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Podcast: How the US underestimated the Taliban - and who's paying for it one year later

logo: GZERO World with Ian Bremmer (the podcast), overlaid on an image of US military in Afghanistan


Listen: The anniversary of the end of America’s war in Afghanistan is a reminder of what many see as a staggering US defeat. It was also a victory for a long-time US adversary, the Taliban, who remain in control as the country faces a humanitarian crisis and a crumbling economy. Their brutal rule has also led to worsening conditions for women and girls in the country. Ian Bremmer speaks to former Marine and author Elliot Ackerman on the GZERO World podcast about his view of the war and his new book “The Fifth Act: America's End in Afghanistan.”

Ackerman believes the US military could have done a much better job at leaving the country, without leaving so many Afghan allies behind. The war, he explained, had come to define our military thinking and intelligence capability because the US was involved there for such a long time. And that long involvement clouded American judgment as it left. He also shares his thoughts on leaving no man behind honor code and whether an all-volunteer military is what America needs amid deeply dysfunctional domestic politics.

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