Global Affairs

Afghanistan - calling it quits is not a strategy

Summing up the courage to bring a war which serves no clear purpose to an ignominious close does not amount to a strategy. The Biden decision creates opportunities for more policy failures

US Army soldiers and contractors load High Mobility Multi-purposed Wheeled Vehicles in Kandahar, Afghanistan, on July 13, 2020.PHOTO: REUTERS

"Let me ask those who want us to stay: How many thousands more American daughters and sons are you willing to risk? And how long would you have them stay?" That was the response US President Joe Biden gave at the end of last week, as he faced a barrage of criticism from those alleging that his decision to withdraw all American troops from Afghanistan was both ill-considered and hasty.

Mr Biden knew fully well that nobody could provide answers to his questions. The war in Afghanistan was waged by two Republican Presidents and two Democrats over two decades; there are some US soldiers in Afghanistan today who were not even born when George W. Bush unleashed America's military on that country during the early days of October 2001, for what he named Operation Enduring Freedom.

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