How the US created a disaster in Afghanistan

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28 dagar sedan

What was the purpose of America's longest war?

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On August 15, 2021, the Taliban took over Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul. The Afghan president fled the country. Almost all of Afghanistan is now under Taliban control. It marks the end of an era: America’s longest war is now over, and it lost. And it happened fast, stunning the world and leaving many in the country racing to find an exit.

But even among those surprised by the way the end played out, many knew the war was destined to end badly. According to some experts, the seeds of disaster were planted back at the war’s very beginning.

Ever since the American war in Afghanistan began in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, the US government has struggled with answering exactly why the military was there. In the very beginning the goal was relatively clear: to capture the perpetrator of the attacks, Osama bin Laden. But almost immediately, the goals became murkier, and more complicated.

In this video, investigative reporter Azmat Khan and former US ambassador to Afghanistan Michael McKinley explain what the US military was actually doing in Afghanistan, what it got wrong, and why America’s long intervention there is considered a failure.

Some of the sources we used in our reporting:

This report from Brown University’s Cost of War project has good data on how many Afghan civilians have beem killed in airstrikes:

The comparison of American attitudes towards the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are from Gallup polls:

This annual report from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan reconstruction provided us with a lot of information on US money and resources spent on Afghanistan since the start of the war:

The Long War Journal’s maps on Taliban control helped us visualize how they gained ground over time:

Other sources that we recommend for understanding this story:

No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban and the War Through Afghan Eyes By Anand Gopal:

The Whitewashing of the Afghan War by Emran Feroz:

On the ground reporting by Ali M. Latifi:

The Washington Post’s Afghanistan Papers database:

Ghost Students, Ghost Teachers, Ghost School by Azmat Khan:

We all lost Afghanistan by Michael McKinley:

Vox Reporting:

The rapid fall of Afghanistan to Taliban forces, explained by Natasha Ishak:
Who are the Taliban now, by Jen Kirby:
Why Biden was so set on withdrawing from Afghanistan, by Andrew Prokop:
The history of US intervention in Afghanistan, from the Cold War to 9/11, by Emily Stewart:
The US needs to meet its moral obligation to Afghan refugees, by Li Zhou: is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Check out .

