I read the op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal by Lindsey Graham, Joesph Lieberman, and John McCain today called Only Decisive Force Can Prevail in Afghanistan. I respect Messrs. Graham and McCain for their service to this great country, but on this opinion piece I am not sure I can agree completely.
As military officers they understand the requirements of a successful military engagement, but in country building they are far less experts. There has been a ratcheting up of rhetoric around pushing more troops there, but to what avail. Even if we crush the current Taliban forces, the rear guard can be repopulated from the poor and starving masses. A military push can not be successful unless it also brings a significant civilian component along.
Idle hands and minds in the hinterland form the foundation of the Taliban. Unless we can find a better solutions to the idleness and abject poverty, we will continue to engage the same enemy in perpetuity. We need a cadre of well trained people to engage the local population. This includes experts on farming, and animal husbandry. It is harder to convince someone to die when they have hope for a better future.
How can you help?
Tell your Congressman you want humanitarian assistance to accompany those troops. You can also help with providing micro-loans to young entrepreneurs in Afghanistan with programs like Kiva and Grameen Foundation