Comparison of Points of View on the War in Afghanistan

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The war in Afghanistan is a constant focus for debate. There are those who believe that the United States is still doing a worthy effort in Afghanistan and that it is essential for the U.S. to keep a military presence there. On the other hand, there are the people that believe the United States can no longer achieve its goals if it continues to use military force. Authors Melanie Barton Zoltán and C. Ames Cushman argue both for and against the war in Afghanistan and the benefits each scenario can produce. Both authors focus on the structure of Afghanistan’s government, the involvement of Taliban and Al Qaeda on Afghanistan soil, and the effects the United States involvement would have on the women of Afghanistan. Both Zoltan and Cushman point out in their papers that controlling Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, does not really effect the government of the country. Zoltan argues that even with the Taliban removed from power in Kabul, they still hold considerable power in Afghanistan. With Afghanistan’s lack of centralized government, the Taliban easily entrenched in the southern part of the country and began to rebuild their forces. As the United States attention moved to Iraq after the Taliban were removed from Kabul, they were easily able to form a foothold in other parts of Afghanistan. Zoltan points out that if the Unites States does not stay involved militarily, the Taliban will be able to regroup not only in Afghanistan but also in Afghanistan’s neighbor, Pakistan. Given enough time, Zoltan believes that the Taliban and any Al Qaeda associated with it will gain access to Pakistan’s nuclear weapons. Cushman argues that since the original objective of removing the Taliban from power has been achieved, the use of military force is no longer needed. He sees the mission now to be more of an educational mission if the United States really wants to create a new system of government. In Cushman’s paper, he describes the war as a war on the...
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