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Afghanistan: The Worst US Failure In Recent Decades

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Afghanistan: The Worst US Failure In Recent Decades

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Kabul begins falling to the Taliban twenty years after the group was expelled.

Written by Paul Antonopoulos, independent geopolitical analyst

Twenty years after former U.S. President George W. Bush launched his “War on Terror,” Afghanistan has become the worst failure of Washington’s foreign policy in recent decades. On August 1, the Taliban controlled no provincial capital in Afghanistan, but in only half a month they now control the historic capital Kandahar (515,000 inhabitants), located in the south of the country; Herat (640,000 inhabitants), a stronghold in the west; Jalalabad (356,000 inhabitants) in the east; and more importantly Kabul (4.4 million inhabitants), the capital of the country.

The capture of these cities was through a lightning campaign by the Taliban, especially rapid when we consider that the Biden Administration pledged to withdraw most of its armed forces from Afghanistan before August 31. It appears that despite the pledge, the Taliban has wasted no time in controlling the overwhelming majority of the country.

U.S. occupation began as a campaign of supposed revenge against the perpetrators of the 9/11 terrorist attack, but it has now descended into utter chaos and failure for the U.S., especially if we consider that over 3,562 Coalition lives (2,420 Americans) have been taken because of the war. What began as a war to destroy Al-Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan and remove from power those that supported them, saw the U.S. only a decade later rely on those very same ideologues to try and remove Bashar al-Assad from power in Syria after having Muammar Gaddafi slaughtered in Libya.

The Watson Institution at Brown University found that the estimated amount of direct Afghanistan and Iraq war costs that the U.S. has debt-financed as of 2020, totals to about $2 trillion. It is estimated that the interest costs by 2050 can amount up to $6.5 trillion. With over 200,000 people killed in the course of twenty years, and trillions spent in Afghanistan, it brings to question why the U.S. government for years held secret and official talks with the Taliban without the presence of the official government of Afghanistan, which was supposedly an ally of the U.S.

According to Dr. Emad Abshna, it is clear that the Americans had made agreements with the Taliban behind the scenes and only needed to withdraw their troops to avoid the chaos. Former Afghan Ambassador to Greece and former Minister of Culture, Omar Sultan, said: “I believe the U.S. made an agreement with the Taliban in the absence of the Afghan government. An agreement that no one knows the details of, otherwise this would not happen.”

It is widely believed that the U.S. made a deal with the Taliban. Although only speculative for now, it is not a long stretch to imagine that such a deal would have included the immensely profitable opioid industry in Afghanistan, something that the CIA profited from immensely and is unlikely to willingly give up so easily. However, the murkier aspects of the deal will likely be glossed over by critics if the Biden administration can convince the Taliban to allow extra freedoms for people that they did not allow during their previous stint in power. In this way, it can appear that Biden has secured some societal progress in Afghanistan to justify why now was the right time to withdraw from the country.

It is likely that George W. Bush, who was president during the height of the U.S. unipolar world order, anticipated an easy takeover of Afghanistan to force open an entryway into resource rich Central Asia. This was at a time when Russia was still recovering from the chaos of the 1990’s and China was not as economically developed and competitive.

The decision to invade Afghanistan would prove to be one of the biggest failures of the U.S. in many decades as it not only wasted trillions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of lives, but also because it failed to gain a foothold into Central Asia. In the twenty years since the occupation began, not only has Russia stabilized since the collapse of European communism and rejuvenated its military, but China is now the largest economic threat to the U.S.’ stranglehold on the global economy. Both Russia and China are in prime position to exploit the resources of Central Asia, a region the U.S. is effectively locked out of now.

In this way, the U.S. is cynically and rapidly withdrawing from Afghanistan knowing full well that nothing was achieved in terms of geopolitics. Washington likely hopes that by withdrawing in such a manner, the Taliban and other jihadist groups will fight each other to fill the vacuum, and thus destabilize the entire region. However, even this could prove to be a failure if the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan can be contained within its borders and if Russia and China similarly make a deal with the Taliban, just like the U.S. has likely done in secret.


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Merciful Taliban

Copy & Paste from a translation posted earlier:

Can somebody tell me why the Taliban have decided to be merciful to the fleeing enemy (and the traitors) of Afghanistan – the same enemy (and traitors) who have caused the death of millions Afghans and set the country back 50 years in development and infrastructure?

Can somebody tell me why the Taliban are allowing 1000’s of American and British troops to fly back into Kabul and attempt to create a new “Green Zone” and foot hold at Kabul airport and linked to the Pakistan supply road?

Can somebody tell me why the Taliban is not following centuries old military doctrine (and proven best practice) of pursuing and totally destroying a routed enemy (so as not to give them an opportunity to regroup and prepare counter attack)?

Can somebody tell me why the Taliban is not viewing the concentration of enemy forces at the airport as a target rich environment – an opportunity to dispose of the rotten fish trapped in a barrel (barrages of indirect grad rockets, mortar, and even rpg would be devastating and stop 1000’s more troops being flown in)?

Can somebody tell me who / what is holding the Taliban back from this ‘once in a war’ military opportunity to absolutely massacre a routed enemy and put into the history books the destruction of them? The whole lot of British and American forces must be very vulnerable.

