Peter Bergen: U.S. has spent 20 years and $145 billion trying to rebuild Afghanistan. He says the report lists many reasons: incoherent strategy, lack of patience, unrealistic expectations, insufficient monitoring. Bergen says the new Afghan government was seen as massively corrupt and utterly reliant on America. The report documents that “enemy-initiated attacks” rose from about 2,300 in 2005 to almost 23,000 in 2009, and never again dropped below 21,000, despite various changes in tactics, tactics and troop levels, he says. He adds: For a long time, Washington’s elites saw Afghanistan as the “good war,” morally justified and sanctioned by the U.N.
David H. Petraeus argues that America’s “foundational mistake” in Afghanistan was a “lack of commitment” He says the U.S. stayed fighting in Afghanistan longer than the British during the three Anglo-Afghan Wars combined. Elliot Ackerman: Most of what the United States built was made of plywood, a metaphor for hesitation about the mission.