The Fool's Errand in Afghanistan
What are we fighting for at this point, anyway? The Taliban are never going to surrender. Joe Biden has said they are not the enemy, anyway. American forces have supervised the implementation of an Afghan constitution that enshrined Islamic law as the highest law of the land. Yet Islamic law is nothing like the democratic principles that we went into Afghanistan to defend (over here) and establish (over there). Sharia institutionalizes the oppression of women and non-Muslims, extinguishes the freedom of speech, and denies the freedom of conscience.
Was that what we were fighting for?
Nonetheless, America continued to pour out her blood and treasure for this repressive state, with no clear objective or mission in view other than a never-defined “victory.” No one has defined what victory would look like in Afghanistan. What would victory have looked like? What could it possibly have looked like? Has the Karzai regime ever allowed women to throw off their burqas and take their place in Afghan society as human beings equal in dignity to men? Does the Karzai government, or any Afghan government that would follow it, ever intend to guarantee basic human rights to the tiny and ever-dwindling number of non-Muslims unfortunate enough to live within its borders? Of course not.
And no matter how long American troops stay in Afghanistan, no Afghan regime is ever going to do such things.
In July, the U.S. designated Afghanistan a “major non-Nato ally.” According to the BBC, this gives the Afghans “preferential access to U.S. arms exports and defence co-operation.” Thus unless Afghanistan is stripped of this status, we could be funding the Taliban with billions annually for years to come. And so the next time an Afghan soldier murders a group of American troops, remember: you paid for his weapon.
(Thumbnail image on PJM homepage based on a modified photo by Northfoto / Shutterstock.com.)