Gunfights are not going to win this
AP has an article about Kit Parker, who serves as both a Harvard professor (M.A. chemical engineering, Ph.D. in applied physics), and a U.S. Army major in Kabul, Afghanistan.
His personal biography is compelling and admirable, but I include here only his assessment of the situation in Afghanistan:
He also warns that Afghanistan is not ready for "a full-blown American makeover."
"The whole idea that we are going to surge a tremendous amount of money and assets in here and they are suddenly going to be able to jet-propel themselves from the 12th century to the American industrial revolution of the 1900s is absurd," he says. "If you are going into most of these villages, the most high-tech thing is the AK-47. The next most high-tech thing you see is the wheel."
But that is not a cause for despair, he says. It will take someone's vision, innovation and strong will to change the situation, Parker says. As he sits inside a tent that serves a dining facility, he taps at his weapon.
"I have limited effectiveness with this," he says. "Gunfights are not going to win this."
He may want to keep to himself his views that "hot" warfare is not necessarily the most effective technique to use in Afghanistan, lest he be labelled a domestic "terrorist".
Guns are not the antidote to a violent and intolerant ideology in Afghanistan. Education is a much better antidote. But not education in the sense of giving the Afghans more money to build more madrasses to teach more hatred. No, I refer to education in the sense of an honest discussion with the people of the United States (and the West) about what the core beliefs of Islam really are, and how and why those beliefs are incompatible with Western values, such as democracy, plurality, and equality of all people, regardless of race, religious affiliation, gender, or sexual orientation.
Posted on 06/15/2009 4:30 PM by Artemis Gordon Glidden