story suggests Esper was worried about the escalation of a conflict based on misunderstanding.
https://www.axios.com/mark-milley-woodw ... 6ef7f.html

With regard to Milley, does it change the analysis (at least of the Oct 30 call) if he was acting in accordance with the Secretary of Defense?

This all reminds me of the movie Crimson Tide but on a bigger scale.

P.S. another way I like to look at things like this is motive. If Milley was really going rogue in his communications, what would be his motive? Why is doing so a win for him? Does he stand to gain personally in some way?
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Re: The Afghan Papers

Post by Kbg » Fri Sep 17, 2021 10:56 pm

glennds wrote:
Fri Sep 17, 2021 11:28 am
With regard to Milley, does it change the analysis (at least of the Oct 30 call) if he was acting in accordance with the Secretary of Defense?

P.S. another way I like to look at things like this is motive. If Milley was really going rogue in his communications, what would be his motive? Why is doing so a win for him? Does he stand to gain personally in some way?
This is pure Trump bull hockey.

On the first, if he did, then the "outrage" is completely fabricated for political and to sell news purposes. However, Miller the SecDef at the time, said he didn't authorize the call. Remember though, Trump fired his predecessor Esper six days after he lost the election and replaced him with Miller. Esper was fired because he pushed back on sending troops into the streets to counter BLM protests. Miller was a Trump hack job whose sole purpose in life was to try and stack all the Defense Boards with Trump loyalists and work on other assorted end runs.

Gosh, now those last questions are some really interesting questions. Wonder why no one is asking them?

Bottom line: He's still the Chairman and has Biden's backing, and that's all he needs.

If you think the above is outrageous, read up on Grant and Andrew Johnson. History finds Grant getting better with time and confederate generals getting worse. In my view, Grant was absolutely right in his decision to oppose Johnson every way he could legally. Both men knew Grant was bullet proof and Johnson was a temp which made for an interesting dynamic. It's a great story but too detailed to get into it here.
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Re: The Afghan Papers

Post by glennds » Sat Sep 18, 2021 8:53 am

Kbg wrote:
Fri Sep 17, 2021 10:56 pm


If you think the above is outrageous, read up on Grant and Andrew Johnson. History finds Grant getting better with time and confederate generals getting worse. In my view, Grant was absolutely right in his decision to oppose Johnson every way he could legally. Both men knew Grant was bullet proof and Johnson was a temp which made for an interesting dynamic. It's a great story but too detailed to get into it here.
It is also worth remembering that it is impossible for us to evaluate the Johnson/Grant dynamic in any way other than with 20/20 hindsight privilege and full knowledge of how history has ultimately judged both men. In 1869 at the time the tension was going on, people had no choice but to choose their sides based on only what they knew or thought they knew.

Similarly it will be more than interesting to see how history looks back on Trump and the people who supported or opposed him (for this conversation Milley, Esper, but in the broader context many others). Right now our view of these events is clouded and biased in countless ways. One day, all those influences will be gone, and the story will be distilled by scholars and historians, whichever way it goes.
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Re: The Afghan Papers

Post by Desert » Sat Sep 18, 2021 10:35 am

Kbg wrote:
Thu Sep 16, 2021 10:32 pm
This summary article I think is neutral, accurate and it gets into the nuance of what and when something is/is not appropriate for the two items that are the latest news outrage. https://www.politifact.com/article/2021 ... ch-meetin/
Very helpful summary, thanks for posting.
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Re: The Afghan Papers

Post by Kriegsspiel » Sun Sep 19, 2021 4:36 pm

Kbg wrote:
Wed Sep 15, 2021 6:28 pm
I don't.

Lay out the case for one of the three.

And a slight hint, stupid isn't the same as the three items mentioned.
It looks like I jumped the gun on all three. I would still argue that it's immoral to tell an adversary that you'll warn them of an attack, and then tell a reporter that you did it. And to do it behind the president's back? It erodes the trust of your subordinates.
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Re: The Afghan Papers

Post by Mark Leavy » Sun Sep 19, 2021 8:38 pm

Honestly, until you have fired an RPG from a rubber ducky, you really haven't lived.

