The End of an Era?

Over the last week, we've witnessed the complete collapse of the Afghan government created and sustained by the US government for most of the last two decades. It's a testament to the futility of the mission for which so many human lives, both American and Afghan, were sacrificed. And with the looming 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, there are a great many strong and mixed feelings about what we've seen occur there. In light of those feelings, it is important to remember that it never had to be this way. A month after 9/11, the Taliban offered to negotiate the extradition of Osama Bin Laden & other Al-Qaeda leaders implicated in the 9/11 attacks. The Bush administration refused to negotiate, and opted instead to go ahead with starting the longest war in American history. And still, after almost 20 years, thousand of American and hundreds of thousands of Afghan lives lost, trillions of dollars, the government that was installed there evaporated in the space of a week.