Afghanistan Likely to Turn Ugly When We Leave

The American intelligence community has apparently now concluded what anyone with even a modest understanding of history and human nature could — and did — predict back in 2001: That when the American occupation of Afghanistan ends this year, it’s likely to descend into civil war and chaos.

U.S. intelligence agencies warn in a new, classified assessment that insurgents could quickly regain control of key areas of Afghanistan and threaten the capital as soon as 2015 if American troops are fully withdrawn next year, according to two officials familiar with the findings.

The National Intelligence Estimate, which was given recently to the White House, has deeply concerned some U.S. officials. It represents the first time the intelligence community has formally warned that the Afghan government could face significantly more serious attacks in Kabul from a resurgent Taliban within months of a U.S. pullout, the officials said, speaking anonymously to discuss classified material.

The assessment also concludes that security conditions probably will worsen regardless of whether the U.S. keeps troops in the country.

“It’s very pessimistic about the future, more pessimistic than ever before,” said one of the officials.

This is a lesson we have never learned, that you cannot impose democracy and stability at gunpoint; once you take the gun away, everything tends to revert to old patterns and disputes (because, believe it or not, those disputes don’t magically disappear when we invade a country).

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