The Dishonest Case for Staying in Afghanistan

Source: Eunomia
by Daniel Larison

“Richard Haass, the president of the Council on Foreign Relations, reminded us this week just how blinkered the opponents of withdrawing from Afghanistan are: ‘The alternative to withdrawal from Afghanistan was not ‘endless occupation’ but open-ended presence. Occupation is imposed, presence invited. Unless you think we are occupying Japan, Germany, & South Korea. And yes, withdrawal was the problem.’ An ‘open-ended presence’ that is violently opposed by an insurgency is something quite different from military deployments in peaceful, allied countries. The consent of a kleptocratic client state that is entirely dependent on U.S. support is not the same as that of a stable, democratic ally. Anyone even slightly familiar with conditions in these other countries would understand that having troops there is not the same as keeping thousands of troops in a war zone.” (08/28/21)