Pakistani Duplicity Caused the United States to Lose in Afghanistan

Lawrence Sellin
Reuters

Lawrence Sellin

Security, Middle East

Islamabad’s objectives for Afghanistan have always been different than those of the United States.

Pakistani Duplicity Caused the United States to Lose in Afghanistan

“The war in Vietnam was not lost in the field, nor was it lost on the front pages of the New York Times or the college campuses. It was lost in Washington, D.C.”

H. R. McMaster wrote that statement in his 1997 scathing critique of the Vietnam War, Dereliction of Duty: Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Lies That Led to Vietnam. He was a major in the Army at that time. Now, he is a retired lieutenant general and former national security advisor to President Donald Trump.

It is indeed ironic that McMaster eventually contributed to what many people thought to be impossible by repeating the mistakes of Vietnam and losing the Afghanistan war—both in the field and in Washington, DC.

The real tragedy is that America’s leaders, in particular its military leaders, long knew that the war in Afghanistan could not be won having chosen to fight it in a manner that was alien to its nature, thus wasting both treasure and precious lives.

For over seventeen years we have wrongly applied counterinsurgency doctrine to a proxy war waged by Pakistan against the United States and Afghanistan. At the same time, we supplied Pakistan with generous aid packages to bribe them from pursuing a course of action opposed to our own, which they considered in their national interest.

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