America's arrogance in Afghanistan
Dialogue with Yang Rui

A stark question has been posed: What is the truth about the U.S. war in Afghanistan? Documents released by the Washington Post reveal that top American officials have consistently lied about the Afghan war and misled the public throughout the 18-year campaign of what is now America's longest war. What has been revealed? And what are the likely consequences for all concerned?

Peter Kuznick, professor of history and director of the Nuclear Studies Institute at American University, has been following the Afghanistan war very closely. He says the disclosure by the Washington Post came as no surprise at all.

"Much like in Vietnam and in other wars, the government was not being honest with the American people, not being honest about motives and not being honest being the way the war was conducted. It was lying openly and deliberately."

To understand this war, it has to be analyzed in contexts, said Kuznick. The U.S. provoking the Soviet Union into entering Afghanistan in the 1970s, its support for the Mujahaddin in the 1980s, as well as the neo-conservative fantasies surrounding the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, are things we cannot overlook when examining the U.S. invasion.

Wang Jin, associate professor of Northwest University of China, says American leaders are too proud to admit their mistakes, and repeat them over and over again.


"For the United States political culture, there is a deeply rooted problem that they [politicians] are too confident. They are too confident that their political notion and idea should be borrowed by other nations. They could be copied by other nations and other cultures. ... That is why we see the United States made mistakes in Vietnam. They made similar mistakes in Afghanistan, Iraq and other parts of the world. ... No lessons have been learned by the political leaders inside the United States," Wang said.

Kuznick claimed that military industrial complex has exerted huge influence on U.S. policy, but arrogance has played a bigger role. "It's this arrogance that Americans have the 'right' to bomb places anywhere. No one can challenge us [the United States]. The United States is currently bombing seven different countries. Who else does that?" Kuznick asked.

Not too long ago, U.S. President Donald Trump made a surprise visit to a U.S. military base in Afghanistan and said that the Taliban "wants to make a deal." Many wonder if the Afghanistan papers will affect the Taliban's strategy in negotiations with the U.S., and what that means for intra-Afghan talks and the peace-building process in the region.

Lailuma Nasiri, co-founder & vice president of Afghanistan Justice Organization, believes the impact will be limited, and she still has faith in the ongoing peace process. "I don't think that the Afghanistan papers released will impact much, provided how serious the U.S. government is on ending the war in Afghanistan and making a deal with the Taliban," Nasiri said.

"Dialogue with Yang Rui" is a prime time English-language daily talk show on CGTN. The 30-minute program covers a wide range of domestic and international topics, providing a balanced and critical perspective on current affairs and analysis within the framework of cross-cultural and multi-disciplinary comparisons.

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