Afghanistan: A Look Back

Regarding Afghanistan, remember that the withdrawal, which Obama wanted to do but was unable to accomplish, was promised and planned by the Trump administration. Trump had mostly completed the withdrawal, and only a few troops were left in Afghanistan. The problem was that everyone (Trump supporters included) overestimated the public support for the Western-supported government, expecting it to be able to maintain security for some time. No-one in the West realized the extent to which the Taliban had infiltrated the government, the Afghan military, and public institutions. They also underestimated how much cultural support there was for the policies of the Taliban, especially among the young males, the backbone of the Afghan military. In theory, we would have had plenty of time to remove military hardware and allow ex-migration of our Afghan supporters if necessary. The sudden – immediate – Taliban takeover was unexpected and completely destroyed our plans and produced the “botched” exit that we all are suffering.

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