Considering recent events in Afghanistan, including the confirmation of Mullah Omar's death and the gains made by ISIS, all of these questions are important for U.S. foreign policy in Afghanistan going forward, and every presidential candidate should be able to answer them competently. I was pleasantly surprised by the inclusion of question #3: Do you think it is important for the US to help Afghan women protect the gains they have made over the past 14 years and prevent a return to Taliban-style oppression?
As the article points out, American discussions about Afghan policy generally focus on the security aspects of the situation rather than the humanitarian concerns. I think it's incredibly important - especially in a country like Afghanistan - to keep human rights considerations at the fore. The Taliban had established a brutal and repressive regime that particularly targeted Afghan women and girls—banning them from schools, requiring them to stay at home or to go outside the home only fully covered and accompanied by male relatives, and applying punishments ranging from throwing acid on girls’ faces to stoning women to death. Millions of Afghan girls are now in school thanks to the efforts of the US, its NATO and international partners, the international community, and the Afghan government. Women can walk about freely in many (but by no means all) parts of Afghanistan, engage in commerce, and live without fear of horrific punishments. Do you think that defending human rights and the rights of women is an appropriate objective of American foreign policy in Afghanistan?
I hope the next President of the United States answers this question affirmatively and with conviction.