in the CSM
Though a political settlement with the Taliban will undoubtedly require compromise on legal and social matters, these concessions need not set back Afghan women in the long term. While the Taliban might push for an end to coeducation in Afghanistan’s south, there is no Islamic basis for them to oppose girls-only schools. Gulf Arab states that have done their fair share to promote radicalism in Afghanistan should recompense by funding primary and secondary girls schools, putting Afghanistan on a path toward universal education.
Within a generation’s time, the world can witness an Afghanistan fully healed from the 30 years of strife. But healing Afghanistan requires a political, not a military, solution. And Washington’s consent to bring about that solution must come now, before it sinks deeper into an unwinnable war.
Aww, isn’t that sweet. A settlement with the Taliban will heal Afghanistan. Gulf Arab states that have been funding the Taliban insurgency will now switch gears and start finding primary and secondary female education – putting Afghanistan on a path toward universal education. And all this will happen with absolutely nothing motivating any of the miraculously soon to be reformed actors (the Taliban & the Gulf States) to change. It will just happen like the way I will soon be getting a job paying me a million bucks a year to sit on the couch and surf google news.
Seriously, I want some of what this guy is smoking.
Look, you can make a pretty clear isolationist argument from the US perspective of getting the hell out of Afghanistan. You can also make a great argument from the Pakistani military’s perspective of what a relief it’ll be to have the backyard free to let the Jihadists let off some of their excess steam in again without any pesky NATO troops around. You can even combine the two perspectives and make a sort of meaningless international pundit ‘liberal’ argument about just the general goodness leaving Afghanistan by cherrypicking morality from the two perspectives as the writer of this op-ed is clearly adept at doing. But it’s a little too much when you start with the Kumbayahs about how a US withdrawal after a negotiated peace with the Taliban will facilitate universal female education and “healing”.