(KRON) – The Taliban takeover of Kabul has many second-guessing the U.S. decision to withdraw troops, but it also has some wondering if the situation in Afghanistan increases the chance of terrorism in this country.
“I think there might be a small increase in the likelihood of a terrorist attack on Americans, but realistically the threat is greater for Afghans followed by Indians and Pakistanis.”
San Jose State University political science professor Karthika Sasikumar says it’s important to remember why the U.S. went into Afghanistan in the first place.
“The goal always was to ensure that Afghanistan never was used as a place to plot attacks on the U.S. homeland. Both President Trump and Biden have gotten assurances from the Taliban that they will not allow that to happen.”
Sasikumar thinks it’s in the Taliban’s best interest to live up to that commitment. She says in the short term, the Taliban will be focused on consolidating its power and she says there’s an argument to be made that it may be beneficial for the U.S. if the Taliban expand its control over that country.
“There are some ways in which the stronger Taliban would be better for U.S. security. Because if they are able to control the county and are satisfied with that, and they have always said they want to be in control of Afghanistan, they don’t have the sort of worldwide objective that ISIS has. So if we can get them to stick to that bargain then the U.S. can be safe.”
The horror in Afghanistan is being felt deeply back here at home, especially in Fremont’s Little Kabul neighborhood.
As scenes of chaos play out on television in the wake of Afghanistan’s capital falling into the hands of the Taliban, Afghan-Americans watch and worry.
“It’s heart-wrenching that we can’t do anything or help them in any way other than just sit here and watch the news,” said Ghezal Faizy.
Another Afghani immigrant says she’s disappointed in President Biden’s decision to withdraw American forces.
Bay Area veterans of the war in Afghanistan are also reacting to the end of America’s longest war.
“If I could tell fellow brother and sisters in arms out there. We did it right. There’s nothing more we could’ve done to make a different outcome,” said Wil Steinhauer.
“The people of Afghanistan, the army folks, the national army of Afghanistan, the leadership of Afghanistan. They weren’t really bought into it. They weren’t really bought into the concept of changing the cultural dynamic that existed there for thousands of years,” said Justin Chaudoin.
In the meantime, experts say the U.S. should be spending more money right now on counter-terrorism and counterintelligence and doing what they can to harden our infrastructure.