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Who Lost Afghanistan?

Twenty years of lying and confusion by U.S. leaders ends in a predictable and bloody farce.

Journalist Craig Whitlock's new book, "The Afghanistan Papers: A Secret History of the War," will help ensure that no one forgets the harm America's civilian and military leaders did, the lies they told, and the war they lost.

Synthesizing more than 1,000 interviews and 10,000 pages of documents, Whitlock provides a stunning study of failure and mendacity, an irrefutable account of the U.S.'s ignoble defeat in the words of those who -- from the battlefield to NATO headquarters in Kabul and from the Pentagon to the White House -- got it so wrong for so long, papered their failures over with falsehoods, and sought to avoid even an ounce of accountability.

"People often ask me, `How long will this last?'" President George W. Bush said on October 11, 2001, a few days after the United States started bombing Afghanistan. "This particular battlefront will last as long as it takes to bring Al Qaeda to justice. It may happen tomorrow, it may happen a month from now, it may take a year or two. But we will prevail."

More than a decade later, the U.S. still hadn't won the war, and an obscure government agency, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, or SIGAR, sought to figure out why. The result was more than 400 "Lessons Learned" interviews conducted with mostly American (but also Afghan and NATO) officials as well as other experts, aid workers, and consultants. Their assessments were candid, often damning, and the government sought to keep them under wraps.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Aug 19th, 2021 at 10:54:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's new.
by Cat on Fri Aug 20th, 2021 at 12:07:46 AM EST
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