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History As It Happens

Aug 19, 2021

The defeat in Afghanistan, punctuated by the chaotic evacuation from Kabul and sudden collapse to the Taliban, is also an opportunity for American leaders to reassess the fundamental assumptions underlying U.S. interventionism. Instead of asking how the nation-building project could have been prolonged or how it might have succeeded, the real question may be why did anyone think it could work at all? After twenty years of war and occupation, at the cost of more than $2 trillion and many thousands of American and Afghan lives, it may be time to face an uncomfortable truth: the project was doomed from the start. In this episode, former U.S. Marine Adam Weinstein, a research fellow at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, discusses the root causes of the dramatic failures to defeat the Taliban and build a democracy in Afghanistan.