Updated: Aug 28, 2022
It has been one year since the collapse of Afghanistan, and while the world has moved on to other issues, it’s important to remember the key lessons of that conflict—if for no other reason than to avoid repeating the same mistakes in the future.
As assistant secretary general for operations at NATO, I was responsible for writing the Alliance’s lessons of Afghanistan in late 2021. While the full document remains classified, the key lessons themselves are not. In fact, they’re obvious to any student of national security, conflict, or international affairs.
First, the Alliance fought in a strategically irrelevant place against the wrong enemy. Second, although driven by good intentions, allies expanded the scale and scope of the mission well beyond the strategic level of interest. Third, NATO sought to build security forces that were badly out of step with Afghan culture and technological capacity. Finally, the allies fooled themselves and their publics about the conditions on the ground.
Thousands of American and allied troops lost lives, limbs, and their sanity in Afghanistan. The United States and its allies and partners owe it to those who fought and died there—including so many valiant Afghans who sought a better future for their country—to examine why they lost, in the hope that they’ll never repeat these mistakes.
Lesson #1: Choose your enemies carefully
Afghanistan is an austere, landlocked, and poor nation of little strategic importance to the United States or any ally. Students of international affairs would refer to the country as a peripheral interest, a place that through any objective analysis would not merit more than a minor investment in American resources. This is opposed to vital interests, which must be defended to protect the American way of life and economic prosperity. Vital interests are worth fighting for—but Afghanistan was never in the vital interest of the United States or any NATO ally.
Following the horrific September 11 attacks, one can easily understand why the United States became embroiled in Afghanistan. The Taliban had been providing a safe haven for al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden, and US political leaders simply had to respond. But that response should have been metered by the level of interest. Instead, the United States invested in Afghanistan as if it were a top national security priority, one that rated an expenditure in lives and treasure that far exceeded the broader threat emanating from that far-flung land.
Following the decapitation of the Taliban regime in 2001, only a handful of international terrorist bands remained in Afghanistan. These factions were scattered, ineffective, and generally incapable of concerted action against the United States or its friends and allies. In reality, the threat to allied territory was minimal and on par with the threat posed from other ungoverned spaces, such as Yemen or the Sahel. The Taliban was not an international terrorist organization, and it was not interested in attacking foreign nations. Quite the opposite: The Taliban was executing a long-term insurgent strategy, designed to wear down the foreign invaders, defeat the government forces, and regain control of the nation.
The real enemy in Afghanistan were international terrorists. As demonstrated by the recent killing of Ayman al-Zawahiri, the United States and its allies could have fought groups like al-Qaeda without occupying and trying to rebuild Afghanistan. Had the allies kept their focus on the core goal of disrupting international terrorists in Afghanistan, the mission could have remained small and tailored to the unique conditions on the ground. A small NATO counterterrorism force, supported by a counterpart Afghan commando force, would have likely fit the bill.
- No - I disagree
- Not that the words are stupid within the context of the narrative or stupid overall - not at all, but the dismissal of the Pentagon's overall intelligence (our top security people and military intelligence officials, etc, etc. and most all of the security agencies in NATO - I mean, come on!)
- I disagree that Afghanistan doesn't have any "value and/or wealth". It's a cover up and a lie to dismiss that it holds MUCH highly valuable natural resources -especially valuable rare earth metals.
-Read some books or do some basic research. Saudi Arabia exports a lot of extremist forms of Islam. I've known that for years, the world has known that for years, especially since 9/11 and the war on terror and fighting ISIS/ISIL/IS.
- We sell a lot of arms to Saudi Arabia and this allows them to fund fighting in Yemen.
- Israel is a highly oppressive nation-state against its neighbors. And they want to push for these Abrahamic Accords and Middle Eastern NATO alliances.
- It's obvious, especially now, that the Western powers that be don't care about the Afghanistan people. Period. Or about people suffering throughout the Middle East in Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, Lebanon, etc. Or about the people suffering in Central and South America and Brazil, and Africa generally.
All they care about is advancing their strategic interests. My agenda, my interests, my beliefs, my system, me me me.
They don't care about Ukraine. - Using them essentially in a proxy war till the last Ukrainian soldier is dead. - It's a losing battle - but hey, as long as we can kill a few more Russian soldiers that's good right? And if you go against the narratives and lies, then we'll censor you, delete you. Gone. How big of them and us and our democracy, government and rights.
China - Taiwan - China's a threat, an upcoming global powerhouse, we have to target them now as well right? Yes; but, oh man, China is literally a powerhouse and the economic ties are too strong and we're too dependent on China (as is China on the U.S. and the West (they have goods to sell to us)).
Disband NATO, countries should be sovereign in their decisions to go to war or not. Wars are not like two people with friends on both sides joining in if they want or have the will and fighting (or suiting their geopolitical interests). People's lives are on the line. Don't make it bigger than it needs to be (that's why NATO and military bloc alliances are dumb and dangerous, now and going into the future). Avoid war at all costs.
Bismillah (Ar-rahman Ar-rahim) - That is what the Prophet Muhammed SAW taught and practiced. He SAW only fought in defense or when he SAW had to. Fight with words and truth. Forgiveness is better. Allah SWT says in the Qur'an that he SWT doesn't change the state of a person until he changes himself as well. Better yourself, is good for you in this life and the hereafter....try not to even hurt an ant (SAW). Smile (SAW) (smiling is a good deed). Jesus AS - great example as well so is Yusuf (Joseph) AS when he forgave his brothers years after for throwing him in a well. Fear Allah, we should have taqwa of Allah SWT and not act as tyrants and kings in robes and palaces of gold and silk while there's poor people in the society working hard trying to make a living. May Allah SWT be pleased with the companions of the Prophet SAW and the scholars of Islam. Peace unto all humanity and nature (the whole world...end every prayer/Salah with)...
