world

Former president says U.S. failed in Afghanistan

34 Comments
By KATHY GANNON

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.


34 Comments
Login to comment

The Bush administration failed the Afghans the moment it plucked this corrupt drug abusing paranoid whack job from obscurity and made him president.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Taliban has nothing to gain by backing off. They're aiming for complete control again and unfortunately will succeed. If I were an Afghan, I'd do anything I could to get out now before the onslaught and the dark reign of Taliban2.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Just my view but the US failed in Afghanistan by getting sidetracked in Iraq. The US should have devoted enough troops to Afghanistan to occupy every corner of that country and root out all the terrorists. Second, it should never have allied with any of the many warlords there. They let the US down in Tora Bora by being bought by Osama bin Laden to be allowed to flee when the US Army almost had him cornered. The US should have told the many warlords to disarm now or be destroyed. Last, the US should have eradicated the opium crop and given those farmers a legal crop to grow instead. The US doesn't allow American farmers to grow poppies no matter how much more money it earns that grain. Why turn a blind eye to Afghan farmers.  The US also needed to make better use of the Jordanian forces, especially their female soldiers who were uniquely able to speak directly with Afghan women without upsetting conservative Muslim sensitivities. Even female US soldiers could not speak directly to Afghan women the way the Jordanians could, and the Jordanian Imams didn't teach the violence that local Imams did. They offered Afghans a more tolerant version of Islam to consider that wasn't heard otherwise. Last there needed to be an all hands on deck effort to build and staff schools and medical clinics in every corner of the country and bring fresh water too. The US refused to commit the resources necessary to truly crush the Taliban and show the Afghans there is indeed a better way. Even despite these failures I think the US is going to very much regret walking away from Afghanistan. It will end up harboring another Bin Laden and lead to another terrible tragedy in the US.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Mr. Karzai is a big part of the problems that plague Afghanistan. At critical times he was indecisive and lacked the ability to confront enemies from within. He was too much of a pushover and too willing to blame others for his own shortcomings. I understand why he was chosen. His father was member of Parliament during the regime that preceded the communist regime, became a famous opponent of the Soviet backed regime who was arrested and who lost all of his property to them. His father was later assassinated by the Taliban for his opposition to them which immediately made him leader of their tribe. Hamid Karzai was also well known as a fundraiser for the Mujahideen. But he was ill disposed to be the leader of Afghanistan being moody and reclusive and lacking force when it mattered. He did the nation no favors. He was often an impediment to what NATO tried to achieve there.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Afghanistan failed.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Hindsight is easy. I'll demonstrate:

The US should have sent only special forces and CIA-types into Afghanistan, not a huge military take over.

They should have hunted down the extremists only and left nation building for the Afghans. Doing anything more, regardless of good intentions (or not so good intentions) was not going to work. Any military was going to be an Afghan vs "them" conflict.

The same in Iraq. Selected black ops to take Hussein and get the hell out. Leave a power vacuum and let the Iraqis deal with it as a civil war. Sometimes that is necessary to get a stable govt. They have to choose. I like the idea of what the US tried to make happen with a constitution created by Iraqis, but the anti-American feelings in the region has seen Iran become a friend to Iraq when they were fighting wars just a few decades before.

Anything positive that the US was going to doHindsight is easy. I'll demonstrate:

The US should have sent only special forces and CIA-types into Afghanistan, not a huge military take over.

They should have hunted down the extremists only and left nation building for the Afghans. Doing anything more, regardless of good intentions (or not so good intentions) was not going to work. Any military was going to be an Afghan vs "them" conflict.

The same in Iraq. Selected black ops to take Hussein and get the hell out. Leave a power vacuum and let the Iraqis deal with it as a civil war. Sometimes that is necessary to get a stable govt. They have to choose. I like the idea of what the US tried to make happen with a constitution created by Iraqis, but the anti-American feelings in the region has seen Iran become a friend to Iraq when they were fighting wars just a few decades before.

Anything positive that the US was going to do was going to be destroyed no matter what. Just like the US mission in Moscow that was built with spy devices embedded everywhere, any school or hospital or govt building that the US built was going to be assumed as a spying foothold, so it had to be destroyed - and even better if literate students were inside. Some of the learning materials were heavy in the pro-US propaganda. School books should have been pro-Afgahn and said nothing about the US.

