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Afghanistan on the Brink

Summary:
Add to Bookmarks Jul 8, 2021 The US military’s recent handover of the Bagram Air Base near Kabul to the Afghan government effectively marks the end of a 20-year war that has cost more than trillion. With the Taliban, which had been removed from power by the 2001 US-led invasion, now poised to regain control, many in Afghanistan and the region are bracing for further conflict and chaos. In this Big Picture, former German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer warns that the humanitarian consequences of the West’s withdrawal could be catastrophic. Former Swedish

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The US military’s recent handover of the Bagram Air Base near Kabul to the Afghan government effectively marks the end of a 20-year war that has cost more than $2 trillion. With the Taliban, which had been removed from power by the 2001 US-led invasion, now poised to regain control, many in Afghanistan and the region are bracing for further conflict and chaos.

In this Big Picture, former German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer warns that the humanitarian consequences of the West’s withdrawal could be catastrophic. Former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt agrees, and argues that avoiding a new spiral of violence requires US President Joe Biden’s administration to ensure that any exit strategy includes a plan for the country.

Without such planning, warns Brahma Chellaney of the New Delhi-based Center for Policy Research, a full US military withdrawal will make America an accomplice of the Taliban and trigger a rebirth of global terror. The problem with this and other sensible demands, Council on Foreign Relations President

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