Home Perspectives “I served in Afghanistan. No, it’s not another Vietnam.”

“I served in Afghanistan. No, it’s not another Vietnam.”

“I served in Afghanistan. No, it’s not another Vietnam.”
U.S. Army Sgt. Ramon Guzman, Panjshir Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) Civil Affairs, walks past villagers during a site visit in Afghanistan's Panjshir Valley Mar. 5, 2009, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. James L. Harper Jr.)

By Amb. Ryan Crocker, who served as the U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan in 2011-2012 and is a diplomat-in-residence at Princeton University.


The Washington Post published a series of articles it calls the “The Afghanistan Papers: A Secret History of the War” based on documents and interviews by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR). The series of articles implies that the many problems in Afghanistan have been deliberately hidden and successes are minimal.

Amb. Crocker pushes back on this, here is a key bit from his op ed:

Let’s be clear. We came to Afghanistan and remain there now for one essential reason: the United States’ national security. These SIGAR interviews are about what contributes to that end and what doesn’t. I have argued that a better life for people in a misgoverned country is an essential part of that effort. It is also about American values. What is it, exactly, about nation-building that we must avoid at all costs? Does it extend to looking in the eyes of a hopeful Afghan girl of kindergarten age and saying, “Sorry, kid. You’re on your own”?

Read Amb. Crocker’s full piece here:



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