U.S. Withdrawal from Afghanistan


For the past 18 years the United States has been embroiled in a seemingly endless war in Afghanistan that has taken the lives of over 100,000 people. In December 2018, President Trump announced plans for a withdrawal of about 7,000 troops from the country, sparking debate on the effects such a move would have on stability in the region. In Seth Jones’ cover story in The National Interest, “Withdrawal Pains”, he explains the perils of a withdrawal from Afghanistan and concludes, “President Donald Trump may be willing to play roulette in Afghanistan and gamble on withdrawal.”

To discuss this pertinent issue, the Center for the National Interest assembled three exceptionally well-informed speakers:

Gil Barndollar is the Director of Middle East Studies at the Center for the National Interest. He previously served as an infantry officer in the United States Marine Corps, deploying twice to Afghanistan.

Seth Jones holds the Harold Brown Chair, is director of the Transnational Threats Project, and is a senior adviser to the International Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

William Ruger is the Vice President for Research and Policy at the Charles Koch Institute and Vice President for Research at the Charles Koch Foundation. He is currently an officer in the U.S. Navy Reserves and is a veteran of the war in Afghanistan.

Jacob Heilbrunn, Editor of The National Interest, moderated the discussion.