On October 7, 2001, the U.S. invaded Afghanistan. The war is now 16 years old — and that’s not even counting the decade of U.S. intervention in the country during the Cold War.
Donald Trump once advocated the “speedy withdrawal” of U.S. troops from that country. As president, however, he’s gone in the opposite direction, demanding the U.S. must now “fight to win.”
As Phyllis Bennis, director of the IPS New Internationalism project, explains in this short video, Trump’s plans to extend the war he once supported ending are even more worrisome for their lack of transparency. He’s not said how many new troops he’ll send or how long they’ll be deployed. Worse still, civilian casualties in multiple U.S. wars have been on the rise since he took office — by 67 percent in just six months.
It’s clear by now that the solution to terrorism won’t come from using military power, Bennis explains. That can only be achieved by diplomacy. “It’s harder, it takes longer, it’s not as sexy, it’s not sexy on CNN, it’s not any of those things,” she concludes. “But it’s the only thing that will work.”
Video by Victoria Borneman and Peter Certo. Middle East expert Phyllis Bennis directs the New Internationalism Project at the Institute for Policy Studies. Reprinted from Foreign Policy in Focus with permission.