For nearly two decades, U.S. government officials crafted a careful story of progress to justify their ongoing military campaign in Afghanistan. Newly disclosed documents reveal to what extent that story was not the reality of the war. Today, one former Marine speaks about the missteps the government concealed for years. Guest: Thomas Gibbons-Neff, a reporter in The New York Times Washington bureau and a former Marine infantryman and Eric Schmitt, who covers terrorism and national security for The New York Times. For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily. Background reading:Afghans have endured four decades of conflict, with little prospect of peace. This is the story of the last 18 years since the American invasion, as told by the men and women who’ve lived it.“We were devoid of a fundamental understanding of Afghanistan — we didn’t know what we were doing,” one retired three-star Army general said in hundreds of classified memos obtained by The Washington Post.Here are our key takeaways from the declassified documents.