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Nation Building

Reader comment on item: War as Social Work?

Submitted by Paul M. Neville (United States), May 6, 2003 at 15:00

Iraq and Afganistan present two different situations.

The Afghans were a threat to the US only insofar as they served as a base camp for terrorism. We announced early on that our objectives there were limited to destroying the threat. We said we would help and support a democratic change, but it was never our primary goal.

In Iraq, we have determined that it is a start for a sea change in Middle East political institutions. Here we see the opportunity to sow the seeds of democracy that will spread to others in the region, primarily Iran. This form of nation building is essential to our war on terror because we can never win one terrorist at a time. Democratic countries will, by definition, be preoccupied with meeting the aspirations of its people rather than the religious prejudices of mullahs or the pipe dreams of pan-Arab nationalists who want to re-fight the crusades.

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