Frank Ledwidge, a British former intelligence officer, discusses the futility of the war in Afghanistan (and the rest of the terror wars), which many of the world’s countries have now been mired in for nearly two decades. Ledwidge begins by reminding us just how much the Afghans hate foreign armies. Like most people, they don’t take kindly to an occupying military force telling them how to live; unlike most people, a huge percentage of the rural villagers, especially in the Helmand Province, have never even heard of 9/11 or the war on terror. The goal of “winning hearts and minds” in a place like Afghanistan, says Ledwidge, is utterly futile. Experts like Ledwidge have been trying to warn their governments about these mistakes for years, but no one, it seems, has learned their lesson.
Discussed on the show:
“Australian special forces involved in murder of 39 Afghan civilians, war crimes report alleges” (The Guardian)
“Kabul War Diary” (WikiLeaks)
“The Crimes of SEAL Team 6” (The Intercept)
“An abrupt U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan undermines the fragile peace” (Washington Post)
“Guns and poses” (The Economist)
“The Afghanistan Papers” (Washington Post)
The Battle for the Arab Spring: Revolution, Counter-Revolution and the Making of a New Eratitle
Frank Ledwidge is a former military officer who served in the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan. He is the author of Losing Small Wars and Investment in Blood.
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