The quick folding of the US-backed Afghan government before a Taliban advance has caught many off-guard after Pentagon leaders claimed little chance of its overthrow. However, almost since the 2001 US invasion, a steady stream of reports showed the “reconstruction” was a rolling disaster.
‘So-Called Nation Building’
The US invasion of Afghanistan began on October 7, 2001 – less than a month after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000 Americans. None of the airplane hijackers were Afghans, but the Islamic terrorist group that claimed responsibility, Al-Qaeda, was based in eastern Afghanistan, where the Taliban had allowed them to build training facilities.
In reality, this was always the goal: Bush’s government was dominated by neoconservative figures from the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) think tank, which had mused in September 2000 that the US needed “some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor” to jump start their grand crusade against what Bush’s deputy secretary of defense, Paul Wolfowitz, called “old surrogate Soviet regimes” across the Middle East, including Syria, Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan.
Bush pledged $320 million in aid for Afghanistan for the following year, but it wasn’t until 2004 that the first elections were organized. The winner was Hamid Karzai, a CIA asset appointed to head the interim government beginning in December 2001.
The US invasion drove the Taliban from…