The real problem was the failure to build an army that was sustainable by Afghans. Building an army based on US equipment and standards was never going to be sustainable. It was like growing grass on a concrete block. The grass will grow only as long as water and nutrients poured on. Didn’t anyone think ahead?

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Makes a lot of sense. American hubris at work.

We should have been there for 6-9 mos at most, take, care of Bin Laden and his support structure, and leave. We had him cornered in Tora Bora, but Cheney pulled out the SOF and sent them to prepare for the Iraq invasion. Then Tommy Franks pushed the Taliban out of Afghanistan and into Pakistan. Problem solved, eh? The SOF bagged Bin Laden but domestic political pressure kept Obama from withdrawing from Afghanistan. And folks who had dodged the draft during the Vietnam War (you know who) were the architects behind the entire Syraqistan quagmire. Then Trump sets the table with this agreement by sidelining the Afghan government and made solely to preserve his own re-election, but Biden wins and has to clean up the mess.

I fault Biden with not evacuating the translators and Afghans who had supported the American effort. I do not fault him with making the hard decision to staunch the bleeding. We were not going to remake that 14th century society into a flourishing democracy in our own image, under any circumstances. We're barely a democracy ourselves anymore, anyway.

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