At a debate Thursday among analysts and advocates on whether the U.S. should remain in Afghanistan past 2014, when the NATO combat mission there is scheduled to end, the four panelists differed mostly on the degree of U.S. presence that would be required past that date. None advocated for a full withdrawal.
Frederick W. Kagan, director of the Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute and a prominent civilian adviser to the U.S. military mission in Afghanistan, argued that the U.S. should remain in Afghanistan because “there continue to be people in Afghanistan . . . who wake up every morning and ask themselves, ‘How can I kill Americans and how can I bring this war to the United States?’”
He said that the American public’s war-weariness, which creates pressure for withdrawal, was not a sound basis for policymaking, especially since most Americans have no direct experience of the war.