Africa: From Afghanistan to Africa – What the West’s Failure Should Teach Us

As the Taliban surges across Afghanistan, threatening provincial capitals, the failure of the West in Afghanistan will not stop at that country’s borders. There will, too, be profound implications for Africa, not least in the manner whereby African governments respond to external offers of assistance and deal with their own insurgencies.

Olusegun Obasanjo is a former president of Nigeria and chairs The Brenthurst Foundation; Dr David Kilcullen is a former Australian infantry officer and adviser to Secretary Condi Rice and General David Petraeus; Dr Greg Mills served four assignments with the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan as the commander’s adviser, currently directs the Brenthurst Foundation and is the author of the forthcoming book, Expensive Poverty: Why Aid Fails and How it Might Work.

We have been here before.

Some 2.7 million Americans served in the official era of the Vietnam conflict from 1964 to 1975, representing nearly 10% of their generation. The in-country military total peaked at 543,482 in April 1968. Combat and other American deaths totalled 58,220 across Indochina, a figure which pales against the more than three million Vietnamese deaths during its liberation wars.

The last American soldier left Vietnam in a…

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