WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Lessons Learned. That's the name of a government project that throws into question the U.S.'s handling of the war in Afghanistan.
It's a government project made up of more than 2,000 pages of documents and hundreds of interviews.
The results were first reported on by Washington Post this week.
According to interviews cited in the article, the goals of the war in Afghanistan were unclear.
And the U.S. government tried to paint the war efforts as more successful than they really were to the public.
Jack Auble is a retired soldier who served in Afghanistan. For him, the mission has always been clear.
"The big picture is providing peace and stability to that region. I think our presence there currently provides that peace and security for that region," he said.
Specialist Quante Grant served in Afghanistan from 2018 to 2019. He says he was never sure how their efforts helped that big picture.
"I knew that we had to find some way to keep Afghanistan stable in the event that we leave. But, how are we doing that? It didn't seem like nothing we were doing was pushing towards the overall goal," he said.
The Lessons Learned project was conducted by the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction.
Inspector General John Sopko heads the agency. According to the Post, the conclusion he draws from the project's documents is, "The American People have constantly been lied to."
Grant says he was shocked to learn what was in the documents.
"To have grown up to see the incident that caused that war, fight in that war, come back from that war, and it's still just a big confusion. It cuts," he said.
In response to the release of the documents, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand sent a letter to officials in the Senate Armed Services Committee.
In the letter, she refers to a resolution she introduced that would, among other things, reform how Congress would authorize future wars.