« BACK  |  PRINT

RS

MEMBER DIARY

Michael Yon: How Much is Afghanistan Really Worth to Us?

Cross posted to The Political Class.

Yon wonders if the Russians stand more to lose by us leaving Afghanistan than we do:

While we prepare to shunt perhaps 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan (which still will not be enough), Russia continues to play the Asian chessboard. The Russians are picking off pawn after pawn, and steadily eroding our foreign policy influence with them and other Central Asian countries. The Russians know that we need a land route through their country to Afghanistan, especially as we begin the slow process of increasing our combat presence. The Pakistan land route is one Achilles’ heel to our Afghanistan effort, and Russia is working hard to make sure that Russia is the other Achilles’ heel, which will strengthen the Russian position on matters such as missile defense. Russia, at the present rate, will eventually exercise considerable control over the spigot to Afghanistan. The Russians are successfully wrestling us into a policy arm-lock. While Russia takes American money and gains influence over our Afghan efforts, we will continue to spend lives and tens of billions of dollars per year on Afghanistan in an attempt to civilize what amounts to Jurassic Park.

We must start asking Russia, and others, who the true losers will be if we abandon Afghanistan and leave a resurgent Taliban to lap at their doorsteps. I am not advocating that we abandon Afghanistan, but our own population and allies might grow weary during the long journey unfolding before us. The direct threat to us derives far more from al Qaeda than the Taliban, and we can keep punching down al Qaeda for a lot less than it’s costing to prosecute the Afghan war while abdicating significant influence to Russia. Russia has much to worry about if NATO countries begin to abandon Afghanistan.

Read the whole thing.

Via LGF

Cross posted to The Political Class.

Get Alerts