Books Magazine

“We Were Devoid of a Fundamental Understanding of Afghanistan"

Posted on the 10 December 2019 by Cathy Leaves @cathyleaves

"The interviews, through an extensive array of voices, bring into sharp relief the core failings of the war that persist to this day. They underscore how three presidents - George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump - and their military commanders have been unable to deliver on their promises to prevail in Afghanistan.

With most speaking on the assumption that their remarks would not become public, U.S. officials acknowledged that their warfighting strategies were fatally flawed and that Washington wasted enormous sums of money trying to remake Afghanistan into a modern nation.

The documents also contradict a long chorus of public statements from U.S. presidents, military commanders and diplomats who assured Americans year after year that they were making progress in Afghanistan and the war was worth fighting.

Several of those interviewed described explicit and sustained efforts by the U.S. government to deliberately mislead the public. They said it was common at military headquarters in Kabul - and at the White House - to distort statistics to make it appear the United States was winning the war when that was not the case."

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