Don’t Expect Foreign Policy Experts to be Held Accountable for Afghanistan | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

Don’t Expect Foreign Policy Experts to be Held Accountable for Afghanistan

The horrific events of 9/11 inevitably brought the US back to Afghanistan, but this time with a full-fledged military force. To say this military venture was a boondoggle would be an understatement. The financial costs of the US’s twenty-year Afghan conflict have been staggering, with estimates from Brown University’s Cost of War Project pointing to $2.3 trillion spent in this war effort. Over twenty-four hundred American service members lost their lives along with seventy-one thousand Afghan civilians during the war.

Narratives put forth by neoliberal and neoconservative interventionists regarding the nature of the 9/11 attacks miss the mark. The cliché of “they hate us for our freedoms” used to explain why the country was attacked on 9/11 conveniently overlooks the repeated overreach of the US in foreign affairs since World War II. Bold political actions abroad generally provoke some form of reaction, whether it’s the blowback on lurid display during 9/11 or the formation of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization as a response to the West’s geopolitical encroachments on the Eurasian landmass.

From funding the mujahideen in Afghanistan to arming the so-called moderate rebels in Syria, constantly putting the figurative Vladimir Lenin in a train car to St. Petersburg is not a viable grand strategy for US foreign policy. This type of geopolitical trickery creates a multitude of unintended consequences that are detrimental to US security in the long term.