It would, of course, be foolish to pretend that there is a neat solution to the chaos in Afghanistan, a poverty-stricken country divided on tribal, ethnic, and religious lines, fought over by a bevy of outside powers, and plagued by violence for more than four decades.
There isn’t. But here’s what the hawks don’t tell you: Afghan civilians are already dying in big numbers, not only despite the presence of U.S. forces — 2018 saw Afghan civilian deaths hit a record high — but because of them, too. How many Americans are aware of the fact that in the first six months of this year, the Afghan government and its U.S.-led international allies killed more civilians than the Taliban? Shouldn’t that shock us all?
And with that in mind, almost 17 years later, don’t think that victory is out of the question either. Every day that the U.S. military stays in Afghanistan is indeed a victory for… well, not George W. Bush, or Barack Obama, and certainly not Donald Trump, but the now long-dead Osama bin Laden. The calculation couldn’t be simpler. Thanks to his “precision” weaponry — those 19 suicidal hijackers in commercial jets — the nearly 17 years of wars he’s sparked across much of the Muslim world cost a man from one of Saudi Arabia’s wealthiest families a mere $400,000 to $500,000. They’ve cost American taxpayers, minimally, $5.6 trillion dollars with no end in sight. And every day the Afghan War and the others that have followed from it continue is but another triumphant day for him and his followers.
A Special Air Service Regiment trooper on his first deployment to Afghanistan was pressured to execute an elderly, unarmed detainee by fellow higher-ranking soldiers as part of a “blooding” ritual, according to defence insiders who were witnesses at the scene.
Jere Van Dyk has reported on Afghanistan since the 1970s and has written extensively about the nation’s evolution from a hippie haven to a battleground for the war on terror. His most recent book is The Trade: My Journey into the Labyrinth of Political Kidnapping, which details his search for answers after being kidnapped by the Taliban in 2008. Van Dyk talks about his years in a surprisingly progressive Afghanistan in the early 1970s and the United States’ funding of the mujahideen in the 1970s and 1980s with the hopes of turning Afghanistan into the Soviet Union’s Vietnam. He also discusses harrowing experience of being held captive by the Taliban and explains why he returned to the country years later in spite of great personal risk.
Officials leak details of a tense situation-room meeting among the president, his generals and national security advisers.
Trump is reportedly being encouraged by corporate executives to take advantage of Afghanistan’s mineral wealth
Sources say US gunship bombed checkpoint just 30 minutes after police unit retook it from Taliban
Leaked secret defence force documents give a chilling insight into the corruption wrought on individuals by endless war. Kellie Tranter reports.
Blackwater’s Erik Prince was a shoo-in for the plan. But who is Stephen Feinberg?
Afghanistan shouldn’t be a ‘testing ground for new and dangerous weapons’ Hamid Karzai says after US drops mega-bomb.
The GBU-43 bomb is the largest non-nuclear bomb it has ever used in combat.
In war-torn Afghanistan it is not the Taliban that poses the greatest threat to women – it is their own families.
Al-Qaeda is back in Afghanistan, joining Isis and the Taliban in waging jihad. The three most prominent Islamist terrorist groups in the world are now in one violent arena and drawing the West back into a bloody conflict it had sought to leave behind.
Hiding in Afghanistan, a former translator for the US military describes what life is like for those left behind.
Local officials and elders in Afghanistan said U.S. airstrikes had killed at least 17 civilians on Thursday, contradicting Pentagon claims that only militants had been hit and fomenting continued “destruction and anger.”
US Answer to Taliban Victories in Afghanistan: Blame Russia | Unnamed US official claims Russia arming Taliban to spite US
Ghost Troops: 40% of Afghan Military ‘Doesn’t Exist’ | Many Afghan troops exist only on paper
The US government has only officially renamed certain tasks in Afghanistan trying to avoid responsibility for its actions and confuse the American people, but that doesn’t change the character of the war, says Sara Flounders of the International Action Center.
UN rights chief says air strike on MSF hospital that killed 19 is “inexcusable” as US president extends his condolences.