French Surrendering in Afghanistan?

French defense minister Bernard Kouchner said yesterday that “We should accept the result of the forthcoming elections whatever it is,” adding, “If nationalist-minded Taliban come to power through the ballot-box and respect the constitution, that is the Afghans’ business.”

To be sure, he added an important caveat: “What we reject is support for international jihad.”  Still, as I ask in my New Atlanticist essay “Afghanistan: Time to Give Up?,” “If the Taliban’s return to power is an acceptable outcome, what the hell have our forces been fighting and dying for these past seven years?”

Even the American general in charge of ISAF, David McKiernan, acknowledges that we’re “not winning” over there right now.  But are we really prepared to simply give up and go home?

FILED UNDER: Afghanistan War, World Politics, ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Michael says:

    Would you similarly view an electoral victory by the Baath party in Iraq to be a failure of everything we’ve worked for there?

  2. James Joyner says:

    Would you similarly view an electoral victory by the Baath party in Iraq to be a failure of everything we’ve worked for there?

    If it were going to govern by extreme rules of sharia and not observe human rights in any meaningful sense, absolutely.

    If the Nazis were still running Germany after WWII, I’d call that failure, too, in case you were wondering. Ditto if the British royal family maintained sovereignty of the USA after the War for Independence.

  3. Michael says:

    If it were going to govern by extreme rules of sharia and not observe human rights in any meaningful sense, absolutely.

    Not exactly tenets of the Baath party. But anyway, I just wanted clarification as to whether you were opposed to the Taliban party, or the former Taliban party’s methods of governing, and I got that.