Afghanistan - hard truths about America's pullout

All major powers - China as well as the US - act from calculations of their own interests in which other countries are tactically expendable. Nobody is going to defend Singapore if we do not have the capability and political will to defend ourselves.

A US Marine escorting Department of State personnel for evacuation processing on Aug 14 at Hamid Karzai International Airportin Kabul. PHOTO: REUTERS
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The US withdrawal from Afghanistan was - predictably - greeted with schadenfreude by America's adversaries and dismay by American allies. These were emotional reactions, fanned by vivid images of evacuation of US embassy staff and panicked Afghans scrambling to flee at Kabul airport, the lucky ones packed like sardines in American aircraft.

The commentariat - professional pundits - have pointed to two main consequences. First, drawing a parallel to the American abandonment of South Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos in 1975, this was another blow to the credibility of American commitments. Second, the precipitate US withdrawal raised the possibility of a spike in global terrorism from Taleban-ruled Afghanistan.

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