The US and Taliban sign agreement meant to end America’s longest war

“Since the war in Afghanistan began in 2001, the US government has spent $2 trillion on the conflict, in which 3,500 American and NATO coalition troops have been killed and tens of thousands of Afghans have died.

The new agreement would put an end to that conflict, and includes a requirement that the Taliban find lasting peace with the Afghan government in exchange for the full withdrawal of troops — a requirement not present in all past versions of the deal.”

America Has Given Up Trying To Define Success in Afghanistan

“The United States has spent more than $64 billion rebuilding Afghanistan’s military and police forces since 2001—but there is literally no way for American taxpayers to know whether their investment has been worth it.

“Most of the [indicators] of measuring success are now classified, or we don’t collect it. So I can’t tell you, publicly, how well a job we’re doing on training,” John Sopko, the special inspector general for the Afghanistan reconstruction effort told members of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee”

“”How many Afghan soldiers do we have? We’re still trying to figure out how many we are paying for. How many Afghan police are there, really? We don’t know,” Sopko said Tuesday. “This isn’t rocket science, but apparently it’s all secret, classified, and I can’t tell you what the results are.”

That the United States has sought to suppress negative information about the seemingly endless war in Afghanistan is not news to anyone familiar with The Washington Post’s bombshell “Afghanistan Papers” report. Published in December, the Post’s report included more than 2,000 pages of interviews conducted by Sopko’s office with “people who played a direct role in the war, from generals and diplomats to aid workers and Afghan officials.” Those internal documents paint a picture of a nation-building effort that has lacked definable goals, wasted billions of dollars and thousands of lives, and done little to improve the internal security of Afghanistan—all while American officials have deliberately misled Congress and the public about the extent of the quagmire.”

“That audit is part of a disturbing trend. When there hasn’t been progress to show, America’s Afghanistan strategy has been to prevent showing the lack of progress.”

America Dropped a Record Number of Bombs on Afghanistan Last Year

“The United States dropped 7,423 bombs on Afghanistan last year—that’s an average of more than 20 per day—narrowly surpassing the previous record set in 2018.

It’s a statistic that belies the notion that President Donald Trump is an anti-war commander-in-chief, and one that suggests America is still no closer to winning its longest military conflict.

Trump has overseen a massive escalation in the amount of ordnance fired at Afghanistan in the past two years, according to a new report from the U.S Air Force. But other than blasting thousands of new craters in the war-torn country and terrorizing the people unfortunate enough to live there, there is little evidence that bombing the hell out of what’s left of the country is accomplishing any vital U.S. interest. Amid the record-breaking year of attacks, the Trump administration was holding on-and-off peace talks with the Taliban—you know, the same group we went to war nearly two decades ago to remove—aimed at handing over control of the country.”

“now the Trump administration does not even appear willing to explain its Afghanistan strategy to Congress. Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo refused to appear at a congressional hearing this week in which lawmakers grappled with the “Afghanistan Papers” published in December by The Washington Post. The Post’s document dump showed that the Pentagon has been lying for years about the status of the war in Afghanistan, while top military brass have privately concluded that the U.S. has no clear strategy or path to victory.”