The U.S. will not find safety behind its borders

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U.S. Foreign Policy Update

Stubborn foreign policy realists have reason to cheer. Liberal interventionism has not been popular for most of the past decade. The way of retreating from Kabul has read the final ceremony. The United States is withdrawing from its borders. Afghanistan has once again become a Taliban country. Without the leadership of Washington, Europe has been paralyzed.

Joe Biden ignored the botched nature of the U.S. troop withdrawal and declared the end of the era of nation-building. The provocative glib mantra of the American president is that there is no longer “eternal war”. Thousands of soldiers were brought home, and now the United States can contend with China. Biden seems to think that history will be well-meaning. After all, the creepy images of helicopters evacuating the last group of US Marines from the Saigon Embassy never indicate that the United States should stay in Vietnam.

Although they are frustrated with Biden’s Trump turn, advocates of free intervention must present their own fault. The 20-year occupation of Afghanistan by the West shows that they have naive expectations and carelessness in implementing democratization projects.

Once the Americans drive away Al Qaeda and the mission becomes nation-building, it is easy to assume that elections can turn Afghanistan into a shining new democracy.One’s writing Centralization Immediate contempt for the fragmented nature of Afghan tribal society and any real understanding of how democracy works. The election is the last piece of the puzzle. You start with the scaffolding of the rule of law, fair state institutions, and social norms.

For all the hundreds of billions of dollars spent in the military, the West has invested Insignificant amount To economic development.A large number of documents collected by the Washington-based National Security Archive show that even the hawkish former Secretary of Defense Donald Drumsfield believes that the United States should allocate more funds to establish a Afghan economy If it wants to beat the Taliban, it will spend less. Compared with development aid, politicians are more willing to spend money on missiles.

Afghanistan’s failure is a political failure, not a military failure. There is no serious attempt to incorporate Kabul’s neighbours into settlements.On the contrary, successive U.S. governments have stood idly by, because their so-called “ally” Pakistan continues to provide help Organize and Arm the Taliban. They refused to contact Iran. During her tenure as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton delivered a wonderful speech calling for “Political wave“To ensure reconciliation. Then continue as before.

The mistake now is to think that Biden’s retreat to the United States will be safer. It is no accident that those who cheered the most during the withdrawal were Western rivals. State building has never been a completely selfless project. Stable, open democracies are a bulwark against jihadists who will now return to Afghanistan and authoritarian countries challenging the rules-based international order. If Biden believes that the United States is engaged in a global contest with China—a contest between democracy and authoritarianism—he just gave up a lot of space.

It’s easy to argue that reshaping a broken and failed country requires the commitment of generations-it is an “always” task, Biden would say. The obstacle is that it cannot be avoided. Chaos is a friend of dictators and terrorists. The United States is about to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the attacks on New York and Washington. If there were warnings about the murder, it is that today’s threats often know no borders.

Realists are right to say that you cannot build a democratic state at gunpoint. They mistakenly believe that the United States can hide at home, use drones to fight terrorists, and give up unregulated space in the world to authoritarian opponents, while maintaining an open, rules-based international order. Inaction also comes at a price. Look at Syria.

At some point the pendulum will swing again—perhaps in response to another attack, or in response to atrocities, no matter how far they are from the West Coast, public opinion cannot tolerate them.

The real lesson of Afghanistan is that the purpose of military intervention—it must always be the last resort—is to provide a space for politics, economics, and diplomacy to function. Biden is right on one thing. Responding to new challenges requires leaders to have patience and endurance-which is more than what the current White House owner has shown.

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