Afghanistan Troop Withdrawal
“President Joe Biden said Wednesday he will withdraw remaining U.S. troops from the ‘forever war’ in Afghanistan… His plan is to pull out all American forces — numbering 2,500 now — by this Sept. 11.” AP News
Both sides are deeply divided over the withdrawal.
Supporters of the withdrawal on both sides argue that the situation cannot be resolved militarily and that Afghanistan is not vital to US security:
“The United States has expended trillions of dollars and 2,372 American lives on its occupation of Afghanistan. The war we triggered in that country has killed at least 100,000 Afghan civilians. America’s toppling of the Taliban did facilitate genuine advances for Afghan women, whose rates of school enrollment, life expectancy, and civil-service employment have all increased by large margins…
“Proponents of a prolonged occupation argue that the withdrawal of U.S. troops will jeopardize these gains by clearing the way for a civil war that the Taliban is better equipped to win. But even with U.S. troops stationed in the country, the Taliban has been gaining ground. Disempowering the Islamist movement would require sacrifices that the U.S. public shows no inclination to make. And for good reason…
“No significant American national security or geopolitical interests are at stake in Afghanistan. As the past year has painfully illustrated, there are greater threats to American well-being than those seared into our national psyche on 9/11. Pandemic prevention, climate-change mitigation, and nuclear deproliferation will do far more to reduce catastrophic threats to U.S. public safety than preventing governments sympathetic to extremists from taking power in the Middle East.” (Eric Levitz, New York Magazine)