Global Affairs

The end of nation-building?

A look at America's record of remaking nations and the alternatives.

US President Joe Biden arrives to deliver remarks on the end of the war in Afghanistan, at the White House on Aug 31, 2021. PHOTO: NYTIMES
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"This decision about Afghanistan is not just about Afghanistan. It's about ending an era of major military operations to remake other countries." How important is this passage in the latest speech delivered by President Joe Biden as the last US troops withdrew from Afghanistan?

There is no question that it signifies a conclusion to a period of sustained and often massive US military interventions following the end of the Cold War and continuing almost uninterrupted over the past three decades.

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