Frank McKenzie, the former US Army general and the Pentagon’s third-highest ranking official, said Pakistan was confident that the United States would eventually withdraw its troops and leave Afghanistan. He added that the United States also knew that the Taliban had taken refuge in Pakistan.
Speaking to NBC News, McKenzie said: “Pakistanis never believed we would stay, they always thought we would leave. You know that? They were right, we left.
McKenzie was the 14th commander of United States Central Command from 2019 to 2022.
McKenzie also pointed out that throughout the two decades of American presence in Afghanistan and under four administrations, the United States could not solve the problems stemming from Pakistan’s support for the Taliban.
Pakistan has acted as the unofficial spokesperson for the Taliban in several international forums and has called on the United States and other international organizations to extend economic support to the Taliban-led government in Afghanistan.
The Taliban continue to break promises they made to the international community when they took control of Kabul after US troops withdrew in August last year. He banned women from entering offices and from attending schools, colleges and universities. He continues to rule Afghanistan in accordance with harsh interpretations of Islamic laws.
McKenzie also said the United States knew the Taliban still had a haven in Pakistan. Since 2002, the United States has given Pakistan more than $14 billion in aid to fight terrorism and insurgents in the region, according to Vox. He gave a total of $33 billion to help the United States fight terrorism in the region.
It is apparent that Pakistan misused the funds and instead paved the way for US troop withdrawal by supporting the Taliban when it returned to power in 2021. It was US President Donald Trump who in 2018 cut 300 millions of dollars in military aid to Pakistan after it alleged that Islamabad was embezzling the funds.
David Sedney, a former senior Pentagon official, told Vox News that “weapons, money, fighters and explosives poured into Afghanistan from Pakistan, right under the noses of the Pakistani military.”
McKenzie also admitted that Washington had engaged in failed nation-building in Afghanistan and said that Afghanistan was perhaps governable and sustainable “from an Afghan model.”
“I knew that Afghanistan was governable and sustainable from an Afghan model. We paid little attention to Afghan realities on the ground,” McKenzie said. He said the Afghanistan issue was a bipartisan failure. He said the Taliban diffused American efforts.
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