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Is Afghanistan a Failed Mission?

Patrick Buchanan on

As in Vietnam from 1965 to 1973, the year our prisoners of war came home, America did not lose a major battle in Afghanistan.

Yet we did not win the war. South Vietnam was lost.

And contrary to the message awaiting President George W. Bush when he landed on the carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, which was flaunting the banner "Mission Accomplished," America did not accomplish its mission.

President Joe Biden said as much Thursday, when he responded to a reporter's question, "The mission has not failed -- yet."

As the 20th anniversary of 9/11 impends, and with it our final exit from the Afghan war, the Taliban are overrunning districts at will, and Afghan troops are avoiding battle in what many see as a lost cause.

Monday, 1,000 Afghan soldiers fled into Tajikistan rather than face advancing Taliban forces.

 

Why did we not succeed? And what does our failure there portend?

We failed, first, because our initial mission, once accomplished, was altered and enlarged to where it became unattainable.

We went into Afghanistan in 2001 to deliver retribution to the al-Qaida terrorists of Osama bin Laden who perpetrated the 9/11 massacre and to overthrow the Taliban regime that had provided them sanctuary.

This we could and did do. We succeeded.

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