The idea that it is necessary to maintain residual forces in Afghanistan to conduct counterterrorism operations is based on the flawed premise that “terrorism” must be fought and can be defeated militarily.
Afghanistan still depends upon foreign assistance for its survival. Even Taliban leadership has acknowledged that Afghanistan will require international development aid moving forward.
Interestingly, it was not the withdrawal of Soviet troops but the cessation of Soviet aid that led to the dissolution of then-President Mohammed Najibullah’s regime.1
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