Through the Western eye …

Through the Western eye …

“American troops cannot and should not be fighting in a war and dying in a war that Afghan forces are not willing to fight for themselves.”

“How many more generations of America’s daughters and sons would you have me send to fight Afghanistan’s civil war when Afghan troops will not? … How many more lives — American lives — is it worth? How many endless rows of headstones at Arlington National Cemetery?”

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US President Joe Biden

“I recall the comment attributed to a captured Taliban fighter from a number of years ago: You Americans have the watches, but we have the time. Sadly, that view proved accurate — the Taliban outlasted us and our impatience.”

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Ryan C. Crocker

United States ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, Kuwait and Lebanon, serving both Republican and Democratic administrations.

“What Joe Biden has done with Afghanistan is legendary. It will go down as one of the greatest defeats in American history! … It is time for Joe Biden to resign in disgrace for what he has allowed to happen to Afghanistan … It shouldn’t be a big deal, because he wasn’t elected legitimately in the first place!”

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Former President Donald Trump

“Americans have questioned how roughly 70,000 Taliban soldiers can seemingly demolish a well-funded, U.S.-trained government security force listed at 300,000 on paper. The answer is not about training or firepower, but hearts and minds. The Taliban understand Sun Tzu’s familiar dictum that every war is won or lost before it is fought and that the ultimate victory is to break the enemy’s resistance without fighting.”

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Richard Stengel

Under-secretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs in President Obama’s administration and the former managing editor of Time magazine.

“The politicians decided to withdraw, the politicians must be responsible for the consequences.”

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Theresa May

Former British Prime Minister

“The Pashtun tribes have not been categorically hostile to state authority as such; after all, Pashtun tribes created the kingdom of Afghanistan in the first place, and most rural Pashtuns accepted Taliban rule in the 1990s willingly enough.

Rather, they have been hostile to three kinds of government: those lacking traditional or religious legitimacy; those which force them to pay too many taxes; and those which try rapidly to change their lives, their society and their traditions. In the traditional Pashtun tribal view, the legitimate role of the state, though essential, is also highly limited. Apart from leading the people against invaders, it is to judge tribal disputes, and thereby prevent these disputes from creating a state of permanent warfare.”

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Anatol Lieven

A British author, award winning journalist and policy analyst. Currently, he is serving as a professor at Georgetown University.

“It would be fair to say [recent] events in Afghanistan have unfolded and the collapse [of the Afghan government] has been faster than even the Taliban themselves predicted… What is not true is to say the UK government was unprepared or did not foresee this. The West could not continue this U.S.-led mission, a mission conceived and executed in support of America… It is an illusion to believe that there is appetite amongst any of our partners for a continued military presence, or for a military solution imposed by NATO in Afghanistan.”

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Boris Johnson

British Prime Minister

The reports from Kunduz and from all over Afghanistan are bitter and hurt a lot… Are society and parliament prepared to send the armed forces into a war and remain there with lots of troops for at least a generation? If we are not, then the joint withdrawal with the partners remains the right decision.”

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Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer

German Defence Minister on Twitter

“The U.S. has every right to decide when to stay in or withdraw from a battle zone… But why they would tire of the Afghanistan mission, when U.S. troops have been in Europe, South Korea and Japan for decades, is unclear. Is Afghanistan an indicator of further U.S. withdrawal from key areas of tension worldwide? With Canada’s national defence and foreign policy highly dependent on U.S. strategic presence, this federal election is a good time for Canadians to reflect on our foreign and defence policy priorities so we can keep such awful crises from ever happening again.”

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Hugh Segal

Mathews’ fellow in global public policy at the Queen’s University School of Policy Studies, Canada.

“You can resource, you can train, you can support, you can advise and you can assist, but you cannot buy will. You cannot purchase leadership, and leadership was missing.”

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John Kirby

Pentagon spokesman while explaining the collapse of the Afghan government.