Afghanistan withdrawal not a failure?

A former U.S. official doesn’t view the Afghanistan withdrawal as an ‘intelligence failure’!

Sue Gordon, who served as a top U.S. intelligence official under both the Trump and Obama administrations, said Sunday that she would not characterize the American withdrawal from Afghanistan “as an intelligence failure”, despite widespread criticism about how the Trump and Biden administrations, the U.S. military, and the intelligence community failed to anticipate how swiftly the Taliban would overrun the Afghan government and security forces and take control of Kabul.

During a TV appearance on Sunday Gordon said she thinks throughout the U.S.’s 20-year involvement in Afghanistan, the intelligence community remained “pretty clear-eyed” about what was happening on the ground. And she believes that didn’t really change last month, arguing that a leaked transcript of President Biden’s last conversation with former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani makes it seem clear the former knew the situation was “fraught.” She did, however, acknowledge that “they apparently didn’t have precision in their estimate on the speed of the loss.”. (The Week, 7 Sept 2021)

My comment: I have been asked several times “what use is the study of history?” Had American politicians known any history they would never have committed so many men and so much taxpayer money to Afghanistan, the “graveyard of empires”. Twice the British were thrown out. The second time a lone, exhausted British officer on a near-dead horse was the sole survivor of an Afghan war! Then there were the Russians. Is Ms. Gordon saying the US intelligence thought the anti-Taliban “fighters” were committed and competent? Then she and her colleagues were kidding themselves and the US Government. Obvious nonsense. It was their job to measure the resilience and commitment of the Afghan government forces. Can we ever trust them again?

Epicurus might have advised the President to let the medieval Afghans severely alone. Let them find their own ataraxia amid the incomprehensible readings and interpretations of a religion that treats women as slaves.

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