To the Editor:
Re “A Responsible Exit From Afghanistan” (editorial, Dec. 1):
Your suggestion of a “coordinated regional approach” that might eventually create an environment allowing a U.S. departure from Afghanistan has a good ring to it. Indeed, the United States has long pursued discussions with other countries for just this purpose.
But there is more than enough reason to question whether would-be partners in such an approach — your editorial mentions Iran, Russia, China and Pakistan specifically — share America’s vision that, above all, Afghanistan must emerge as a peaceful, prosperous, democratically governed country that does not provide a safe haven for global terror groups.
To make that vision a reality, we urge the Biden administration to provide sufficient development and humanitarian assistance (as the United States pledged at a recent donors’ conference) and to maintain a right-sized military presence.
A full-scale and immediate American withdrawal from Afghanistan, at least under the currently fragile circumstances, would be a recipe for disaster for Afghans, for the region and the world. We should do what is necessary to secure our objectives of assuring stability in a critical region and retaining the security, governance and human rights gains made at great cost and sacrifice over the last two decades.
Mr. Kagan is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. Ms. Pforzheimer is a former U.S. Foreign Service officer who served most recently as deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan. Both are members of the steering committee of the Alliance in Support of the Afghan People, which advocates for responsible U.S. engagement in Afghanistan.
To the Editor:
Considering that U.S. troops attacked Afghanistan after 9/11 with a promise of liberating Afghan women, it is unconscionable that the editorial mentions the word “women” once, and that in passing.
The most horrific consequences of this unpeaceful peace process have been borne and will continue to be borne by Afghan women.
Women for Afghan Women is the largest Afghan women’s rights organization. We have served more than 1.3 million women and their families since our inception in 2001, and are committed to ensuring the safety and full agency of Afghan women.
We insist that women’s rights are not a mere talking point, but the priority in any discussion of the future of Afghanistan.
El Prado, N.M.
The writer is a co-founder of Women for Afghan Women.
To the Editor:
Re “Two Costly Wars and a Legacy of Shame” (Op-Ed, Nov. 27):
Timothy Kudo’s indictment of America’s military misadventures in Iraq and Afghanistan is hardly a surprise. But as long as the burden for endless, costly wars is shouldered by the most vulnerable in our society who do the fighting and by foreigners thousands of miles away, I expect Mr. Kudo’s warnings to go unheeded.
Mark K. Cassell
The writer is director of the Washington Program in National Issues at Kent State University.
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