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Vox 27 dagar sedan
Thanks for watching. In the video description we’ve left links to the sources that helped us understand this story better. We also published a video in 2018 that focused specifically on the failures of American reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan, and why the US wasn’t able to rebuild the country. You can watch that here:
BidenIs NotMyPresident
BidenIs NotMyPresident 21 dag sedan
@Adin P Again, the Syrian pullout was flawless. The afgan pullout was a disaster. Just because it's bigger, just means you scale up your efforts. Also how do you explain leaving behind billions in military equipment? Too much to take home? Why not destroy them? At this point, you are not trying to convince me. You are trying to convince yourself.
Adin P
Adin P 21 dag sedan
@BidenIs NotMyPresident Trump also didn’t need to deal with one of the, if not the biggest civilian and military evacuation of all time. Evacuating over 100,000+ people in two weeks is no easy feat. I’m pretty sure Trump didn’t have to deal with that. However, that still doesn’t excuse how chaotic the evacuation of citizens and military personnel from Afghanistan was.
BidenIs NotMyPresident
BidenIs NotMyPresident 22 dagar sedan
Remember when President Trump left Syria? I don't remember that one having as many problems as when Biden abandoned Afghanistan...... Just saying.
Adin P
Adin P 22 dagar sedan
We should at least acknowledge the fact that Pakistan is the main reason the Taliban exists. They exported terrorists into Afghanistan because of a border dispute.
Boo Boo
Boo Boo 24 dagar sedan
Should have started video with Biden.
nana2050 13 timmar sedan
You forgot the part where the taliban spammed “ez” when they took over afghanistan
Humayon Pervaiz
Humayon Pervaiz Dag sedan
liked the Subject line.
Brandon Armienti
Brandon Armienti Dag sedan
Why didn't you bring up the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan? It was the birthplace of the Taliban.
Amal Binu
Amal Binu 2 dagar sedan
Hamid Nabil
Hamid Nabil 2 dagar sedan
Title should have been- How Pakistan and US created Taliban and a disaster in Afghanistan Vox, could you make a a video about madrasa in Pakistan and how Taliban and other terrorist organizations train and brainwash their soldiers with the HELP of ISI.
Faisal alyusuf
Faisal alyusuf 2 dagar sedan
It’s more like let’s take all Afghanistan resources
julius ochoa
julius ochoa 2 dagar sedan
Real title: how Islam has been a disaster in Afghanistan
NM 2 dagar sedan
America you lost another war, get over it.
聞道蘊 3 dagar sedan
freedom freedom freedom
Tarek Tahan
Tarek Tahan 3 dagar sedan
Purrr Purrr
Purrr Purrr 3 dagar sedan
Could you imagine even a third of the money spent in this was used to invest in America and it’s people instead?
amir ashoury
amir ashoury 3 dagar sedan
ah yes... its not biden's fault. its usa's fault. if trump did this every news channel would be saying TRUMP RUINED AFGHANISTAN. but now its the usa's fault in general. take the blame off biden. gotcha. you are definitely not like every other news program.
Mr. Metro
Mr. Metro 4 dagar sedan
Afghanistan, the graveyard of Empires, where Alexander met his match, where the British’s expansion stopped, where the Great Soviet stumbled, and now it’s where the American Military Machine choked
AriMax*~ 4 dagar sedan
I hope no taliban member sees this!! Oh vox why didn't you hide the poor allies faces @ 7:20 🤨I understand that it's pictures taken from other agencies but none the less this video will be trending hence be more accessible!
Tri Pham
Tri Pham 5 dagar sedan
This is why mr Bush is Osama bin Ladin a best terrorist america ever face
BossTweed 5 dagar sedan
I hate this feeling. Watching a video, knowing as a person a kid, I can't do anything. Just sit here with my future in these peoples hands.
Lưu Phương
Lưu Phương 5 dagar sedan
To America, every war is a good war because it benefits their military-industrial complex.
Lubna Sarwar
Lubna Sarwar 5 dagar sedan
USA just crearly lost a 20 years war in 10 days... A strongest country lol
