August 14, 2021

Taliban Sweep in Afghanistan Follows Years of U.S. Miscalculations

Featuring Richard Fontaine

Source: The New York Times

Journalists David E. Sanger, Helene Cooper

President Biden’s top advisers concede they were stunned by the rapid collapse of the Afghan army in the face of an aggressive, well-planned offensive by the Taliban that now threatens Kabul, Afghanistan’s capital.

The past 20 years show they should not have been.

If there is a consistent theme over two decades of war in Afghanistan, it is the overestimation of the results of the $83 billion the United States has spent since 2001 training and equipping the Afghan security forces and an underestimation of the brutal, wily strategy of the Taliban. The Pentagon had issued dire warnings to Mr. Biden even before he took office about the potential for the Taliban to overrun the Afghan army, but intelligence estimates, now shown to have badly missed the mark, assessed it might happen in 18 months, not weeks.

Read the full story and more from The New York Times.

Authors

  • Richard Fontaine

    Chief Executive Officer

    Richard Fontaine is the Chief Executive Officer of the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). He served as President of CNAS from 2012-19 and as Senior Advisor and Senior ...