In Afghanistan, the Dam Breaks
(Get Ready For A “Vietnam Style” Exit!)
Robert Greenwald and Derrick Crowe
The news just keeps getting worse in Afghanistan for the United States. Brave New Foundation’s Rethink Afghanistan project has warned for years that the premises of a counterinsurgency there were unrealistic and unworkable, and the ability of a handful of bad actors to completely seize control of the narrative with atrocious actions validates our warnings. The “hearts and minds” effort has completely melted down over the past few weeks, illustrating once again that this war isn’t making us safer and it’s not worth the costs.
Yesterday, the Taliban suspended talks with the U.S. in Qatar due to the U.S.’s failure to follow through on releasing five Taliban leaders from Guantanamo Bay. They also balked at the U.S.’s demand that the Taliban engage with the Karzai government, calling such a move “pointless.” Karzai, for his part, is now demanding that U.S. troops get out — now — of Afghan rural areas and stay on their bases, likely in response to the butchering of 16 civilians by a U.S. military member in Kandahar.
This isn’t your run-of-the-mill bad news, either:
“I’m really shocked, these are two pieces of very bad news,” said one senior western diplomat in Kabul. “It’s probably the bleakest day of my time here in Afghanistan.”
What you are seeing is the latest of any number of indicators over the last few months that the U.S. counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan is in total collapse.