Edward R Murrow regarding the war in Indo-China, the Vietnam War
A question worth asking, as the debate over leaving Afghanistan takes place, have things changed to where a presence forever in a foreign country makes sense? I am all for leaving, but this is not like when the Soviets left a long time ago in the nineteen eighties. At that time they were in Afghanistan for a different reason.
Although the Americans went in under the pretense of fighting terrorism, that was twenty years ago. Americans went in roughly ten some years after the Soviets left. Times have changed. Back then the shell of the Russian world was collapsing under the weight of it actually being a step above a third world country.
Today, we are looking at an ambitious country which is actually doing more than supplying weapons. China goes into a country and improves it, but with a debt to be paid later. The later payment date is having China pseudo rule it.
Could we be back in the Cold War but with a different opponent? Yes, I think we are. China does have the cojones to do things the old Soviets could not. And, they are doing it by not brutalizing the people during the invasion. China shows up with a wallet.
Do we accept the unknown consequences of leaving the Southwest Asia countries without a presence? Or, do we stay in one to provide a block to another political adversary? I see the question as one we need to ask now and be prepared for an answer we do not like. I would enjoy China adding its flag to the pile of invaders who thought it a good place to set up a military outpost.