December 9, 2019
I am shocked and scandalized by these unexpected informations.
Senior U.S. officials knowingly lied to the public about their progress throughout the 18-year war in Afghanistan, consistently painting a rosier picture of the state of the war than they knew to be true, according to a cache of documents obtained by the Washington Post.
In private interviews conducted by a watchdog that span the Bush, Obama and Trump administrations – which the Post obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request — U.S. officials frequently acknowledged a lack of understanding, strategy and progress in a war they regularly described publicly as being on the cusp of success.
“After the killing of Osama bin Laden, I said that Osama was probably laughing in his watery grave considering how much we have spent on Afghanistan,” retired Navy SEAL Jeffrey Eggers, a White House staffer in the Bush and Obama administrations, said in a private interview.
Interviewees also describe a deliberate disinformation campaign meant to spin discouraging statistics as evidence the U.S. was prevailing in the war.
“Every data point was altered to present the best picture possible,” Bob Crowley, an Army colonel and senior counterinsurgency adviser to U.S. military commanders in 2013 and 2014, said in an interview.
“Surveys, for instance, were totally unreliable but reinforced that everything we were doing was right and we became a self-licking ice cream cone,” he added.
I wish I was a self-licking ice cream cone. That sounds like a charmed life.
Of course, it was always impossible to win the war in Afghanistan, because there was no point at which you could declare victory.
The invasion is often compared to the Russian invasion of that country in the 1980s, but when the Russians invaded, they had terms of victory: they would install a communist government with their own handpicked officials running it.
That was a goal that was at least theoretically possible.
Imperial Russia had already taken several Stans.
What was the US goal? To turn the country into a “democracy.” What exactly would that even look like?
They were fighting entirely against the civilian population, and telling them “NO YOU MUST VOTE FOR YOUR LEADERS!!!111”
It would seem that the bullets they were shooting were themselves a vote. A vote against the voting agenda.
Now, we’re in talks, finally, with the Taliban to simply give them back control of their Islamic cave paradise, where they can continue herding goats and marrying their cousins unmolested by the biggest military force that has ever existed that is trying to kill them into voting.
But what a completely insane piece of American history this war was.