This 9 December 2019 Washington Post video from the USA says about itself:
Exclusive: A secret history of the war in Afghanistan, revealed
For nearly two decades of fighting in Afghanistan, U.S. leaders have sounded a constant refrain: We are making progress. Government interview records obtained by The Washington Post after a three-year legal battle show otherwise. Read more here.
Translated from Dutch NOS TV, 9 December 2019:
The United States government knew that the war in Afghanistan could not be won
The war in Afghanistan was a major failure, but the US government did almost everything to present the 18-year-old military struggle as a victory. Proof that the war could not be won was covered up, but has now surfaced.
The Washington Post today published parts from secret interviews with 400 individuals including generals and senior officials and diplomats who were closely involved in planning and conducting the war in Afghanistan. The interviews were supposed to never have been made public, the newspaper got hold of them after years of legal battle.
The thousands of pages with testimonials describe an ink-black image of how the war went and its future perspective. A general who oversaw the war on behalf of the White House said in one of the interviews in 2015 that Afghanistan was not even understood. “What are we trying to do here? We had no idea.”
The war has since taken its toll. More than 2,400 American soldiers were killed, more than 62,000 Afghan [Kabul government] soldiers died. The figures for the number of Afghan civilian deaths vary widely, from 38,000 to 170,000. …
The interviews were conducted between 2014 and 2018 by an independent US government agency that investigates whether US money for the fight in Afghanistan is being well spent.
From the interviews it can be concluded that “the American people have been constantly lied to,” the president of the institute told The Washington Post.
Among three presidents (Bush, Obama and Trump) the war in Afghanistan was presented far too brightly. It was always reported that progress was made in the war, while there was actually nothing positive to report.
Several interviews show that official statistics have been manipulated for this. “Every data point was changed to paint the best possible image,” says a colonel.
“It is not only the American public that is fooled, but also all the countries that participated in that war, including the Netherlands,” says correspondent Arjen van der Horst. “In The Hague the question will undoubtedly be raised, to what extent did the Dutch government know that the operation in Afghanistan was doomed to fail?” …
Dutch soldiers have also been killed in the war in Afghanistan in recent years. …
The war in Afghanistan cost the US Americans more than a trillion dollars. In an interview, a former White House employee wonders what they actually got for that money. “Osama [Bin Laden] is probably laughing in his grave when you consider how much we have spent on Afghanistan,” the employee says.
The 400 interviews are already called the Afghanistan Papers, following the example of the so-called Pentagon Papers. This secret report showed that American people and Congress were being lied to about the course of the Vietnam War (1955-1975). In 1971 its existence became known through the media; only in 2011 the report was officially released.