Poor oversight, lack of understanding and weak collaboration between allies contributed to ease of Taliban takeover, conclude US and UK aid bodies at London conference

America’s huge, badly-coordinated and politically-driven aid programme in Afghanistan engendered the corruption that undermined its entire mission and turned Afghans away from the western coalition, according to the head of a US aid watchdog.

“We did not really understand Afghanistan or how it worked as a country,” John Sopko, the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction (Sigar), told a conference at the defence and security thinktank the Royal United Services Institute.

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