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Withdrawal from Afghanistan Forces Allies to Reconsider America’s Role: Analysis Updated: 2021-08-18 17:08:10 KST

President Biden's decision to withdraw from Afghanistan has triggered a globe-spanning rethink of
U.S.' s role in the world.
Biden's defiant address to the nation when he stood "squarely" behind his decision to pull out U.S. troops, also renewed one of the most hotly contested debates of the post-9/11 era:
Would a withdrawal from Afghanistan convey weakness, provoke aggression and shatter America’s ability to lead on the international stage, or would it reflect a sound realignment of the national interest, put the country on better footing to deal with the new challenges of the 21st century, and clarify to allies and adversaries what the United States is and is not willing to expend resources on?
It's of particular interest to South Korea, an ally of the U.S., technically still at war with its northern neighbor and home to 28,5-hundred U.S. troops.
Let's talk about it. We have Go Myong-hyun, our senior North Korea analyst.

Dr. Go, great to have you on the show.

The Taliban's stunningly swift advances across Afghanistan have sparked global alarm reviving doubts about the credibility of U.S. foreign policy promises and drawing harsh criticisms even from some of the U.S.' closest allies.
There are those who complain that they were not fully consulted on a policy decision that potentially puts their own national security interests at risk - in contravention of President Biden's promises to recommit to global engagement. What are your thoughts?

Many around the world, including those of us in South Korea, cannot but wonder whether they could rely on the U.S. to fulfill long-standing security commitments.
In fact, one of the most striking parts about the speech Mr. Biden gave defending his decision to withdraw U.S. troops now was how he pinpointed hina and Russia, as America's strategic competitors that would love nothing more than the U.S. to continue to funnel billions of dollars in resources and attention into stabilizing Afghanistan indefinitely.
In that aspect, do you think Washington could demand more role in the Asia Pacific region and more responsibility?

Would South Korea be asked to make a more clear choice between the U.S. and China and steer away from its "strategic ambiguity" by the Biden administration?

Some allies, most prominently the UK, has been leveling harsh criticism against the U.S. saying as much as its military capabilities, the U.S.' decades-old role as a defender of democracies and freedoms is again in jeopardy. Would you agree with that?

North Korea has, for years, insisted the U.S. withdrew its 28,5-hundred-strong troops in South Korea. How do you think North Korea's Kim Jong-un and the leadership there are watching the events in Afghanistan unfold?

Go Myong-hyun, Senior research fellow at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies, many thanks for your insights tonight.
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