Flashpoints

New Taliban propaganda video features Trump calling Afghanistan a ‘complete disaster’

WASHINGTON — A recent Taliban propaganda video features current U.S. leaders discussing failed strategies and polices in the war in Afghanistan.

The video was uploaded to known Taliban accounts on Twitter and was titled “Real Men 2.” It is predominantly in Pashto and Dari, indicating its target audience is locals in the region.

In one scene, a smoke-filled background and flames can be seen surrounding President Trump.

President Trump is pictured in a Taliban propaganda video where he is heard describing Afghanistan as a disaster. (Screenshot of Taliban propaganda)
President Trump is pictured in a Taliban propaganda video where he is heard describing Afghanistan as a disaster. (Screenshot of Taliban propaganda)

“Afghanistan is a total and complete disaster. What are we doing? … Get out of Afghanistan,” Trump can be heard saying in the clip.

The video then switches to Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain, again with smoke and fire in the background.

“We want a strategy, and I don’t think that’s a hell of a lot to ask,” McCain can be heard saying in the video.

The quote from McCain was made in mid-June when Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee for a hearing on Afghanistan.

“Our Afghan partners have been sustaining significant losses, and I am not sure that is sustainable,” McCain says later in the video.

The video also features Mattis.

“We are not winning in Afghanistan right now,” Mattis says in the short clip, taken from his testimony before lawmakers in June.

Secretary of Defense James Mattis is featured in a Taliban propaganda video where he can be seen discussing U.S. policy in Afghanistan before U.S. Senators. (Screenshot of Taliban propaganda video)
Secretary of Defense James Mattis is featured in a Taliban propaganda video where he can be seen discussing U.S. policy in Afghanistan before U.S. Senators. (Screenshot of Taliban propaganda video)

There’s also footage of Army Gen. John Nicholson, the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, talking to senators in February about his plan for Afghanistan.

All of the scenes featuring U.S. policy makers are the same, with smoke and fire around the U.S. leaders, and the video plays on the dismay and skepticism of U.S. officials about the war in Afghanistan.

The Taliban’s elite unit also makes an appearance in the video. The fighters can be seen conducting marksmanship training, shooting drills, grenade tosses, and vehicle interdictions.

One Taliban commander states that Afghanistan doesn’t need democracy.

The video is the latest attempt by the Taliban to highlight the U.S. as tired and weary of the war in Afghanistan.

It follows a surprise visit to the region this week by Mattis.

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