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A new military strategy in Afghanistan that might work.

Reader comment on item: War as Social Work?

Submitted by Bill Pazaratz (Canada), Nov 6, 2010 at 22:46

For the West to leave Afghanistan with any hope that the country will not revert back to the control of terrorists, a new military approach is required. Instead of using money to ingratiate ourselves with the local politicians and warlords (who do not have our best interests in mind anyway) why not use the MONEY to entice local young men of fighting age to join a new type of military fighting force. The recruits could be isolated from other members of their communities long enough to be molded psychologically into a large (200-300 thousand) cult-like force that places allegiance to this corps above family and religion. This might take a few years of isolation and require the use of psychological stategies long utilized by the marines, the French Foreign Legion, and many less admirable cults. It would involve breaking each individual down psychologically and indocrinating them with a new identity and life mission. Then arm them and aim them at the terrorist in Afghanistan and Pakistan. If this works our role would then simply be to supply them with arms and financial support. This would be the military equivalent of starting a controlled brush fire in order to defeat a larger uncontrolled brush fire. This would be different than the support provided to the Mujehadeen in their fight with the Soviets in Afghanistan because we would only arm them if and when we felt they were truly converted. To prevent them from returning to their previous communities for support we could insist that they adorn themselves with tatoos that would be a death sentence if they returned to a fundamental islamic society. They would need to stick together and fight the terrorist for the remainder of their lives in order to survive personally.

Traditional military strategies will not work against militant islamic terrorists hidden among the local population. Our liberal, humanist, democratic system prevents us from allowing our own troops to perform any effective military action themselves. Therefore we must train proxes to do the unthinkable, or admit defeat and go home and watch all the gains made so far unravel very quickly.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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