CIA’s Former Counterterrorism Chief for the Region: Afghanistan, Not An Intelligence Failure — Something Much Worse | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

CIA’s Former Counterterrorism Chief for the Region: Afghanistan, Not An Intelligence Failure — Something Much Worse

While it’s certainly convenient to depict the shock and miscalculation U.S. officials claim over Afghanistan’s tragic, rapid fall to the Taliban as an intelligence failure, the reality is far worse. It’s a convenient deflection of responsibility for decisions taken owing to political and ideological considerations and provides a scapegoat for a policy decision that’s otherwise unable to offer a persuasive defense.

As CIA’s Counterterrorism Chief for South and Southwest Asia before my 2019 retirement, I was responsible for assessments concerning Afghanistan prepared for former President Donald Trump. And as a volunteer with candidate Joe Biden’s counterterrorism working group, I consulted on these same issues. The decision Trump made, and Biden ratified, to rapidly withdraw U.S. forces came despite warnings projecting the outcome we’re now witnessing. And it was a path to which Trump and Biden allowed themselves to be held captive owing to the “ending Forever Wars” slogan they both embraced.

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