I don't think of Afghans or Iraqis or even Iranian people as enemies today. I feel regret towards the Afghan and Iraqi govts.

As for the Iranian govt, for each attack they support in any other country, a cruise missile should be sent into Iran to hit a military target there. I'd begin with their missile complexes and military equipment building companies.

Hindsight is easy. was going to be destroyed no matter what. Just like the US mission in Moscow that was built with spy devices embedded everywhere, any school or hospital or govt building that the US built was going to be assumed as a spying foothold, so it had to be destroyed - and even better if literate students were inside. Some of the learning materials were heavy in the pro-US propaganda. School books should have been pro-Afgahn and said nothing about the US.

I don't think of Afghans or Iraqis or even Iranian people as enemies today. I feel regret towards the Afghan and Iraqi govts.

As for the Iranian govt, for each attack they support in any other country, a cruise missile should be sent into Iran to hit a military target there. I'd begin with their missile complexes and military equipment building companies.

Hindsight is easy.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Every country that ever wanted to achieve something in Afghanistan had failed.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"it should never have allied with any of the many warlords there."

Really?

Not allying with a warlord was the mistake the US made in the first place after the Soviets left Afghanistan. Ahmed Shah Massoud, the Lion of Panjshir and later on the leader of the Northern Alliance whom WSJ once referred to as the 'Afghan who won the Cold War' was the one warlord who was a staunch ally of the West. However, in the chaotic post-Cold War years he was left out in the cold by the Americans who saw no interest in Afghanistan now that the Cold War had been won and Russia was a shadow of its former self.

Pakistan saw the opportunity in taking control of its neighbor and the ISI trained and armed the Taliban. Till the end of his life Ahmad Shah Massoud remained an enemy of the Taliban but he got no support from the US. He was ultimately assassinated by Al Qaeda 2 days before 9/11 because they saw an imminent invasion of Afghanistan if 9/11 succeeded and they wanted to make sure that there would be no local support for the US once that happens.

US is again turning a blind eye to Afghanistan and leaving out their allies in the cold. There is a reason why people in many parts of the world do not trust the US.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It was obvious right from the start that US will fail!!! Afghanistan is a country that has stayed unchanged by numerous invasions throughout it's history. The same groups stay in power no matter what. US should have studied Afghanistan history before embarking on this pointless waist of lives, both American and Afghan!!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Anyone interested in knowing what the US did wrong in Afghanistan should read 'The Wrong Enemy: America in Afghanistan, 2001–2014' by Carlotta Gall.

The author is no armchair critic. She served as a NYT correspondent and lived in Afghanistan for 12 years. The book also takes a detailed look at how Karzai came back to Afghanistan around the time of the US led invasion.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think one thing we can all agree on, the history there is sad & set to repeat once again............

0 ( +0 / -0 )

GdTokyo

The Bush administration failed the Afghans the moment it plucked this corrupt drug abusing paranoid whack job from obscurity and made him president.

Did you notice that he has not been president for 7 years? How splendidly go things after him?

The whole Afghanistan adventure was misguided from the start. Nothing to do with one particular US administration.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"The graveyard of empires."

Sad to say, but the USA wasn't the first and it won't be the last superpower to enter and leave Afghanistan. The only way to get rid of the Taliban is for the Afghani people to rise up, fight them and throw them out, much like the the Americans did with the British during the American Revolution.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"The only way to get rid of the Taliban is for the Afghani people to rise up, fight them and throw them out"

Thats easier said than done considering that the Taliban gets logistic, military and moral support from the nuclear armed country to its east. Also the Taliban has safe sanctuaries in the said country, and its the same country which is considered an US 'ally' where the Americans have poured in billions of dollars in return for their support in the War on Terror.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Afghanistan has the right to peace.

The US tried to help:

the U.S.'s attempts to bring about a political end to the decades of war have been elusive. It signed a deal with the Taliban in February 2020 to withdraw its troops in exchange for a Taliban promise to denounce terrorist groups and keep Afghanistan from again being a staging arena for attacks on America.

The Islamic terrorist groups here, similar to Hamas and Islamic Terrorist Palestinian Arab factions, cannot keep a promise for peace.

