Documents show officials misled Americans about war in Afghanistan



The big story at this hour however is the release of the so called Afghanistan paper so this is supposed to parallel the release of the of the Pentagon papers back during the Vietnam War that showed that the American government was having trouble in Vietnam a new is having trouble in Vietnam and then revealed to the American people that was having trouble in Vietnam and now you have released a similar papers with regard to the bush administration Obama administration and trump administration with regard to Afghanistan Craig what lock writing in The Washington Post at war with the truth US officials constantly said they're making progress they were not and they knew it a confidential trouble government documents obtained by The Washington Post reveals that senior US officials failed to tell the truth about the war in Afghanistan throughout the eighteen year campaign making Rosie pronouncements they knew to be false and hiding unmistakable evidence that the war had become unwinnable well the biggest problem with the Afghanistan war is that it was nearly impossible to determine what winning look like because winning in the end really look like stopping another nine eleven that's what that's what the war in Afghanistan was fought for remember was only launched in the aftermath of nine eleven when mullah Omar who's the head of the Taliban refused to turn over Osama bin laden and United States went in and we destroyed the Taliban and ever since it's been a bastion of tribal warfare presided over by a series of corruption ridden governments with the help of the United States attempting to tamp down have local terrorist insurgencies that's been the situation Afghanistan for a very long time and I think that tell understand Afghanistan like understanding rock we we sort of have to understand less less on Iraq and Afghanistan Afghanistan is incredibly travel place so rock is like less trouble they actually had a functioning central government even that was in a horrible dictatorship is a functioning central government in Iraq for for a long time that was not true in Afghanistan and so the prospect of something more closely resembling a national government Iraq the makings were there the makings just were not there in Afghanistan in the first place but to understand what's happening in Afghanistan what has happened yes I understand that American foreign policy basically since the Gulf War and certainly since the Cold War has been a series of attempts to muddle through it's very rare in modern political history for there to be a clear objective in a war so in the original Kuwait war the clear objective was Pushin I'm missing out of Kuwait that was done the war is over when it came to the Cold War the the war was designed to contain the Soviets push that a particular areas but in wars we didn't have a great definition of what it was that we wanted to accomplish the Vietnam War where we were not allowed to just go in and destroy the Viet Cong wholesale in North Vietnam it became very difficult to win a victory because the end goal was not clear the same thing was true in the Korean War which ended up basically being a stalemate the re establishment of the parallel that allowed for the creation of South Korea there is there is there is arguments over whether the war should have been about the liberation of all of Korean whether that would necessitated a full on war with China shortly after the war that we just fought in World War two one Afghanistan very often so much of American policy because it's not just a battle with state sponsored soldiers becomes a matter of modeling to remember we defeated the state government of Afghanistan in three weeks can military took out mullah Omar in the Taliban inside of three weeks the problem was there was nobody to clean up the mess and every time to clean up the mess has failed so there are certain theorist Angela Clodia comes to mind from Claremont institute he suggested that basically once we deposed mullah Omar our job that was done we should just come home and maybe there's truth to that maybe should have when we basically did try to install strong man and how many cars I who's going to preside over some sort of liberalization but also a centralized government the problem was there was no pre existing centralized government mullah Omar the Taliban that is a radical government there wasn't a government that really had control over all the tribes in Afghanistan the first place so when it comes to a series of interior papers saying we don't know what we're doing over there it seems like that was fairly obvious from the beginning of all the talk about the American people being lied to in Afghanistan it's been pretty clear to everybody since about three weeks in this whole thing has been a series of questions about modeling broke and if you listen to general David Petraeus was in charge over there for several years the train says it's not as though we have much choice this is why Barack Obama came into office on the pledge that he was gonna get out of get out of Afghanistan and didn't that's why I don't trust him and often the pledge is gonna get out of Afghanistan and didn't is why every candidate who says they will get out of Afghanistan and I probably will not why because if you do get out of Afghanistan you do risk the rise of terror groups like al Qaeda again in Afghanistan because again with the original goal lest we forget was not to make Afghanistan a better place to make it a a land of wine and roses United States have you tried that back in the nineteen fifties to a certain degree of success before abandoning the effort but that was never the original color the original goal here was to stop nine eleven from happening again that did happen but has it caused an enormous amount of American blood and treasure absolutely absolutely in the best you can hope for over there is a certain baseline level of security so I these papers supposed to dramatically we shift our thinking about Afghanistan nobody even knows a victory looks like over there no president has even suggested what victory looks like over there so the attempt to compare this to Vietnam where victory was very much a possibility all the United States had to do by nineteen seventy three was basically continue to fund the south Vietnamese government and maintain a trigger force in Vietnam and south Vietnamese as South Vietnam would now be along the lines of South Korea that is not the case in Afghanistan there is no victory it's not like there's a certain bulwark of securing Afghanistan they can be spread outward talk to anybody serving in Afghanistan and effectively a chaotic situation and has been for twenty years so the Washington post is the bomb shells about how people in in inside the defense department are confused about what exactly they're supposed to be doing and what they're supposed to be conveying a certain extent I am not fully on board with this idea that V. it that it's good for the American people to know every internal deliberation on foreign policy I think that the American people should be able to judge whether or not we are achieving goals the American president should be held accountable for what those goals are obviously of lying is going on that's not appropriate but the goal in any foreign policy conflict is that there have to be some documents under cover me if you want any level of honesty and transparency inside the defense department for example you can't be spelling the stuff out in the public view every so often that does Kerry within nature not only to America's foreign soldiers that foreign allies our our soldiers abroad right so how much of this was lying and how much of the shading the truth is a real question for positive always existed Washington post as US government tried to shield the identities of the vast majority of those interviewed for the project and conceal nearly all of their remarks the documents were generated by a federal project examining the root failures of the longest time conflict in American history include more than two thousand pages of previously unpublished notes of interviews with people who played a direct role in the war from generals and diplomats to aid workers and Afghan officials in the interviews more than four hundred insiders offered unrestrained criticism of what went wrong in Afghanistan and how the United States became mired in nearly two decades of warfare with bluntness rarely expressed in public the interviews lay their pent up complaints frustrations and confessions along with second guessing and backbiting so is it really great that the American people and now been made privy to second guessing backbiting and the blunt expressions that are necessary behind closed doors if you're in a business or you work in a business would you want everything that is said in corporate hallways bust out on the front page of The New York Times probably not much looking corporation is answerable to the American people these folks are presumably but I I do wonder if the coverage of the Afghanistan papers is nuanced enough to really merit the coverage that is receiving

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