Ukraine’s current conflict is heading the same way as the Afghan war: away from the hallmarks of a “conventional” conflict and towards a protracted insurgency promising high costs for both sides.
Keeping Islamabad's unacceptable behavior in mind, it makes little sense to continue providing Pakistan with the support America has in the past. Instead, Washington should prioritize forming stronger partnerships with countries such as India, which would make a great ally as a result of shared interests against China.
When it comes to forging “grassroots” alliances, the kind which were predominant and key to tactical gains in Afghanistan, the United States cannot be relied upon to protect the people on the ground.
ISIS-K presents a unique challenge to the Taliban, many of whom have experience as fighters but few of whom are experts in governance. ISIS-K seeks to dissolve nation-state borders and establish an Islamic caliphate with Afghanistan at its heart.
It is just as important to recognize that Congress, spanning two decades of elected officials, has been just as integral to perpetuating national security blunders in the twenty-first century as the executive officials more directly presiding over them.
The tragic end of America’s 20 year building project in Afghanistan and subsequent Taliban takeover of the country should mark an important turning point in American grand strategy.
America succeeded not because of its hard power and military capabilities but rather through soft power and moral leadership actions. There must be a return to this style of leadership.
The countless years of conflict and numerous casualties Afghan soldiers endured could’ve been a tell-tale sign of what outcome would unfold after U.S. forces inevitably retreated from the region. Given the circumstances in which Afghan forces had to fight, perhaps it is no surprise that soldiers would rather live to die another day than fight a reinvigorated Taliban force.
Uncle Sam has quite the hole in his pocket. As the withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan continues, critics understandably worry about who is left behind. However, perhaps as frustrating is the emerging picture of what is being left behind.
President Biden’s decision to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan has been met with approval by a majority of Americans. However, a curious set of detractors in the media and think tank sphere have recently been fretting that the withdrawal of American troops in Afghanistan somehow benefits China.