Mikheil Gorbachev, the last head of state to organize the withdrawal of a failed occupation from Afghanistan, has some advice for President Barack Obama: get out while the getting’s good.
“There is no prospect of a military solution,” Gorbachev warned, “what we need is the reconciliation of Afghan society – and they should be preparing the ground for withdrawal rather than additional troops.”
As the General Secretary of the Soviet Union in the mid 1980’s, Gorbachev oversaw the last four years of the failed decade-long occupation, and materially all of the pullout from the country.
The US government’s war has followed largely the same path as the Soviet one, with ever escalating numbers of troops and rising expectations failing in the face of an ever growing insurgency.
When the Soviet Union left Afghanistan, they likewise talked of forming a “national reconciliation government.” Within three years, that government (materially the same Soviet-installed government that was so harshly opposed in the first place) was overthrown by the US-backed mujahideen.
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