Contrary to how some understand the U.S. withdrawal in Afghanistan, the lesson extremists are taking from the Taliban’s success is not simply that jihad works, but that diplomacy and engagement are a necessary part of the process, which includes reassuring the West about external threats emerging from their areas.
Afghanistan itself was a sideshow in which money and careers could be made and repatriated. In the meantime, an artificial economy was created there to service birds of passage, from diplomats and aid workers to military officials and outside contractors.
Over its 10 years of aiding the mujahedeen, the U.S. learned nothing about the nuances of Afghanistan’s people, history or culture — a problem that would continue to plague most of our actions for the 20 years the U.S. spent in Afghanistan.
Western leftists think the CIA created al Qaeda by helping the mujahideen shoot down Russian helicopters. They’re wrong. The CIA program to arm anti-Soviet Afghan mujahideen with Stinger missiles saved lives.
Western prison systems still struggle to incarcerate notorious jihadists or ideologues. One major case was that of Abu Qatada, dubbed “Osama bin Laden’s right-hand man.”
No one escaped Raed Fares’ brutal criticism: U.S. presidents, Russia, Iran, the United Nations – everyone who was witnessing the Syrian war and doing nothing to stop it.