Sunday, May 17, 2009

Afghanistan: Becoming What We Seek to Destroy

Chris Hedges in his “” article, “Becoming What We Seek to Destroy,” writes about the American experience in Afghanistan, and he writes of Dr. Juliette Fournot, who led teams of French doctors and nurses from Doctors Without Borders, into Afghanistan during the war with the Soviets.

As he indicates in his book, “War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning” is an American pathology that is in desperate need of a cure.

In Afghanistan, as in Iraq, it would be as morally irresponsible simply to leave, as it was to invade in the first place

However, since we are there we should make the best of it, as we can. To me this means our action against the Taliban, al-Qaeda, and other terrorist groups should be based on a multilateral agreement to act against these groups. The action should be international action, with police action, paramilitary action, and with a well-balanced action of soft power and hard power. NGO groups working within the tribal communities supported with action by culturally trained and military trained Special Forces should carry out this strategy; the emphasis being on NGO groups and soft power.

The antiquated strategies of belligerent threats and antiquated military tactics are not appropriate, and even useless in the changing nature of American power and conflict engagement.

The Obama Administration, Robert Gates, General Petraeus, and the Pentagon seem to be working in that aforementioned strategical and tactical direction. The strategy must include considerations other than military.

A new approach to handling conflict is badly needed. In some manner or form, the aforementioned new strategy and tactic may be a stepping-stone on our evolutionary path to global order and world peace.

Mr. Hedges has wide experiences with war and conflict, which have marked most of his adult life, and has written extensively about the ravage, calamity, and chaos of war. He is an outstanding voice in opposition to war.

Read the article here.