As Afghanistan crumbles, lament for “repeating the same mistakes”


Two decades after invading Afghanistan, the United States is retreating, leaving chaos in its wake and the country as it found it 20 years ago. “The Taliban not only control Kabul, but the whole country. How did a war that began in response to the 9/11 attacks become the longest in American history? “If someone had told me in 2001 that we would be here for another 20 years, I wouldn’t have believed them. And what lessons can we draw from this for the future? “We did the same thing year after year, hoping for a different result. “Nearly 2,400 Americans have died in Afghanistan.” “More than 43,000 Afghan civilians have lost their lives. “We cannot remake a country on the American image. You cannot win if you are fighting people who are fighting for their own villages and their own territory. These are lessons we thought we had learned in Vietnam. And yet, 30, 40 years later, we find ourselves in Afghanistan repeating the same mistakes. On the morning of September 11, 2001, President George W. Bush was visiting an elementary school in Sarasota, Florida, when he learned of an attack on the World Trade Center in New York. “We’re looking at a live image of the, of the building right now. And, uh, what would you say? Would it be around the 90th floor? The president joined his team in an empty classroom, where his CIA intelligence adviser, Michael Morell, had observed the unfolding of the attack. “There was a television there and the second plane hit.” “Oh my God.” “Oh my God.” “There is another one. ” “Oh.” “Oh my God, there is another one.” “God.” “And when that happened, I knew it was an act of terrorism.” At the Capitol in Washington, Representative Barbara Lee’s meeting was interrupted. “I heard a lot of noise saying, ‘Evacuate. Let. Get out of here. Run fast.’ So I ran to Independence Avenue. Turning around, I could see a lot of smoke. “Another plane, incredibly, crashed into the Pentagon.” “What you need to understand is that this is the biggest attack in the history of the country.” At 9:59 a.m., the second World Trade Center tower to be hit collapsed. Twenty-nine minutes later, the other round followed. “The president, he asked to see me in his office on Air Force One. The president looked me in the eye and said, “Michael, who did that? I told the president that I would bet on the future of my children that Al Qaeda was responsible for this attack. Within hours, evidence surfaced that Al Qaeda, a multinational terrorist organization led by Islamic fundamentalist Osama bin Laden, had carried out the attacks. The group was given refuge in Afghanistan by the Taliban regime. “The president’s inclination was to hit back and hit back hard.” “I can hear you. The rest of the world hears you. And the people…” “So the president decided to go to war.” “- And the people who destroyed these buildings will hear us all soon.” “ We had to go to Afghanistan. There is no doubt in our minds this is a war of necessity. We had to pursue Al Qaeda, we had to kill them, we had to bring them out and we had to pursue them until at the end of the world. “The word in the streets was that everyone should be united with the president. You know, the country is in mourning. Three days after the attacks, Lee was under pressure to vote yes on a congressional resolution allowing the war against Al-Qaeda and its allies when she heard a eulogy at a memorial service. “May we not become the evil we deplore by taking action.” “That is when that I said: we need to think about our military response, our response to national security and the possible impact on r civilians. “Sir. Mr. President, dear colleagues, I rise today to speak with a very heavy heart. One that is filled with sorrow for the families and loved ones who have been killed and injured this week. Yet I am convinced that military action will not prevent further acts of international terrorism against the United States. “” I returned to the office and all hell broke loose. “” The only dissenting voice was Democrat Barbara Lee of California, which voted no. “” Phone calls, threats. People called me a traitor. She has to go. But I knew then that would set the stage for perpetual war. A few weeks after 9/11, the United States United retaliated in Afghanistan. “The US military launched strikes against Al Qaeda terrorist training camps and Taliban regime military installations.” Shortly after, US ground troops arrived in the country . ” The invasion was a success very quickly. “” At the gates of Kabul, the news of a collapse of the Taliban had already reached thousands of people. “The Taliban retreat has turned into a rout.” “By the end of the year, the Taliban had been driven from power. Large numbers of Al Qaeda operatives have been killed or captured. And although Osama Bin Laden managed to escape, the United States achieved its main objective. “Al-Qaeda could no longer operate from Afghanistan. President Bush knew there was a history of failed military campaigns in Afghanistan. “We know that not only from the intelligence, but also from the history of the military conflict in Afghanistan. It was one of the first successes followed by long years of failure and ultimate failure. We are not