Our Real Lessons May Still Await Us

Source: Cato Unbound
by Laurel Miller

“[W]ith completion of the U.S. and NATO withdrawal only weeks away, I have more questions than answers about the retrospective picture. The more fundamental the questions, the harder they are to answer. One of those fundamental questions is whether Afghanistan and the United States would have been better off if the United States had never invaded in 2001 — if it had chased al Qaeda, heedless of Afghan sovereignty, but had left the Taliban regime in place. That would have avoided the nation-building entanglement, the insurgency and counter-insurgency, harms done to Afghan civilians, the costs of military deployment, and any U.S. sense of responsibility for fixing anything in the country. But what exactly would this alternative history look like?” (06/02/21)