As the world focuses on President Trump’s NATO meeting, global think-tank Carnegie takes a hard look at US policy in Afghanistan. It concludes that to protect the integrity of the Afghan state, U.S. policy should aim to end the conflict in ways that mitigate the threats of terrorism, instability, and regional conflict.
US policy in Afghanistan was radically changed following the 911 terrorist attacks on the US mainland. But President Obama was committed to US troop reductions, rather than securing strategic goals. On his first overseas visit, President Trump will be watched carefully for changes in US defense and foreign policy. The tragic terrorist attack in Manchester, UK, reminds us that we still need the US as a global superpower and peace-keeper. In particular, it would be risky if the Far-Right elements supporting President Trump prevail and the US becomes more isolationist. There are signs that the Trump Administration will continue with its global reach. As the Carnegie article highlights, further retreat from Afghanistan could risk a new terrorist threat.