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Cory Doctorow

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Afghanistan: If I can gather this much in 30 minutes. . .

 . . . then, well, I can just imagine how much our country's government must know about Afghanistan and they've had a lot of years and a whole building full of people dedicated to these sorts of things.  Unlike yours truly, who is still rooting around for more Metallica karaoke.

I'll start with an e-mail I got from a friend of mine directing me to Brave New Foundation's rethinkafghanistan.com website featuring a series of interviews (yay! all captioned!!) with professors from outside Afghanistan and representatives from the country itself talking about the futility of continuing our military engagement in Afghanistan.  

Now, I'm more of a lover than a fighter and, having lived for 3 years as a child outside of the U.S., I know first hand what is like to be a guest in someone's country and what sort of role an outsider should play in the host country's affairs.  Though this was 30 years ago, it seems most practical to engage in partnership to resolve problems rather than steamroll through someone else's countryside.

I noticed, though, a lack of military professionals in Part One of the videos (I will get to part two sometime soon).  So, using the search engine of this blog's kind host, I did a couple of simple searches.  Here was what I found:
Hmm.  Come to think of it, while I now have a thumbnail sketch of Afghan culture and two points of view on the military presence there, I only feel marginally smarter about any of this.

A couple of cliches come to mind as ways of coming to some sort of conclusion over our future plans there:
  • Those who fail to read/study history are doomed to repeat it.  Perhaps an overview of previous foreign intervention into Afghanistan/Pakistan and/or that region of Asia would shed more light.
  • Follow the money.  Who stands to benefit profit-wise from continuing the same course of action in Afghanistan?  Or, who stands to be sunk into unending debt?
Good thing others are working hard on this.  It's just about my bedtime here, anyway.

1 comment:

Randy said...

I don't think anyone has a complete picture of Afghanistan. Just like that General said, we need to train local law enforcement and then get out.

If we're going to pursue a military presence there, then we'll have to take on Pakistan as well, since the two countries are really one (Pashtun tribe). We can't handle both countries at the same time. Heck, we can't even handle one.

This could very easily turn into Obama's Iraq/Vietnam.

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