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President Obama’s Unsuccessful Bid to End the Afghanistan War

17 Aug 2021
As Afghanistan falls to the Taliban, FRONTLINE’S upcoming documentary “America After 9/11” shows how hopes for victory had been abandoned as far back as the Obama administration.

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President Barack Obama was focused on ending in the war in Afghanistan. He brought in a general who said a surge of tens of thousands of U.S. troops was necessary to turn the war around.

The general designed a test case: 15,000 troops would try to rout the resurgent Taliban from their stronghold in Marjah. American forces couldn’t hold the territory. They faced ambushes and roadside bombs from the Taliban. The general who recommended the surge called the conflict a “bleeding ulcer.”

With Marjah, once again an American president was being forced to concede. There would be no easy victory in Afghanistan.

Premiering on PBS and online Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021, "America After 9/11" traces the U.S. response to the terrorist attacks and devastating consequences across three presidencies.

From the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to the January 6th insurrection, “America After 9/11” exposes the legacy of September 11 – and the ongoing challenge it poses for the president and the country.

Watch "America After 9/11" in full starting Sept. 7, 2021.

Find FRONTLINE on the PBS Video App, where there are more than 300 FRONTLINE documentaries available for you to watch any time: https://to.pbs.org/FLVideoApp

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FRONTLINE is produced at GBH in Boston and is broadcast nationwide on PBS. Funding for FRONTLINE is provided through the support of PBS viewers and by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Major funding for FRONTLINE is provided by the Ford Foundation. Additional funding is provided by the Abrams Foundation; the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur

Foundation; Park Foundation; and the FRONTLINE Journalism Fund with major support from Jon and Jo Ann Hagler on behalf of the Jon L. Hagler Foundation and additional support from Koo and Patricia Yuen.
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