Opinion | The Afghan war was lost before Biden ended it


“Overall, what we’ve seen is an increase in the number of civilians killed since 2008,” she said.

Around 3,000 civilians were killed in 2020, and before the Taliban seize power, she said 2021 should be just as bad or worse.

Although the Taliban now have a free hand, it believes the number of civilian deaths may fall. “Given the collapse or withdrawal of the Afghan National Forces, the military and the police, I think we will not get what we were on the right track because in some of these areas people will not fight for land.” . There will be no air strikes that kill a lot of people. There will be less fire. “

As a journalist Azmat Khan wrote on Twitter“Many young people on rural battlefields have never lived a life without war, without US bombing, Taliban attacks, night attacks by Afghan forces, kidnappings.” As difficult as it is to understand, “some young people feel that they now have a chance for a future”.

Perhaps American violence in Afghanistan could be justified if it improved the lives of the average Afghan. But often we seem to have made people’s lives harder. The latest report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction paints a damning picture of two decades of American efforts in Afghanistan: “US officials have often empowered power brokers to exploit the population or divert US aid from its intended recipients in order to enrich and enrich them to strengthen themselves and their allies. A lack of knowledge at the local level meant that conflict reduction projects often exacerbated them and even inadvertently financed insurgents. “

Regarding those who think Americans could have stayed in Afghanistan long term just not to lose, Crawford said, “What most of the conversations here seem to assume is that the extent of civil misery is being taken out of the equation, and all that is decisive is who controls Kabul. “

The Taliban’s control of Kabul will of course also cause civil misery, and some young people will feel that they have lost prospects for the future. There was never a decent way to leave the country, which is why we fought a futile war for 20 years. But there wasn’t a decent way to stay either.


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