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A devastating investigative report was published in the Washington Post on December 9th. Dubbed the “Afghanistan Papers” in a nod to the Vietnam War’s famous “Pentagon Papers,” the report relied on thousands of documents to similarly expose how the US government at the presidential level across three administrations, acting in collaboration with the military brass and civilian bureaucracy, deliberately and systematically lied repeatedly to the public and media about the situation in Afghanistan. Officials from the Bush, Obama and Trump administrations have all surged additional troops into Afghanistan while also regularly overstating the “success” that the United States was attaining in stabilizing and democratizing the country. While they were lying, the senior officers and government officials understood clearly that the war was, in fact, unwinnable.

12月9日,《華盛頓郵報》發表了一篇令人震驚的調查報告。
這份報告被稱為“阿富汗文件”,以向越南戰爭時期著名的“五角大樓文件”致敬。報告以數千份文件為依據,以類似的方式揭露了美國政府是如何在三屆政府的總統任期內與軍方高官和文職官僚機構合作,在阿富汗局勢問題上,有意地、有系統地一再向公眾和媒體撒謊。
布什、奧巴馬和特朗普政府向阿富汗大舉增兵,同時也經??浯竺绹诜€定阿富汗局勢和實現該國民主化方面取得的“成功”,當他們說謊的時候,高級軍官和政府官員清楚地知道這場戰爭實際上是不可能打贏的。

The story should have been featured all across the US as Afghanistan continues to kill Americans and much larger numbers of Afghans while also draining billions of dollars from the United States Treasury, but the mainstream media was largely unresponsive, preferring to cover the impeachment saga. Rather more responsive were the families of Army Chief Warrant Officer Second Class David C. Knadle, 33, of Tarrant, Texas, and Chief Warrant Officer Second Class Kirk T. Fuchigami Jr., 25, of Keaau, Hawaii. Both were killed in a helicopter crash on November 20th in Afghanistan’s Logar province while assisting troops on the ground, according to a Pentagon press release. They were participating in what was characteristically dubbed Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. Both men were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division in Fort Hood, Texas. The Taliban took credit for the downing of the chopper, but the Army is still investigating the cause.

在阿富汗繼續殺害美國人和更多的阿富汗人,同時從美國財政部榨取數十億美元之際,這一丑聞本應在美國全國范圍內播出,但主流媒體基本上沒有反應,它們更愿意報道彈劾事件。
德克薩斯州塔倫特的33歲的陸軍二級準尉大衛克納德爾和來自夏威夷基奧的25歲的二級準尉柯克的家人反應更為積極。
根據五角大樓的新聞稿,兩人于11月20日在阿富汗洛加爾省協助地面部隊時死于直升機墜毀事故,。他們參加了被稱為自由行動哨兵的行動,兩人都被分配到德克薩斯州胡德堡美軍第1騎兵師空軍基地第一空騎兵旅第227航空團第一營,塔利班聲稱擊落直升機是他們所為,但軍方仍在調查事故原因。



The Afghan War’s true costs have never been precisely calculated, though they certainly exceed $1 trillion and counting. The documents relied upon for the Post report include more than 2,000 pages of confidential interviews with people who played a direct role in the war, including soldiers and diplomats, as well as civilian aid workers and Afghan officials. Many of the interviews were initially carried out by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR). The Post divided the interviews and supporting documentation into subject categories that demonstrate how the situation in Afghanistan began to deteriorate as soon as the United States followed up on its rapid invasion with a plan for nation building. Resorting to the usual American expedient, the occupiers flooded the country with money, which meant that the only thing blooming on the thin soil was corruption, apart from the poppies that have made Afghanistan the world’s leading supplier of opium.

阿富汗戰爭的真實成本從來沒有被精確計算過,盡管它們肯定超過了1萬億美元,而且還在繼續增加。
華盛頓郵報報道所依據的文件包括2000多頁的機密采訪,采訪對象是在戰爭中發揮直接作用的人,包括士兵和外交官,以及平民援助工作者和阿富汗官員。
許多訪談最初是由阿富汗重建特別監察長進行的,《華盛頓郵報》將采訪和支持性文件分為若干主題類別,這些主題類別表明,在美國迅速入侵阿富汗并制定國家建設計劃之后,阿富汗的局勢就開始惡化。
借助美國慣用的權宜之計,占領者向這個國家大量投入資金,這意味著除了使阿富汗成為世界頭號鴉片供應國的罌粟之外,這片貧瘠的土地上唯一蓬勃綻放的就是腐敗。

One contractor who was involved in nation building described how he was required to spend $3 million daily for projects in an Afghan district roughly the size of a US county. He asked a visiting congressman if he could be authorized to spend that much money in the US “[The lawmaker] said hell no. ‘Well, sir, that’s what you just obligated us to spend and I’m doing it for communities that live in mud huts with no windows.’”

