In August 2021, a NATO-led coalition withdrew from Afghanistan amidst chaos, with the Taliban quickly regaining control. This article critiques the 20-year-long NATO engagement in the region and the consistent missteps by the international community. The author presents eight conclusions drawn from the events and suggests a potential restructuring, taking cues from successful foreign military models. The proposed solution is the establishment of an American Foreign Legion, modeled after the Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF), aiming to better conduct and guide irregular warfare efforts abroad.
- The chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021 led to the Taliban’s swift resurgence, marking the culmination of a two-decade-long, largely unsuccessful NATO engagement in the country.
- Despite special operations forces being the face of the Global War on Terror, they did not significantly influence the course of two strategically critical wars and various post-9/11 operations.
- Successful Security Force Assistance (SFA), Foreign Internal Defense (FID), and unconventional warfare campaigns rely on enabling local actors to adopt their own warfare styles rather than imposing homogeneity.
- The U.S. lacks the capability to efficiently train and assist foreign partners, necessitating a reevaluation of its foreign engagement strategy.
- Taking inspiration from foreign units like the British Army’s Brigade of Gurkhas and the French Foreign Legion, the author proposes creating an American Foreign Legion based on the Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF) structure to better handle low-intensity, unconventional warfare.