The Entirely Predictable Failure of the West’s Mission in Afghanistan

In early July, I met with a leading Taliban military commander. I asked when his fighters would arrive in Kabul. His answer: "They are already there." How the Afghanistan mission failed and what happens next.


Christoph Reuter

Der Spiegel: In early July, before the great storm broke over Afghanistan, Kabul was already surrounded by the Taliban. And nowhere were the Islamist fighters closer to the Afghan capital city than on the shores of the Qargha Reservoir, a popular getaway on the western edge of the city. People were saying that the Taliban had gathered in the villages behind the nearby hills. The last frontline, it was said, was on the shore of the reservoir at the amusement park.

During the day, families were still taking their children to the rides and the restaurants or going out on the water in swan-shaped paddle boats. A small, six-member special forces unit even enjoyed a picnic in a wooden pavilion on the shore. One of them had to stand guard at the gun turret of their armored Humvee as the rest smoked hookahs and drank colorful sodas.

The next day, I met one of the Taliban’s leading military commanders for Kabul, who received me in the middle of the city in an unremarkable office building. When asked how far the Taliban had to walk to get to the lakeshore, he responded: “Not far at all.” He seemed perfectly calm, a clean-shaven emissary of fear. “They’re already there, after all. They are the security guards at the restaurants, the ride operators, the cleaning staff. When the time is right, the place will be full of Taliban.”  Read more…


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  1. Another US venture, another failure. Now let’s wait for the next on in Syria then Iraq .. Lebanon.. Yemen.. then finally Iran. Does anyone have a bit of sense .. in Pentagon? Get out while there is some pride left!

  2. The best defense, is to guide the occupying forces. That is most certainly what I would do.
    It works, and the budget is “holy cow” !! I think we can get them to pay us !!

    I’m pretty sure Afghanistan was never on our top ten lists of “threat”. but they got stuff.
    Trump may have been right about fake media. But he never leveled with you on even half of what he knew or wanted. The neocons and neoliberals own this. What a nasty list of business they have been doing. Holy cow !!! They paid the opposition !!! Excuse me, can I get the number to the DNI ?

    • Nothing about this crazy war was above board, David. From the phony pretext for the initial invasion to the way it has been prosecuted for the past 20 years, it was always going to be a war of aggression. It was always going to be a brutal war on a civilian population. It was always going to be a war we would never “win” in any real sense of the word. Now that Biden has pulled the plug on it, let the finger pointing and recriminations begin. Everyone involved with it is a war criminal including every president since 2001.