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Jun. 11 2010 - 2:29 pm | 56 views | 1 recommendation | 1 comment

Nation-building in Afghanistan

While doing my research for my Guardian article out today about the panoply of disaster in Afghanistan this week, I came across this interesting quote from President Obama at last month’s joint press conference with Karzai:

“We are not suddenly as of July 2011 finished with Afghanistan,” Obama said. “After July 2011 we are still going to have an interest in making sure that Afghanistan is secure, that economic development is taking place, that good governance is being promoted.”

This is the definition of nation-building. Obama categorically rejected this approach last May, saying:

Indeed, some call for a more dramatic and open-ended escalation of our war effort¬† — one that would commit us to a nation-building project of up to a decade.¬† I reject this course because it sets goals that are beyond what can be achieved at a reasonable cost, and what we need to achieve to secure our interests.

Rather than converging on narrow goals, the administration seems to be broadening out the US-NATO aims in Afghanistan. As a result, any prospect for beginning to draw down troops next July looks increasingly unlikely.


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  1. collapse expand

    Mr. Kapur,

    You must have forgotten you “Washington Secret Decoder Ring” or not remembered to use it. In the first quote Mr. Obama is saying “After our troops leave, if you are driven from power, we will offer you and your family refuge”. The second quote says “Out troops are leaving Afghanistan”.

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