By Dave Lindorff
There are two things I suppose everyone would agree are true about the remarkable events of the past several weeks in Afghanistan.
One is that we are witnessing the latest major loss in a string of wars and “incursions” that the US has lost since the end of World War II. The other is that the entire two-decade-long, $2.3-trillion US invasion, war and occupation of one of the poorest countries in the world, was an abject failure from the beginning.
Officially, the US invaded Afghanistan because its ruling Taliban government had allegedly permitted Al Qaeda, a shadowy jihadist fighting organization founded by the Saudi Osama Bin Laden (with CIA assistance), to establish several training camps there where he purportedly plotted the 9-11 attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and perhaps the Capitol building or White House.
The attack, by some 20,000 US Special Forces troops backed by US air power, smashed the camps, but most of the Al Qaeda forces, including Bin Laden, escaped to the mountains of Tora Bora. The US had rejected a Taliban offer to surrender Bin Laden to a “third country”, a deal which could have eliminated the need for the ensuing war, but the Bush/Cheney administration would not accept the terms: a halt to the bombing of the country, and presentation of evidence that Bin Laden had been behind the attacks on the US.
In any event, once Bin Laden and his band were surrounded, trapped in caves on a mountain in eastern Afghanistan, the US pulled troops out and started sending many of them to Kuwait and other Persian Gulf countries in preparation for a second larger war against Iraq, which was portrayed fraudulently as having been involved in 9-11 and as having plans to develop “weapons of mass destruction.” Bin Laden and his men were forgotten.
The US forces in Afghanistan were ordered to abandon the original mission of killing or capturing Bin Laden and destroying Al Qaeda, and instead proceeded to drive the Taliban out of the capital of Kabul and other Afghan cities into the countryside and neighboring Pakistan. At which point the the Taliban became “insurgents,” battling the US occupier of the country and the puppet government it had installed.
For the next 19 years, the US, with the most powerful military the world has ever known, has battled futilly against a ragtag force of tens of thousands of rag-tag Kalashnikov-toting Taliban fighters, gradually losing control of most of the rural parts of the vast country, and unable to protect the cities from bombings, murders of officials, and the occasional overrunning of various provincial cities.
For 20 years, top military brass and advisors with ties to the US arms industry, lied that the US was “winning” the war in Afghanistan, all the while knowing the whole thing was a fool’s errand that could only end with the Taliban returning to power…
For the rest of this article by DAVE LINDORFF in ThisCantBeHappening!, the uncompromised, collectively run, six-time Project Censored Award-winning online alternative news site, please go to: https://thiscantbehappening.net/biden-could-have-spared-afghanistan-and-the-us-six-months-of-pointless-war-by-just-ending-it/