Monday 23 Jul 2018 | 10:15 | SYDNEY
Monday 23 Jul 2018 | 10:15 | SYDNEY

Reader riposte: More on 'Why Afghanistan?'


Sam Roggeveen


16 March 2009 12:27

Anton Kuruc defends the importance of the Afghanistan war, which I questioned in earlier posts:

Why Afghanistan? It’s called the Law of Effect! In layman’s terms, that means rewarded behaviour will be repeated. If the Taliban win, their behaviour will almost certainly be repeated. It is worth noting that the Taliban surge came after they defeated the Pakistani military in the North West Frontier and were rewarded with a peace treaty with the Pakistani Government. That allowed them to more effectively destabilise Afghanistan. If they succeed in Afghanistan they will be well placed to make a more serious attempt at Pakistan, an effort they have already started.

Their recent successes in Afghanistan have emboldened them in Pakistan. Lose Afghanistan and you will probably lose nuclear-armed Pakistan. Remember, Pakistan has recently been the world’s foremost nuclear proliferator, is a state sponsor of international terrorism (whether the Government sanctions it or it is done through the ISI-military) and it is happy to export its problems anywhere it can.

Also defending the Afghanistan operation (from an American perspective) are Frederick Kagan, Kimberley Kagan and Max Boot, with this NY Times op-ed. Joe Klein from TIME magazine critiques that piece, but also supports the war.