The Ethics of America's Afghan War [Full Text]

Ethics & International Affairs, Volume 25.2 (Summer 2011)

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To address the concerns of those whose futures are at stake, moral inquiry into America's Afghan war must consider specific and detailed alternatives, not just "Stay or go." I will argue that the United States has had a moral duty, at least since the end of 2010, actively to pursue negotiations with the Taliban and Pakistan to achieve a political settlement, conceding control of the Pashtun countryside to the Taliban. This project ought to include ending the U.S. offensive in that part of the country and rapidly reducing U.S. forces in the country as a whole to, at most, a residual force for training, logistic and air support, emergency defense of cities, and closely targeted attacks on international terrorist operations. Every day spent on more violent paths has added to the toll of deaths and wrecked lives wrongfully caused by the United States in Afghanistan.

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