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Due in large part to the massive investment of U.S. time, money, and resources in the Afghan military since 2001, and to Washington’s relative neglect of the civilian government, Afghanistan is facing a very real risk of military coup. There is still time to forestall that outcome. But if it happens, no policymaker should be surprised.
Miller, who recently served as the U.S. National Security Council’s director for Afghanistan and Pakistan, assesses efforts to rebuild failed states through armed intervention.
Given the threats it faces, from nuclear-armed autocracies to terrorists, the United States cannot afford to scale back its military, argues Paul Miller. Micah Zenko and Michael Cohen reply that the danger of these challenges is vastly exaggerated and that an overly militarized foreign policy has not made the country safer.
Since 2001, Afghanistan's economy has grown at an impressive rate and major development indicators in the country have improved dramatically. Even security and the rule of law -- long neglected -- are now improving. Washington and its allies could still win in Afghanistan if they are given the time they need.