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We live in an age of systemic gridlock, policy chaos and sudden-shock failures. How is it possible that Afghan security forces — built and trained by the United States military at a cost of $83 billion over two decades — succumbed to a militia of fighters in pickup trucks in a mere 11 days?

How could America’s best and brightest intelligence experts and military leaders have failed to foresee that the rapid withdrawal of U.S. air support and reconnaissance would spell disaster for Afghanistan, and plan their retreat accordingly? Are these not examples of systemic failure?

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