America must admit the Afghanistan war 'was a failure' and has been for years: CNN's Zakaria
CNN host Fareed Zakaria -- (YouTube screen grab)

CNN's Fareed Zakaria delivered a reality check on Monday to people who think that the United States could have prevailed in Afghanistan despite 20 years of failures and setbacks.

While appearing with Anderson Cooper, Zakaria explained that the United States was never able to build a state in Afghanistan that was seen as legitimate by the majority of Afghans.

"The United States was not able to achieve its mission in Afghanistan," he explained. "The mission in Afghanistan was to defeat the Taliban and establish a democratic government that could command the legitimacy of the Afghan people and control the country."

Zakaria then said that things had been going downhill for the American effort in the country for years.

"The Taliban, in the last ten years, has kept gaining ground," he said. "Even after the surge -- remember at one point there were 130,000, 140,000 coalition troops in Afghanistan -- by 2015, the Taliban had made gains and controlled almost 30, 40 percent of the country."

Zakaria had blunt words to sum up the past 20 years in Afghanistan.

"This was a failure," he stated. "And there's no easy way to say that and there's no easy way to lose a war."

Watch the video below.

Afghanistan hawks need to admit their war 'was a failure' and has been for years