America’s longest war ends: mistakes and lessons learned

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Taliban fighters stand guard in the main gate leading to Afghan presidential palace, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Aug. 16, 2021. The U.S. military has taken over Afghanistan’s airspace as it struggles to manage a chaotic evacuation after the Taliban rolled into the capital. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

Taliban fighters stand guard in the main gate leading to Afghan presidential palace, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Aug. 16, 2021. The U.S. military has taken over Afghanistan’s airspace as it struggles to manage a chaotic evacuation after the Taliban rolled into the capital. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

After almost two decades, the Taliban retook much of Afghanistan, including the capital city Kabul on Sunday. It all happened with surprising ease and speed. With the American troop withdrawing, the Taliban faced little resistance from the Afghan forces that the U.S. and allies had spent years training and arming. Any gains to democratize the country, rebuild the nation and ensure human rights seem to have evaporated. This hour, what was America’s longest war all about, why is our exit from Afghanistan so chaotic and where is the disconnect between policymaking and reality on the ground?  Also, who is the Taliban today and what should the Afghan people expect from them? We’re joined by CARTER MALKASIAN, a former advisor to General Joseph F. Dunford, US Commander in Afghanistan and the author of The American War in Afghanistan and ANDREW BACEVICH, President of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft and the author of, After the Apocalypse: America’s Role in a World Transformed.

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