Ihsan amsal
Ihsan amsal 6 dagar sedan
I gonna investigate and revalidate information about what actually happened in 911....
Jerry Billett
Jerry Billett 6 dagar sedan
Ron Paul spoke and warned of this, and explained everything we see today so gracefully that the average American could understand what was coming. How did America repay this great man? Ignoring him and denying this nation a chance of a president that would have changed America for the better.
B Babbich
B Babbich 6 dagar sedan
Imagine thinking that every problem in the world is somehow the US’s fault.
B Babbich
B Babbich 3 timmar sedan
​@Salvador Vizcarra Lol no, you didn’t. I am also a student of non-American history and when I look at the rest of the world… The US is pretty tame. Just look at what Stalin did alone.
Salvador Vizcarra
Salvador Vizcarra 11 timmar sedan
@B Babbich Well... Maybe I touched a sensitive nerve that bothered you. However, nothing I wrote in this UTube Comment Box corresponds to my personal opinion. Absolutely nothing. I copied everything from the web. I just did Copy-Paste. Only that. On the other hand, these FACTS are already part of US History. Everything is written in our history books and it is not a secret. Not any more.
B Babbich
B Babbich 11 timmar sedan
​@Salvador Vizcarra Humans are humans dude. Plain and simple
Salvador Vizcarra
Salvador Vizcarra 12 timmar sedan
@B Babbich Yes. That's right. Correct. No country has done anything like it in 250 years of existence, cuz (as well as the English Empire), our Empire is the product of Piracy, Slavery, Genocide, Murder, Opium Trafficking (And now us Trafficking Cocaine), and the Weakness of other sovereign nations. We have not respected anything or ANYONE. Who can be proud to belong to a country like ours? U?
B Babbich
B Babbich 12 timmar sedan
​@Salvador Vizcarra Yeah, and nobody else has ever done anything… RIGHT!
Task Force 404
Task Force 404 6 dagar sedan
Talibans are funded by the US so everything left in afghanistan is still US's property.
Hassan Abdullah
Hassan Abdullah 6 dagar sedan
Just leave them alone
carlton4ever15 7 dagar sedan
How Joe Biden Created a disaster in Afghanistan.
Gaming Youtuber Noonan010
Gaming Youtuber Noonan010 7 dagar sedan
Joe Biden is a complete disgrace.
Nothing 7 dagar sedan
Biden pulled out so poorly
🗡️The Missing Link🗡️
🗡️The Missing Link🗡️ 8 dagar sedan
Afghanistan was a disaster LONG before the U.S. did anything.
CG 7 dagar sedan
🗡️The Missing Link🗡️ And they returned to a disaster as soon U.S left what a coincidence. Such a shame never get their problems together and become self sufficient it was just a matter of time before U.S got tried trying help a hopeless country
RealHuman568 9 dagar sedan
Tf happened to audio in 6:52
Radith Ramadhan
Radith Ramadhan 9 dagar sedan
2 trillion USD for nothing
JS Ziya
JS Ziya 9 dagar sedan
Where is bin Laden dead body
Héctor Manuel Morales Contreras
Héctor Manuel Morales Contreras 9 dagar sedan
Well that’s one for the books.
StaticLocs 9 dagar sedan
They forgot the objective of enriching the military industrial complex
Tajamal Anwar
Tajamal Anwar 9 dagar sedan
THE OM 9 dagar sedan
Over 3k people were killed in 9/11. Over 929K people were killed in America's war that followed. 20 yrs, 2 trillion dollars smoked, 2 countries ruined. Pentagon spending since 2001 increased by 50%. Defence contractors profit increased by 1000 times since 2001. Every hour, taxpayers are paying 32 millions 💰 for cost of wars since 2001. *Achievement* : Now Taliban alongside Al-Qaida IS rulling Afganistan. Pakistan is dancing Nakedly with its Jihadists on global stage by projecting terrorists as freedom fighters. There is no Peace. Terror Threat seems to be more realistic than ever before.
4D Studio
4D Studio 10 dagar sedan
Afghans didn't work for US in Afghanistan because they thought they would eventually go to America, they wanted money. There weren't any other jobs for them to do. It's a poor third world country with no jobs for its 40m people. America leaving made more people ( translators, security gaurds, cleaners, cooks etc)loose their jobs, and as a result even people who weren't under any threat from the Taliban all of a sudden want to leave.
