USA “lost” the 20-year war in Afghanistan: top US general – world

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Published on September 30, 2021 07:52 am

The top US general admitted in a blatant admission that the US “lost” the 20-year war in Afghanistan.

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The US Supreme General made a clear admission on Wednesday that the United States “lost” the 20-year war in Afghanistan.

“We all understand that the war in Afghanistan did not end on the terms we wanted because the Taliban were in power in Kabul,” said General Mark Milley, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff on the House Military Committee.

“The war was a strategic failure,” Milley said at a committee hearing on the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan and the chaotic evacuation from the capital, Kabul.

“It hasn’t been lost in the last 20 days or even 20 months,” said Milley.

“A number of strategic decisions that go back a long way have a cumulative effect,” said the general, chief military advisor to President Joe Biden, who ordered an end to the 20-year US troop presence in Afghanistan.

“Whenever a phenomenon like a lost war occurs – in the sense that we have fulfilled our strategic task of protecting America from Al-Qaida, but the end state is certainly very different from what we wanted.” said Milley.

“When such a phenomenon occurs, there are a lot of causal factors,” he said. “And we have to find out. We have learned many lessons here.”

Milley enumerated a number of factors responsible for the US defeat, stemming from a missed opportunity to arrest or kill al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Tora Bora shortly after the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.

He also cited the 2003 decision to invade Iraq, which withdrew US troops from Afghanistan, “did not treat Pakistan effectively as a (Taliban) sanctuary” and withdrew advisers from Afghanistan several years ago.

Biden ordered a full withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan by August 31 in April after former President Donald Trump reached an agreement with the Taliban.

Milley and General Kenneth McKenzie, commander of the US Central Command, told a Senate committee Tuesday that they had personally recommended that about 2,500 soldiers remain in Afghanistan.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden had received “divided” advice on what to do in Afghanistan, which the United States invaded after the September 11, 2001 al-Qaeda attacks on New York and Washington.

“Ultimately, it is up to the commander-in-chief to make a decision,” said Psaki. “He has decided it is time to end a 20-year war.”

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