UFM Talk | The United States Withdrawal from Afghanistan: Risks and Opportunities

Sophia Rossell  | 10 de agosto de 2021  | Vistas: 110

Will Ogilvie, coordinator of Global Affairs at the Institute for Political Studies and International Relations, and James Carafano, Vice President at Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy discuss the risks and opportunities of the withdrawal of the United States from Afghanistan.

James explains that the United States of America became involved when the Taliban residing in Afghanistan refused to turn in Osama Bin Laden after the 9/11 terrorist attack. This caused the Taliban to leave Afghanistan taking the AL QAEDA people with them. He states that Afghanistan, geographically, was a very important point of trading so everyone wanted a part of it. Most of the groups that were involved in Afghanistan were not supported by the United States. These days, the US Military is serving as support to the Afghanistan Military in things that they can't by themselves such as air force.

It is very hard to rebuild a country in the middle of violence.” – James Carafano

Carafano says that there is no peace settlement in Afghanistan based on a threat on global terrorism. He then expands that the Russians, chinese and the west see it very differently from one another. The russians focus on an ethnic group that follow islam that are oppressed therefore cause trouble, while the chinese focus on the threat of internal domestic unrest by this same ethnic group. This causes the radical islamic movement to not be viewed as a problem in general but rather independent from the rest of the world.

The US troops in Afghanistan are providing stability by providing advice and support, if the United States withdraws them I think that’s a problem.” – James Carafano

Will asks James about private contractors and if that could be a middle term solution to help the Afghan government, to which James responds that it depends on whom the contractors work for. He details that wars have been very functional to the private sector. Government has always been at minimum capacity to wage war so the capability came mostly from the private sector.

The state formation during the 18th and 19th century made the states gather all its capabilities and infrastructure to be the purveyor of violence even though contractors have always been there in the battlefield. James states that the difference now is that the global private sector has developed a lot of capabilities that only governments could do in the past centuries. Contractors are still present but depending on who they work for on the battlefield. they are either doing it lawfully or not. He concludes that it could be of help to the Afghan government depending on who hires the contractors and whether they follow the rule of law. James finalizes by stating that during the last 5 to 6 years a country can survive without a peace agreement as long as public safety and basic governance is provided. Check content of the Institute for Political Studies and International Relations at newmedia.ufm.edu.


Vice President, Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy, and the E. W. Richardson Fellow

Doctor en Filosofía Política y catedrático