When U.S. forces and their Afghan allies rode into Kabul in November 2001 they were greeted as liberators. But after 17 years of war, the Taliban have retaken half the country, security is worse than ever before — and many Afghans put the blame on the Americans.

In this Oct. 31, 2018 photo, Afghan National Army teachers inspect the accuracy during a live fire exercise, at the Afghan Military Academy in Kabul, Afghanistan. When U.S. forces and their Afghan allies rode into Kabul in November 2001 they were greeted as liberators. But after 17 years of war, the Taliban have retaken half the country, security is worse than it’s ever been, and many Afghans place the blame squarely on the Americans. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
In this Oct. 31, 2018 photo, Afghan National Army teachers inspect the accuracy during a live fire exercise, at the Afghan Military Academy in Kabul, Afghanistan. When U.S. forces and their Afghan allies rode into Kabul in November 2001 they were greeted as liberators. But after 17 years of war, the Taliban have retaken half the country, security is worse than it’s ever been, and many Afghans place the blame squarely on the Americans. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
In this Nov. 1, 2018, photo, Afghanistan's former president Hamid Karzai speaks during an interview with the Associated Press in Kabul, Afghanistan. When U.S. forces and their Afghan allies rode into Kabul in November 2001 they were greeted as liberators. But after 17 years of war, the Taliban have retaken half the country, security is worse than it’s ever been, and many Afghans place the blame squarely on the Americans. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
In this Nov. 1, 2018, photo, Afghanistan’s former president Hamid Karzai speaks during an interview with the Associated Press in Kabul, Afghanistan. When U.S. forces and their Afghan allies rode into Kabul in November 2001 they were greeted as liberators. But after 17 years of war, the Taliban have retaken half the country, security is worse than it’s ever been, and many Afghans place the blame squarely on the Americans. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
In this Oct. 25, 2018, photo, Hamidullah Nasrat, left, an Afghan shopkeeper sells imported fabrics in the capital’s main bazaar on the banks of the Kabul River in Kabul, Afghanistan. In an interview with The Associated Press, Nasrat said he remembers welcoming the overthrow of the Taliban, who had shut down his photography studio because it was deemed un-Islamic. Afghans, who once welcomed Americans as liberators, now increasingly see them as the architects of their country’s demise. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
In this Oct. 25, 2018, photo, Hamidullah Nasrat, left, an Afghan shopkeeper sells imported fabrics in the capital’s main bazaar on the banks of the Kabul River in Kabul, Afghanistan. In an interview with The Associated Press, Nasrat said he remembers welcoming the overthrow of the Taliban, who had shut down his photography studio because it was deemed un-Islamic. Afghans, who once welcomed Americans as liberators, now increasingly see them as the architects of their country’s demise. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

The United States has lost more than 2,400 soldiers in its longest war and spent more than $900 billion on everything from military operations to reconstruction.

In this Oct. 31, 2018 photo, Afghan National Army soldiers carry out a training  exercise at the Afghan Military Academy in Kabul, Afghanistan. When U.S. forces and their Afghan allies rode into Kabul in November 2001 they were greeted as liberators. But after 17 years of war, the Taliban have retaken half the country, security is worse than it’s ever been, and many Afghans place the blame squarely on the Americans. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
In this Oct. 31, 2018 photo, Afghan National Army soldiers carry out a training exercise at the Afghan Military Academy in Kabul, Afghanistan. When U.S. forces and their Afghan allies rode into Kabul in November 2001 they were greeted as liberators. But after 17 years of war, the Taliban have retaken half the country, security is worse than it’s ever been, and many Afghans place the blame squarely on the Americans. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
In this Oct. 31, 2018 photo, Afghan National Army soldiers make a mock arrest during a training exercise at the Afghan Military Academy in Kabul, Afghanistan. When U.S. forces and their Afghan allies rode into Kabul in November 2001 they were greeted as liberators. But after 17 years of war, the Taliban have retaken half the country, security is worse than it’s ever been, and many Afghans place the blame squarely on the Americans. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
In this Oct. 31, 2018 photo, Afghan National Army soldiers make a mock arrest during a training exercise at the Afghan Military Academy in Kabul, Afghanistan. When U.S. forces and their Afghan allies rode into Kabul in November 2001 they were greeted as liberators. But after 17 years of war, the Taliban have retaken half the country, security is worse than it’s ever been, and many Afghans place the blame squarely on the Americans. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
In this Oct. 26, 2018 photo, Afghan National Security Forces search passengers and their vehicles at a checkpoint in Kabul, Afghanistan. Afghans, who once welcomed Americans as liberators, now increasingly see them as the architects of their country’s demise. The United States has lost more than 2,400 soldiers in its longest war and spent more than $900 billion on trying to stabilize the country.  (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)
In this Oct. 26, 2018 photo, Afghan National Security Forces search passengers and their vehicles at a checkpoint in Kabul, Afghanistan. Afghans, who once welcomed Americans as liberators, now increasingly see them as the architects of their country’s demise. The United States has lost more than 2,400 soldiers in its longest war and spent more than $900 billion on trying to stabilize the country. (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)

