Since the publication of the Afghanistan Papers, veterans of America’s longest war have pointed out that the shortcomings of U.S. policy were well known to anyone who had ever done a tour of duty in Afghanistan.
Those failures were advertised by members of the U.S. government in congressional testimony and by U.S. military officials themselves. They were also meticulously documented in the myriad audits produced by both SIGAR and the U.S. Government Accountability Office.
It was hardly a secret to anyone who spent time there that many American officials charged with managing U.S. reconstruction efforts were “devoid of a fundamental understanding of Afghanistan,” in the words of Doug Lute, the former Afghan “war czar” for the Bush and Obama administrations.
It is important that Americans hear that, and that they hear it from the officials they vested with responsibility for overseeing the billions of dollars spent in the country.