Noah Coburn

Political Anthropologist, Bennington College

Noah Coburn is a professor of anthropology at Bennington College. His latest book is Losing Afghanistan: An Obituary for the Intervention (2016). He has been conducting ethnographic research in Afghanistan since 2005.

Written by Noah Coburn

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The US has spent a lot of money in Afghanistan. How wisely?

Noah Coburn

I think it’s absolutely true that the Bush Jr. administration’s initial invasion plan was misguided and driven by the wrong motives. That being said, the overthrow of the Taliban government did a lot of good for women’s rights and various other issues in the country. (Life expectancy has increased by more than a decade…in a population of 30 million, that’s 300 million years of life.) More importantly, at this point, I go back to the ‘you break it, you buy it,’ rule. Now that America has created a tenuous, unstable peace in Afghanistan, what is the correct way for the international community to assist going forward? Withdraw and having the country descent into chaos seems immoral, but cont...

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