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Ex-CIA agent says US wasted trillions in Afghanistan to no avail

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KABUL: The US has squandered trillions of dollars on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq while failing to achieve any objectives, former US counter-terrorism specialist and CIA Military Intelligence Officer Philip Giraldi wrote in an op-ed for Strategic Culture Foundation.

In an article, Giraldi made the remarks as US soldiers leave Afghanistan after an almost twenty-year war and pressure mounts on the Joe Biden administration to withdraw all troops from Iraq, Sputnik reported.

“Not only did the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq make bad situations worse, but the fact that no one in Washington was able to define “victory” and think in terms of an exit strategy has meant that the wars and instability are still with us”, Giraldi wrote.

“In their wake has been hundreds of thousands of deaths and trillions of dollars spent to accomplish absolutely nothing,” he added.

According to the former military spy, given that history, it should come as “no surprise that the withdrawal from the twenty-year-long nation-building project in Afghanistan, long overdue, is not quite going as smoothly as the Pentagon and White House apparently planned”.

“US forces pulled out of their principal base in the country, Bagram Air Base, in the middle of the night without informing the incoming Afghan base commander. A frenzy of looting of the left-behind equipment followed,” Giraldi wrote.

And in general, the Taliban movement in Afghanistan “is racking up victory after victory against US and NATO trained Afghan government forces who have the disadvantage of having to defend everywhere, making them vulnerable to attacks on an opportunity basis”, he added.

Given that some 18,000 local residents working for the US have requested evacuation from Afghanistan and that they will certainly take their families with them, Giraldi notes that there exists particular concernthat former translators will be most particularly targeted.

“A recent 23-page report suggests that since Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s February order to ‘stand down’ the entire US military for commanders to address “extremism” in its ranks has sunk morale and many top soldiers have either retired or quit in disgust,” he explained, adding, “During his confirmation hearings, Austin pledged that he would ‘rid our ranks of racists and extremists’ but the reality is quite different, with the witch hunt in the ranks and endless promotion of diversity even hurting normal military readiness training.”

The US will have to maintain a vital direct link to the city’s airport, for which the administration is negotiating with Turkey to maintain a contingent. Although Turkey has agreed to this mission, the Taliban have already stated that the presence of the Turkish military on the territory of the airport is unacceptable and will lead to retaliatory military actions by the group.

The US Department of Defense stated that around 90% of troops have already left Afghanistan, while the Taliban has been pushing back the Afghan military and gaining control of important areas of territory.

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