After years of war in Afghanistan, things are still not going well. By most accounts the police force is not up to doing a proper job despite the billions the United States has dumped into the country. President Karzai accused the United State and the UN of being behind the fraudulence in the recent election. His brother is well known for his involvement with narcotic trafficking. The Taliban, once thought defeated, is back.
Part of the reason for the problems is that we took our eye off Afghanistan for our prolonged adventure in Iraq. Another reason is that after building up the insurgents in Afghanistan to kill the Soviets, we lost interest as soon as the Russians left. There are, of course, the other factors that have long made Afghanistan a place where conquerors fail.
Obviously, leaving Afghanistan is not a great option. The country would probably slide back into even greater chaos and become even more of a hotbed for terrorists.
Staying in Afghanistan is also not the greatest idea. After all this is an expensive undertaking and we could certainly use that money domestically. For example, my university is cutting budgets as are other public universities. Clearly, we could use some of the money currently being dumped into Afghanistan to do things like retain faculty and provide scholarships.
There is also the concern that Americans are being killed in Afghanistan and the fact that it is using up some of our military resources.
If we had done things better in the past, we would most likely not be facing problems as extensive or severe as those that exist now. Of course, this does not help us now. Except, of course, to remind us that what we do (or do not do now) could well lead to even greater problems in the future.
At this point, the obvious question is “should we stay or should we go?” The unfortunate answer seems to be that we should stay, because the consequences of doing so. are less bad than those of leaving. Of course, this means that we have to expect to dump billions more into the country and more deaths. What can we expect to get in return? Probably harsh words from whatever corrupt politician is in charge of some of the country.