The Core Strategic Impossibility That Kept The U.S. In Afghanistan | Rachel Maddow | MSNBC 1

The Core Strategic Impossibility That Kept The U.S. In Afghanistan | Rachel Maddow | MSNBC


Rachel Maddow looks at the Taliban's use of Pakistan as a base of operations as why the U.S., while able to depose the Taliban in Afghanistan, could not completely wrap up the next step. Aired on 04/15/2021.
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The Core Strategic Impossibility That Kept The U.S. In Afghanistan | Rachel Maddow | MSNBC


  1. It’s pretty sad that despite being at war with Afghanistan for 20 years, for the most part, we aren’t even aware it’s still going on.
    Which probably means we should have gotten out a long time ago.

    1. No, it means you stopped paying attention, just like Bush and Clinton in the 90s.

      What’s the grand plan now? Abandon Afghanistan to the same regional interests that saw the rise of the Taliban and AQ? It’s ironic that the next we’ll hear of the country from liberals will be much hand-wringing and “activism” about how badly women are being treated by a newly-resurgent Taliban.

    2. @My Tale I would say Terrorism is like Democracy, in that it can never really be destroyed. It’s an ideology. The closest thing you could do would be is to commit genocide and squash it down for a few years, before it rises again.

    3. Nations going back to Alexander the Great, Britain, the Soviets now America have failed.
      Afghanistan is not called the Empire Breaker for nothing.

    4. $ 3 tns later and particularly after Imran Khan banning all fundamentalists in Pakistan, the game just shifts from Afghanistan to Pakistan. And begs for another 3 tn.

  2. Get any friendly Afghan civilian who wants to come here should be allowed. Cant leave them there.

    1. I feel terrible for those Afghanis who will soon fear for their own lives due to collaboration with the US. I hope that we can give them safe harbor.

  3. This why i always say you can be in power but you’ve No power after 20 years of damages and fighting Ghosts They came Home Empty Hands ooops.

  4. The British Empire at the height of its power tried for 150 years and could not control Afghanistan on a permanent basis and took some major casualties trying. We could be there for another 100 years and never win, its always been a guerilla war paradise.

    1. The Russians never managed to get anything done either. They overjoyed when the US dove in with an overdose of hubris. They knew from the beginning how it end.

  5. Thank you, Mr. President. You will never see my words, but I lost everything under Trump. Our telecom company tanked with Trump FCC rules changing so drastically and we were in our car by 2018. I have seen things I never thought I would. And sometimes, I was afraid I wouldn’t see a real president ever again. Bless you for standing up.

    1. Your story is like so MANY MANY others– and YET, T***** STILL has supporters? It boggles the mind.

    2. @John Butler I know. And I am doing my best to get back up on my feet and use my experience to help others. It’s a good thing I am a sociology major and I understood how to get out of the cycle. I met so many amazing people who are just broken. Our city government has been horrible to the homeless during COVID, even when they knew funding was coming from outside. They are helping only a fraction of the thousands of people here with my story.

  6. Our involvement with the Taliban goes farther back than 20 years, and perhaps we should discuss that partnership in the open, so the American people can understand who started this mess in the first place.

    1. I know! Weren’t we cheering when the Taliban was riding horses through the mountains helping the US hunt for Bid Ladin? That picture is pretty vivid in my memory. Have I got it wrong?. Wasn’t that Charlie Wilson’s idea?

    2. @Elena Latici thats what i remember, and i was old then! as a Vietnam-era vet, I dont get any of what’s been done in the past 50 years… its been a mess for that long. And now that I live in Nepal, all this talk of Pakistan and China is a worry… little too close for comfort.

    3. Yup, that was a Reagan Admin Idea. Republicans gave them the best weapons, training and military support the US could afford.

    4. @Is Covidoveryet its what we do, apparently, if history is correct; we fight proxy wars so we don’t have to fight the big one. I wonder if that’s even the case nowadays… and if someone ballsy will press the button during this decade.

  7. While I’m glad the troops will finally be coming home (or, at the very least, re-deployed), I have this gnawing feeling that we’re going to end up paying for it down the road…

    1. It really depends. Can another 9/11 happen? Probably. But it could happen with or without the Afghan war. And look what happened since: ISIS, Boko Haram, Syria. At the end of the day, it’s going to be the intelligence agencies who can best protect on incoming threats – a reason why it’s so important they are well funded. 9/11 was called an Intelligence failure, and rightly so. Just need to make sure the next one will be averted.
      If anything, the war in Syria has actually allowed cover for some potential extremists migrating into Europe. So, if a group would actually want to do 9/11 magnitude of harm, they could definitely gather to do it and with a springboard much closer than the Middle East.
      Lastly, consider the generations of kids who grew up in American “invasion” – how easily they can be radicalized. It’s not an easy answer, but it appears that the benefits of getting out outweigh the risks; at least at the moment.

    2. Thats what you get when your killing people whit impunity. Stealing from them. Raping. Were is the justice for the Afghan people who have suffered do to American aggression?? You went there looking for revenge. how many people have you murdered looking for terrorist??

  8. The problem is that Afganistan is not a country, it is a group of tribes and those tribes move freely on the borders

  9. When I was a kid you would hear about one neighbor or another talking about how they completed 2 or 3 tours in Vietnam. It was understood that more than one tour was a lot, and anyone who could make it out of 3 tours, alive, was a rare person, and a hero. Well, it will take more hands than I have, to count the number of people I personally know who have served 2, 3, and 4 tours in Afganistan, and more in Iraq, facing unimaginable dangers. My very close friend from high school died in the opening days of this war, so very long ago that I was still a kid, literally fresh out of high school. He missed out on his kid’s life, then an infant, now-adult, who is now two or three years post-college. If not now then when?

  10. As John Kerry testified to the Senate in 1971 –
    How do you tell someone they were the last to die for a mistake?

  11. Recommended reading:
    The Great Game by
    Peter Hopkirk
    This book explains decisively how no Imperial power has EVER overcome Afghanistan.
    We had no reason to be there and need to be out of there as of yesterday.

  12. Sad that Americans forget that other countries were involve in the initial battles in Afganistan. It wasn’t just America that went there.

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