Former United States Secretary of State under the Bush Administration, Condoleezza Rice says that the U.S. should've stayed in Afghanistan longer and that twenty years were not enough to "ensure stability in the region" and to "consolidate its gains against terrorism."
Writing to the Washington Post in an op-ed published Tuesday, local time, Rice compared Afghanistan's situation to South Korea's during the Korean War.
She said that there are still thousands of American troops stationed in Korea seven decades after the war broke out who have contributed to achieving a "stable equilibrium on the Korean Peninsula."
Rice acknowledged that Afghanistan is not Korea but wondered why the same strategy couldn't be applied.
Senior research fellow at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies, Go Myong-hyun, believes that the United States' decision to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan shows a change in the country's global strategy, which in the past prioritized counter-terrorism and eradicating so-called "weapons of mass destruction."
"In that new strategic thinking, Afghanistan is just a distraction whereas the main focus is going to be on China, especially, in addition to Russia. I think in that sense, the alliance that South Korea has with the United States is going to gain even more importance rather than less."
However, Go believes this stronger alliance will pressure Korea and other allies to contribute more to the security of the United States, rather than the other way around.
"when it comes to strategic competition between South Korea's most important ally, the United States, and South Korea's most important market, China. It will have to take sides. There's no longer a firewall between economy and politics now. There's clearly a meshing of the two here and South Korea will have to make it very clear which side South Korea is on."
leaving Korea with a dilemma on how it will diplomatically proceed in the international arena moving forward.
Han Seong-woo, Arirang News.