The Washington Post published on Monday morning an explosive, in-depth report exposing how American military and civilian leaders have been systematically deceiving the public, since at least 2003, on the conduct of the war in Afghanistan.
The report may be more painful to me than most, however, because I first publicly exposed our leaders’ duplicity almost eight years ago—yet because the government and military leaders were unwilling to take corrective action. Since then, the war continued without pause and thousands of American service members have since been killed and wounded pointlessly pursuing the unattainable.
My hope is that now, with this comprehensive report detailing how top leaders in three consecutive Administrations have ignored the evidence, the Trump Administration will end the war and bring our troops home. As the Washington Post reveals and I have personally observed, it should have happened long ago.
Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld admitted in a private memo to Doug Feith in April 2002, a mere six months into the war, that “We are never going to get the U.S. military out of Afghanistan unless we take care to see that there is something going on that will provide the stability that will be necessary for us to leave.” It didn’t take long to realize no such stable foundation existed—and indeed nearly impossible to distinguish between friend and foe.