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One Year Later: Jacobson Discusses US Withdrawal from Afghanistan, Lack of Lessons Learned with VOA

August 15, 2022

VOA News

Mark Jacobson

Mark Jacobson


It's been one year since the U.S. exited Afghanistan and the State and Defense departments are still conducting internal after-action reports on the withdrawal.

The war in Afghanistan killed more than 2,400 U.S. troops and cost taxpayers $300 million every day for 20 years. A holistic, interagency study that identifies best practices and challenges at various U.S. government entities as well as across the entire operation is crucial, says Mark Jacobson, who helped organize evacuees during the withdrawal and served as a deputy NATO representative in Afghanistan.

Jacobson, assistant dean of Washington Programs, says there is no interagency lessons-learned process from current and previous administrations, and when individual agencies conduct internal reviews, they are reluctant to share the findings. Often, he said, “avoiding embarrassment is more important than learning the right lessons.”

Read more in the Voice of America article, "A Year After US Withdrawal From Afghanistan, Some Frustrated at Lack of Lessons Learned."


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