Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Trump's stance on Afghanistan could prove counterproductive

President Trump - who seems to have abandoned the isolationist stance he appeared to adopt during his election campaign - announced last night that there will be a further 4000 American troops sent into Afghanistan, and he has called on the UK and other NATO countries to follow suit. This time, though, the remit of the US forces will not involve any attempt at 'nation building'. Their purpose, he says, is simply to kill terrorists.
There is a real danger, in my opinion, that this will turn out to be an extremely counterproductive move. With the US military mission being told specifically to not concern itself with 'nation building', there is a potential to slip into an attitude of disregard for the safety and well being of afghan civil society and, indeed, afghan civilians, altogether. Consequently, the US could end up making a lot more enemies in the region than it already has, thus ultimately increasing the threat to American interests and American security far beyond its current level.

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