The Corner

Afghanistan Now

The New York Times yesterday compared the American withdrawal from Afghanistan to “echoes of the Soviet experience” in the country. The article rightly noted that after the Russians pulled out, the Afghan government forces fought on for several years — because the Soviets continued to provide military materials. When that aid stopped, the government forces fell apart. 

In Vietnam, many argue the same phenomenon occurred. That is, the collapse of the South Vietnamese forces happened after America slashed its aid to almost zero and refused to bomb the invading North Vietnamese forces that were continuously supplied by the Soviet Union and China. 

The Afghan military (including the police) needs about $6 billion a year for at least the next several years. Economic aid is separate. It is not at all clear that the administration or the Pentagon is laying the groundwork with the Congress for this steady infusion of military aid to continue.  

— Bing West is author of Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghanistan War.

Bing WestMr. West, a former assistant secretary of defense and combat Marine, is a military historian. He has written ten books about our wars in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan, the latest of which is The Last Platoon: A Novel of the Afghanistan War.


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