August 11, 2017

Trump’s right — we are losing in Afghanistan

By Dr. Jason Dempsey

President Trump is not wrong on Afghanistan. During a contentious July meeting with his top military and national security advisors, he repeatedly questioned the quality of advice he was given, asserted that we were losing in Afghanistan, and repeatedly berated the American commander in Afghanistan, General Nicholson, as a “loser.”

On the first two points Trump is absolutely right. We are losing in Afghanistan and it is past time to ask hard questions of those who seek to double-down on the failed strategy of the past 16 years. However, on the third point he is wrong to paint Nicholson as the loser of Afghanistan. Our failures cannot be laid at the feet of one commander. Our failures have been executed by bureaucratic committee, with enough different commanders rotated through Afghanistan that each can claim incremental success without anyone owning the overall failure.

Read the full op-ed in The Hill.

  • Podcast
    • April 30, 2021
    U.S. and Allied Withdrawal from Afghanistan, with Federica Mogherini and Lisa Curtis

    What does President Biden’s decision to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan mean for American allies? Federica Mogherini and Lisa Curtis join Andrea Kendall-Taylor and Jim To...

    By Carisa Nietsche, Andrea Kendall-Taylor, Federica Mogherini, Lisa Curtis & Jim Townsend

  • Podcast
    • April 29, 2021
    Fire and Ice

    In this week’s edition of the SpyTalk podcast, Jeff Stein goes deep on the CIA’s looming eviction from Afghanistan with Lisa Curtis, a longtime former CIA, State Department an...

    By Lisa Curtis, Jeff Stein, Jeanne Meserve & Alma Katsu

  • Commentary
    • POLITICO
    • April 25, 2021
    We Got Afghanistan Wrong, but There’s Still Time to Learn Something

    Instead of building a force that fit Afghanistan, we built an Army of mini-me’s...

    By Dr. Jason Dempsey

  • Podcast
    • April 22, 2021
    A Veteran's View Of Biden's Afghanistan Withdrawal Plan

    Here & Now's Peter O'Dowd speaks with retired Army officer Jason Dempsey about President Biden's decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan. Listen to the full conversation...

    By Dr. Jason Dempsey

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia