Tom Friedman and Nick Kristof both argue against a troop increase. And I’m inclined to agree–an increase in military presence isn’t guaranteed (by any means) to quell the violence. Kristof argues instead for more schools–for the cost of one soldier, we could build 20 schools.
Also, in case you didn’t catch it, read an online chat with Matthew Hoh, who was the first U.S. official known to resign over the war in Afghanistan.
UPDATE: Here’s Jim Wallis’s (my boss) statement on Afghanistan.
If you wouldn’t support an increase in troops are you in favor of a continued military presence in Afghanistan? My concern about not increasing troops is that at the current levels the troops already there will be put in an even more difficult situation then they are already.
Hey Rebecca, thanks for your comment. I’m certainly not saying we should just withdraw as quickly as possible, coz leaving a mess behind isn’t my favored outcome either. But I do think that our support for the troops has to be much, much more than just military–development, education, etc. Indeed, I think whatever we do in Afghanistan should be primarily non-military, because of the effectiveness of these strategies over military ones. (And I’m not saying they’re mutually exclusive, but I am recognizing that we’re not a bottomless pit of money!)