Crocker: Don’t Withdraw From Afghanistan Over Massive Protests

Urges Officials to Wait for Things to Get Back to 'Normal'

Speaking today on CNN’s State of the Union, US Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker warned against making any policy changes regarding the occupation of Afghanistan, saying that the massive unrest and anti-US protests meant this is “not the time to decide” on policy.

Instead, Crocker insisted, the US should simply wait the Afghans out. “I think we need to let things calm down, return to a more normal atmosphere, and then get on with business,” Crocker added.

The protests have grown in intensity since Monday, when the US military was caught burning copies of the Quran at the Bagram Air Base. Many of the protests have turned violent, and a number of Afghans, as well as two US soldiers, have been killed.

So far indications are that the Obama Administration is following this policy of waiting for the occupation to get back to normal. Other than an offering of an extremely tepid apology, which administration officials insist was made only after intense debate, no real change has been made. Crocker insisted that the Quran burnings are “under investigation,” though exactly why is unclear, since military officials have already conceded that it took place.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.