Hearts and Minds

The Washington Post has gotten its hands on internal documents that show that the US state security apparatus has been lying about progress in Afghanistan for most of the war.

Gee, that does not sound like the Vietnam war at all.

We are doing the same thing that we did in Vietnam because we learned the wrong lesson from Vietnam.

The lesson that was “learned” was that we “lost” because the American public stopped supporting the war, which makes counter-insurgency primarily an exercise in PR.

It’s a convenient explanation, because it means that there is no accountability for Pentagon officials or members of the military, the American public failed them.

It’s also complete bullsh%$.

The war was lost because the NLF (Viet Cong) and the the NVA beat the US military.

They defined the terms of engagement, and in so doing, they played to their strengths and our weaknesses, just like the Taliban is now.

A confidential trove of government documents obtained by The Washington Post reveals that senior U.S. officials failed to tell the truth about the war in Afghanistan throughout the 18-year campaign, making rosy pronouncements they knew to be false and hiding unmistakable evidence the war had become unwinnable.

The documents were generated by a federal project examining the root failures of the longest armed conflict in U.S. history. They include more than 2,000 pages of previously unpublished notes of interviews with people who played a direct role in the war, from generals and diplomats to aid workers and Afghan officials.

The U.S. government tried to shield the identities of the vast majority of those interviewed for the project and conceal nearly all of their remarks. The Post won release of the documents under the Freedom of Information Act after a three-year legal battle.

In the interviews, more than 400 insiders offered unrestrained criticism of what went wrong in Afghanistan and how the United States became mired in nearly two decades of warfare.

With a bluntness rarely expressed in public, the interviews lay bare pent-up complaints, frustrations and confessions, along with second-guessing and backbiting.

To quote (not) Tallyrand, “They have forgotten nothing, and they have learned nothing.”

There needs to be a thorough and independent investigation of how we were defeated in Vietnam Afghanistan, and those who made a dogs breakfast of it need to be called out.

It’s called accountability, and it is all too rare for general officers in the US military.

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