Eric Margolis: This is Not the Worst Case Scenario in Afghanistan

Eric Margolis talks with Scott about the situation in Afghanistan as American forces continue to withdraw. Of course, the last few days have seen nonstop headlines proclaiming an utter disaster in the country, many of them excoriating President Biden for having screwed things up so badly. But Scott and Margolis remind us just how much worse things could be. Margolis points out that for one thing, some Afghan government officials seem to have been quietly preparing for a transfer of power far in advance, such that when U.S. forces pulled out, they were prepared to more or less let the Taliban take over. You don’t have to be a fan of the Taliban to realize that this relatively peaceful transfer of power is far better than the alternative: months of bloody and destructive fighting followed by victory for the Taliban anyway. Even in areas like women’s rights, Margolis explains that the current generation of Taliban leadership isn’t as harsh as their fathers and grandfathers—Taliban spokesmen have been quick to reassure the West that they want women to play a bigger role in society. The last thing Americans should do is let war hawks use the chaos in Afghanistan as an excuse for us to go back into the country and stay forever.

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