The Afghanistan Papers are hundreds of interviews, notes and transcripts of interviews, that the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan had conducted with key officials who played important roles in the war over 20 years. These were documents that were not made public, until The Washington Post had to sue the government to obtain them under the Freedom of Information Act. It took us three years to obtain these documents. But what they show is as you stated earlier. The public narrative was that the U.S. was always making progress. All these presidents said we were going to win the war, and yet, in private, these officials were extremely pessimistic. They said they didn’t have a campaign plan, they didn’t have a strategy, they didn’t understand Afghanistan and thought the war was unwinnable.
I was surprised that it happened so quickly. That said, I think it was pretty obvious that the Afghan government really didn’t have any popular support, or very little. It’s certainly been well documented that the Afghan security forces, the army and the paramilitary police, had real problems, that the U.S. government had tried — had spent more than $85 billion to train and equip this force, and yet it was barely functioning at the end.
— source democracynow.org | Aug 19, 2021
As the United States continues to withdraw its forces from Afghanistan after 20 years of war and occupation, the Taliban say they now control most Afghan territory, surrounding major population centers and holding more than two-thirds of Afghanistan’s border with Tajikistan. Former President George W. Bush made a rare criticism of U.S. policy, saying, “I’m afraid Afghan women and girls are going to suffer unspeakable harm.” But a leading Afghan women’s rights activist says the plight of women in the country has always served as a “very good excuse” for U.S. military goals, while conditions in the country have barely improved. “Unfortunately, they pushed us from the frying pan into the fire as they replaced the barbaric regime of the Taliban with the misogynist warlords,” says Malalai Joya, who in 2005 became the youngest person ever elected to the Afghan Parliament. She says the decades of U.S. occupation have accomplished little for the people of Afghanistan. “No nation can donate liberation to another nation,” she says.
— source democracynow.org | Jul 15, 2021
At Bagram air-base, Afghan scrap merchants are already picking through the graveyard of U.S. military equipment that was until recently the headquarters of America’s 20-year occupation of their country. Afghan officials say the last U.S. forces slipped away from Bagram in the dead of night, without notice or coordination.
The Taliban are rapidly expanding their control over hundreds of districts, usually through negotiations between local elders, but also by force when troops loyal to the Kabul government refuse to give up their outposts and weapons.
A few weeks ago, the Taliban controlled a quarter of the country. Now it’s a third. They are taking control of border posts and large swathes of territory in the north of the country. These include areas that were once strongholds of the Northern Alliance, a militia that prevented the Taliban from unifying the country under their rule in the late 1990s.
People of good will all over the world hope for a peaceful future for the people of Afghanistan, but the only legitimate role the United States can play there now is to pay reparations, in whatever form, for the damage it has done and the pain and deaths it has caused. Speculation in the U.S. political class and corporate media about how the U.S.
— source nakedcapitalism.com | Medea Benjamin | Jul 13, 2021
Truth Behind The Empire’s Defeat
There is no victory in Afghanistan’s tribal war, only the exchange of one group of killers for another. The difference is that President Bush calls the latest occupiers of Kabul “our friends”.
However welcome the scenes of people playing music and shaving off their beards, this so-called Northern Alliance are no bringers of freedom. They are the same people welcomed by similar scenes of jubilation in 1992, who then killed an estimated 50,000 in four years of internecine feuding.
The new heroes so far have tortured and executed at least 100 prisoners of war, and countless others, as well as looted food supplies and re-established their monopoly on the heroin trade.
This week, Amnesty International made an unusually blunt statement that was buried in the news. It ought to be emblazoned across every front page and television
— source johnpilger.com | john pilger | 16 Nov 2001
The Biden administration has unveiled plans to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan by September 11, the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. The War in Afghanistan has killed more than 100,000 Afghan civilians and over 2,300 U.S. servicemembers and has cost the U.S. trillions of dollars. The announcement comes just a week before the scheduled start of a new round of peace talks in Istanbul between the Taliban and the U.S.-backed Afghan government, but the Taliban said it would boycott the talks because Biden is going back on a deal made by President Trump to have all U.S. troops out by May 1. Afghan American scholar Zaher Wahab says withdrawing is the right decision. “The United States and its allies should never have attacked and occupied Afghanistan,” Wahab says. “It was wrong. It was illegal. And I think it was immoral.”
for the last 20 years, I have spent more than half of my time in Afghanistan. I have almost gone there every year and spent the last seven years there full-time. We must know that this invasion and occupation and the bloodshed have destroyed the country, its economy, its institutions, its infrastructure, its education, its way of life, relationships among the different ethnic groups. This occupation has been nothing short of a catastrophe.
And this is why I say, you know, there are three dimensions to the war. There’s the domestic dimension, the regional dimension and the global dimension. And we also should point out that many, many reports, by credible institutions and individuals, like SIGAR, The Washington Post and also the Afghanistan Analysts Network, have repeatedly demonstrated and documented that the ruling elite in Washington have been lying about the war, and so have the Afghan clique, whoever was in power. So, the war was wrong, to begin with. And, of course, an enormous amount of money and blood has been invested. And here we are, 20 years later, admitting to the world that this was a mistake and was a failure and it’s time to leave.
— source democracynow.org | 2021/4/14