Questions 5

We want answers to these questions:

1.  What would constitute victory in Afghanistan?

2.  Should the US intervene in foreign countries for humanitarian reasons if intervention serves no US interests? 

3.  Should the US use military force to prevent countries that have declared themselves its enemies acquiring nuclear weapons?

Posted under Defense by Jillian Becker on Thursday, May 14, 2009

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This post has 5 comments.

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  • roger in florida

    1. Victory in Afghanistan? How about the establishment of a secular center left democratic government, committed to freedom and prosperity for Afghans? Well President Carter could have supported the Najibullah govt. 30 years ago and that is probably what Afghanistan would be now, no Al Queada, no mujihaddeen, no taliban. Instead, the biggest fool who ever sat in the White House decided to support Osama Bin Laden and his gang of medieval murderers. Isn’t is amazing how you reap what you sow?
    2. Intervention into humanitarian crises is one of the major reasons why the UN was set up. It could still perform this role and should be supported. As for the US acting unilaterally, mostly no. The reasons for the humanitarian crises are typically national malfeasance by corrupt leaders, these people should be confronted by the entire human community. Besides even the US does not have the power to occupy everybody.
    3. Typically no, what we do have to do is make clear that gangsters such as Iran, North Korea, etc. will suffer massive retaliation if they attack the US. We should be keeping our technological edge, ie by developing anti missile systems and better surveillance. Of course if we were confonted by a situation such as the Japanese fleet steaming towards Pearl harbor then we should react, unfortunately we missed that one.

  • Alejandro

    1. The capture of Osama Bin Laden. But we must give him a fair trail and treat him well when we have him.

    2. We should never use force but we should give them aid.

    3. We must work to make the world free of war forever. The first step for America is to abandon nucular weapons, which will give us the moral authority to tell other countries to not use nucular weapons as well. And they will want want to follow our example.

  • Hawk

    1. Nothing. The US cannot occupy Afghanistan, or change its culture, religion or institutions such as they are. All troops should be withdrawn from Afghanistan and used to protect Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal from the Taliban – and be held ready to support the forceful elimination of nuclear facilities in Iran by air attack.

    2. To determine what is in the world-wide interests of the US takes astute judgment. If no interests are involved, the US should never intervene in or between other countries. It should also not give them economic aid. But it should welcome free trade with them.

    3. Yes.

  • C. Gee

    I agree with aeschines, but in my own words:

    1. Victory = Total extermination of the Taliban and other insurrectionists. Then we could get out. Obviously this is not possible. How about a true imperial take-over? As aeschines suggests, impose a democratic, secular constitution, administer the state, use the military to police it. How long does it take for a culture to from the Dark Ages to the Enlightenment? At what cost to the imperial power? In short, there is no victory possible in Afghanistan – not military nor ideological. We leave the women in particular to an awful life…

    2. I would like to say that the Anglophone armies should wipe out evil regimes, starting with the easy ones, moving on up to Kim Jong Il and Ahmedinejad, because it is in our interests to assert our values and end the extortion exerted over us by hostage populations and nuclear triggers. Trouble is, its too costly for the big, nuclear ones, and the small ones pose the same difficulties as Afghanistan. In addition, “humanitarian ” in world (UN) opinion is coming to mean “Islamic”. I do not think the Anglophone world, the last bastion of tradition liberal values, whose own culture is dying a demographic death, has the will or the money to do the right thing by themselves. In short, if we cannot afford wage war on behalf of humanity, we should not give aid either. It enables evil regimes, encourages and prolongs suffering.

    3. Bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities? Yes. Will Pakistan retaliate with its Muslim Bomb? Where? India? Can it reach Israel? Britain? Will fear of anihilation prevent it? Is the West prepared to counter-attack? I am sure all this can be War Gamed. In the end, we must look at the only precedents we have have: Israel’s successful elimination of Iraq’s nuclear plant and Syria’s. We should do it NOW. It may buy Israel another generation, the West a few more years liberty.

  • aeschines

    1. When we realize that trying to a respect the followers of a religion of violence and intolerance that cannot be bargained with is impossible. Then we institute a secular government free from the poisoning influence of said religion (no, really, the Afghani government ACKNOWLEDGES Islam to be the One True Religion™). The rest will just fall into place over time. The same goes for Pakistan. Why are we playing whack-a-mole in the very regions that breed this hatred without thinking about addressing the source of it (culture and government)?

    2. No. Take Somalia and Operation Restore Hope. Is there anyone out there delusional enough to think that we could have even done any good there without changing the entire culture and government of Somalia?

    3. Yes. The only reason MAD worked back in the Cold War was because the Reds were afraid to die too. We’re not dealing with people who are afraid to die anymore, we’re dealing with people who WANT to die – and take as many of us with them.

    Until Washington realizes that it has to make some very hard, very unpopular decisions about Islam and the Middle East, we’ll always be back in the same old silly position of trying to please the very people who want to kill us.