- May Allah forgive me - I'm not trying to act within this blog as someone much learned and a scholar and issuing fatwa's but is just more akin to Tafseer and commentary. May Allah SWT forgive us of hypocrisy and uncleanliness of the heart, worldly desires (lust for power, greed, etc. ) and all these things we don't even know about...Allah knows best what's in his servant's hearts, more so than the servant (of course).
Pineal Gland Third Eye stuff...(I don't believe in some of those conspiracy theories the guest does, just FYI I guess). It's an okay video, has some really good parts.
I made a response video after watching this about halfway (broken up a bit, and I'm not a great talker). He addresses a lot of my concerns in the second half of the video though and I agree with him there, just I have a more socialist than capitalistic view than him...but, there are problems of democracy and capitalism, especially in a world controlled by big money. That's one of the problems of capitalism and democracy. Some middle way and just doing away with terms or political terms and addressing what you believe in and think I suppose is fine, people can label it what they want I guess. Political Realism? Yes but also with principles and understanding and support of things like economic wise (philosophical/ideological viewpoint). Really have to separate things and keep them for what they are. Especially in this world and modern times.
Need to watch: The fight for water | DW Documentary DW Documentary 738K views
Climate change is causing temperatures to rise. Extreme weather events and droughts are increasing. Springs and wells are drying up. And everyone needs more water. The battles for control over...
I've been saying this to people for a little while now - that in the future, land and water are going to be two of the most valuable things on the planet. Especially good land where it rains a lot. With so many humans on earth needing so many resources (paper, wood, food, water, etc.). It's messed up how the rich and the corporations have so much capital while the working man/woman (especially small - small businesses, small farms, etc) struggles to make ends meet.
Islam Sufi-ism video (I like em).
Probably cursing but a good one!
Pretty good, she knows a lot...
This is highly angering:
Interesting: What scholars are saying about Genesis 1-11 with Professor John Day Blogging Theology 8.3K views
Pretty good: Islam and "LGBTQ" with Sheikh Danish in conversation with Paul Williams in Istanbul Blogging Theology 20K views
..."Circus-19" truly was and is...Allah really testing and exposing people on hypocrisy and making people look really silly and exposing our government and institutions of their ineptitude really. I mean, a singular doctor (I think I posted a video of this one doctor on Youtube) offering better analysis and advice and information than the whole of our government and their health departments and officials etc. I know its about strategy and keeping a simple message to the public but on such a complex issue, and its actually because the people in government and in these gov. departments are working for or have deals and making money from big pharma corp's, of course...
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Afghanistan’s economy has been in turmoil since the Taliban took power a year ago. How did it get so bad? And can the Taliban turn
Well...yeah, it's sad. I don't know the whole situation and things (kind of think, good for them that they reflect China's deals towards them) but don't agree with their harsh rule of law upon their people. Other countries, the U.S., the U.N. itself, they're not helping the situation...how do you expect the Afghan people to rebel/go for more democracy if they're just worried about not starving? Are they okay with Taliban rule? It sucks our 20 years there amounted to a worse situation than what it was before. How dumb. Fire everyone involved. That's what should happen. Everyone at the State Department, fired, and possibly put on trial/questioned for ineptitude. Waste. But they just waste taxpayer money because it's not really taxpayer money, it's just printed money that needs to go somewhere and do something. It relies upon an ever-increasing amount of debt. It's threatened (their dominance)...so they have to put more into the military machine - and gain more NATO allies and ask all NATO allies to up their military spending. That's what happening. And pressure everyone else - you can't just be neutral even if your friends with this country and that country and their fighting (this friend and that friend in a similitude) (Disband NATO, its a danger and a threat to everyone in the world - watch the Redacted videos - nobody wants a nuclear war or any wars to escalate into bigger and bigger conflicts - learn something from history, that's not even a lesson that needs to be learned it's a self-evident regular ol, any Joe can see this/that type-a-thing comin when ya got dis situation on yer hands and thing on your hands ya don't start more crap an going and getting everybody else and their mother involved, that there is just plain stupid...! :) ).
Was just saying this and I saw a FB post like on this topic...and as discussed in the above "Islam and "LGBTQ" video"...you can't even talk about the issue or risk being fired from your job if you hold a different view than other people...Hadith of Rasulullah ﷺ that describes our situation today | Shaykh Mohamad Baajour EPIC MASJID 26K views
I needed these:
97% Of The Quran Teaches This! #shorts OpenmindedThinker Show 12K views
Interesting statements he makes...makes me really think. Is powerful.
I mean, you have to take a position on things...I mean --> and also doing what's good and right doesn't always entail safety and taking the safest route. Sometimes it's good to fight for self or others and to stand for things (he seems like a nice guy though).
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Allah Akbar. Allah's guidance is best! (Usury is prohibited - is for the benefit of mankind to follow God's advice and rules) - (they don't even realize it, but am sure Allah SWT rewards goodness with good)
Crazy. The above was in the above-posted Redacted video (also had a lot of good info about Covid 19 and lawsuits following the CDC's retraction of all guidelines and restrictions...) but needed a second time to process (was tired) the significance of it and listen to it better...
A bit late to watch but...I agree with and like what the Norwegian lady said:
I'm sure things will be bad this winter and possibly in the near future and maybe long term, be a blessing, give, sacrifice, (but take care of self as well - how can one give if one has nothing to give? - but there is a balance between being a worldly person and keeping deen and duty to Allah - Allah is greater). Allah Akbar.