Peeling the narrative Onion: How I am thinking about the end of American operations in Afghanistan and the return of taliban rule

A beautiful mirage. Photo taken by the Author less than 7 miles away from the Afghani border, discussing with Afghanis, UN personnel, US government officials, and Armed forces about the future of the region

I am still gathering my thoughts regarding the events in Afghanistan. I probably will have more to say soon, as I hear and read more from the experts I trust, and analyze the geopolitical activities as well as one can do, far from the territory.

In the meantime, here is a -still-emerging- heuristic of how I am thinking about the dramatic change in the balance of power in this nation. In a nutshell, I think too many agendas and too many issues are being superimposed on each other in ways that are not helpful. This is a list of those I have identified:

  1. The first question is if the US should have continued operations in Afghanistan or not. It was understood by many, but not all, that if US troops leave the region, Taliban forces would benefit from that.

Many answers to these questions can be somewhat contradictory. These topics, and some more, are all being discussed in the potpourri of nonsense that frequently emerges during the discussion of rapidly evolving world events. We need cold heads to understand what happened and, more importantly, to understand what comes next.

The status quo was not sustainable, but this present was not preordained. We will live for many years with the consequences of the choices we will make in the next few weeks. I hope statecraft and not petty cable news punditry dictates American actions, statespeople, not petty partisans work together and, for the well being of those who will suffer the most, the international community acts to minimize as much as possible the suffering that -this is the only certainty I have-, sadly will now come.



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