The United States bears a large part of the officials responsible for the military disaster in Afghanistan, noting that the White House is accused of pointing the finger unjustly at the Afghan army after decades of mismanagement of the war.
With the capitals of Afghanistan’s provinces falling one after another into the hands of the Taliban, the message from Washington to the Afghans facing the attack was that their survival is in their own hands.
US President Joe Biden said they have to fight for themselves, fight for their country, while White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said they have what they need, which they need to determine is whether the political will fight.
But despite more than $80 billion in US security assistance since 2002, and an annual military budget that far exceeds those of other developing countries, the Afghan military resistance to the Taliban is collapsing more quickly than even the most pessimistic expected. There is talk among US officials that Kabul will fall within months, if not weeks.
Interviews with former officials closely involved in US policy in Afghanistan point to the intersecting networks of factors behind the implosion, some of which have been in the works for a long time, and others the result of decisions made in the past few months.
While there is consensus that the failure of leadership and unity in Kabul played an important role in the fall of the domino cards and the successive defeats, there is also agreement that the attempt to place all the blame on the Afghans obscures the share of responsibility that the United States and its allies bear in this military disaster.