April 29th, 2011
12:17 PM ET

Fareed Zakaria on scaling back the U.S. role in Afghanistan

Last night I talked to Eliot Spitzer about reports of an April 16 meeting between leaders of Pakistan and Afghanistan where, as Eliot said, "these two supposed U.S. allies conspired to throw the U.S. out and look toward China as the benefactor." Here's my view:

Sometimes the United States enters places in South Asia and we assume it is all very simple – there are good guys and bad guys. We are coming in support the good guys, so we presume they should be on our side against the bad guys.

But actually there is an existing set of regional dynamics at work. We’re the interloper. We’re coming into this game pretty late. The regional actors think we are going to leave.

Read the full story on Global Public Square
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Napoli

    When the US Sends aid, they get out the check book. When China sends aid, containers line their docks and move.

    This is and interesting story and a shot across the bow for the US. It seems the US is good at going in a dismantling but not so good at rebuilding and leaving a lasting relationship. The reason for going in in the first place is not in question. What is is whether the mission has been complete and will Afghanistan be a close partner moving forward. In either case, right now, it seems the US is failing. Supporting corrupt leadership destined to fail is not a good way forward. Supporting an abusive regime is not, neither.

    April 30, 2011 at 7:38 am | Report abuse |
    • salerno

      The US is failing because it is a terrorist nation. US killed civilians like OBL. Even in Libya today a residential zone with civilians was bombed killing the Ghaddafi little grandchildren, No difference with terrorism. OBL hit the Pentagon and the Cole. 2 military targets. USA in Serbia bombed civilian buildings (TV), train, hospital and chinese embassy. What difference with Osama ?

      May 1, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  2. abul

    US need 2 million soldiers in afg to completely control that country.

    April 30, 2011 at 5:50 am | Report abuse |
  3. salerno

    USA cannot afford financially to leave 100.000 soldiers in Afghanistan, Spitzer said. His se,plicistic view about bad guys and good guys is a non-sense, as the americans are often considered as bad guys, or at least untrustable allies. This is why Pakistan is looking at China like Iran. China is a creditor nation, with money to invest, while USA is a debtor nation with budget problems. China is scaling back holdings in US treasuries since 4-5 months ago, and this will put pressure on the dollar. American people will face a reduced buying power as a result of these senseless wars.

    April 29, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |

    What we need to do is to get the Karzai regime and the Taliban to the negotiating table and pull all of our troops out of there. Or do just like the Russians did back in 1989. We never had a right to be in that country in the first place. No wonder we have such a budget crisis in Washington!!!

    April 29, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |