Should Afghanistan become the 51st State?

The United States launched “Operation Enduring Freedom” in Afghanistan in October 2001, and although US forces quickly removed the stubborn leaders of the Taliban from power and shut down the training camps of the Al Qaeda terrorist network, we have not defeated these formidable enemies yet. Indeed, the War in Afghanistan is still not over.

Here’s a thought. Why don’t the people of Afghanistan petition Congress to become the 51st State? As a State, Afghanistan would have more direct influence over US foreign policy in the region, since she would be entitled to two senators and more than 40 representatives in the Congress, based on Afghanistan’s population of 31 million. (By comparison, the State of California, with a population of 38 million, has 53 representatives.) The US would also benefit from this arrangement, since Afghanistan would be subject to federal taxation and would be required to maintain a “republican form of government” under Article IV of the US Constitution. This proposal may sound crazy, but wouldn’t both countries be better off if Afghanistan were to become the first Islamic State of the US?

File:Flag of Afghanistan.svg


About F. E. Guerra-Pujol

When I’m not blogging, I am a business law professor at the University of Central Florida.
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3 Responses to Should Afghanistan become the 51st State?

  1. The Professor's Wife says:

    I think Afghanistan would be better off, but how would the US benefit?

  2. enrique says:

    A harder question is this: what would it take to persuade the people of Afghanistan to join the US as the 51st State? For without such a petition for statehood, I do not think Congress has the power to admit Afghanistan into the union. Nevertheless, if this were to ever happen, then the benefits to the US would not be trivial (assuming that expansion of US-style federalism into the Middle East would end up producing a stable government and generating goodwill in the Moslem world), although, admittedly, the risks of failure would be large.

  3. Pingback: Thanks for nothing, Joe | prior probability

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