going to repeat this mistake. [Applause] But after his initial success, Bush extended his mission to nation building. To prevent further al Qaeda attacks, his administration has said it wants to turn this poor, war-torn country into a stable democracy, with a strong central government and a US-trained army. “The idea was that it would be impossible for the Taliban to return to power and impossible for Afghanistan to be used as a safe haven again.” “There were girls starting to go to school, there were clinics and hospitals being created, there were vaccinations, there were elections scheduled. Everything was buzzing and we all thought, OK, everything will be fine. But in the mid-2000s, after the Bush administration extended the war on terror to Iraq, Richard Boucher realized that the US-backed Afghan government was rife with corruption and to mismanagement. “I used to say to my guys in the Afghan office, ‘If we win, how come we don’t look like we win? “” The Taliban staged a comeback, taking control of large swathes of the country. “” The people weren’t rejecting the Taliban. And that was, in the end, because the government couldn’t do it. a lot for the people. Everybody had this idea in mind that government works the way it does in Washington. But Afghanistan hasn’t worked that way in the past. I think that was a while ago. where we should at least have wondered if it wasn’t really the time for us to go and say to the Afghans: “This is your place, you run it as best you can.” 2011, the successor to the president Bush, Barack Obama, sent nearly 50,000 additional troops to Afghanistan, hoping to reverse the Taliban’s gains. “I think one of the biggest mistakes we made strategically, after 9/11, was not to finish the job here, to focus our attention here. We have been distracted by Iraq. One of those troops was Captain (N) Timothy Kudo. Part of his job was to build support for the government by digging wells and building schools. He quickly lost confidence in this mission after, he says, his company killed two Afghan teenagers they mistakenly believed to be shooting at them. “And their family saw it happen. Mothers, grandmothers, they went out. It was the first time that I had seen an Afghan woman without a burqa. They sobbed and cried uncontrollably. I mean, how can you kill two innocent people and expect everything you say to matter at this point? “” People here no longer trust the American forces. More Afghans now blame the violence here on the United States than on the Taliban. A few weeks after Kudo returned from Afghanistan, there was a monumental development. “I started getting all these texts, like ‘You have to watch TV.’ My roommate calls me from the other room. “Turn on CNN. “” The United States carried out an operation which killed Osama Bin Laden, the leader of Al Qaeda. “UNITED STATES! UNITED STATES!” “At that point, people are celebrating outside the White House. They celebrate by Ground Zero. “This is where it happened. We are back. It is justice! “And in my opinion, there is no more reason to go through this madness. And, of course, we then did it for another decade. “” I think the military and the national security apparatus thought they could win. And I think they also wanted to believe it because they had invested so much. People had died and they didn’t want them to die in vain. “2011, Bin Laden is now dead. Why was it so difficult to defuse? Jeffrey Eggers was a member of President Obama’s National Security Council. He said the goal since September 11, to ensure that Afghanistan would never again be a haven for terrorists, had become a recipe for endless war. “We will forever prevent the conditions that led to such an attack.” “Danger near! ” [Gunfire] “And if you define it that way, when are you done?” ” [Gunfire] “Go! Go, go, go! Although the push failed to repel the Taliban, the United States downsized even as doubts grew about the ability of Afghan forces to defend the country. 2021, President Biden, the fourth president to preside over the war, announced that he would withdraw US troops, a plan implemented by his predecessor, Donald Trump. “No one should have doubts. We lost the war in Afghanistan. “And are we ready to cross?” “It was not a peace agreement; it was a withdrawal agreement. The agreement was basically, as we pull out, don’t attack us. -United leaves Afghanistan, the Taliban regain the upper hand, having quickly invaded the Afghan army, which the United States has spent more than 80 billion dollars to train and equip. “The Taliban came out in force. And their regime came out in force. Islamist is already coming back. “They can ent use it as a recruiting tool. They are now the champions of the jihadist movement because they drove the United States out. And American officials reflect on the start of the war, 20 years after September 11. “More people should have thought of an endless war, not just in Congress but in the State Department, the Defense Department, the CIA and elsewhere in the White House. That the recipe for using military means to tackle terrorism would simply drag us into one fight after another. One can only hope that Americans of the new generation will think about it. “


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