一個參與國家建設的承包商描述了他是如何被要求花費300萬美元在阿富汗一個大約相當于一個美國州大小的地區的項目,他問一位來訪的國會議員,他是否有權在美國花那么多錢。
( 這位議員) 說,“絕對沒有 ”。
“好吧,先生,你剛剛強迫我們花了這樣一筆錢,我這么做難道就為了那些住在沒有窗戶的土屋里的當地人?”

In another interview the report cites Lieutenant General Douglas Lute, the White House Afghan war czar during the Bush and Obama administrations, who told the interviewers in 2015. “We were devoid of a fundamental understanding of Afghanistan — we didn’t know what we were doing,” later adding “What are we trying to do here? We didn’t have the foggiest notion of what we were undertaking.”

在另一次采訪中,報告引用了道格拉斯 · 盧特中將的話,他是布什和奧巴馬政府時期的白宮阿富汗戰爭主導者,在2015年告訴采訪者。
“我們缺乏對阿富汗的基本了解ーー我們不知道自己在做什么,”后來又補充說,“我們在這里做什么? 我們完全不知道自己在做什么?!?br />
Army Colonel Bob Crowley, who served in Kabul in 2013-4, described how at headquarters “Every data point was altered to present the best picture possible,” adding also how “Surveys, for instance, were totally unreliable but reinforced that everything we were doing was right and we became a self-licking ice cream cone.”

曾于2013年至2014年在喀布爾服役的陸軍上校鮑勃 · 克勞利(描述了總部“每一個數據點如何被修改,以盡可能呈現最好的圖景 ” ,他還說,“例如,調查完全不可靠,但卻強化了我們所做的一切都是正確的,我們成了一個自舔冰淇淋甜筒的人 ?!?br />
Part of the problem with Afghanistan was the rotation of American soldiers in and then out after one year or less, just as they were learning about the country and the problems they faced. It has led to the joke that the United States has not fought an eighteen-year war in Afghanistan: it has fought a one-year war eighteen times.

阿富汗問題的部分原因是美國士兵在一年或更短的時間內輪換出入阿富汗,正如他們了解這個國家和他們面臨的問題一樣,這引出了一個笑話:
美國沒有在阿富汗打一場18年的戰爭,而是打了十八場為期一年的戰爭。



Bakken concludes that appreciating the fundamental structural flaws in the US armed forces “leads to a clearer understanding of the deficiencies in the military and how America can lose wars.” In fact, he does not even seek to identify a war that the United States has won since World War 2 in spite of the country being nearly constantly engaged in conflict.

巴肯的結論是,美國武裝部隊存在根本性的結構性缺陷,“這有助于更清楚地了解軍事方面的缺陷,以及美國如何能夠輸掉戰爭?!?br /> 事實上,盡管美國幾乎一直處于沖突之中,但他甚至沒法指出美國自第二次世界大戰以來贏得的一場戰爭。

Together the Bakken book and the Afghanistan Papers reveal just how much the American people have been brainwashed by their leaders into believing a perpetual warfare national narrative that is more fiction than fact. Donald Trump may have actually appreciated that the voters were tired of the wars and was elected on that basis, but he has completely failed to deliver on his promise to retrench. It suggests that America will remain in Afghanistan for the foreseeable future and the inevitable next war, wherever it might be, will be another failure, no matter who is elected in 2020.

巴肯的書和阿富汗文件一起揭示了美國人民是如何被他們的領導人洗腦,一個永遠在戰爭中的國家敘事,更多的是虛構的而不是事實。
唐納德 · 特朗普實際上可能已經意識到選民厭倦了戰爭,并在此基礎上當選,但他完全沒有兌現節約的承諾。 這表明,在可預見的未來,美國將繼續留在阿富汗,下一場戰爭不可避免的,無論它在哪里,都將是另一場失敗,無論2020年誰當選。