Ok, since no one seems to know any of the history of Afghanistan before this week, a refresher:
2/29/20: There are 13,000 US troops there. Trump reaches deal with Taliban. Agrees Afghanistan Gov, which is not part of deal, will release 5,000 Taliban fighters. Requires Taliban...1
...to take action against al Qaeda, not to attack US troops or coalition forces, or launch high-profile attacks.
3/1/20: Afghan president freaks out, says US has no authority to commit to release prisoners held by Afghanistan. (Trump Admin forces it to happen anyway.)
Despite there agreement not to attack any provincial capitals, Taliban unilaterally attacks Afghan forces in Helmand province.
3/19/2020: DOD IG says U.S. cut troop levels by more than 4,000, even though “Taliban escalated violence further after signing the agreement"...3
8/18/2020: DOD IG releases report saying Taliban didnt distance itself from terrorist organizations in Afghanistan. UN and U.S. "Taliban continued to support al-Qaeda, and conducted joint attacks with al-Qaeda members against Afghan National Defense and Security Forces.”...4
...in other words *every element of the agreement - dont attack, renounce terrorists, don't work with terrorists - had been violated.
9/3/2020: Afghanistan, pressured by Trump, has been releasing the 5,000 Taliban in jail. Last 400 released this day. They return to fighting...5
...9/16/2020: In continued violation of the Trump agreement, Taliban - reportedly working with al Qaeda - attacks 3 provinces in Northern Afghanistan....
...Immediately after election, Trump Admin leaks theyre going to do a massive, rapid withdrawal of US troops before inauguration. Distressed by reports, Rubio warns of “a Saigon-type of situation." McConnell says "would hurt our allies & delight the people who wish us harm"...6
11/17/2020: Without consulting with incoming administration, which is still being blocked from security briefings, Trump Admin announces rapid withdrawal of troops down to 2,500 by 5 days before inauguration. That's down from 13,000 the year before....7
...this was playing with people's lives. This was incompetence writ large. But here is where Biden screws up - by not more fully reversing the nonsense Trump had done.
2/3/2021: Afghan Study Group, created by Congress, urges Biden to abandon the Trump timetable, and set.../8
...withdrawal on all sides - both Afghan government and Taliban - meeting all commitments under a peace framework that had been reached. So, it would be based on status, not date.
3/25: Gen Richard Clarke of Central Op Command says Taliban has not met its obligations...9
...under treaties & frameworks.
4/14: Biden sets a deadline of 9/11 for getting out of Afghanistan, ignoring recommendation of the working group. This is the big mistake.
4/18: Trump rants and raves, saying Biden should start pulling everyone out beginning in about 2 weeks...10
...so yes, Biden made a mistake. But we are dealing with a situation where the former president pulled down troop levels to a ridiculous level just five days before inauguration, ignored attacks and violations of a treaty he hit, and pretended he had succeeded. He gave them...11
....5,000 fighters. I mean, look at this: The Taliban was violating *every term* of the treaty, and Trump pulled out 1000s of troops. Other than setting ourselves up for a firefight with the Taliban, the only options seemed to be bringing people back in, changing the timeline..12
...or this. I dont know. Its a cluster. Im not even sure I can call what Biden did a mistake. Did they have intel that the Taliban, which had been moving forward since Trump struck his stupid deal, was planning to attack our troops? Who were way outmanned? I dont know. But...13
...this idea that this had some other easy solution or if - instead, as Rubio & McConnell said in December - the rapid drawdown of troops by Trump set up a disaster, a Saigon-type situation that was handed off to Biden, I don't know. But this is what you get when you...14
...allow violations of treaties, petulant troop withdrawals, and media who seems to have no memory, and a political party hopeful that no one will remember. I am not excusing Biden. I just want experts to say,given the actual situation he was handed, how it should have been done.

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More from @kurteichenwald

11 Sep
I wasn't going to tweet today, but... @dallasnews had stories on vaccine/testing mandates, and then the Texas fights against masks under a big headline, "HEALTH OR CIVIL LIBERTIES?"

Goddamit! "I do what I want" is NOT civil liberties. Public health measures in a pandemic...1
...is not "health." As the National Constitution Center says, civil liberties are “basic rights and freedoms guaranteed to individuals as protection from any arbitrary actions or other interference of the government without due process of law.” Simply put, they're the basic...2
...rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution. Again, "I don' wanna" doesn't fall into that category. Children are required to get vaccinated to go to school. we are required to get vaccinated to go overseas, people are required to get mega-vaccinated to join the....3
Read 7 tweets
10 Sep
Let's get fucking real. If you want to die, go ahead. Unfortunately, with COVID, just like when you drive drunk, you're likely to take others with you, which is why you don't have the "freedom" to drive drunk.

So here is your "freedom" to go without a mask or get vaccinated...1
...and here is your freedom....
...and here....
Read 8 tweets
10 Sep
This is the one that got to me of people attacking vaccines and then getting touched by COVID. Don’t blame Terena. She doesn’t know Fox and GOP are inexplicably lying. Yes, they should have taken extra precautions for the little girl but it’s the GOP liars who killed her…/1
….(sometimes you have to hit the picture to see the whole thing. Each one is a Retweet or comment by a woman named Terena.)….2
….this is another joke sent out by Terena….
Read 7 tweets
8 Sep
I wrote an article on abortion for Newsweek in 2015. There was a lot to it, but this story in this thread tore me up - and enraged me at the arrogance of some "pro-life" stranger who thought she had the right to determine what was best for someone else's child.../1
..."A pregnant woman is opposed to abortion and wants the child. But her water breaks at 22 weeks, meaning there wont be enough amniotic fluid for the fetus's lungs to develop. This innocent would have no possibility of living and would be in agony for as much as 15 minutes.../2
..."before dying. Which do you choose—an abortion or a newborn's excruciating death? This is not a hypothetical. It happened in 2010 to Danielle Deaver Grand Island, Nebraska. Unfortunately for her, Nebraska had passed a law declaring all abortions after 20 weeks illegal, so.../3
Read 6 tweets
20 Aug
Reality of Afghanistan: On 11/27/01, CIA fighters, special forces & Northern Alliance was chasing al Qaeda/bin Laden into Tora Bora, along Pakistani border. That day, Central Command discussing support when Rumsfeld told them he wanted them to focus instead on Iraq strategy...1
..the battle of Tora Bora began three days later, involving the CIA team (Jawbreaker), special forces, and Northern Alliance. There was bombing support. Jawbreaker leaders asked Pentagon for one battalion of Army Rangers dropped behind al Qaeda's position to trap them and then..2
...trap them before launching a massive bombing campaign. Al Qaeda would have been destroyed. Bin Laden would have been surrounded - captured or killed - just months after 9/11. The perpetrators of the massive terror attack would have paid the ultimate price...3
Read 6 tweets
8 Aug
Scientists are whispering - and some are saying out loud: COVID is now a forever disease. It was allowed to rage unchecked for too long in 2020 because of politics & stupidity; the only way to stop it in 2021 was a rapid-fire, government-wide, dual-party vaccine push. GQP...1
...politics, which somehow turned basic public health measures into part of a culture war, decided to undermine our means of control both in 2020 and 2021 for votes and ratings. In 2020, they went after masks, social distancing and shutdowns,leaving...nothing. Now, they....2
...have framed vaccines and masks as a matter of personal choice and freedom, rather than community well being. There is an old cliche in tort law - your right to swing your arms ends at the tip of my nose. Your right to refuse a mask and a vaccine ends outside, 12 feet from...3
Read 13 tweets

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