U.S. COULD LEAVE AFGHANISTAN EVEN SOONER THAN PLANNED — Wake Forest University political science professor Will Walldorf says the recent rampage by a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan is likely to only add fuel to the fire for a quicker U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, both on the Afghan and U.S. side. Despite efforts by Washington to claim that this was the work of a single, rogue individual, the symbolic impact will be significant. Like the recent protests over the burning of Korans by U.S. soldiers, this incident will incite public anger in Afghanistan about the U.S. presence along the deepest of cultural and religious grounds. Taliban reprisals and especially stonewalling in negotiations with the U.S. and Afghan government authorities will likely increase. All of this, coupled with increasing violence in Iraq and the faltering of the Arab spring in many places will only enhance the U.S. public’s disposition toward a quick withdrawal, amidst a sense that our presence in the Afghanistan and the region more broadly is a waste of time, resources, and American lives.
C. William Walldorf, Jr. has written extensively on U.S. foreign policy, sanctions, human rights and democracy promotion. His award-winning book, Just Politics: Human Rights and the Foreign Policy of Great Powers, focuses on the political processes that lead the United States and other democratic great powers to adopt human rights sanctions. His recent work explores the importance of target regime type as a factor in determining when these kinds of sanctions are most effective. Currently, Walldorf is working on a new book related how changes in U.S. national moods about democracy and human rights promotion from 1900 to the present affect U.S. policymaking decisions about the use of military force to advance democracy abroad.
Stephanie Skordas, firstname.lastname@example.org, 336.758.3826
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