Re: If we do get Afghanistan, what shall we do with it?

From: Brian D Williams (
Date: Mon Nov 19 2001 - 13:22:52 MST

>From: Anders Sandberg <>

>As for Afghanistan, it is going to be a tricky case. But the way
>of dealing with it that has the most likeliehood of actually
>succeeding and not resulting in more undesirable side-effects like
>another bin laden is not to attempt to turn it into New Jersey.
>Rather, there are many remnants of liberal islam and civil society
>to build on. When Kabul television re-started yesterday it was
>very symbolic that it was a teenage girl who was presenter - it
>was both a symbol of the new order, and a reminder of the
>situation before the chaos (she had apparently been a presenter of
>childrens programs before the taliban threw out television). There
>are many similar strands that can be picked up, repaired and
>re-used to build Afghan society with outside help. That help will
>necessarily be biased and have an agenda, but it doesn't have to
>be coercive or seek to remake society into something it isn't and
>have never been. What is needed is the conditions enabling a
>bottom-up change of society rather than the top-down change. The
>speed with which many people reverted after the taliban shows that
>top-down changes are only skin deep.

Very good points.

What Afghanistan needs right now is not another military force, it
needs a police force and a judicial system, at least until it can
reestablish it's own.

Afghanistan needs order, and some emergency relief.

The U.N. is very good at things like emergency relief and basic
education programs, exactly what Afghanistan needs right now.

With an international force in place to quell rivalries for awhile.
things can get a chance to gell.

The U.S. can remove it's unwanted self from the scene but still
maintain influence via dollars.


Extropy Institute,
National Rifle Association,, 1.800.672.3888
SBC/Ameritech Data Center Chicago, IL, Local 134 I.B.E.W

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