December 7, 2001 | News Releases on Department of Homeland Security
WASHINGTON, Dec. 7, 2001-If Afghanistan needs "peacekeepers" after the Taliban is defeated, they should come from Muslim countries such as Turkey and Jordan, a new Heritage Foundation paper says.
"We need to avoid having U.S. troops tied down in another open-ended peacekeeping operation," says James Phillips, Heritage's research fellow in Middle East studies. "They should be redeployed as soon as possible to other theaters in the war against international terrorism."
In addition, he says, having American troops occupy Afghanistan would give the impression that the United States and its allies are at war with Islam, and not with terrorists such as Osama bin Laden. This could allow remaining Taliban leaders or others to tap into Afghan xenophobia and Islamic zealotry, which, Phillips predicts, would lead to more violence.
"American troops that are stationed in Afghanistan after the Taliban is defeated would be lightning rods for terrorists attacks from Taliban sympathizers," he says. Phillips, who has been studying Afghanistan for more than 20 years, lists other suggestions for rebuilding Afghanistan after the war. They include: