I know we have big issues in the news. Treaty with Chine, Impeachment and all, but really, the Afghanistan inspector general's report on the lack of truth, the classifying of bad news should be headlines. And should make all politicians thrown under jail. Lives lost, wasted money and the use of military forces without mission so politicians can make false claims of success.
Thanks for posting that. People need to know it and understand the info in the article.
The facts alleged are for me are not new but a sad concurrence of what I already knew.
A couple of things about the whole mess: IMO government and its representatives along with the country’s most senior military leaders lie and or misrepresent all the time, and not just about Afghanistan. It has always been so.
Below from the linked article(s) are some Q&A by the author, Craig Whitlock. I’ve added my comments in brackets with blue bold text.
Why are these revelations being viewed as a massive shock? SIGAR has been providing quarterly reports to members of Congress ever since its inception.
It’s true that SIGAR has published many audits and reports pointing out fraud and waste. I think what makes The Afghanistan Papers different is that you have people who were directly involved in the war talking honestly, bluntly and unsparingly about the war’s failures — in direct contrast to what our leaders were saying in public.
[To anyone paying attention since 2002 forward none of the relevant content concept stuff is new or secret. We clearly should have been out of Afghanistan by sometime in 2002. There was also THEN no need to negotiate with the Taliban. They were not in power or a force.]
From the investigation, did at any point a feasible plan to exit Afghanistan come even close to being executed?
Yes. There are several interviews in which senior U.S. officials said there was a realistic opportunity to cut a peace deal with the Taliban in 2002 or 2003, when they were at their weakest. Among those who said this was Zalmay Khalilzad, the former U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan. Ironically, he is now the Trump administration’s lead negotiator with the Taliban.
[Per my comments above there was no need to negotiate or cut a deal with an entity that at the time was not a relevant entity regarding whether we should withdraw or stay. Besides, even if one thinks the Taliban were relevant there was no point in making a deal with them as they and their sponsor, Pakistan, would not have honored any agreement once we were gone.]
What would happen if the United States removed all military from Afghanistan?
That’s the question of the moment. Is the Afghan military capable of holding off the Taliban by itself? (Many U.S. officials are dubious.) Will the Afghan government collapse? After the Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan, their puppet government actually held on for a while — and then the country plunged into an awful civil war that further devastated the country.
[The Afghan military absolutely is incapable of holding off the Taliban if the Taliban and Pakistan want them back in power. Nothing will change that for the future either. So, in essence the issue or question is moot and irrelevant.]
Additional comments by me:
Three things in particular about the situation are egregious and obvious:
1. The press or media have been shockingly irresponsible in reporting the war in Afghanistan to the point of essentially for nearly a decade functionally substantively not reporting on it at all. The “new” reporting by Whitlock is a shocking example of that.
2. The US public have been derelict with their responsibility to hold themselves, the government, and the media accountable about what to do and what to report about the war. We have been at war there for 19 years and in the big picture the country as a collective doesn’t care about the war and its cost to us or the peoples of Afghanistan.
3. The reasons for our complete withdraw from Afghanistan now outweigh the need for our presence by something along the weight of 100 to 1, and I’m not exaggerating or trying to be glib.