Oct 6, 2009 14
My latest publication, an op-ed in the Christian Science Monitor is available here. An excerpt is below:
“After eight years of US involvement in Afghanistan, a strategic crossroads within Asia, the country remains a deadly conflict zone. In fact, this weekend insurgents attacked two US military bases along the Pakistani border. Helping Afghanistan stand on its own – an imperative for both regional and Western states – is a task that will take decades. But it is increasingly clear that it is not one that the West can perform….
However, a precipitous Western withdrawal from Afghanistan would leave a major void in the state….
Afghanistan is factionalized, pockmarked by ethnic and tribal divisions. Its government’s sole success is an election rigged in its own favor. Warlords run much of the country. The national Army and police are years away from being able to secure the country on their own. Other state institutions lack the minimal human and financial resources to function without external crutches. US and Western troops should leave. But because Afghanistan will remain dependent on international aid for development and security, troops cannot leave without something to fill the vacancy.
The solution? Muslim and regional states must fill the void….”