Just last week a brutal assault by the Taliban in northern Faryab province killed 22 of Afghanistan's elite commandos, 

These terrorist attacks in Afghanistan against a nation are eerily similar to Islamic terrorist attacks in Israel.

There is little evidence the Taliban are fulfilling their part of the bargain. The United Nations claims the Taliban and al-Qaida are still linked.

An uncanny parallel to the link between Hamas, the PA, and other Palestinian Arab terrorist factions.

“The desire of the Afghan people, overwhelmingly, all over the country is for peace,”

Same as Israel. Best of luck to both countries. At the same time, it is recognized they have a right to fight terrorism by any means, to reach that peace.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

You can never win a fight against someone who gets support from China and Russia, the traditional opposition to the US. Of course, Russia, as usual, will deny any support and instead raise the topic of "And in America they beat up black people" or similar.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Total waste of lives and money. US and other Western countries have failed almost everywhere that they felt the need to "intervene". Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan. Even the Balkans are still not "fixed".

All the talk of social change in Afghanistan that will be rolled back by the Taliban is silly. The lives of the vast majority of Afghans has changed little under either regime..... Or indeed the Russians before them.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Their "Failure" was not a bad thing!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Afghanistan’s former president said Sunday the United States came to his country to fight extremism and bring stability to his war-tortured nation and is leaving nearly 20 years later having failed at both.

What? America illegally invaded Afghanistan because Cheney’s company Halliburton wanted to have an oil and gas pipeline across the country. Later America discovered loads of rare metal reserves. Ever wondered why so many “contractors” are there?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

He's right. How can you define the US' adventures in Afghanistan as anything but failure?

This is what happens when you ignore one of the greatest sources of international terrorism, Saudi Arabia, and instead try to "remake" a nation that is deeply skeptical of US "assistance" after WE funded the Taliban to fight the Soviets – and then funded the Taliban AGAIN to fight ISIS, an Islamo-fascist organisation that was born from US interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq!

The US must not be the world's policeman. But where action might be taken, it should not be to nation-build in places for ideological reasons.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

There were, in addition to the US, like 40 other countries involved in adventures in Afghanistan.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Commodore Perry

There were, in addition to the US, like 40 other countries involved in adventures in Afghanistan.

Without the US, none of these other militaries would be there.

If you are talking about "involvement" in general, yes absolutely, Saudi Arabia (home of Bin Ladin) and Pakistan (home of the Taliban) were "involved", but countries are "involved" in some way everwhere.

The replacement of the Sowjet military occupation with the Western military occupation was and is unjustifiable.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Express sister

 after WE funded the Taliban to fight the Soviets

Unless by the capital "WE" you mean the Pakistani government, that is factually incorrect. The Taliban were created after the Sovjets left.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

ZaphodToday  02:54 pm JST

Without the US, none of these other militaries would be there.

If you are talking about "involvement" in general, yes absolutely, Saudi Arabia (home of Bin Ladin) and Pakistan (home of the Taliban) were "involved", but countries are "involved" in some way everwhere.

The replacement of the Sowjet military occupation with the Western military occupation was and is unjustifiable.

But the other militaries were there.

Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Germany et al, and NATO were "involved".

1 ( +3 / -2 )

"WE funded the Taliban to fight the Soviets"

No the US funded the mujahideens (not the Taliban) to fight the Soviets along with Pakistan's help. After the Soviets left, there was a power vacuum and these mujahideens turned on each other leading to a civil war.

Since the Cold War was over, the US lost interest in the region and Pakistan saw an opportunity to control their neighbor. Taliban was made up of illiterate Pashtuns radicalized in seminaries and madrassa's in Pakistan funded by Saudis. But the US was guilty of turning a blind eye to the machinations of their allies Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Also guilty of abandoning those mujahideens who were enemies of Taliban and allies of the West. If the US had stood by their Afghan allies after the Cold War 9/11 may never have happened.

This is the same mistake that is being made today.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The Afghanistan War was started by U.S. President George W. Bush as retaliation against the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the twin buildings of World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon building in Washington.

Surprisingly, Bush started another war in Iraq while the war against the Al-Qaeda were still going on in Afghanistan, justifying it by saying initially that Iraq was giving a haven for the Al-Qaeda terrorists and later retelling that Hussein of Iraq was secretly stockpiling weapons of mass destruction.