Bamyan Province.

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Re: The Afghan Papers

Post by Kbg » Mon Sep 20, 2021 8:51 am

Kriegsspiel wrote:
Sun Sep 19, 2021 4:36 pm
Kbg wrote:
Wed Sep 15, 2021 6:28 pm
I don't.

Lay out the case for one of the three.

And a slight hint, stupid isn't the same as the three items mentioned.
It looks like I jumped the gun on all three. I would still argue that it's immoral to tell an adversary that you'll warn them of an attack, and then tell a reporter that you did it. And to do it behind the president's back? It erodes the trust of your subordinates.
Do you think either side really meant or received the message "I'll call you before we attack you literally?" C'mon, apply some common sense here.

And the bigger question...who in the United States actually thinks it's a good idea to start a war with China offensively? That's some kinda stupid.
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Re: The Afghan Papers

Post by glennds » Mon Sep 20, 2021 10:15 am

Kbg wrote:
Mon Sep 20, 2021 8:51 am
Kriegsspiel wrote:
Sun Sep 19, 2021 4:36 pm
Kbg wrote:
Wed Sep 15, 2021 6:28 pm
I don't.

Lay out the case for one of the three.

And a slight hint, stupid isn't the same as the three items mentioned.
It looks like I jumped the gun on all three. I would still argue that it's immoral to tell an adversary that you'll warn them of an attack, and then tell a reporter that you did it. And to do it behind the president's back? It erodes the trust of your subordinates.
Do you think either side really meant or received the message "I'll call you before we attack you literally?" C'mon, apply some common sense here.

And the bigger question...who in the United States actually thinks it's a good idea to start a war with China offensively? That's some kinda stupid.
A certain kind of warped mind might see a political advantage or a profit motive in it.
But for the mentally healthy, yes, that would be some kinda stupid.
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Re: The Afghan Papers

Post by pp4me » Mon Sep 20, 2021 4:34 pm

Does Woodward's book say anything about how the Chinese responded to Milley's call?

If they took it serious and raised the DEFCON level, or whatever the Chinese equivalent is, then that doesn't sound like a trivial thing to me.

I think Woodward is somewhat of a fabulist, as is the rest of the press, so I suspect he might be exaggerating the whole thing. If Milley really did warn his Chinese counterpart that the POTUS was unstable and might attack that sounds like a pretty bad thing to me.
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Re: The Afghan Papers

Post by glennds » Mon Sep 20, 2021 6:42 pm

pp4me wrote:
Mon Sep 20, 2021 4:34 pm
Does Woodward's book say anything about how the Chinese responded to Milley's call?

If they took it serious and raised the DEFCON level, or whatever the Chinese equivalent is, then that doesn't sound like a trivial thing to me.

I think Woodward is somewhat of a fabulist, as is the rest of the press, so I suspect he might be exaggerating the whole thing. If Milley really did warn his Chinese counterpart that the POTUS was unstable and might attack that sounds like a pretty bad thing to me.
The book isn't available to the public yet, it is scheduled for release tomorrow. At some point, maybe Milley will be interviewed over the affair. I could see someone like 60 Minutes landing his interview.
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vnatale
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Re: The Afghan Papers

Post by vnatale » Wed Sep 22, 2021 6:29 pm

Kbg wrote:
Tue Sep 14, 2021 11:52 am

7

Most GOs I know are good folks and try to do the right thing. One notable exception is if they were promoted multiple years early and are in over their heads. I don't think people realize at the very senior levels where civilians are the ones giving the orders the same dynamic exists as between a Sergeant and a Private. "Thank you for your input, shut up and color. Am I clear?" Said more eloquently of course but the bottom line is the same. There is always the cry "they should have resigned" if they didn't agree with something. I pose the metaphorical, why, if it wasn't illegal, unethical or immoral? Biden was/is clearly within his prerogative/constitutional power as the President to wrap up any conflict he feels like. The US military is bought and paid for to execute political policy, full stop no exceptions (illegal, immoral, unethical excepted).

We as US citizens have the right to vote for someone else in the next election.


Is the "illegal, unethical, immoral" something that is drilled into all military personnel? I remembered you using that phrase here when I just read Milley being quoted using the same phrase twice in Woodard's newest book.

Vinny

Unexpectedly, Milley’s executive officer came into the office and passed him a handwritten note: “Speaker Pelosi would like to speak to you ASAP. Topic: Succession. Twenty-fifth amendment.”

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, was second in line to succeed the president after the vice president and received detailed briefings on the command and control of U.S. nuclear weapons. The 34-year House veteran was steeped in all national security, military and intelligence matters.

Milley picked up the Pelosi call on his personal cell phone, an unclassified line, and put it on speakerphone so one of his advisers could also listen.

What follows is a transcript of the call obtained by the authors.

“What precautions are available,” Pelosi asked, “to prevent an unstable president from initiating military hostilities or from accessing the launch codes and ordering a nuclear strike?

“This situation of this unhinged president could not be more dangerous. We must do everything that we can to protect the American people from his unbalanced assault on our country and our democracy.”

Pelosi said she was calling Milley as the senior military officer because Christopher Miller, recently installed by Trump as acting secretary of defense, had not been confirmed by the Senate.

“I can tell you that we have a lot of checks in the system,” Milley said. “And I can guarantee you, you can take it to the bank, that there’ll be, that the nuclear triggers are secure and we’re not going to do—we’re not going to allow anything crazy, illegal, immoral or unethical to happen.”

“And how are you going to do that? Going to take the football away from him or whatever it is?” she asked.

She well knew that the football is the briefcase carried by a senior military aide to the president containing the sealed authentication launch codes for using nuclear weapons and a so-called black book that lists attack and target options.

“Well,” Milley said, “we have procedures. There are launch codes and procedures that are required to do that. And I can assure you, as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, I can assure you that will not happen.”

“So if you had some concern that it could, what would be the step you would take?”

“If I thought even for a nanosecond that—I have no direct authority,” he said, “but I have a lot of ability to prevent bad things from happening in my own little…”

Pelosi interrupted, “The American people need some reassurance on this, General. What are you prepared to say publicly about this?”

“I don’t, candidly, Madam Speaker. Publicly, I don’t think I should say anything right now. I think that anything that I would say as an individual, I think would be misconstrued in ten different ways.”

“Well, let’s just talk about it objectively and not about any particular president,” Pelosi said. “With all the power that is invested into the president to have that power—to use the word twice—what are the precautions here?”

“The precautions are procedures that we have in place,” he said, “which require authentication, certification, and any instructions have to come from a competent authority and they have to be legal. And there has to be a logical rationale for any kind of use of nuclear weapon. Not just nuclear weapons, use of force.

“So I can assure you that we have rock solid systems in place. That there’s not a snowball’s chance in hell this president, or any president can launch nuclear weapons illegally, immorally, unethically without proper certification from…”

“And you said not only nuclear, but also use of force?” she asked.

“Absolutely,” Milley said. “A lot of people are concerned about, and rightly so, concerned about a potential incident in say Iran. I’m watching that as close as a hawk. Every single hour watching things overseas. The same thing domestically, with things like martial law stuff, the Insurrection Act.

“This is one of those moments, Madam Speaker, where you’re going to have to trust me on this. I guarantee it. I’m giving you my word. I can’t say any of this publicly because I really don’t have the authorities and it would be misconstrued in 50 different directions, but I can assure you that the United States military is steady as a rock and we’re not going to do anything illegal, immoral or unethical with the use of force. We will not do it.”

Pelosi interjected. “But he just did something illegal, immoral and unethical and nobody stopped him. Nobody. Nobody at the White House. This escalated in the way it did because of the intent of the president. The president incited it and nobody in the White House did anything about it. Nobody in the White House did anything to stop him.”

“I’m not going to disagree with you,” Milley replied.

“So you’re saying you’re going to make sure it doesn’t happen?” the speaker asked. “It already did happen. An assault on our democracy happened and nobody said, you can’t do that. Nobody.”

“Well, Madam Speaker, the launching of nuclear weapons and the incitement of a riot…”

“I know they’re different. Thank you very much. What I’m saying to you is that if they couldn’t even stop him from an assault on the Capitol, who even knows what else he may do? And is there anybody in charge at the White House who was doing anything but kissing his fat butt all over this?”

