A former American counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer of the CIA says the United States has wasted trillions of dollars on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and failed to achieve any goals.
Philip Giraldi made the remarks in a recent article as US troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan after a twenty years of war there and pressure is increasing on the Biden administration to pull out all troops from Iraq.
Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi said in an interview on Sunday that his country no longer needs American combat troops in the country.
“There is no need for any foreign combat forces on Iraqi soil,” al-Kadhimi told The Associated Press. He said Iraqi security forces are now capable of protecting the nation.
US President Joe Biden has decided to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan by August 31. According to the Pentagon, about 90 percent troops have already left the country.
The Taliban has been pushing back the Afghan military, and overtaking significant areas of territory as American troops withdraw from the country following America’s longest war there.
“The inability of the United States to comprehend what it was becoming involved in when, in the wake of 9/11, it declared a Global War on Terror, has to be reckoned one of the singular failures of national security policy over the past twenty years,” wrote Giraldi.
“Not only did the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq make bad situations worse, but the fact that no one is 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. In their wake has been hundreds of thousands of deaths and trillions of dollars spent to accomplish absolutely nothing,” he added.
He lamented that Iraq now leans more heavily towards “Iran than it does to Washington.”
“The Iraqi Parliament has, in fact, asked US forces to leave the country, a request that has been ignored both by Donald Trump and Joe Biden. Trump actually threatened to freeze Iraqi bank assets to pressure the Iraqis into accepting the continued US occupation. At the same time, American troops illegally present in neighboring Syria, continue to occupy that country’s oil fields to deprive the government in Damascus of much needed resources. Neither Iraq nor Syria threatens the United States in any way,” he added.
“Given that history, it should be 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,” he continued.
In Afghanistan, the analyst said, “The Taliban are 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 noted that the US war in Afghanistan “has left the United States weaker and more unfocused than it was in 2001.”
“China, Russia and Iran are already maneuvering to fill the impending power vacuum in Central Asia by coming to terms with the likely Taliban takeover, which might come sooner that Joe Biden expects. If some kind of Afghan coalition government does emerge, it will belong to Russia and China, not the US,” he observed.
America’s top military general said on Wednesday the Taliban appear to have "strategic momentum" in their sweeping offensives across Afghanistan, as the militants continue to gain more ground in country.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley said that the Taliban controls about 212 of Afghanistan’s 419 district centers, indicating the Taliban's success.