In the latest video from the Brave New Foundation's "Rethink Afghanistan" project, former CIA agent Robert Bear says that what the U.S. faces when it comes to the Afghan insurgency isn't terrorism, but a war of national resistance.
"The people that want their country liberated from the West have nothing to do with Al Qaeda," Baer says. "They simply want us gone because we're foreigners, and they're rallying behind the Taliban because the Taliban are experienced, effective fighters."
Because these insurgents see the U.S. as a colonial force, Baer says, they are unlikely to ever rally around the Afghan national army the U.S. is looking to establish. "This is an occupying force," explains Matthew Hoh, a former U.S. official in Afghanistan who resigned last month over the war. "The Afghan National Army is led by Tajiks and Uzbeks and urban Pashtuns, and it is occupying the rural Pashtun South."
This is why the U.S. should ask itself, Hoh says, "do we want to support one side in a civil war?"