Ron Paul: What We Have Learned From Afghanistan

by Ron Paul

Last week the Taliban opened an office in Doha, Qatar with the US government’s blessing. They raised the Taliban flag at the opening ceremony and referred to Afghanistan as the “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan”—the name they used when they were in charge before the US attack in 2001.

The US had meant for the Taliban office in Doha to be only a venue for a new round of talks on an end to the war in Afghanistan. The Taliban opening looked very much like a government in exile. The Karzai government was annoyed that the US and the Taliban had scheduled talks without even notifying Kabul. Karzai’s government felt as irrelevant to negotiations on post-war Afghanistan as they soon will be on the ground. It seemed strangely like Paris in 1968, where the US met with North Vietnamese representatives to negotiate a way out of that war, which claimed nearly 60,000 Americans and many times that number of Vietnamese lives.

For years many of us had argued the need to get out of Afghanistan. To end the fighting, the dying, the destruction, the nation-building. To end the foolish fantasy that we were building a Western-style democracy there. We cannot leave, we were told for all those years. If we leave Afghanistan now, the Taliban will come back! Well guess what, after 12 years, trillions of dollars, more than 2,200 Americans killed, and perhaps more than 50,000 dead Afghan civilians and fighters, the Taliban is coming back anyway!

The long US war in Afghanistan never made any sense in the first place. The Taliban did not attack the US on 9/11. The Authorization for the use of force that we passed after the attacks of 9/11 said nothing about a decade-long occupation of Afghanistan. But unfortunately two US presidents have taken it to mean that they could make war anywhere at any time they please. Congress, as usual, did nothing to rein in the president, although several Members tried to repeal the authorization.

Afghanistan brought the Soviet Union to its knees. We learned nothing from it.

We left Iraq after a decade of fighting and the country is in far worse shape than when we attacked in 2003. After trillions of dollars wasted and tens of thousands of lives lost, Iraq is a devastated, desperate, and violent place with a presence of al Qaeda. No one in his right mind speaks of a US victory in Iraq these days. We learned nothing from it.

We are leaving Afghanistan after 12 years with nothing to show for it but trillions of dollars wasted and thousands of lives lost. Afghanistan is a devastated country with a weak, puppet government—and now we negotiate with those very people we fought for those 12 years, who are preparing to return to power! Still we learn nothing.

Instead of learning from these disasters brought about by the interventionists and their failed foreign policy, the president is now telling us that we have to go into Syria!

US Army Col. Harry Summers told a story about a meeting he had with a North Vietnamese colonel named Tu while he visiting Hanoi in 1975. At the meeting, Col. Summers told Tu, “You know, you never defeated us on the battlefield.” Tu paused for a moment, then replied, “That may be so. But it is also irrelevant.”

Sadly, that is the story of our foreign policy. We have attacked at least five countries since 9/11. We have launched drones against many more. We have deposed several dictators and destroyed several foreign armies. But, looking around at what has been achieved, it is clear: it is all irrelevant.


  • Impeach Obama Soerto!

  • Impeach Obama Soerto!

  • J Reed

    Please sign this petition on the White House’s website to stop funding and supporting rebels in Syria. This isn’t our war and it’s not our business…

  • From Wikipedia( View original Wikipedia Article )

    Afghanistan has been the greatest illicit opium producer in the entire world, ahead of Burma (Myanmar), the “Golden Triangle”, and Latin America since 1992, excluding the year 2001.[1] Afghanistan is the main producer of opium in the “Golden Crescent”. Opium production in Afghanistan has been on the rise since U.S. occupation started in 2001. Based on UNODC data, there has been more opium poppy cultivation in each of the past four growing seasons (2004–2007) than in any one year during Taliban rule. Also, more land is now used for opium in Afghanistan than for coca cultivation in Latin America. In 2007, 92% of the non-pharmaceutical-grade opiates on the world market originated in Afghanistan.[2] This amounts to an export value of about $4 billion, with a quarter being earned by opium farmers and the rest going to district officials, insurgents, warlords, and drug traffickers.[3] In the seven years (1994–2000) prior to a Taliban opium ban, the Afghan farmers’ share of gross income from opium was divided among 200,000 families.[4] In addition to opiates, Afghanistan is also the largest producer of cannabis (mostly as hashish) in the world.[5][6]

  • I hate Obama.

  • doubleia doubleia doubleia xD

  • doubleia doubleia doubleia xD

  • Nadia

    By the chaos in Middle East two doves are killed with only one shot: first-destroyed,weakend by endless civil wars the countries of Middle East cannot unite around Palestinian People for strong support against Israel-that was the only chance for palestinians to get just approach for their Problem,because US policy will tune with AIPAC[ Paul Findly ,,They dare to speak out”].Second-strong,prosper countries of Middle East will let to access oil on their terms.They could even say:,,We don´t want dollars any more-as they worth not much more than toilet paper.”But so called rebels or any other gang which wants to seize power will give oil on the terms of those who will help them to come to power.But if somebody in US thinks thus to get cheap gasoline-what a delusion!

  • Nadia

    US government is not going to to learn either from Afganistan or Iraq,because it is a puppet government. Who pays the elections of all politicians including President-and even more important,who LETS them to be elected to begin with-that orders the tune.Chaos in Middle East-it is exactly what US government wants-at the expence of common US citizents,of course,but not for their good-though it claims othewise.For those who is in doubt US government will produce a bad terrorist with a bomb in his underwear pants caught while trying to board a plane-as a solid proof of threat to us,common citizens and a good excuse for taking our liberties away from us-step by step-for our safety,of course.By the way,how many high rank officials from theDepartment of Defence,CIA and others in charge were fired after 9/11?

  • The only ones to benefit from any of these illegal wars has been the “Military Industrial Complex” and its connected investors. What a shameful, disgusting waste…of everything…especially humanity. Will it only end when we’ve totally destroyed the entire planet??
    Dr Paul has consistently supported the Constitution and fought against these “foreign entanglements”….He should/could have been our President!

  • I personally know a Bush supporter who is still waiting for a welcoming parade in Iraq…I know lots of Obama Supporters who think Big Government will support their livelihoods..I am a Ron Paul supporter and I believe in the Constitution.

  • Dr. Paul is right about this as he has been about so many issues. The man who SHOULD be President.