The US deal with the Taliban – forged under former US President Donald Trump and implemented under President Joe Biden – was “the single most important factor” in the rapid collapse of Afghanistan’s forces as American troops withdrew last year.
As in Vietnam decades earlier, the US “spent years and billions of dollars training and equipping” the Afghan National Security Forces “only to see them quickly collapse in the face of far less-equipped insurgencies once US logistical, equipment enabler and air support were withdrawn,” Mr John Sopko, the Special Inspector-General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, said in an “interim” lessons-learned report released Wednesday (May 18).
The US appropriated US$146 billion (S$202.41 billion) for Afghanistan reconstruction, with about US$90 billion spent building the country’s 300,000-member security force.
Over 20 years, the conflict killed 2,443 US troops and 1,144 allied troops. SMr opko previously said it’s likely that far more than the estimated 66,000 Afghan troops and 48,000 civilians also died.
Source : THE STRAITS TIMES