a nice round-up of the failed american occupation of afghanistan. as the US withdraws, the taliban is optimistic and will become stronger. the government has little to no public support, and while not all prefer the taliban, there is a large political vacum.
Candid about Afghans’ criticism of their government, the Nato report is diplomatically reticent about the other main reason why the Taliban has been able to survive, recover and absorb the US counter-offensive in 2010-11. The Taliban benefits from simply being Afghans who are fighting foreign occupation, and “occupation” is the word used by both Taliban and government officials.
It is an extraordinary turn-around that a decade later the Americans are departing and the Taliban are back in business. A leaked Nato report on interrogations of 4,000 captured Taliban, al-Qa’ida, foreign fighters and civilians shows that Taliban prisoners are in a confident mood. They believe their popular support is growing, Afghan government officials secretly collaborate with them, and, once foreign troops are gone, they believe they are going to win.
read rest here, Patrick Cocburn, The death of the American dream in Afghanistan