The Afghanistan Papers, revisited
This week, Americans watched in disbelief as Afghanistan fell to the Taliban in a matter of days — and we wondered what Craig Whitlock was thinking. Two years ago he and a team at The Post published a prescient and ground-breaking project called “The Afghanistan Papers,” revealing hundreds of secret interviews with U.S. officials candidly discussing the failures of the war.
The interviews with some 400 people were part of a project called “Lessons Learned,” undertaken by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, or SIGAR, and The Post obtained them after a three-year legal battle. These Afghanistan papers are a secret history of the war, Whitlock tells Martine Powers, and “they contain these frank admissions of how the war was screwed up and that what the American people were being told about the war wasn’t true.”
“They really do bring to mind the Pentagon Papers, which were the Defense Department’s top-secret history of the Vietnam War,” Whitlock says.
These recordings have new resonance this week.
Read excerpts from Craig Whitlock’s new book, ‟The Afghanistan Papers: A Secret History of the War”.
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