Three U.S. presidents have pledged to bring peace to Afghanistan, either by adding or withdrawing troops, by engaging the Taliban or shunning them.

In this Oct. 26, 2018 photo, Jawad Mohammadi, a former member of the Afghan National Security Forces, sits with his children as he gives an interview to The Associated Press, at his home in Kabul, Afghanistan. Mohammadi served for more than seven years in the security forces until 2015, when he stepped on a land-mine he was tasked to clear and lost both his legs. He was just 25 years old. Afghans, who once welcomed Americans as liberators, now increasingly see them as the architects of their country’s demise.  (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)
In this Oct. 26, 2018 photo, Jawad Mohammadi, a former member of the Afghan National Security Forces, sits with his children as he gives an interview to The Associated Press, at his home in Kabul, Afghanistan. Mohammadi served for more than seven years in the security forces until 2015, when he stepped on a land-mine he was tasked to clear and lost both his legs. He was just 25 years old. Afghans, who once welcomed Americans as liberators, now increasingly see them as the architects of their country’s demise. (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)
In this Oct. 29, 2018 photo, Mohammed Ismail Qasimyar, a member of Afghanistan's High Peace Council, talks during an interview with The Associated Press at his home in Kabul, Afghanistan. Qasimyar wonders how U.S. and NATO forces -- which at their peak numbered 150,000 and fought alongside hundreds of thousands of Afghan troops, were unable to vanquish tens of thousands of Taliban. (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)
In this Oct. 29, 2018 photo, Mohammed Ismail Qasimyar, a member of Afghanistan’s High Peace Council, talks during an interview with The Associated Press at his home in Kabul, Afghanistan. Qasimyar wonders how U.S. and NATO forces — which at their peak numbered 150,000 and fought alongside hundreds of thousands of Afghan troops, were unable to vanquish tens of thousands of Taliban. (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)
In this Oct. 31, 2018 photo, Afghan National Army soldiers participate in a  live fire training exercise, at the Afghan Military Academy, in Kabul, Afghanistan. When U.S. forces and their Afghan allies rode into Kabul in November 2001 they were greeted as liberators. But after 17 years of war, the Taliban have retaken half the country, security is worse than it’s ever been, and many Afghans place the blame squarely on the Americans. The United States has lost more than 2,400 soldiers in its longest war and spent more than $900 billion on trying to stabilize the country. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
In this Oct. 31, 2018 photo, Afghan National Army soldiers participate in a live fire training exercise, at the Afghan Military Academy, in Kabul, Afghanistan. When U.S. forces and their Afghan allies rode into Kabul in November 2001 they were greeted as liberators. But after 17 years of war, the Taliban have retaken half the country, security is worse than it’s ever been, and many Afghans place the blame squarely on the Americans. The United States has lost more than 2,400 soldiers in its longest war and spent more than $900 billion on trying to stabilize the country. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

But none of it has worked. After years of frustration, Afghanistan is rife with conspiracy theories, including the idea that Americans didn’t stumble into a forever war, but planned one all along.

Source: The Associated Press

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