‘We Must Stay the Course in Afghanistan’

by Michael Rubin

Doing some research for a book project, I came across this gem from Joe Biden, speaking on the floor of the Senate on March 21, 2002.  It bears repeating:

We must stay the course in Afghanistan—the whole world is watching.  Friends and enemies alike want to know whether we’ll follow through in Afghanistan, and if we fail to follow through here, how can we ever convince them that we’ll follow through in Yemen, the Philippines, or Indonesia—let alone Iraq.

Biden’s right of course. Afghanistan is not just about Afghanistan. And while Bush-era deputy national security advisor Robert Blackwill now advocates giving the Taliban a safe-haven in southern Afghanistan — that worked so well before — let’s hope the Biden logic of 2002 prevails over the Biden or Blackwill logic of 2010. Usually, people learn with time. It’s a curiosity of Washington how quickly they forget.

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