Reassuring allies across the world. Even though the United States remains the most powerful country in the world economically and militarily, no country can act alone. What the United States does, even in a faraway country like Afghanistan matters, primarily because it sends a message to allies and enemies alike across the world with regards to America’s strength and commitment to causes. Allies in key regions are watching our actions right now very closely — if the United States demonstrates a lack of desire to protect its allies and their citizens, many countries will make the strategic decision to find support and protection elsewhere.
Ultimately, if the United States does not help evacuate Afghans that have helped us throughout the course of the conflict, future presidents will have a much more difficult time convincing people to help next time — foreign policy options will likely be severely constrained in the military operations of the future.
Glen Duerr, Ph.D., is associate professor of international studies at Cedarville University.