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View Diary: Get Afghanistan Right (108 comments)

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  •  Amazing (0+ / 0-)

    Within the framework, the end state conditions include the following: - A safe and secure environment.
    Established rule of law.  Social well-being. - Stable governance. - A sustainable economy."

    These are goals that have not been met (if ever) in Afganistan for decades.  Does anyone really believe that they are achievable now by the a foriegn army of occupation?

    "Es mejor morir de pie que vivir de rodilla." E. Zapata

    by Mas Gaviota on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 03:42:06 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  These goals clearly aren't (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ranger995, Mas Gaviota

      achievable by a "foreign army of occupation." I don't think that's what's happeming, nor is what is being proposed, and that is one of the main points of the Army's new doctrine. It postulates that the military is ONLY useful for providing security, and even then, for only a limited period of time, unless civilian institutions can rise to the challenge of achieving the primary goals.

      I'm not an Army fan, but have to say that if you're serious about this, you need to read the document together with the USIP publication.

      Unfortunately, the US has not developed relevant civilian instititions to address these issues: another point the Army makes in their doctrine, and a point which many of us who voted for Obama hope he changes. Far too many resources for civilian operations (humanitarian relief, rule of law support, infrastruture development) have been funnelled through DoD agencies, and away from civilian agencies. Further, those efforts have been hamstrung by the "contract out" policies begun with Reagan, embraced and enhanced by both Bushes and Pres. Clinton.

      Afghanistan is worth working at. While our military investment has been significant, so has our investment in the civilian side of the equation. The civilian investment hasn't yet paid off because the military investment hasn't worked. Many folks believe that if Bush hadn't diverted military and civilian attention away from Afghanistan for Iraq, we might not be having this conversation now.

      I can understand how people who haven't been there among the people of Afghanistan might feel about our engagement there. But I can't get the images of 4 year olds feeling lucky to be able to work near heavy roadbuilding machinery hauling away busted concrete across 4 lanes of heavy traffic; or 10-12 year old boys pushing leaking 50 liter containers of gasoline down the main roads of Kabul; or kids on bikes shoved into open sewers by passing UN / US / government vehicles who can't stop because their occupants might be kidnapped or shot at, or women afraid to talk because they might be beaten or worse.

      The problems of Afghanistan are remarkably straightforward: you will experience them within 48 hours of arrival. The solutions, some are complex and problematic, others simply require will.

      If the US "fails" by leaving Afghanistan in less than a "recovered" position, I will feel--yet again--that the United States failed in its obligations to people who look to us for help, guidance and solutions.

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