War on terror
Contrary to how some understand the U.S. withdrawal in Afghanistan, the lesson extremists are taking from the Taliban’s success is not simply that jihad works, but that diplomacy and engagement are a necessary part of the process, which includes reassuring the West about external threats emerging from their areas.
If the evacuation of Afghanistan tested U.S. partnerships in ways that revealed something short of solidarity, building and sustaining an allied strategy for political transition in Syria can provide the corrective.
Over its 10 years of aiding the mujahedeen, the U.S. learned nothing about the nuances of Afghanistan’s people, history or culture — a problem that would continue to plague most of our actions for the 20 years the U.S. spent in Afghanistan.
My decision to go to Gitmo despite my abhorring its existence was not an easy one. To this day I still struggle with the morality of my choice. But if I hadn’t gone I don’t think I would have ever understood the U.S. “War on Terror”.