Academic journal article Military Review

The Next Time We Reinvent Someone Else's Country

Academic journal article Military Review

The Next Time We Reinvent Someone Else's Country

Article excerpt

William Thayer, San Diego CA-In Major General Michael Symanski's excellent article, "The Next Time We Reinvent Someone's Else's Country . . . " (September-October 2012, Military Review), his "scar tissue learning" integrates the theories of political science, social and cultural science, military science, historical precedence, and a huge dose of practical experience and common sense propositions that leads the reader to the startling revelation that we should focus on our past mistakes, lessons learned, and experiences prior to future military commitments. To accomplish this, his outstanding assessment requires our sophisticated national security institutions to think, plan, and integrate all of the above.

Obviously, we have not been successful. If this was done, our strategy in Afghanistan would be quite different, and less expensive. General Symanski's recommendations pass the common sense snifftest: work within the confines of the Afghan social structure, do things the Afghan way rather than making them do it our way, play to the native strengths and not waste our resources in a forlorn hope of replacing its deeply ingrained cultural and institutional traditions, and analyze the conditions of the campaign before defining its objectives. Like people everywhere, Afghan's seek stability, security, leadership (even at tribal level), some semblance of certainty, and prosperity. Prosperity can lead to security and stability, but you also need security and stability to generate prosperity. That's where tribal leaders can help. As the general asks, "Who will pay for Afghan political stability after we leave?" Equally important, who or what will be providing it, if anyone? …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.