How Afghanistan became America’s second Vietnam - ABDULLAH MURADOĞLU

How Afghanistan became America’s second Vietnam

The Biden Administration sent a letter to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, saying that negotiations for a peace agreement with the Taliban could begin. The letter called for bringing the parties together for a conference sponsored by the United Nations (UN).

According to an agreement between the Trump Administration and the Taliban Leadership, U.S. troops were expected to withdraw from Afghanistan by early May. Trump's initiative was met with a bipartisan opposition in the U.S. Congress. Although there are many within the Democratic and Republican parties who think that the United States should put an end to the "Endless Wars", the attempt to actually withdraw troops has not been fully successful until now.

Foreign policy elites associated with the "American Military-Industrial Complex" played an important role in the continuation of the "Endless Wars". Foreign policy elites exert huge influence on both parties. U.S. President Barack Obama's Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes labeled the pro-endless war foreign policy elites as "The Blob," in reference to one popular 1958 science fiction horror movie of the same name. Starring Steven McQueen, the movie tells the story of the panic caused by the mysterious alien monster that looks like a giant jelly drop and grows by swallowing everyone in its path.

Known as the "Graveyard of the Empires", Afghanistan was also occupied by the Soviet Union in 1979. The 10-year occupation of Afghanistan played an important role in the dissolution of the Soviet Union. According to the Americans, Afghanistan had become "the Vietnam of the Soviet Union." The U.S. invaded Afghanistan in 2001, citing the 9/11 terrorist attacks as a pretext. Joe Biden, who was elected Senator in 1972, assumed several leading position since then, including Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee until 2009. Biden, who served as the Vice President of the U.S. until 2017, played an important role as an effective Senate member and VP when it came to all these processes that led to this.

In 2001, Americans did not expect the Afghanistan Invasion to last 20 years. The then U.S. President George W. Bush replied confidently to a journalist's question, "Would it possible to fall into a Vietnam-like quagmire in Afghanistan?" Bush then replied: "We have learned very important lessons in Vietnam." As for the timetable for withdrawal, he said, “It could happen tomorrow, or a month later, it could take a year or two. But we will win.” The occupation of Afghanistan has lasted until today on the pretext of the so-called "nation building." Hence, the reason why the terms "Endless Wars" or "Neverending Wars" gained popularity.

At this point, it is obvious that the U.S. has failed. The Taliban controls more regions than it did before the 2001 invasion. However, as in the case of Vietnam, the foreign policy elites, or the Blob, along with the Generals have been spinning success stories since 2001, hiding the facts from the American public. In December 2009, thousands of pages of documents published by the Washington Post blew the cover on the failure of the Afghanistan invasion.

Close to 50,000 civilians died in Afghanistan between 2001-2020. Children make up almost half of the casualties. According to official data, approximately 158,000 people died during the occupation period, including 2,400 American soldiers. During the occupation, $1 trillion was spent from the pockets of American taxpayers. There are those who put the figure at $2 trillion when accounting for indirect expenditures. U.S. military spending in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and other regions has hit $7 trillion. It is no secret that the invasion of Iraq, which was launched on false pretexts, has also ended disastrously.

Last December, the Chief of the U.S. General Staff General Mark Milley said, “After 20 years, two decades of consistent effort there, we have achieved a modicum of success.” This 'modicum of success' story came at the cost of the lives of 158,000 people. Billions of dollars went into the coffers of the "Military-Industrial Complex" and "The Blob" just for the sake of a “modicum” of success.

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