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Failure in Afghanistan

In October 2001, President Bush rejected an offer from Afghanistan’s ruling Taliban to turn over Osama bin Laden to a neutral third country for trial if the U.S. would halt the bombing.

As the bombing continued it was absolutely clear that military force, not diplomacy, was the focus of U.S. strategy against the Taliban regime.

Thus started the twenty years war in Afghanistan, with the U.S. spending an incredible total of $2.26 trillion. In the September, 2016 Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) Lessons Learned Report, Ambassador (Ryan) Crocker said: “ The ultimate point of failure for efforts wasn’t an insurgency. It was the weight of endemic corruption.”

Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the co-founder of the Taliban, was released from a Pakistan prison at the request of the Trump administration as it started negotiations with the militant group in Doha, Qatar. President Trump ordered a drawdown of U.S. military to 2,500 in Afghanistan by January 15, 2020. The February 2020 peace agreement signed exclusively between the Trump administration and the Taliban pushed the Afghan government to release 5,000 prisoners. That totally destroyed the morale of the Afghan army. I suspect that the released prisoners played key pivotal roles in the Taliban’s swift takeover of the country.

The United States joins Britain and Russia with failed military campaigns in Afghanistan. Read the “Afghanistan Papers” by Craig Whitlock to understand what a total debacle it was for the U.S.

Mike McCarty


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