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Stephen Wertheim: 9/11, Afghanistan, and Failed Foreign Policy

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“You don’t get to lose a war and expect the result to look like you won it,” says historian Stephen Wertheim of the violent and chaotic withdrawal of United States forces and personnel from Afghanistan. “Yet some in Washington are denying reality, calling for still more war and blaming Biden for their failure.”

Wertheim is the author of Tomorrow, the World: The Birth of U.S. Global Supremacy, a study of how American strategists during World War II conflated military supremacy with internationalism, and a senior fellow in the American Statecraft Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

He talks with Nick Gillespie about how the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were doomed to failure from their earliest days, what policy makers should be focused on as we approach the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, and why a fundamental rethink of U.S. military and foreign policy is not only urgent but, after a radical shift in public opinion, eminently possible.

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