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[LISTEN] Stephen Zunes: “US Government Still Trying to Come to Terms How Quickly Taliban Took Over Afghanistan”

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Faizel Patel – 17/08/2021

A  Politics professor at the University of San Francisco says the US Government is still trying to come to terms with how quickly the Taliban have taken over power in Afghanistan following the withdrawal of US troops from the country.

Stephen Zunes was speaking to Radio Islam on Tuesday following the Taliban’s first press conference after seizing power from the Western-backed government in Kabul and President Ashraf Ghani being among the first to flee the country on Sunday.

The Taliban said Tuesday the war in Afghanistan was over and that all their opponents would be pardoned.

Zunes says the US is shocked at how quickly the Western backed government collapsed in Afghanistan.

“Under both the Republican and Democratic administrations over the past twenty years, Washington has consistently exaggerated the success of the US Military mission and the ability of the Afghan government to defend itself. In many ways it was a house of cards, it was a Ponzi scheme, it was something that was unsustainable.”

U.S. President Joe Biden on Monday stood by his decision to end the longest war in United States history and rejected criticism from both allies and adversaries that poor planning led to the chaotic scenes following the collapse of the Afghanistan government to the Taliban.

Zunes says while he is not shy in criticizing Biden’s foreign policy, the US President was fairly accurate and being realistic in his speech.

“While it’s true that the Afghan government was riddled with corruption, that it was not a regime, that enough Afghans were willing to fight and die to preserve, the fact is the United States essentially created that system, we essentially created that government, we sustained that government. That government was largely our creation and so in that sense we do b are quite a bit of moral responsibility for what has happened.”

Zunes says that with the Taliban taking over Afghanistan, it is very difficult to imagine that the US could have done more in terms of retaining troops in Afghanistan and prolonging the inevitable.

(Twitter: @FaizelPatel143)

 

Listen to the interview with Stephen Zunes

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