The US and her allies have invested heavily in blood and treasure in Afghanistan for 2 decades. Current trajectories indicate that the entire country will soon fall to the Taliban. I have heard no talk in the mainstream media about a territorial acquisition option and it seems to me that several benefits could result if such an acquisition were handled properly.
Some eventual upsides with hard work could include
- Basic human rights guaranteed to the population, especially for women and girls
- The more general promotion of democracy and freedoms in that territory
- Permanent military bases and staging grounds for the US and her allies
- Denying terrorists a significant foot hold
- Known natural resources such as barite, chromite, copper and gold
- Natural resources yet to be discovered
- A reduction in the illicit opium trade
- A trainable workforce that could significantly populate low-skill factories (in Afghanistan) thereby reducing dependence upon China and other (potentially hostile) countries for manufactured goods
If the US and Afghan governments were to broker such a deal, what would the political and other downsides be of securing Afghanistan as a territory ?