Senior Editor Mollie Hemingway blasted the two decades of disastrous nation-building in Afghanistan that have resulted in strategic failure and a resurgence of the Taliban upon the United States’ exit from the country.
Her comments on Fox News’ “Special Report” Friday come in the wake of the Taliban completing a sweep of Afghanistan’s south Friday, bringing them closer to Kabul just weeks before the United States is set to officially end its unsuccessful 20-year war.
“The pundits and media and politicians are talking about the incompetence of the exit or how surprised they are about what it is like to leave Afghanistan,” said Hemingway, “but they shouldn’t be surprised. This is the natural result of 20 years of failed strategy.”
“We went from using our military to fight and win wars into the impossible task of nation-building,” continued Hemingway. “When we were attacked on 9/11, we needed to have a swift and serious response. We did that but then-President Bush took his eyes off the ball. ”
“We got mired in the Iraq War,” she said, the result of the Bush and Obama administrations using an interventionist strategy in Afghanistan. “[Bush] and Cheney and Obama and Biden took on this task of nation-building in Afghanistan — the country historians call the ‘graveyard of empires.’”
The two-decade-long failed experiment “is what people need to focus on so that we never do it again,” added Hemingway. “When our military is used, we need to have clear, strategic objectives,” she said. “We need to get in and get out. And that is what people don’t want to talk about but it’s the most important lesson to learn right now.”
Hemingway also explained that part of why the United States’ exit from Afghanistan is going so poorly is because the Pentagon purposely made a poor plan “to trick President Biden into staying there… That is how [the Pentagon has] been able to keep people there.”
“The fact is that rather than focusing on what’s in the Taliban’s interest, we need to be thinking about what is in our interest,” said Hemingway. “It is not in our interest to spend trillions of dollars, 20 years, and all of the lives that we lost for a mission that couldn’t even be sustained for a few days without that level of support.”