Юрий Шпорхун
Юрий Шпорхун 10 dagar sedan
Лучше бы нам денег дали, мы бы хоть сразу честно сказали, что их украли.
HUMBLE GORILLA 10 dagar sedan
We wasted trillions of dollars in Afghanistan, which could end homelessness in America😂
Werdioz! 10 dagar sedan
They Forgot What They Where Doing There Big Mistake
Zeyad Salty
Zeyad Salty 10 dagar sedan
Amarican and the other 37th countries were planning to make Civil war after the leave. But they're smart enough to know the trick game because they are done..
Angus Noble
Angus Noble 10 dagar sedan
Proof that imperialism helps nobody but the weapons companies.
Rizka 11 dagar sedan
us army: we killed osama, our job here is done! afghans: but you didn't do anything...
Paul Alvez
Paul Alvez 11 dagar sedan
Clearly a Left - leaning channel. Am I right or am I right?
arik singh
arik singh 11 dagar sedan
China be like we told yoall.
Hasan Choudhury
Hasan Choudhury 11 dagar sedan
Time for accountability and analysis of war crimes and loss of lives and honor of the innocent lives. Bush Obama Trump and contractors consultants are liable for allowing an endless forever war ! Mission was completed but they vested interests would not let it finish in time with dignity. But why and specifically who did the waste and damage to the psyche of the nation. Regards.
Don Tang
Don Tang 11 dagar sedan
If USA can't win a war in 20 years against (No bootcamp training) terrorist... With all their resources... How you gonna fight North Korea, China or Russia??? I don't get it... Someone explain pls
Stigs Ukrainian Cousin
Stigs Ukrainian Cousin 12 dagar sedan
It was Pakistan
Aly pixar
Aly pixar 12 dagar sedan
Great video
Jimmy Gravitt
Jimmy Gravitt 12 dagar sedan
I have to correct step number 2 as "defeat Taliban". This was NEVER the objective. The objective was to buildup an Afghan government capable of withstanding Taliban assault.
Dr Evo
Dr Evo 12 dagar sedan
Why tf Americans go in places they weren't invited in the first place?
Clint Stewart
Clint Stewart 12 dagar sedan
but islam is the religion of peace
Diego Moreno
Diego Moreno 12 dagar sedan
I thought the video was gonna be about how the USA got the talibans into power in the first place
Caméllia Oeillet
Caméllia Oeillet 12 dagar sedan
why people just blame for US. I admit that US is not good, but Afghanistan's administration is worse, right?
Arka Sarkar
Arka Sarkar 13 dagar sedan
I really feel sorry to see that how the US Government wasted trillion of dollars of US tax payers money.
Philo 1769
Philo 1769 13 dagar sedan
Let me save you 7:52, trump bad, Biden good.
612 Ent
612 Ent 13 dagar sedan
The money went back to U.S corporation contractors so the Afghan ppl didn’t received a penny but a lot of bombs that helped the Taliban 🤷🏾‍♂️
Rayborn Whites
Rayborn Whites 13 dagar sedan
Don’t ever forget Saudi Arabia was responsible for 9-11 not the taliban.
Lia Ibanez
Lia Ibanez 14 dagar sedan
The Pakistani way Neptune Studios
The Pakistani way Neptune Studios 14 dagar sedan
shift m0nei t0 industries 0f weap0ns etc. at the c0st 0f tens , hundreds 0f th0usands 0f lives fr0m an innocent c0untri fr0m acr0ss the w0rld
Sai Kumar
Sai Kumar 14 dagar sedan
I was waiting for your take on this issue. 👍 Verry well done
Vamavid 15 dagar sedan
"The Taliban was defeated." I think they beg to differ.
Brandon Armienti
Brandon Armienti Dag sedan
Yeah it's more like the Taliban just hid for 20 years and as soon as the US began to leave they came out in the open.
Ozi L
Ozi L 9 dagar sedan
Yup. Nothing "comes back from the dead". They just had another reason to make themselves present again.
Real Tech
Real Tech 15 dagar sedan
Because it wasn't their intention to do so.
M Crump
M Crump 15 dagar sedan
Took 7 mins to just say....BIDEN
Arati Rao
Arati Rao 15 dagar sedan
aceyohcarlie 15 dagar sedan
What if Taliban allied with the Soviets will we see Islam with socialist characteristics?
Dikastes Basileus, Grand Adjudicator
Dikastes Basileus, Grand Adjudicator 10 dagar sedan
