Afghanistan problem must have a win-win solution
Our new surge in Afghanistan announced by Commander in Chief, President Barack Obama, had hit more than one hornet's nest. The resultant stings run the range of the political spectrum. "That's is not the man I voted for! How dare he accept a Nobel Peace Prize and revisit a George Bush fiasco in the waiting? Afghanistan is not Iraq. Have we forgotten 9/11 so soon? We need to root out the Taliban terrorist and Islamic revolutionaries. Not to worry, we intend to begin withdrawal by July 2011. How will we pay for it?"
Got the Picture?
Most American moderate centrist voters can support Obama's carefully vetted decision for a surge that will befriend and protect the major population areas and in time, the villagers. We will help them build their own need infrastructure. We will integrate Afghan police in military training and duty with our own units. We will help develop leadership skills for local and national units of government. We will help farmers develop more variety and production means. We'll help develop and staff health clinics. We will help local citizens start and build public and private schools. We will learn to accommodate living as guests, and respectful that we are in Muslim culture (over 1,000 years old). We will do these tasks as joint undertakings. Afghan, American and NATO military and others will help start sports events for youth and adults. As much as possible, we will have our ground troops live in tents with Afghan trainees, or board with families, rather than American bases just out of town with all the amenities.
What is missing in this idyllic but possible scenario? For starters defeating the Taliban and stabilizing self-governance will likely take 10 years. With our announcement of a deadline to begin to stand down, the Taliban will move to the 15,000-20,000 foot mountains with their cell phones and easily portable, high-tech weaponry and mines. They will "come to town" like vampires or werewolves, "to keep fear alive and intimidate." They can readily hide and wait until we leave.
What really bothers many Americas is that we have a loathing for our being regarded as a foreign occupier, with intentions to "westernize" and dominate as an "evil" American empire. We have debated that our own national needs here at home should come first, and there is no time to reach out to the "tired, tempest tossed, and oppressed" in " backward,'' poorly run nations.
Halt, stop right there! When will we be an ancient in the future, let it be written in history about a former "American Empire." Let it be known about our core values, that drew the marginalized to these shores also developed a people, Americans, who wanted to give back to others in need. We are modeled as generous, caring global citizens helping birth a new era of "peace on Earth." We are talking a win-win partnership. Yes, we can!
"Joint undertakings stand a better chance when they benefit both sides." -- Euripides, Greek Scholar 450 BC era.