Magazine article First Things; A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life

American Power

Magazine article First Things; A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life

American Power

Article excerpt

In this issue, Paul D. Miller argues that we have a moral duty to stay in Afghanistan, a Christian duty. George Weigel largely agrees, but a number of our respondents remain unconvinced. I find myself torn. After 9/11, our invasion of Afghanistan was surely just, and Miller rightly reminds us that we should try to secure a decent future for Afghans. But as the years go by, the fighting cannot help but seem more and more futile. As was the case in Iraq, America shows herself to be supremely capable of remarkable feats of military prowess but largely unable to impose her will. We aren't able to remake the Muslim world. At best, we can punish and deter enemies, and we can use our wealth and military power to buy friends - the usual stuff of geopolitics, which revolves around national interests rather than moral principles.

Morality, the world order, and American power - these are worth thinking about. …

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