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20 Years To Build; 10 Days To Fall

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2001-2009: President George W. Bush

Following the events of September 11, 2001, American became focused on destroying the radical Islamic elements that planned the attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.  The chief planner of the attack was Osama bin Laden who had coordinated the attack from AFGHANISTAN - a civil war torn country under the partial control of the fundamentalist muslim Taliban. A military mission was launched that quickly gained control of the major cities (but never the rural areas) of Afghanistan.  However, Osama bin Laden escaped to Pakistan where he hid for almost a decade. Bizarrely, once the US was in control of the country, the Bush Administration actually rebuffed a November 2001 offer by the defeated Taliban government to surrender in exchange for amnesty. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld stated, "The United States in not inclined to negotiate surrenders (by the Taliban)." The US wanted Mullah Omar captured or dead. Instead, the US made the decision to implement a 'Nation Building' program and create a pro-western democratic Government to forever prevent the resurgence of the Taliban and anti-American terrorists. Unfortunately, the US plan failed to account for traditional Afghan culture and history leading to a government that was never truly recognized as Afghani by the average citizen.  Moreover, the ill-advised invasion of Iraq, and the resultant Iraqi insurgency, took the Bush Administrations focus off of Afghanistan allowing the Taliban to regroup and defeat the warlords that had prevented their full control of the country prior to the American invasion.   © 2021 Ned Ander-Thal, World Headline News.

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AFGHANISTAN: 20 Years &

$2,000,000,000,000+ Later

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August 26, 2021   •   Issue 154

Exclusive to the World Headline News

2009-2017: President Barrack Obama

The Obama Administration inherited the dual conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Despite evidence that the strategies in place in both countries were flawed, Obama basically continued the Bush plan. Pouring billions/trillions more money into both countries to 'build modern militaries' and 'modern democracies' despite the lack of the cultural and societal infrastructure necessary for success. Trillions of dollars and thousands of lives were spent on these efforts. One of the key faults of both the governmental and military efforts was the lack of basic education in both countries - though Afghanistan was much worse than Iraq. Modern weapons and western style democracy requires an educated population.  In Afghanistan, the majority of recruits in the new Afghan army could neither read or write. American (and it Allies; e.g., Britain and Canada) troop strength fluctuated up and down during the Obama years - mostly in response to the level of 'insurgency' in either country.  © 2021 Ned Ander-Thal, World Headline News.

2017-2021: President Donald Trump

Trump came to office pledging to withdraw all American troops from overseas (including places like Germany and South Korea!). In an attempt to pull American troops out of Afghanistan in time for the 2020 Presidential election, the Trump Administration negotiated a withdrawal agreement with the Taliban in early 2020. However, the American backed Afghan Government was actively EXCLUDED from these negotiations.  

Under the terms of the Agreement signed in February 2020, the United States would exit Afghanistan within 14 months (i.e., by MAY 2021). In addition, the United States would release 5,000 Taliban prisoners while the Taliban would release 1,000 of its prisoners. In exchange for the withdrawal of US/NATO force, the ONLY obligation on the Taliban was that they had to sign a pledge saying they wouldn't become a safe haven for terrorists. NOTE: TO THIS DAY, the Taliban claimed that Osama bin Laden played NO ROLE in the planning of 9/11. Hence, he would still be allowed in the new Afghanistan...?

Thus, under Trump, the Taliban, were, in essence, recognized by the USA as the presumptive future government of Afghanistan. However, both the Trump and Biden Administrations thought that it would take months for the Taliban to cement control over the whole of Afghanistan - and longer for Kabul. More importantly, the Trump Administration also refused to put in place the infrastructure necessary to process the immigration requests from the Afghan citizens who had helped the US forces over the past 20 years. Simply put, the feeling in the Administration was 'we don't want Afghan muslims in our America!'  © 2021 Ned Ander-Thal, World Headline News.

2021: President Joe Biden

The Enough is Enough Doctrine. Biden came into office committed to fully pulling American troops out of Afghanistan as negotiated by the Trump Administration; though, Biden did delay the Trump May 1, 2021 deadline to August 31, 2021.  Unfortunately, Biden believed the intelligence estimates of both the Trump Administration and his own experts that the American supported Afghani government would be able to hold Kabul, and other major cities, for months. Biden's exit team failed to anticipate (as did the rest of the Western world) the rapid 10 day collapse of the corrupt and self-serving, Afghani government and military.  Furthermore, in the first few months of the Biden Administration, they failed to correct the Trump Administrations 'oversight', and put in place a robust system to process the tens of thousands of Visa requests from the Afghanis who had helped the Americans over the last 20 years. The unexpectedly rapid disintegration (10 Days!) of America's $2,000,000,000,000 Afghani Government and military and the unimpeded Taliban takeover of Kabul, resulted in utter chaos.* Biden's only viable response has been to become a Taxi Driver ferrying tens of thousand of individuals out of the still American held Kabul airport to Qatar (of course, per Trump's plan, that would be as far as most could go, as the majority would not have been allowed into the USA under Trump).

