Thursday, December 9

– I thought we could create a little piece of Norway.


Lies, self-deception, arrogance and arrogance are highlighted in the investigation of what went wrong in Afghanistan. The war in America is compared to the war in Vietnam.

The Americans came to Afghanistan with pride and thought they could create a small piece of Norway, according to the researcher of the war effort in Afghanistan. Here’s General James Amos with soldiers in Helmand province in 2011.

John Sopko is from the United States Afghan Reconstruction Inspector General, and he is ruthless in his assessment of the 20-year war in Afghanistan.

As NATO and the United States withdraw, the Taliban are constantly conquering new districts and advancing towards major cities in Afghanistan. At the same time, a harsh sentence is being handed down for the war that has claimed the lives of more than 200,000 people. The United States leaves behind a corrupt and unmotivated Afghan security force, which can easily be defeated by the rebels, Sopko said.

– The big question is why do we see such poor results after so much money and 20 years, says Sopko.

Means two words explain

Sopko points to two words for explanation. Pride or arrogance and dishonesty. And as the Greek saying goes: pride means fall.

– One answer is arrogance, that we should somehow take a country that was inconsolable in 2001 and turn it into a little piece of Norway, says Sopko.

– Another thing is dishonesty. We exaggerate. Our generals did it, the ambassadors and all officials did it, before Congress and the American people. We said we were close to a solution, says Sopko.

He has been appointed by Congress to, among other things, monitor the effectiveness of efforts in Afghanistan, both from the military and in the development of Afghan society.

US authorities, here by Defense Secretary Scott Miller (right), and have lied, Afghanistan investigators believe. The military is also accused of this, here by General Scott Miller, former commander-in-chief of Afghanistan for the Americans.

Short-term goals

Sopko believes that US forces focused on short-term objectives and solutions and constantly changed objectives and direction.

– They constantly changed goals to make it easier to show that we were successful, he says.

According to Sopko, the Washington authorities long believed that they would succeed in creating a strong central power in Afghanistan.

– And it was a mistake. If you talk to any expert on Afghanistan, they will tell you it was a mistake. The problem is that we don’t listen to any of them, he says.

Carter Malkasian, a former Pentagon chief who served in Afghanistan, writes in a recent book that there can be no doubt that the United States lost the war in Afghanistan.

– Step on Afghan pride

He says the Taliban showed a greater fighting spirit, while the population viewed the government as dependent on non-Muslim foreigners.

“The mere presence of Americans in Afghanistan trampled on the Afghan sense of identity, national pride, a long history of fighting outsiders, and a religious commitment to defend their homeland,” Malkasian writes.

Several experts point out that the money injected into Afghanistan contributed to violent corruption, which in turn caused people to lose confidence in the Kabul government.

Sopko says that no one could expect Afghan soldiers to fight without pay. In addition, the soldiers lacked food, ammunition and fuel. Much was stolen by corrupt officials.

“The police and soldiers did not want to risk their lives for a government that was corrupt and neglected them,” Malkasian said.

An Afghan soldier plays a guitar he found in the dump after the Americans left the strategically important Bagram base in Parwan province, north of Kabul.

Tiet on abuse

In addition, the actions of government and US forces helped create resistance among the people. A report from Human Rights Watch (HRW) points out that the rights violations undermined the positive effects of the country’s social and economic development.

HRW writes that US generals were ignorant or apathetic about abuses perpetrated by Afghan forces, the US military, and CIA units.

“In these 20 years, the tendency of the United States to prioritize short-term military objectives over the formation of true democratic institutions and the protection of human rights has fatally undermined both the mission of the United States and the entire attempt to build a state. after 2001. “writes HRW.

High bill

The war has cost dearly. According to Cost of war American taxpayers are left with a bill of more than $ 20 billion, more than $ 175 billion. At least 47,000 Afghan civilians have died.

Almost 2,500 American soldiers and approximately 3,800 Americans employed by private security companies also lost their lives in the war.

The other NATO countries have lost 1,144 soldiers in Afghanistan, according to a summary on the ICasualties website. Ten of them were Norwegian.

At the same time, there are aid funds to the east. Norway alone has contributed NOK 12.3 billion in civil assistance. US Sopko stated earlier this year that US aid funds used in Afghanistan had been largely wasted.

On May 2, the American flag was raised when Afghan forces seized control of a military base in Helmand province in southern Afghanistan. Taliban insurgents have now moved to parts of the provincial capital, Lashkar Gah.

– We will do it again

Sopko acknowledges that the United States is leaving behind a country struggling with major problems, ranging from repeated power outages to a growing heroin industry. These are problems that he believes the United States has always put off.

– Do not believe what the generals and ambassadors tell you or people in government who say that we will never do this again. That’s exactly what we said after Vietnam, says Sopko.

– And you should have seen it, we did it in Iraq. We will do it again. And we really have to learn from 20 years in Afghanistan, says Sopko.


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