Exclusive: UK spent millions on health and education centres that Karzai government can’t afford to keep open
THE AMERICAN DEFEAT IN AFGHANISTAN
By: TOM HAYDEN
In his article titled “After America,” Filkins states flatly that “the United States is leaving, mission not accomplished. Objectives once deemed indispensible, such as nation-building and counterinsurgency, have been abandoned or downgraded.” With 68,000 American troops there now, combat forces will be withdrawn by the end of 2014. There has been “no decision” by the US about how many American troops will be left behind. Filkins guesses, based on what he hears, that the number might be 10-15,000 US trainers, pilots, intel operatives and Special Forces, similar to the projected “residual force” in the 2007 Iraq Study Group recommendation that never materialized.
“The Taliban will not be defeated” by the time the US pulls back from combat, Filkins says. Talks with the Taliban may falter, leaving the US and NATO without an enforceable peace agreement or diplomatic cover. Large areas in the south and east of Afghanistan will be under Taliban control, a geographic partition. Or if talks with the Taliban make progress, he concludes, that will likely provoke a resumption of the civil war with the old Northern Alliance. The country will be subdivided into multiple warlord fiefdoms. According to one of Filkins’ key Afghan sources, “Everyone is [already] preparing for 2014.”