March 17, 2021

The best case against withdrawing all US troops from Afghanistan

Source: Vox

Journalist: Alex Ward

President Joe Biden has a big, looming decision to make by May 1: whether or not to withdraw all 2,500 US troops from Afghanistan and end America’s 20-year war in the country.

Biden very broadly has two paths to choose from. He can abide by former President Donald Trump’s deal with the Taliban, which would require all American service members to leave Afghanistan by that deadline. Or Biden can extend the US military mission, either unilaterally or by negotiating an extension with the Taliban, as a way to pressure the Taliban to strike a peace deal with the Afghan government.

Both options are fraught with risk. Experts warn that ending America’s presence will almost certainly lead the Taliban to take over the country, including the capital city of Kabul. Staying, though, will invite the insurgent group to restart killing American personnel in the country, adding to the over 2,300 US personnel who have already been killed since the war began in 2001.

There’s simply no overarching consensus on which is the best course of action, underscoring just how difficult Biden’s decision — expected in a few weeks — will be.

But Lisa Curtis, a senior fellow and director of the Indo-Pacific security program at the Center for a New American Security think tank in Washington, DC, is firmly on the side of continuing America’s military footing in Afghanistan.

Read the full story and more from Vox.


  • Lisa Curtis

    Senior Fellow and Director, Indo-Pacific Security Program

    Lisa Curtis is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Indo-Pacific Security Program at CNAS. She is a foreign policy and national security expert with over 20 years of service in...