There are several strategic and political rationales for why U.S. President Joe Biden decided to withdraw all U.S. forces from Afghanistan and end the United States’ role in the conflict. Shifting away from overemphasized counterinsurgency operations is logical, it’s self-evident that nation-building as once conceived is unachievable, the costs of maintaining current operations seem high to many, and, perhaps most notably, U.S. public opinion has soured on the war. If there is a single thing Biden and former U.S. President Donald Trump agree on, it is withdrawing from Afghanistan. Trump even put out a press release praising Biden for the decision.

However, there is one argument for a complete withdrawal from Afghanistan that is just plain wrong: the idea that retreat will somehow enhance U.S. strategic competition with China. It won’t. On the contrary, it will complicate that problem.

There are several…

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