Can somebody tell me why the Taliban appear to have left escape roads unblocked and the runway intact when RPG units and IEDs (plus suicide truckers) could shut the whole area down?

Can someone tell me why the Taliban have not nutralised at the very least the fuel and ammo for the British and American attack helicopters being used for crowd control – if not the helicopters themselves when running civillians off the airfields.

One thing I dont need anyone to tell me is that you can bet your life that if the situation were reveresed and the Taliban were concentrated and in disaray at the airport the Americans and British would bomb the absolute hell out of them, likely through “spooky” c130 gunships and B52 carpet bombing – in addition to cruise missile strikes. They would not care a dot about civilian casualties – they would put down the massive loss of life to fleeing civillians to “Collateral Damage” – as they have for the last 20 years in countless cowardly attacks.

The US and British troops, and the media, should be praising the Taliban at this point for thier mercy by not destroying the lot of them – as they would be allowed and justified to do under the rules of war as established over millenia.

The US and British should be counting thier blessing that they are being allowed to flee. I very much doubt the US and British would have been so merciful had the shoe been on the other foot.

Ma Laoshi

Well word on the street is that the Dark Throne is paying the Taliban to allow their orcs to flee unscathed, and paying them very well. Not only does this pass Occam’s Razor test as the simplest, most plausible explanation; also, there’s ample precedent of the yanks having to pay the Taliban protection money to let their supply convoys pass. If this is the fastest way to get large numbers of their enemies out out out of their country, what’s not to like from aTalib perspective? You refer to “centuries old military doctrine”, but that old wisdom misses that nowadays you can conclusively humiliate your enemy via social media, as is now happening in real time.

The notion that the Kabul puppets were governing Afghanistan in any meaningful sense was always a Potemkin construct, mostly for Western domestic consumption. The Americans were mostly content to “have a presence”, as the Pentagon openly calls it, and let the money and opium flow. In all fairness, with Western troops present they had easily enough strength to maintain a stalemate; with those troops finally withdrawn–not so much.

But you’re right, one assumes that the Taliban are smart enough to have ample firepower trained on that airport. The remaining orcs are effectively Taliban hostages, and they know it; just a little insurance against any last-minute funny business from the American “visitors”.

Last edited 1 month ago by Ma Laoshi
Ma Laoshi

One might add: do as you say, and Biden will be forced politically to carpet-bomb … something … in Talibanistan. Yes the Talibs have proven to be smart, tough fighters, but they’re not all-powerful and the US very much retains said capability. Again, referring to Napoleon’s time etc misses what an air force can do.

The USA had interests in Afghanistan–but no vital interests. So with the proper motivation, they can be persuaded to pack their bags. These things always end with some sort of messy deal.

Last edited 1 month ago by Ma Laoshi

Most probable answer to any of above: hyper-secret negotiations and hard cash payoffs.


1) the Taliban have.
2) There was no failure. The US achieved precisely what they wanted. They turned Afghanistan into a ruined country, run by a radical faction which is friends to no-one in the region. The money they paid was paid by the US tax-payer, it has largely gone into the coffers of super-wealthy corporations and banks. The fianncial-technological-military-industrial complex.
3) Yes, of course, it’s a catastrophe. But that’s what the US (and UK…) empire is. Precisely.

Last edited 1 month ago by Dave
Raptar Driver

Don’t forget access to an abundance of rare earth minerals.


The leaders of the US Defense Industrial Complex view the entire Afghan conflict as a 100% successful mission. This based on the Profits they have gained over the last 20 years.

Last edited 1 month ago by gfy

Everything the US Neo-Cons ever claimed was crap. Their PNAC manifesto was crap, and their claims that US brute force would always prevail in their favor was crap. It has taken twenty years and complete humiliation in Afghanistan for the US MSM to effectively publish this truth. But the sociopath Neo-Cons will never be accountable for their actions, and their proxy wars against Libya and Syria still stagger on a decade later.

Last edited 1 month ago by PlanetWaves

On cue, a try-hard Neo-Con apologist appears!
But, alas, lacking any credibility or coherence.
A truly sad case.

Tommy Jensen

As American I am interested in what happens to our global opium business? Hopefully our boys secured a public private partnership with Taliban before we left. 70% to us and 30% to Taliban.

If they dont get it, we will be back in a show of force never seen before in history. As we financed and build the business they now take over………but they only do it on our conditions!!

Last edited 1 month ago by Tommy Jensen
Alberto Bohon.

Ahmad Shah Massoud’s son, Ahmad Massoud calls for the fight against the Taliban from the Panshir region of Afghanistan, I hope their futile resistance will be failed and destroyed. let the Taliban’s enemies fall to the ground all of them.

giorgio guido novi

destabilised chine and russia? mdr ! chronicer american stupid! total defaite american!


This idea of a “secret deal” to let the Taliban take over would make sense but for the fact that the Taliban got to Kabul even before the Amerikastanis withdrew and created an even more visible debacle for Amerikastan than Saigon.

L du Plessis

The US Gov itself is a moral failure, nevermind its foreign policy failur, what a waist of a God given country.

Alberto Bohon.

former vice president Amrullah Saleh declares himself interim president of Afghanistan and promises to resist the Taliban, I hope the Taliban capture Amrullah Saleh and arrest

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