“The war is changing from a war against armies to a war against people.” U.S. General John Nicholson, the commander of American forces in Afghanistan. After all these years, a trillion dollars, and 2,400 American lives — Kabul is under siege.
The war in Afghanistan has lasted over 16 years. Now there’s a new plan.
Donald Trump has sent 3,000 more troops to train and assist the Afghan army. But in the Afghan capital you don’t have to go far to see the problems. Kabul is so dangerous, American diplomats and soldiers are not allowed to use the roads. They can’t drive just two miles from the airport to U.S. headquarters. They have to fly.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani rules from the presidential palace that’s occupied the city center for more than a century. The walls around him and the rest of the city have expanded and grown taller over the past three years. Some of the streets turned into tight corridors of 20-foot high concrete barriers.
General John Nicholson told 60 Minutes he’s giving himself two years to deliver major changes. But it’s hard not to be skeptical in a city where the enemy has driven American forces from the roads — into the sky. Nicholson has made securing the capital a priority. He’s ordered more special operations missions inside Kabul to target the Taliban and terrorist networks attacking the city.