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Admiral Mullen: Some Sense on Afghanistan

May 1, 2009

This morning, in an amazing feat of post-Bachleorette party strength (It takes a lot of stamina to celebrate your friends important life moments, doesn’t it?), I read this article in the Post.

And boy was I glad I did.

In it, Admiral Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, pointed out what FCNL has been contending all along – more guns and war will not help Afghanistan thrive:

“Combat operations are not the answer here,” Mullen told a group of about three dozen U.S. troops after his meeting with the governor last week. “The answer is development so that people have a way to sustain themselves.”

This is great stuff. But the article also points out that people with specific skills like engineering and infrastructure development don’t want to work in Afghanistan right now. (Be honest, would you?) Perhaps we should start thinking about how we can remedy this problem. Why is it that only the military can seem to get people in the region? Is it because we think of the mess we created in Afghanistan as solely a military problem?

Perhaps we should begin to think about our commitment and responsibility to Afghanistan outside of the military box. Don’t civilian Americans who have skills that could help the foundering nation owe just as much as members of the military do? The mistakes in Afghanistan were made on behalf of all of us. And they will continue to be made if don’t rethink the situation.

If we agree that war isn’t the answer in Afghanistan, we have to offer an alternate solution.

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