Feature

America’s crafty little exit strategy.

The week's news at a glance.

United Kingdom

Simon JenkinsThe Guardian

“The Pentagon must be laughing fit to bust,” said Simon Jenkins in the London Guardian. Everyone mistakenly assumed Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld must have changed his mind on nation-building. After all, his country initiated two wars in basket-case countries, and the only way out of either Afghanistan or Iraq is to build local institutions that can maintain order. Only it turns out there’s another exit strategy: “Find some stooge ally to throw up a smoke screen and get out.” In Afghanistan, Britain is that stooge. The U.S. is drawing down. And we’re sending 4,800 troops on a supposed peacekeeping mission “to wipe out the world’s most lucrative opium trade and bring democracy, stability, and protection to southern Afghanistan.” The wrinkle is that southern Afghanistan is the very area where the Taliban is resurgent. If our boys get stuck in a renewed hot war there, too bad for them. “NATO and Britain have been suckered to the miserable task of covering America’s retreat.” And the same thing could easily happen in Iraq. It’s not fair to blame the Pentagon only—our own Ministry of Defense is the willing partner. “The default mode of American foreign policy is isolation and of British policy continued intervention.” That makes Britain the perfect “fall guy.”

Recommended

Thailand is turning plastic waste into personal protective equipment
A monk in Thailand wearing PPE made from plastic bottles.
getting creative

Thailand is turning plastic waste into personal protective equipment

Taliban foreign minister asks to address the United Nations
Taliban Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi.
seeking legitimacy

Taliban foreign minister asks to address the United Nations

Xi Jinping may have just signaled the end of international coal financing
Xi Jinping.
climate change

Xi Jinping may have just signaled the end of international coal financing

French still unhappy with Biden, but Boris Johnson stays positive
Boris Johnson.
'breath of fresh air'

French still unhappy with Biden, but Boris Johnson stays positive

Most Popular

Did Theranos Lose Afghanistan?
Elizabeth Holmes and James Mattis.
Samuel Goldman

Did Theranos Lose Afghanistan?

Don't try to predict Manchin's reconciliation vote, says former adviser
Joe Manchin.
an enigma

Don't try to predict Manchin's reconciliation vote, says former adviser

J&J: Booster provides 100 percent protection against severe COVID-19
Johnson & Johnson
boost

J&J: Booster provides 100 percent protection against severe COVID-19