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Nearly 2,500 U.S. service members killed. More than 20,000 service members injured. $2.3 trillion dollars expended. And after 20 years of American military operations, the Taliban government once again governs Afghanistan in strict adherence to Sharia law while playing host to jihadi terrorists of numerous groups, including al-Qaeda and ISIS.

After an initially brilliant military operation, which successfully toppled the Taliban in the weeks and months after 9/11, the U.S. campaign rapidly lost its way, and would not regain it, despite years of effort. Yet in the United States there have been almost no discussions about what led to this tragic result, nor has there been any effort to hold U.S. policymakers responsible for their failure.

Who’s to blame for the catastrophic Afghan withdrawal? What lessons can be learned from the failure to defeat the Taliban in Afghanistan? What does the loss in Afghanistan portend for future U.S. foreign policy?

The Center for Security Policy is proud to have hosted New York Times best-selling author Robert Spencer to answer these questions and more, in a webinar moderated by Director for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Kyle Shideler, discussing Spencer’s new book Who Lost Afghanistan? now available at

Spencer’s new book looks at how flawed and “politically correct” assumptions about the nature of the enemy and Afghan society led to U.S. leaders doubling down, year after year, on an increasingly convoluted strategy that stood no chance of victory.

Center for Security Policy, Robert Spencer and Kyle Shideler

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