60 Minutes correspondent Lara Logan travels to Afghanistan 16 years after the post 9/11 war in Afghanistan started. The U.S. has lost 2400 lives and has spent a trillion dollars in Afghanistan over the years. Today the country’s capital, Kabul, “may be at its most dangerous,” says Logan. The two-mile stretch of road from Kabul’s airport to military headquarters is off limits to U.S. soldiers due to the high threat of roadside bombs. They take helicopters to travel to and from the airport.
Logan interviews the Commander of US Armed Forces in Afghanistan, General John Nicholson. No U.S. General has spent more time in Afghanistan than Nicholson. When Nicholson tells Logan “We do everything possible to protect our forces,” Logan interrupts to say, “You’re not using the roads.” Nicholson explains “if we can fly instead of drive to offer safety…that’s prudent and the right thing to do.” Logan then says, “In military terms, that’s called surrendering terrain.” Nicholson says, “I disagree. I think it’s answering a moral imperative to protect the lives of our soldiers and civilians.” According to Logan’s report, 90 percent of the Afghan military budget (more than $4 billion a year) is footed by American taxpayers. President Obama began drawing down troops before he left office. When President Trump took office, he gave U.S. General John Nicholson 3,000 more troops. Nicholson says “This is a policy that can deliver a win.” 60 Minutes airs Sundays at 7pm on CBS. (Streaming is available for 9000+ episodes and live TV with a CBS All-Access free trial.) Here is General Nicholson’s broad assessment of US Forces in Afghanistan a year ago.