ALL THIS AFTER the Taliban had offered to surrender in November 2001....

America's foray into Afghanistan was never going to end well... except for the Taliban.

© 2021 Ned Ander-Thal, World Headline News.

Almost Washington State (WHN) August 24, 2021. The end of the most recent Conflict in Afghanistan is rapidly coming to a close as the Taliban has consolidated control over the country. The United States and NATO allies (including Canada) are busy attempting to airlift out both their own citizens as well as Afghans who help in the Westerners fight against the Taliban.  Despite more than $2 Trillion US dollars spent on the 'Nation Building' exercise post American invasion of Afghanistan (in response to the September 11, 2001 attack on the USA planned by Osama bin Lade in Afghanistan), the very well equipped Afghan army collapsed in the face of the irregular Taliban forces. Behind the collapse of the Afghan military was a collapse of the US-backed Afghan political system; with many of the country's leader fleeing to foreign safe havens with their wealth. Other leaders were rumored to have taken Taliban bribes in hopes of avoiding execution.

The United States, and its allies, were caught off guard by the rapid success (10 DAYS!) of the Taliban as they had expected the 'expected' Taliban victory to take at least a few months.... But not to worry, internal chaos will soon consume the Taliban rule in "THE RETURN OF THE WARLORDS".

The Same As

BEFORE The

BRITISH,

SOVIETS,

and AMERICANS

See Our Special Section at Bottom of Page

EXCLUSIVE WHN PICTORIAL HISTORY OF AMERICA'S AFGHANISTAN POLICY

2001 - 2021

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UNITED STATES

in Afghanistan

From: Oct. 7, 2001

To:      Sept. 1, 2021


US Coalition Dead: 3,576 (official)

Afghan (US) Dead: >70,000

Taliban Dead: >52,000

Civilian Deaths as estimated at >50,000


Initial invasion followed the September 11, 2001 World Trade Center/Pentagon attack masterminded by Osama bin Laden while based in Afghanistan.  While the initial mission was to kill/capture bin Laden it  morphed into an ill-conceived 'Nation Building' effort to permanently remove the Taliban from governing and install a 'western style' democracy.

SOVIET UNION

in Afghanistan

From: Dec. 24, 1979

To:      Feb. 15, 1989


Soviet Dead: 14,453 (official)

Afghan Dead: >56,000

maybe as high as 150,000-180,000


Soviet troops invaded Afghanistan in support of a 'communist' government previously installed by the Soviets. This was perhaps the most bloody of ALL Afghanistan wars. The cost of this was contributed significantly to the breakup of the Soviet Union.  The USA supported the anti-Soviet mujahideen (including Osama bin Laden) with weapons. In 2001 these fighters fought the USA...

BRITAIN

in Afghanistan

FIRST Anglo-Afghan War

From: 1839 - 1842

British Dead: >5,000 killed +

     >12,000 camp followers

Afghan Dead: >15,000 killed


SECOND Anglo-Afghan War

From: 1878 - 1880

British Dead: 1850 killed +

     >8,000 from disease

Afghan Dead: >5,000 killed


THIRD Anglo-Afghan War

From: May 6-August 8, 1919

British Dead: 236 killed

Afghan Dead: >1,000 killed


These wars were, in large part, a battle between the Russian and the British Empires for control of the potential mineral wealth of Afghanistan and Britain's fear that Russia would invade India through Afghanistan.


Afghanistan  

"THE GRAVEYARD OF EMPIRES"

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*Despite, the Afghan military having over 186,000 active duty personnel, the police forces another 120,000 personal, virtually no resistance to the Taliban (core force of approximately 75,000) was offered.  Most soldiers/police, and more importantly their leadership, melted away as the Taliban began their offensives. Many experts believe that senior military and government officials took Taliban bribes or had had siphoned US funds off to other countries and fled to enjoy their ill gotten gains.  In the great tradition of the Taliban,

"Women and children go second!".

"I damn well hope nobody recognizes me!"

We got'm! May 2, 2011

"I'll even throw in a Golf Course!"

"What could possibly go wrong?"

Afghanistan is composed of multiple ethnolinguistic tribal groups that are constantly at war with one another. The ONLY THING these groups agree on is a united opposition to 'COLONIAL' powers who invade Afghanistan.

The USA was one such 'colonial' power.  The US installed central government was, as a consequence, never viewed as legitimate by the majority of Afghans.

It was never going to end well for the USA...

WHN EXCLUSIVE GROOVY HISTORY QUIZ:

Can you spot the differences between the Afghan warrior of the 19th century and the Taliban fighter of 2021?

© 2021 Ned Ander-Thal, World Headline News

But don't worry, the Pashtuns vs. Tajiks vs. Hazaras vs. Uzbeks wars start soon...