In the World Policy Journal, Carl Robichaud warns that the United States—and, for that matter, the rest of the world—is letting Afghanistan slowly slip into chaos. Insurgents have been gaining strength in recent months, and violence is on the rise. The country needs an estimated 200,000 peacekeepers to provide security, and it’s about 80,000 short. And the international community has failed to bolster the central government’s legitimacy by spending the money to rebuild the country—11 times as much has been spent on military operations as on reconstruction, humanitarian aid, and economic assistance.
Everyone knows the history here: After the Soviet Union left Afghanistan in the face of U.S.-backed resistance in the 1980s, the United States let the country go to hell. A decade later, among other things, it had to go invade Afghanistan. One would think this is a pretty good argument for not letting the country go to hell. Apparently not.