We Should Not Have Gotten Involved in Afghanistan in the First Place


Photo courtesy of Diego Gonzalez on Unsplash.com

Matthew Chen, Staff Writer

President Biden recently announced that all American troops from Afghanistan will be withdrawn by September 11th, 2021. 

The war in Afghanistan has been the longest war recorded in American history, lasting for almost 20 years. However, Biden’s decision comes amid criticisms. The main concern is that the Taliban’s presence is still large enough to cause instability in the region. I am concerned about the Afghan military’s ability to hold on after we leave,” said Marine Corps Gen. Kenneth “Frank” McKenzie, commander of U.S. Central Command. 

However, we should not have entered Afghanistan in the first place. Former President Bush has exhibited a history of misjudgments and costly wars. Although at the time, it may have been hard to judge the decision, almost twenty years later, we can say with certainty that the war was a huge mistake. 

The only reason we are still involved is that we got involved. What I mean is that engaging in Afghanistan was a controlling relationship that slowly became less and less beneficial for the U.S. At some point, we need to cut our losses and accept that the war really did not accomplish anything. The Taliban presence is small enough now that the U.S. leaving will not create a power vacuum. 

At this point, the Taliban have stated that they will not engage in peace talks until U.S. troops have left Afghanistan soil. Even though, perhaps in recent years, cost has been a minimum (zero U.S. troops have died in combat in Afghanistan for a year), this does not conceal the trillions of dollars and thousands of lives spent in an endless war. 

The U.S. imperialist mindset has always been that intervening in foreign countries leads to stability. However, as we see in Afghanistan, Libya and other countries, U.S. intervention has done nothing to improve the stability of those regions. Although it would be ideal for a large superpower such as the United States to “police” the world, we have clearly seen that we are not able to effectively bring good in the world through military intervention.