Monday, December 13, 2010

Why are we in Afghanistan? Karzai clearly doesn't want us there

Not that Karzai's desires should necessarily guide US foreign policy, but when you get quotes like this (via Yglesias):

As he [Karzai] spoke, he grew agitated, then enraged. He told them that he now has three "main enemies" - the Taliban, the United States and the international community.

"If I had to choose sides today, I'd choose the Taliban," he fumed.

you have to wonder what the heck we are doing there.

The context of this discussion was Karzai's very understandable desire to go ahead with a ban on private security firms: what head of state wants armed mercenaries controlled by foreigners roaming around their country? I certainly wouldn't.

I just don't see what vital American interest is served by our propping this guy up. Yes, the Taliban would be worse. But would they be worse enough to justify what we're sacrificing and the evils we're inevitably committing in order to prevent them from overthrowing Karzai's government? I would much rather take the money we're spending on Afghanistan and spend it on our own development. Heck, I'd rather give it away to millionaires: at least then it wouldn't be killing anybody.


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