The Congressional Research Service (CRS) puts out documents periodically on various countries. One such document (R45122) on Afghanistan was updated on November 1, 2019. An 18-page detailed document, the author outlines the interest of the United States (US) in Afghanistan from 2001 post 9/11 and describes the events that occurred there for the past 18 years.
The Congress (always the Congress and not the President of the US!) has appropriated $133 billion in the past 18 years to maintain peace and restore a semblance of order there. In the process, there have been 2400 military fatalities (including 17 in 2019). So what has the US taxpayer got for his money?
14,000 US troops in Afghanistan
Trump came to power with the promise that he would recall US troops from various hotspots. A result of this objective has been the talks that the US had, even with the Taliban, to withdraw the complete force from Afghanistan. Talks were scheduled to take place in Camp David, in September 2019, between Trump, the Afghan government and the Taliban. For the first time, the Taliban was being recognized as a legitimate player by the US. Call it greed or whatever, the Taliban claimed responsibility for a suicide attack that killed 1 American soldier and 11 civilians (Was Taliban thinking that they would get leverage?) just days before the Camp David meeting was to have occurred. And Trump called it off.
John Bolton has left (or was he fired?) as the National Security Adviser. Mike Pompeo and President Trump find themselves in hot water from the impeachment saga. In another ill-advised move, Trump withdrew troops protecting the Kurds and allowing Turkey to occupy/ plunder portions of North Syria that were a Kurd stronghold. The bottom line, the US Foreign Policy lies in tatters even as the current administration enters into “job preservation” mode.
Where is Pak in all this?
Back to the Mainstream Media (MSM) headline – On Page 10 of this report, is a line Pakistan, which has played an active, and by many accounts negative, role in Afghan affairs for decades. Another instance of a line becoming the story from a report, which is fairly exhaustive on Afghanistan. A copy of the same is provided below:
 Trump wanted a big cut in troops in Afghanistan. New U. S. military plans fall short – Jan 8, 2019, The Washington Post
 How Trump’s Plan to Secretly Meet With the Taliban Came Together, and Fell Apart – Sep 8, 2019, The New York Times
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