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How the US failed to rebuild Afghanistan

“Where the road ends in Afghanistan, the Taliban begin.”

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The US war in Afghanistan has raged for 16 years, since the US invaded after 9/11, in 2001. At the onset, a centerpiece of US strategy was to rebuild Afghanistan’s crumbling infrastructure. This move expedited military logistics and maneuvers, while simultaneously reigniting travel between Afghanistan’s major cities. But when the US started its war in Iraq, that diverted resources and manpower from the battlefield of Afghanistan. And the Taliban didn’t miss the chance. To date, the most ambitious roadbuilding project, known as the Ring Road, has seen over $3 billion spent on its renewal. And it was never completed.

To truly understand the international conflicts and trends shaping our world you need a big-picture view. Video journalist Sam Ellis uses maps to tell these stories and chart their effects on foreign policy.

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