VAlmost twenty years ago, the political scientist Francis Fukuyama spoke in this newspaper of a “salutary shock of September 11th,” which could “make the United States stronger internally and united and induce more constructive participation internationally”. What remains of this precarious assessment and the desire for more American involvement in international conflicts, which was already highly controversial at the time?
Ironically, on the twentieth anniversary of September 11th, the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan should be completely completed: a symbolic date at the end of an era that President Biden justified with the achievement of the goals set. The Republican Senate faction leader Mitch McConnell called this bizarre: Apparently the Biden administration wants to celebrate Memorial Day by wrapping America’s opponents Afghanistan “as a gift and giving it back directly”.
Where is the criticism?
Beyond the American political spectrum, where people are more concerned about the threat posed by new international terrorism from a destabilized Afghanistan than about the local population, one has so far hardly heard any major criticism of Biden’s decision. It seems clear to many that there are now other strategic locations for America. Talk show presenters and comedians such as Stephen Colbert, Seth Meyers and Trevor Noah welcome the decision; they are even good at joking – unthinkable a while ago given this topic. But what about the moral reading of this decisive date, how about the question of the responsibility that arises in view of the consequent disappearance of the entire NATO presence from Afghanistan?
Nobody can say that Joe Biden’s decision would come as a surprise. Even President Obama wanted fewer foreign missions, and in the summer of 2020 President Trump said to officers at the military academy in West Point: “We are not the world policeman.” His successor Biden had already answered quite openly during the election campaign when asked whether he felt responsible if, as a result of a troop withdrawal in Afghanistan, human rights were violated again there, especially those of women. “Do I have any responsibility? None, ”he said at the time, according to the Washington Post. His responsibility is to “protect America’s national self-interest and not put our women and men in danger of solving every single problem in the world by force”.
Irresponsible and Selfish?
Biden is now serious: he doesn’t want to be a world policeman either. A member of the Afghan government’s negotiating team at the peace talks in Doha described the consequences of this as the “most irresponsible and egoistic” thing America could do to its Afghan partners. Everyone knows what threatens when the Taliban come to power again in Afghanistan.
#Afghanistans #Future #Wheres #Morale