Thingish Things

Kissinger on Afghanistan

Written By: William F. B. O'Reilly - Jun• 08•11

Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger published a piece in today’s Washington Post on the eventual American withdrawal of forces from Afghanistan.  His advice? Slow down and do it right. Or, rather, slow down and do it as well as possible.

Kissinger, whose writing I find impenetrable at times, is crystal clear in his op-ed today. He spells out the potential dangers of America leaving the region too soon and creating a power vacuum. Afghanistan would once again become a chess board with competing regional interests moving their respective — and highly armed — pieces within its borders.  That could draw the whole region — Pakistan, India, Russia, and Iran — into a larger conflict, Kissinger argues.  As tempting as that may sound to some, that would be a bad idea. A lot of nuclear weapons are involved.

Afghanistan is not now atop the national radar.  We are all too busy — myself included — weighing punishment for a congressman showing off his undershorts.  But debate on Afghanistan will unquestionably (one would hope) ratchet up throughout the 2012 campaign season, and that is another thing about which Kissinger cautions.  Calls for the quickest exit from Afghanistan should not become a political sport.  Long-term sober judgement is needed here.

Come to think of it, long-term sober judgement is needed just about everywhere today, isn’t it?



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One Comment

  1. Your Friend says:

    Is there something in the history of American military exploits that leads you to believe that we will actually leave Afghanistan? We’re still in Iraq. Bosnia. Korea. Germany. Japan. We will be in Afghanistan for the rest of our natural lives.

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