Surprisingly good question in this sea of filth, well Lenin did write that Islam would be a third world competitor in revolutionary warfare. The suggested alliance however wouldn't be possible however and not just because of outside 🇺🇸 influence, but because Islam does not even reach third world, same then as now: highly Fanatical, highly Medieval, and highly regressive.
Arati Rao
Arati Rao 15 dagar sedan
uZuMaKioBaRuTo 16 dagar sedan
From someone who lives in Africa, they clearly learnt a lot from the Brits
Clint Stewart
Clint Stewart 12 dagar sedan
if you hate so much britain or whatever why you people keep coming here stay there
it's everyday 風呂
it's everyday 風呂 16 dagar sedan
China is building a silk road through afganistan & middle east. this unleashing of taliban may be to distrupt that.
Martin Iliev
Martin Iliev 16 dagar sedan
Enough money enough lives lost. Their own military that we built for them gave up, so theres no point
Jameel Ja
Jameel Ja 16 dagar sedan
This should have been longer.
Danny R
Danny R 16 dagar sedan
honestly embarrassing
Amiya Mandal
Amiya Mandal 17 dagar sedan
Same as usual, us is either hero or victim ... When red army invaded afganistan then us funded Taliban to stop russian ... What a joke ...
N8 Labs
N8 Labs 17 dagar sedan
Fun fact : Bin Laden was in Pakistan
Maria W
Maria W 5 dagar sedan
That thing America don't understand...
Andy Wong
Andy Wong 17 dagar sedan
The US GDP is directly proportional to the wars they create. That is the sad truth.
Andy Wong
Andy Wong 14 dagar sedan
@Red Content . But terrorism didn’t end either. It probably resurface after corona virus is over……
Red Content
Red Content 14 dagar sedan
If US has not interrupted afghanistan after 9/11 ... I think US would have been struggling with terrorism
CIA Special Activities Division
CIA Special Activities Division 17 dagar sedan
I hope people know the Afghanistan didn’t start with 9/11 it started in the 80s with Russia
S G 17 dagar sedan
Moral of the story: *NEVER* put your Life in the hands of the *U.S. Military Industrial Complex* 🔥🔥
Klaudine Garcia
Klaudine Garcia 10 dagar sedan
@Nani Lama Phillipines: lol
Sabyasachi Sitakanta Jena
Sabyasachi Sitakanta Jena 10 dagar sedan
As if they did that knowingly 🙄
Grace 12 dagar sedan
@Nani Lama Taiwan: lol
Nani Lama
Nani Lama 15 dagar sedan
Japan and S. Korea : Lol
xxboon is bad fortnitexx
xxboon is bad fortnitexx 18 dagar sedan
Courtesy of the red white and blue
xxboon is bad fortnitexx
xxboon is bad fortnitexx 18 dagar sedan
Young Archivest
Young Archivest 18 dagar sedan
Don't see the point of the video. It doesn't explain how the US created disaster in Afghanistan, just explains how America invaded Afghanistan, defeated the Taliban/Al-quada, began funding the Afghan government, and how the US decided to leave and the Afghan government failed and disintegrated in a matter of months with no US air support. The failure is on Afghanistan to protect their own country from terrorists.
Ann Phan
Ann Phan 18 dagar sedan
Another country gonna going in ??? Russia then US than maybe China ??? History always repeats itself anyway.
Nektarios Kalafatis
Nektarios Kalafatis 18 dagar sedan
Just bring Obama back please.
matieking 18 dagar sedan
Afghanistan created this problem lol. Oh and Pakistan, who funded the taliban
Silviu Teodorescu
Silviu Teodorescu 18 dagar sedan
At this point you cannot expect almost anything from the US government considering all the mistakes it has done...
Collins O'Connor
Collins O'Connor 18 dagar sedan
Vox, the know it alls of SEcycle.
gepetto 18 dagar sedan
it clear ya got stole those planes
Afzal Emon
Afzal Emon 18 dagar sedan
I think, real terrorist is USA.
Jordan D.
Jordan D. 18 dagar sedan
I know this is supposed to be the tldr version of the afghanistan conflicts but this mess began long before 9/11 no?
America is soooo evil, I don't think people really understand the truth
Yurichtube 15 dagar sedan
No, it isn't. Islam is.
Ajinkya Jagtap
Ajinkya Jagtap 18 dagar sedan
“To be an enemy of America can be dangerous, but to be a friend is fatal.” - Henry Kissinger
Soledieair Videos
Soledieair Videos 2 dagar sedan
I hate Kissinger but that’s is the perfect quote.
