Mackinder Forum Virtual Seminar #38: Dr. William Ruger on “America’s Afghanistan Withdrawal and the Future of US Grand Strategy.”

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On August 20, 2021, Dr. William Ruger addressed the Mackinder Forum Seminar on “”America’s Afghanistan Withdrawal and the Future of US Grand Strategy.”

BIOGRAPHY: Dr. Ruger was nominated by President Trump to be the ambassador to Afghanistan. His biography may be found here:
https://eca.state.gov/fulbright/about-fulbright/fulbright-foreign-scholarship-board-ffsb/ffsb-members/william-ruger.

ABSTRACT: As the U.S. withdraws militarily from its longest war, the question remains what role the U.S. should play in the greater Middle East and the world.  The discussion will start with an examination of the case for and against U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan in light of recent events.   Naturally, there will be some commentary on the latest news given how rapidly things are unfolding in Afghanistan.  Then the discussion will turn to how this withdrawal may (and could) fit into a broader rationalization of the U.S. approach to the Middle East after decades spent on a quixotic enterprise to control and transform it.  Finally, we’ll examine the case for Realism and Restraint in U.S. grand strategy, what the fallout of the Afghan withdrawal could mean for the efforts of the Realism and Restraint community to change the strategic culture in the U.S., and finally how that community is working to achieve that goal.

READINGS:
1) https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/26/opinion/biden-afghanistan-war.amp.html

2) https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/11/17/william-ruger-rajan-menon-withdraw-us-troops-afghanistan/?outputType=amp