It’s official, we’re pulling out of Afghanistan. This week, I talk with Havok Journal owner and camo net rolling expert Charlie Faint and the Havok Journal writer formerly known as Log Cinco about whether that is the right move. We scrutinize it from the counter-terrorism angle, the nation-building angle, the geopolitical angle, and, most importantly for the guy glaring at me from his refrigerator box, the methamphetamine angle. Talk about Afghanistan withdrawal! I joke because Afghanistan is too serious an issue to discuss without blowing off some steam. All three of us have done time in AFG and we discuss why the country and its future matter and I feel confident in saying that we will be back there militarily in some form within four years. Why? Well, I guess you’ll have to take a listen.
It is true that Cris is our first pseudonymed guest. It is not true that he had to record this from the bottom of a well. But he did have to wear a mask and use a voice distorter which, almost by definition, doesn’t help the audio quality. That said, he is shockingly succinct, witty and articulate for this being his first known podcast. It’s appalling and we hope his cognitive abilities degrade substantially before he gets invited back.
I kept saying President Obama surged troops in Afghanistan in 2009, when it was actually 2011. Bear in mind, I was a History major. That means I should be better with remembering dates. But it also means I’m not great with numbers.
At one point Cris had to step away and charge his phone. Or so the Germans would have us believe.
Yes, I really said that we needed to do an episode featuring Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam vets discussing “pulling out.” Phrasing.
Women in miniskirts in Kabul
Ghost Wars by Steve Coll
Directorate S by Steve Coll
President Biden’s comments on Afghanistan withdrawal
Democratic Peace Theory
President Obama’s comments on the Afghanistan surge
British counterinsurgency in Malaysia
Afghanistan by Thomas Barfield
Jen Psaki’s comments on GRU relationship with “individuals and Afghan criminal organizations.”
Al Qaeda and the Taliban are, at this point, almost interchangeable terms in Afghanistan
How do you solve a problem like Maria?
The Flawed Reasoning Behind Biden’s Afghanistan Withdrawl by Thomas Joscelyn
Tablet K and drugs in Afghanistan
The Russian Bounty Story Was Always Murky by Thomas Joscelyn
Second Mission Foundation
The Havok Journal