Speaking today in an interview with Reuters, US Ambassador Ryan Crocker insisted that the United States will continue to have to occupy Afghanistan for the foreseeable future because of 9/11 and because if the occupation ended 9/11 might happen again.
The continued occupation of Afghanistan, he insisted, was “the ultimate guarantee that there will not be another 9/11.” While conceding that the American public was “war-weary,” he claimed ending the occupation was a risk “no sane person would willingly take.”
Though Crocker cited the already discounted 2014 date for certain of the war’s goals, he did not provide any estimate for how long he thought this occupation would need to last beyond some vague talk of a “stable Afghanistan.” Officials say the US will stay in Afghanistan beyond 2024.
Which suits Russian Ambassador Andrey Avetisyan just fine. While recounting the failed decade-long Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, Avetisyan encouraged the US to continue on with its own failing decade-long occupation for as long as it takes, adding that he believes the US has the “right” strategy.