The Iraq War or the Second Gulf War ended in two months with Bush declaring in a high-profile fashion that "the mission was successively accomplished." In the meanwhile, the war in Afghanistan has been endlessly continuing.

Deaths on the part of the Coalition were 3,562, of which U.S. troops’ deaths accounted for 2,437.

One must never forget, however, that civilian casualties superseded that number 30 times more, accounting for more than 100,000.

President Joe Biden is cleaning up his predecessors' mess, of course. I hope his decision of troop withdrawal from Afghanistan will benefit the Afghan people first and foremost.

By the way, the "America First" policy is not former President Donald Trump's patent at all. U.S. foreign policy had been dictated by that principle long before Trump verbalized it. It may be time for U.S. policy makers to sincerely reflect what the "America First" policy has done to the world, Okinawa in particular, for the past 75 years.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

"America First" policy has done to the world, Okinawa in particular, for the past 75 years.

Actually, America First policy in Okinawa is a result of Japan's central government making such decision.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Not to worry, the American troops aren't going anywhere. Terrorism will continue, even if the US has to manufacture it. The chance of US leaving the poppy fields are zero.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

oiceofokinawa

President Joe Biden is cleaning up his predecessors' mess, of course. I hope his decision of troop withdrawal from Afghanistan will benefit the Afghan people first and foremost.

It seems you forgot that it was Trump who wanted to end the endless Afghanistan mess (and was bashed in the media for it). And that Trump had actually reached a deal to withdraw in May. What Biden did was simply returning to Trumps sensible decision (this time without media criticism) but creating more problems by pushing it to September.

By the way, the "America First" policy is not former President Donald Trump's patent at all. U.S. foreign policy

Actually, "Your own country first" instead of "UN first", "Globalist elite first" or "CCP first" is the policy of every responsible leader. Or should be.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Desert, I agree... Biden and the previous administrations should have at least gotten the Afghani women trained and inspired to fight for themselves. Make sure they get educated, able to run their own government separate from the "men" in control, and know their unassailable rights as human beings and be capable of bringing up their sons and daughters with a better mind set for the future of Afghanistan.

The Taliban and other fundamentalists there would try to suppress it, but hopefully that would encourage them to fight harder.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Every country that ever wanted to achieve something in Afghanistan had failed.

Including Afghanistan.

No military can reasonably fight against a foe that shoots 2 days a week, then tends to their farm the other 5 days and acts completely innocent. No Military is built for that job. Asking them to do a job like that isn't fair. A President who does has a leadership issue, because he isn't listening to military leaders about the true capabilities. Military is good at destroying things and killing people. Always remember that. Even "pinpoint" strikes harm people for 50ft around the target.

In a gorilla war situation, use the CIA/MI-6 and local friendly authorities who can direct covert op teams.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You can never win a fight against someone who gets support from China and Russia,

The Taliban were created, trained and armed by Pakistan's ISI. China and Russia had nothing to do with it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The Taliban and other fundamentalists there would try to suppress it, but hopefully that would encourage them to fight harder.

The one thing that always left me shaking my head about the Afghans was how terribly their official military forces performed. US forces always outfought AQ and the Taliban. The Russians could never penetrate Tora Bora in ten years of fighting. The US Army cleaned Tora Bora out in two weeks. But Afghan government forces seemingly always lose when they fight the Taliban. Disorganized, unmotivated, high desertion rate, they don't maintain equipment, just seemingly no military acumen. Yet the Taliban seem to have their stuff together and even without air support, even drones, manage to outfox and outfight Afghan government forces. All the years of training conducted not just by the US but the other NATO allies too and how to fight and the will to fight hasn't sunk in.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Zaphod (June 21  08:11 pm JST),

Actually, "Your own country first" instead of "UN first", "Globalist elite first" or "CCP first" is the policy of every responsible leader. Or should be.

Trump's "America First" was unique in that he always thought of things in terms of shameless financial profits, not in terms of philosophy. He was/is a real-estate tycoon anyway.

If such thinking was allowed, then 19th colonialism, when the law of the jungle dictated everything, would be highly valued.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites