Afghanistan was a great defeat for the United States, but not because it is the location from which we were attacked on 9/11. That event was an obvious excuse for other plans, including institution of the Patriot Act and Middle East wars. No, it was a great defeat because the United States gave up on its strategic goals in Central Asia, goals which are never openly and clearly articulated but which, when abandoned, have grave consequences.
Our involvement in Afghanistan was always about strategic access and natural resource access. Afghanistan basing permits provided access to project military power to influence multiple regional powers. Afghanistan's loss is a strategic loss in regards to strategic access. The Central Asian energy resources, access to which rested on, in part, the TAPI pipeline, have also been lost.
Afghanistan was always about strategic access and energy access. That it has been given up begs, after such a high investment, the question - why? Have our national interests changed? The obvious answer is no. It is always in our national interest to preserve and enhance national power and power projection capabilities. What has changed is that there is now in power in America a group which seeks to destroy our sovereignty and independence and replace that with a system of global governance. This is not a secret. It has been openly spoken about.
We are on the precipice. America is poised to pass into the dustbin of history unless something drastic changes its course.