Bob Evans
Bob Evans 7 dagar sedan
@Gabrielle Trinidad go join isis
Ozi L
Ozi L 8 dagar sedan
Tell that to NATO and the U.N. I bet they'll be scrambling to leave as soon as possible.
Gabrielle Trinidad
Gabrielle Trinidad 9 dagar sedan
Ben Laden hated the US for many reasons: 1. The US has double standards in favor of Israel against the Palestine. 2. The US keeps bombing cities and commiting atrocities in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, and other Muslim countries. 3. The US military dared to occupy Mecca and Medina, the holiest sites of Islam, which is an outright disrespect to Islam and Muslims around the globe. 4. The US is so ignorant when it comes to viewing other people's way of living. They want the Muslim countries to copy America's democratic model, totally undermining the cultural, religious, and social factors that builds the foundation for those countries.
thedavid00100 18 dagar sedan
It was a doomed war from the start. The US should have encouraged a coalition government with the Taliban after militarily defeating them. Instead they decided to occupy a foreign land…again
Pet Story
Pet Story 18 dagar sedan
All losers, what is it for 20 years, and how far is democracy?
Albin Johnsson
Albin Johnsson 19 dagar sedan
A terrorist group (which arguably wouldn't exist, and at least wouldn't be as powerful without US meddling in the Middle East) that was based in a country attacks the US and kills 3k people. The US response is to invade the whole of the country, start a war that kills 106 times as many people as 9/11, colonize the country for 20 years, and then leave it arguably worse. Imagine anyone doing a similar thing to the US. And yet Americans honestly believe they are the good guys. As an outside observer, it's simply absurd.
Richard Morgan
Richard Morgan 19 dagar sedan
In my opinion Americas biggest blunder was to allow India to come in Afghanistan, India was interested in Pakistan not in Afghanistan, since 2001 India was doing terrorist activities in Pakistan, therefore Pakistan has taken the revenge , India only invest 3 billion dollars while US invested 3 trillion dollars. I am surprised why US had made India a partner in Afghanistan ?
John Thomas
John Thomas 19 dagar sedan
If you’re prepared to invade a nation (which I supported) then you should also be prepared for nation building.
ugaas foodey
ugaas foodey 19 dagar sedan
To be sincerely speaking in my humble opinion without being sentimental and of course without offending anyone who thinks differently from my opinion but rather looking into this serious matter with perspective distinction and without condemning anyone's point of view, i honestly think and believe that i have nothing to say. Thank you.....
Salvador Vizcarra
Salvador Vizcarra 13 timmar sedan
And U R Mr. Bush Jr. I presume? LOL
L N 19 dagar sedan
This is the story you rarely hear in the mainstream media.
matteo.g3 19 dagar sedan
Jesus loves you
Rs Bamf
Rs Bamf 19 dagar sedan
I'd like to add that it was never in Trump's withdrawal plan to abandon Bagrum Air base the way it was done. Blaming your predecessor is like blaming last seasons QB for your 0 point championship game. Embarrassing of sleepy Joe to say the least.
भारतीय 19 dagar sedan
Should have Invaded pakistan instead.
Vibhav Sahasrabudhe
Vibhav Sahasrabudhe 19 dagar sedan
You said "Let's start from the beginning" and you forgot there's huge history related to Afghanistan and Taliban before the 9/11, that has direct influence of the USA. WOW
Brayden Zhang
Brayden Zhang 17 dagar sedan
xxboon is bad fortnitexx
xxboon is bad fortnitexx 18 dagar sedan
xxboon is bad fortnitexx
xxboon is bad fortnitexx 18 dagar sedan
Michael Crockis
Michael Crockis 19 dagar sedan
Meanwhile, the USA still didn't draw its military from the UK, Germany, and Japan. Says something. It probably takes few more decades to build a country.
V 19 dagar sedan
It took 20 Years, 2.3 Trillion dollars, 4 Presidents and thousands of causalities for United States to teach Taliban English.
Afghanistan War: How did 9/11 lead to a 20-year war?
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