What’s love of country got to do with it? responsibility in Afghanistan

Recently, I saw an excellent documentary on the US military’s ongoing efforts to train and equip the Afghan National Army; the film, Camp Victory, Afghanistan, left me reflecting on my own thinking about this ongoing war. Despite the recent attention to the conflict, which seems to have returned to prominence, I have yet to read anything that helped clarify my thought – in particular the nagging question of what “we” owe Afghanistan.

There’s much to pick apart there: who does “we” refer to? Why would we owe Afghanistan anything? And what does it mean to talk of Afghanistan as a subject to whom we have duties? I’ll try to address these questions in working out why I’m troubled by the idea that we owe something to the people of Afghanistan.  Continue reading