32 years after he pulled USSR out of Afghanistan, Gorbachev says America’s failed war was also a ‘bad idea from the beginning’
The US should have admitted failure earlier in Afghanistan, but now is time to learn lessons and not repeat mistakes. That’s according to Mikhail Gorbachev, the Soviet leader who pulled his forces out of the same country in 1989.
Speaking to news agency RIA Novosti, Gorbachev called the US invasion of Afghanistan “a bad idea from the very beginning,” suggesting that it was doomed from the start.
“Like many similar projects, it was based on an exaggeration of the threat and not very clear geopolitical intentions,” he explained. “Unrealistic attempts to democratize a multi-tribal society have added to this.”Also on rt.com Like the Berlin Wall or the Twin Towers: footage of fleeing Afghans abandoned by US marks the end of an era for American supremacy
The Soviet Union sent troops to Afghanistan in 1979, in support of the socialist government, to fight against the Mujahideen. The conflict is seen by many as a proxy of the Cold War, as the Islamic guerrillas were backed by the US, the UK and other Western nations.
“The important thing now is to learn lessons and make sure that similar mistakes are not repeated,” Gorbachev said.
The war, initially begun by Leonid Brezhnev, was eventually ended a decade later by Gorbachev. The former President of the USSR has repeatedly admitted that he believes the presence of Soviet troops in the country was a mistake, and that’s why he took steps to end the war.Also on rt.com Afghan debacle is a sign of shift in global order: With Russian help, China quickly replacing US as world’s most important country
The situation in Afghanistan has intensified in recent weeks, following the US decision to withdraw its troops from the country. On Sunday, militants from the Taliban entered the Afghan capital Kabul and declared that they had taken control of the entire nation, including all its major cities and border checkpoints. On the same day, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country.
Ghani became President of Afghanistan in September 2014, marking the first time in the country’s history that power was democratically transferred. Since his election, Ghani has enjoyed a close relationship with the US, which has pumped almost a trillion dollars into the country. According to a 2019 study by Brown University, Washington has spent around $978 billion in Afghanistan and Pakistan since 2001.
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