A new book is claiming that former President Barack Obama lied to the American people back in December of 2014, when he announced that the United States’ war with Afghanistan had reached a “conclusion.”
In excerpts from the book “The Afghanistan Papers: A Secret History of the War,” which is coming out later this month, author Craig Whitlock discusses statements Obama made at the end of 2014 suggesting that the war in Afghanistan was over. However, Whitlock pointed out that a military ceremony directed by Obama did not mark the end of the conflict, according to Fox News.
“Thanks to the extraordinary sacrifices of our men and women in uniform, our combat mission in Afghanistan is ending and the longest war in American history is coming to a responsible conclusion,” Obama said in 2014, adding that the day marked “a milestone for our country.”
However, Whitlock said that the war was not actually over, and that it would continue for the next seven years.
“In fact, the war was nowhere near a conclusion, ‘responsible’ or otherwise, and U.S. troops would fight and die in combat in Afghanistan for many years to come,” Whitlock wrote in his book. “The baldfaced claims to the contrary ranked among the most egregious deceptions and lies that U.S. leaders spread during two decades of warfare.”
Whitlock went on to say that Obama knew Americans were tired of this war, so he “conjured up an illusion” to make it look like it was over. He then allegedly managed to carve out caveats on the roles of the troops who remained.
“As the flag came down during the December 2014 ceremony in Kabul, Obama’s commanders emphasized that the Afghan army and police would take full responsibility for their country’s security from that point forward, with U.S. and NATO forces restricted to ‘noncombat’ roles as trainers and advisers,” Whitlock said.
“But the Pentagon carved out numerous exceptions that, in practice, made the distinctions almost meaningless,” he continued. “In the skies, U.S. fighters, bombers, helicopters and drones continued to fly air combat missions against Taliban forces. In 2015 and 2016, the U.S. military launched missiles and bombs on 2,284 occasions, a decline from previous years but still an average of more than three times a day.”
To back up his argument, Whitlock cited many American military casualties that occurred after Obama claimed the war was over. Despite these casualties, Obama still said again the next year in 2015 that the combat mission in Afghanistan was “over” and that Americans were not involved in “major ground combat” in the country.
“To the troops, the distinction made no difference,” Whitlock wrote. “To them, Afghanistan was a combat zone. They all carried weapons. They all earned combat pay. They were awarded combat decorations. More would die.”
Former President Donald Trump had promised to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan back in May, but President Joe Biden pushed this deadline back in September 11. It remains to be seen whether or not he will be successful in this endeavor.
This piece was written by James Samson on August 13, 2021. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.
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