For many US allies, the end of the conflict in Afghanistan will come as a relief, reassuring them that some clear, rational strategic thinking has taken hold in Washington.
Few had predicted how quickly Kabul would fall and how rapidly the Afghan military forces would collapse. Thursday’s suicide bombings outside Kabul airport, killing thirteen American troops and dozens of Afghans, underscored the tragedy. In some corners of the world, the fall has led to a chorus of commentators lamenting both the Taliban’s success and an apparent undermining of US credibility with allies. Others have called out and argued against what they consider to be “myths,” including that the US presence in Afghanistan was unsustainable, that the rapid collapse was evidence that success in Afghanistan was never possible, and that Afghanistan distracted the United States from its great-power competition—instead drawing attention to a peripheral region.