As Trump calls off a meeting with the Taliban and the leaders of Afghanistan, we asked the questions: Why are we still there? When can we leave?
The first question is easy to answer for anyone who has little siblings. When a power rises up and begins to challenge you your best option is to use the minimal force necessary to put them down and get them to stop pestering you. When it goes on for a little bit, you may have to use the force necessary to send a clear message that you aren’t messing around.
“In time it will become clear to everyone that support for the policies of pre-emptive war and interventionist nation-building will have much greater significance than the removal of Saddam Hussein itself.”
Germany: After World War II we rebuilt them so that they would not raise up again out of anger against the rest of the world. And, I’ve heard many people say that doing so after World War I would have prevented the second. I don’t see the evidence for that, and I wonder if a better strategy would have been to help the rest of Europe that was affected and strengthen them against Germany.
Korea: I would argue staying in Korea is much different than Germany. Since the end of the Korean War, North Korea has been a threat to the southern half of the peninsula. Plus, China has also been a threat to the entire peninsula. If having a small presence prevents future full-on conflicts could argue in favor of the cost to have people somewhere in peacetime.
Afghanistan: We’ve been fighting a war there for 18 years, and it this point many of the people fighting could have been born after 9/11 happened. We have prolong the war through soft military tactics, and lent further credence to the idea that it is unconquerable. Instead we should find a way to leave, and I respect Trump’s decision… despite the bad optics on the timing.