Today, Americans realize the futility of spending $2 trillion over 20 years fighting a lost war in Afghanistan. What would the world look like if that money had been spent on education in that country and in ours Now is the time for every college in the country to fight hard for the next massive investment in higher education. Quite simply, they should lobby for our future.
The Taliban has one important advantage in holding onto power. For the moment, no foreign power or neighbouring state looks likely to support an anti-Taliban resistance movement with arms and money. They won power in the 1990s because of backing from Pakistan and lost it in 2001 because the US backed the Northern Alliance.
There was no way for a patriotic small-town kid to know that, however, and so we follow young Kovic from his last prom to the battlefield. In these scenes, Cruise still looks like Cruise - boyish, open-faced - and I found myself wondering if he would be able to make the transition into the horror that I knew was coming. He was.
It is even hard to turn to studies of countries that have lost more conventional wars, like Germany, or to studies of people who lose wars and then continue to live next to their victors, like in Bosnia and Herzegovina. None of that scholarly work quite captures the collective malaise I sense in my own life as my friends and neighbors watch all our good intentions evaporate. In front of our eyes, and in just minutes, women are dawning burqas (many against their will), and religious zealotry is pushing aside democratic institutions. Forgive me if I want to turn the channel and look elsewhere for hints of self-worth. The news reminds me of my own foolish belief in a western ideology that appears to have had little place in Afghanistan.
Simply put, the United States has lost the war in Afghanistan. By pushing past the May 1 withdrawal date, Biden is merely delaying the inevitable. Afghanistan and its people are unlikely to be much better off by maintaining a small military presence there for a few months longer. Offering refuge to Afghans fleeing abuse would be a constructive human rights policy. Extending a lost war won't be. 1e1e36bf2d