Bapat to discuss Operation Enduring Freedom


Political scientist and professor Navin Bapat, of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, says the history behind the Taliban recapturing Afghanistan is far more complex than it appears.

Bapat, Ph.D., will discuss Operation Enduring Freedom and its lasting effects when he presents “Afghanistan and the End of the War on Terror” at 6:30 p.m. April 4 at Ohio Wesleyan University. He will speak in the Benes Rooms of OWU’s Hamilton-Williams Campus Center, 40 Rowland Ave., Delaware.

“Twenty years ago, the United States initiated the global war on terror in response to al Qaeda’s attacks on 9/11,” Bapat said in describing his talk. “This $5 trillion war is responsible for the deaths of thousands of American military personnel, as well as tens of thousands of civilians throughout the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

“Yet, on Aug. 15, 2021, the Taliban recaptured Afghanistan from the American-supported government,” he said. “What caused the failure in Afghanistan, and what is the future of the war on terror?”

In a recent “Political Violence at a Glance” article, Bapat said of the operation: “While it may be tempting to place the blame at the feet of the Afghans, it is worth examining the situation more closely. This was an American war and an American failure. Fear of terrorism led the U.S. to engage in a military adventure in South Asia without thoroughly analyzing the consequences of its policy and the perverse incentives it created.”

Bapat is the Dowd Professor in Political Science and the chair of the Curriculum of Peace, War, and Defense at UNC-Chapel Hill. He specializes in the study of American foreign policy, transnational terrorism, and the rise of extremism within insurgencies. He obtained his doctorate in political science from Rice University.

His first book, “Monsters to Destroy: Understanding the War on Terror,” argues the war on terror can be explained as an effort to cement the U.S. dollar as the world’s foremost reserve currency by expanding American control over global energy markets.

Bapat also has published in the American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Politics, International Organization, International Studies Quarterly, the British Journal of Political Science, Public Choice, the Journal of Peace Research, International Interactions, and Conflict Management and Peace Science.

His Ohio Wesleyan presentation represents the university’s 32nd annual John Kennard Eddy Memorial Lecture on World Politics. The lecture honors the life of student “Jeff” Eddy, killed in an automobile accident in 1988. The event is sponsored by the OWU International Studies Program and the Department of Politics and Government. Learn more at and


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