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Was the sad, messy end in Afghanistan inevitable?

Political Theater, Episode 216

Taliban fighters atop Humvee vehicles parade in Kandahar, Afghanistan, on Sept. 1 to celebrate the U.S. pulling all its troops out of the country.
Taliban fighters atop Humvee vehicles parade in Kandahar, Afghanistan, on Sept. 1 to celebrate the U.S. pulling all its troops out of the country. (Javed Tanveer/AFP via Getty Images)

President Joe Biden this week declared that the Afghanistan War, the longest in U.S. history, was over and that after the evacuation of thousands of Americans and Afghan allies, there was no vital national security interest that justified staying on. But after 20 years, the withdrawal of troops and civilians this summer was messy — and deadly.

CQ Roll Call senior defense writer John M. Donnelly joins us on the Political Theater podcast to discuss how much of it was standard operating procedure and the lack of good options for the U.S. mission in Afghanistan.

Show Notes:

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