New book documents 20 years of war and what went wrong in Afghanistan

Pulitzer Prize nominated author appears on Smart Talk

  • Scott LaMar
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Airdate: Wednesday, September 8, 2021

The United States’ messy withdrawal and the quick Taliban takeover of Afghanistan shouldn’t have been a surprise after one reads the new book The Afghanistan Papers – A Secret History of the War by Pulitzer Prize nominated Washington post reporter Craig Whitlock.

Using resources that included oral histories and internal documents Whitlock details “the U.S. government’s strategies were a mess, the statistics were distorted, the nation-building project was a colossal failure and that drugs and corruption gained a stranglehold over their allies in the Afghan government.”

Whitlock describes how the U.S. often didn’t know who the enemy was, spent huge amounts of money with little to show for it, and knew nothing about Afghan culture.

As part of WITF’s 9/11: 20 Years Later programming this week, Wednesday’s Smart Talk features a conversation with Craig Whitlock.

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