She continued, “Is there any reason to think that somebody, some voice of reason, could have weighed in with him? So for this, we are very, very affected by this. This is not an accident. This is not something that you go, well, now that’s done, let’s go from there. Let’s move on. It ain’t that. This is deep what he did. He traumatized the staff. He assaulted the Capitol and the rest of that. And he’s not going to get away with it. He’s not going to be empowered to do more.”

Pelosi brought up President Richard Nixon, who had been forced to resign in 1974 because of the Watergate scandal.

“Nixon did far less and the Republicans said to him, ‘You have to go.’ Not even in the same league of things. ‘You have to go.’ The Republicans are all enablers of this behavior and I just wonder does anybody have any sanity at the White House? Say don’t go there.

“They put up this fraudulent—this uh—‘he says he doesn’t have anything to do with it’ video yesterday because they know they’re in trouble. This is bad, but who knows what he might do. He’s crazy. You know he’s crazy. He’s been crazy for a long time. So don’t say you don’t know what his state of mind is. He’s crazy and what he did yesterday is further evidence of his craziness. But anyway, I appreciate what you said.”

“Madam Speaker,” Milley said. “I agree with you on everything.”

“What can I tell my colleagues who are demanding answers about what is happening to deter him from engaging in launching any kind of initiation of hostilities in any way, in any way, and including taking his hand off that power?

“And the only way to do that is to get rid of him because there’s nobody around with any courage to stop him from storming the Capitol and inflaming, inciting an insurrection. And there he is, the president of the United States in there. And you’ve answered my question. Thank you, General. Thank you.”

Pelosi paused and asked, “Is that fool at the Department of Defense, the acting Secretary, does he have any power in this regard? Is it worth any second even to call him?”

“I agree 100 percent with everything you’ve said,” Milley replied. “The one thing I can guarantee is that as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, I want you to know that—I want you to know this in your heart of hearts, I can guarantee you 110 percent that the military, use of military power, whether it’s nuclear or a strike in a foreign country of any kind, we’re not going to do anything illegal or crazy. We’re not going to do…”

“Well,” Pelosi asked, “what do you mean, illegal or crazy? Illegal by whose judgments of illegal? He already did and nobody did anything about it.”

“So I’m talking about the use of the U.S. military,” Milley said. “I’m talking about us striking out, lashing out militarily. U.S. military power domestically and/or internationally.”

“I’m not going to say that I’m assured by that,” she said, “but I’m going to say that I asked you about it—just so you know. Because…”

“I can give you my word,” Milley said. “The best I can do is give you my word and I’m going to prevent anything like that in the United States military.”

“Well,” she said, “I hope you can prevail in the insane snake pit of the Oval Office and the crazy family as well. You’d think there’d been an intervention by now. The Republicans have blood on their hands and everybody who enables him to do what he does has blood on their hands and the traumatic effect for our country.

“And our young people who are idealistic and who work here, I will tell you the people on both sides of the aisle have been traumatized to the nth degree because this man is a nut and everybody knows it and nobody will act upon it. So we’ll just keep pushing for the 25th Amendment and for some Republican leadership to replace the president.

“But it is a sad state of affairs for our country that we’ve been taken over by a dictator who used force against another branch of government. And he’s still sitting there. He should have been arrested. He should have been arrested on the spot. He had a coup d’état against us so he can stay in office. There should be some way to remove him. But anyway, it’s no use wasting your time on this. I appreciate that. Thank you, General. Thank you.”

“Madam Speaker, you have to take my word for it. I know the system and we’re okay. The president alone can order the use of nuclear weapons. But he doesn’t make the decision alone. One person can order it, several people have to launch it.

“Thank you, Madam Speaker.”
Above provided by: Vinny, who always says: "I only regret that I have but one lap to give to my cats."
Kbg
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Re: The Afghan Papers

Post by Kbg » Thu Sep 23, 2021 2:19 pm

If that's accurate, it's an amazing conversation...and should give none of us much to be happy about. It's sad reflection on the state of American politics.
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