Sunday, August 2, 2009

Final Kerkesner Photos

Here are all the photos I took while at Fort Indiantown Gap.

Listen to Rory Stewart

Listening to NPR this afternoon a recent article in the London Review of Books by Rory Stewartwas brought to my attention.  He says what I've been thinking for a while although in much clearer terms and with more research.  We, the West, should reduce our troop commitment in Afghanistan to 20,000 soldiers specifically to keep Al Qaeda from using the country to attack us while concentrating our long term efforts on development.  I think one thing that keeps us from adopting this course is that even when a bomb blows up an empty building, commanders and policymakers can confidently say that the bomb was dropped and the building was blown-up.  That the status of the building after the bomb remains virtually unchanged from before is irrelevant.  As George Soros has written about development is much riskier.  However, in the long run, it is much cheaper than repeatedly dropping expensive bombs on a country that ran out of worthwhile targets a decade or more ago. 

Mr. Stewart does not go down the economic path to address whether our current course is sustainable in the long term for the US and the UK.  We continue to disinvest in our own countries while spending billions and billions in Afghanistan.  Not only do Americans need to read After the Empire by Emmanuel Todd to learn that the balence of trade is disastrous for us, but that literacy matters far more in Afghanistan than our JDAMs. 

The views expressed here are those of mine only, and are not to be
construed as those of the Department of the Navy or Department of