Afghanistan: the Great Failure

Overview of current contributions and assessments by PRIF researchers from 20 years of the Afghanistan mission

Truppenabzug aus Afghanistan (Foto: US Army, Flickr, CC BY 2.0).

Troop withdrawal from Afghanistan (Photo: US Army, Flickr, CC BY 2.0).

In the spring of 2021, the United States and NATO decided to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, declaring a twenty-­year mission over. Almost immediately after the withdrawal, the Taliban took power, the Afghan govern­ment resigned, the president fled the country, the Afghan army disbanded, and thousands of Afghans attempted to leave the country. By now, at the latest, it is clear that the mission has failed.

The future of the country and its citizens is uncertain, and an evaluation of the mission seems urgently needed. This applies not only to Germany’s participation, but also to the lessons that can be learned inter­nationally. A Topic Page now presents 20 years of PRIF’s research on Afghanistan as well as current assess­ments at a glance.

In addition to current media contrib­utions by PRIF’s researchers, it also contains assess­ments and back­ground information from recent years. The Topic Page comple­ments the ongoing PRIF Blog series on the end of the Afghanistan mission and provides information for press inquiries.