Endless War and the De-Politicization of National Security

Source: Cato Unbound
by Barnett Rubin

“There are many valid reasons that a country as impoverished and with such weak state institutions as Afghanistan would find it difficult if not impossible to establish a stable democracy, but the insurgency did not derive from opposition to liberal institutions. It derived from illiberal counter-terrorism measures, including both political exclusion and violent abuses, and a failure of regional diplomacy, especially with Pakistan. I have chronicled elsewhere how counter-terrorist priorities, defined ‘kinetically’ (as capturing or killing ‘terrorists’) always took precedence in U.S. policy in Afghanistan over either democratization or peacemaking. The Taliban did not refuse to join the new ‘liberal’ order. They were told from the beginning, on television, by U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, that they were not welcome.” (05/24/21)