America’s war in Afghanistan is the longest war the U.S. has ever fought. Beginning a month after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the initial mission was to remove the Taliban from power and destroy the al-Qaida terror network. Now, nearly 17 years later, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Steve Coll points out in his new book Directorate S: The CIA’s Secret War in Afghanistan and Pakistan, that the war’s goals have changed.
At best the war is a grinding stalemate.
With the publication of Ghost Wars, an explosive account of America’s secret history in Afghanistan, journalist Steve Coll became not only a Pulitzer Prize winner, but also the expert on the rise of the Taliban, the emergence of Bin Laden, and the efforts by CIA officers and their agents to capture or kill Bin Laden in Afghanistan after 1998. Just as America’s hapless involvement in Iraq spawned the Islamic State, so its involvement in Afghanistan boosted the power of al-Qaeada.