Justin Marozzi

Hubris, blunders and lies characterised the war in Afghanistan from the start

Two books, by Toby Harnden and Craig Whitlock, provide a devastating insight into US policy over 20 years

A military transport plane leaves Kabul on August 23rd while Afghans, unable to be evacuated, watch and wait. [Getty Images]

And so the reckoning begins. As frantic Afghans wrestle with the agonising, life-and-death choice between staying in Kabul and risking execution by the Taliban or running the gauntlet of checkpoints around the airport in search of freedom overseas, it’s noises off in the West. Pundits and policy- makers pontificate, grizzled generals rue another foreign adventure ending in defeat and the media provide a live stream of grief and anguish.

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