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Fall of Afghanistan: sudden collapse years in making

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America's longest war is coming to an abrupt and messy end with images of helicopters over Kabul looking startling like the fall of Saigon when North Vietnamese forces took South Vietnam's capital in 1975 and overstuffed choppers hurriedly carried away the last of U.S. diplomatic, military and civilian personnel. Nothing symbolizes a superpower's hubris and impotency quite like leaving what was once a field of combat with tail between legs live on global television broadcasts.

Making matters worse, President Joe Biden spoke to this very possibility in July, telling reporters that there "zero" parallels between the fall of Saigon and what was supposed to be an orderly drawdown of U.S. forces in Afghanistan. Yet there were the helicopters circling the U.S. embassy, smoking billowing as sensitive documents were burned. The Afghan government fell. Taliban fighters occupied the presidential palace.

It did not take long for the long knives to come out nearly 7,000 miles away in Washington, D.C., as Republicans sought to pin the blame for this humiliation entirely on Biden while he and others in the administration saw it as chiefly inherited. The reality surely lies somewhere in between. Yes to GOP leaders who pointed........

© The Korea Times

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