Afghanistan: Getting Out

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War Documentary hosted by Jack MacInnes, published by BBC in 2022 - English narration

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Image: Afghanistan-Getting-Out-Cover.jpg

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Finding a way to end a war. Insiders tell the long and troubled story of a chaotic conflict, revealing the political pressures that helped seal the fate of Afghanistan. Key players on all sides give a unique insight into the dramatic events behind the scenes that led to the fall of Kabul in 2021.

[edit] Chapter 1:

When America finally withdrew its troops from Afghanistan in August 2021, it was the culmination of almost 20 years of attempts to end the war. This series charts the long and troubled story of how what started as an attempt to capture Osama Bin Laden ended up with four presidents trying to find a way to end a war that killed tens of thousands of people.

The people at the heart of the decision making tell their own stories of President Obama's efforts to get the troops out. We hear how Obama campaigned on a promise to bring American troops back home, but soon found himself embroiled in battles with his generals, who were convinced that it was actually more troops that were required to end the war.

Against the advice of his vice president, Joe Biden, Obama agreed to send more troops, but with a deadline for their withdrawal. Even then his generals weren't happy, and a very public spat ended up in the removal of his star general, Stanley McCrystal, and the arrival of veteran Iraq commander General David Petreaus.

Together with British troops under General Nick Carter, new offensives were launched, only to be undermined by corruption within the Afghan government. By the time Obama left office, the American troops were no closer to being out of Afghanistan.

Interviewees including General David Petraeus, secretary of defense Robert Gates, General Sir Nick Carter and prime minister David Cameron give the Allies' perspective, while senior figures from the Afghan government and Taliban offer the view from the Afghan side. They chart a tale of political pressures and rival factions at the highest levels of government that helped seal the fate of Afghanistan.

[edit] Chapter 2:

President Trump came to power on a promise to bring all American troops back home. Having initially been persuaded by his chief of staff, general John Kelly, to reverse his position and deploy more troops to Afghanistan, Trump soon backtracks and decides again he wants troops out. Against the will of his national security advisor John Bolton, he appoints former ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad to start direct negotiations with the Taliban. Determined to get a result, Khalilzad cuts out President Ghani's government and agrees to a unilateral withdrawal. The Afghans are aghast.

President Biden then comes to power. Long a critic of the US presence in Afghanistan, he controversially decides to stick to Trump's deal and sets a firm date for withdrawal. The Afghan government then begins their own negotiations with the Taliban, which end with the Taliban agreeing not to enter Kabul until a deal is struck.

Then come the dramatic events of 15th August 2021. As President Ghani’s team continue to negotiate, the Taliban arrive on the outskirts of Kabul. Despite their promise not to enter the city, some do, and Ghani is rapidly evacuated – leaving his chief of staff at the presidential palace still believing there is a deal to be done. But with Ghani's departure the die is cast, and the Taliban soon enter Kabul, resulting in the terrifying scenes that shocked audiences across the world.

With the help of contributors such as Trump's chief of staff John Kelly, former national security advisor John Bolton, President Ghani’s national security advisor and chief of staff, and the head of the Afghan army, this is the inside story of how two US presidents, of contrasting styles and political stripes, arrived at the same policy - to get out of Afghanistan regardless of the consequences.

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[edit] Technical Specs

  • Video Codec: x265 CABAC Main@L4
  • Video Bitrate: CRF 22 (~1532Kbps)
  • Video Resolution: 1920x1080
  • Video Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Frame Rate: 25 FPS
  • Audio Codec: AAC-LC
  • Audio Bitrate: 128Kbps CVBR 48KHz (215Kbps peak)
  • Audio Channels: 2
  • Run-Time: 2 x 59 mins
  • Number Of Parts: 1 (2 chapters)
  • Part Size: 1.39 GB
  • Source: HDTV
  • Encoded by: JungleBoy

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