Over the horizon

Even though we dismantled our intelligence network in Afghanistan through evacuations of some and forcing the rest into hiding by revealing their identities to the Taliban, it only took a day and a half for us to identify the lone planner of the airport bombing. Then we were able to wait for his wife and children to leave the house and kill him and only him using a drone launched from the UAE. That’s mighty impressive.

They have a bridge they would like to sell to you as well.

With the fact that the bombing kinda sucked for the Taliban (and given what happened the last time they didn’t give up a terrorist that attacked the US), the Taliban might have provided some intelligence.

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Oops, now they’re saying 2 dead and another injured. I’m sure they were all three involved in the planning

Highly doubtful. I thought the US and Taliban might work together on this, but the Taliban publicly condemned our drone strike as an attack on their country. This is not a good sign for the Taliban not repeating history of harboring terrorists; we attack their own enemy, yet they still condemn us.

President Biden oversells the value of the Taliban and ISIS being “blood enemies”, at least as far as it plays to our advantage. It’s probably just part of his act.

The condemnation by the Taliban isn’t necessarily a sign that we didn’t work together.

  1. It is literally true, we attacked their country.
  2. They might have given us targets in good faith (mutual enemy) or cynically (an enemy of theirs, but not so much ours)
  3. Any negative impact (like civilian casualties) can be used to stoke anger against the US internally, and continue the US as a bully narrative in the international arena.

Would you really expect them to say “Good Job USA!”?

Our trade-off is: expecting these things, is the threat still worth taking the action?

Maybe not in those exact words, but I’d have expected at minimum silence. We helped them out in their own fight. The Taliban don’t want these terrorist attacks, they want stability and a sense of legitimacy so that they can garner recognition by the international community.

They also want to engender hatred within the Afghan people against the US to bolster themselves and their way of governing.

We occupied their country for 20 years - people probably have had enough time to make up their minds about the US.

But anyways, they were (are?) an oppressive regime, I’m not sure any PR campaign of theirs would work on their population that isn’t sold on their rule. You wouldn’t have had the mad scrambles at the airport if Afghans were welcoming of the Taliban.

I think the mad scrambles at the airport were more people who knew they would be on the Taliban hit list, people who had worked with and for the US and other occupiers, educated women, homosexuals… That probably made up a few hundred thousand along with some who knew they would not be able to live under the Taliban. But the vast majority of the people while they might not be all that welcoming of the Taliban are in a situation where they won’t be overly oppressed by the Taliban.

Meanwhile, President Biden takes out a family of 10 with his Over the Horizen capabilities.