More from RELS 348: Empire, Colonialism, and Religion

Americans are leaving soldiers in Afghanistan till 2016, and it is welcomed. Afghanistan’s president, Ashraf Ghani, came to Washington D.C. to discuss the matter of the American troops currently stationed in his country. After a discussion the two presidents reached an agreement; the American troops will stay in Afghanistan until 2016 at the earliest. The article indicates that opinion polls in Afghanistan show that Afghans do not want the soldiers to leave. The people of Afghanistan fear that without the American protection and training of their nation’s own army they will be left vulnerable to various insurgent groups. The hope is that by 2016 the Afghanistan army will be strong enough on its own to protect the nation. This article directly refutes of the argument that the American soldiers in Afghanistan are an imperial force, as some suggested they were in the Vietnam War. The American soldiers are there to help establish peace and stability within the nation of Afghanistan. From the facts that are present in the article it can be argued that the American presence is needed. Most of the soldiers present are doing a service to the nation of Afghanistan. This is a similar case to that of the Vietnam War according to Uwe Siemon-Netto in his book Triumph of the Absurd. According to Siemon-Netto, the South Vietnamese welcomed the American presence in Vietnam. Siemon-Netto further states that they were there as protection for the people, and that the American public was just misinformed about the Americans agenda in Vietnam. Similarly, if the facts of this article present a complete picture, then the Americans in Afghanistan are not an imperial force. They are not forcing their ideas on the population, but are trying to protect the Afghan beliefs. If the Americans were to withdraw too soon then a similar situation when the Americans pulled out of Vietnam could develop in Afghanistan. When the Americans left South Vietnam the population was overrun by Vietcong forces and forced into submission. In Afghanistan, the Americans can only leave once Afghanistan can defend itself against the insurgents. The Americans need to see this war to the end and make sure that Afghanistan will not fall once they leave. If they do leave too soon then they will have to start over to re-establish order in Afghanistan.

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