Afghanistan 20/20: A History of the U.S. War in Declassified Documents (Hardcover)
The summer of 2021 saw the lid blown off twenty years of deception, obfuscation, and delusion in America's war in Afghanistan. By analyzing twenty key declassified documents covering twenty years of the U.S. effort, this slim volume offers concise answers to our most basic questions about the debacle and defeat that played out in August 2021 at the Kabul Airport.
Compiled by the director of the National Security Archive, the nation's leading foreign policy watchdog, Afghanistan 20/20 reveals that the U.S. government under four presidents misled the American people for nearly two decades about progress in Afghanistan, while hiding the inconvenient facts about ongoing failures inside confidential channels--facts that are revealed here in sobering detail.
Tom Blanton guides the reader through each document, providing expert insights and historical context. The documents in Afghanistan 20/20 include highest-level "snowflake" memos written by then Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld during the George W. Bush administration, critical cables written by U.S. ambassadors back to Washington under both Bush and Barack Obama, the deeply flawed Pentagon strategy document behind Obama's "surge" in 2009, and multiple "lessons learned" findings by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR)--lessons that were never learned.