China is brimming with optimism about the Taliban in Afghanistan. But a bombing that killed scores of people, including 13 American troops, outside the Kabul airport on August 26 has led many to distrust the Islamic group’s promise to not let anyone use the land-locked country’s soil to target another.
One adjective that should never be used to describe the US retreat from Afghanistan is “surprising.” In fact, what happened in Kabul in 2021 was the natural next step on the inward-turning path Americans began walking in 2009.
With the West on the run, increased activity by terrorists, and the Taliban inexorably exerting control across the country, we need to be aware of what is happening to real people, right now in Afghanistan.
This week the editors cover Henry Nau’s article about nation-building, 75-year-old reports from occupied Germany by Reinhold Neibuhr and John Baillie, a podcast with Rebeccah Heinrichs, and an event with Paul D. Miller and Jon Askonas.