Re: Aid for Afghanistan

From: Geraint Rees (
Date: Wed Jan 02 2002 - 02:03:00 MST

On 1/2/02 5:15 AM, "John Clark" <> wrote:

> Yes, because in the early 80s it was felt, quite correctly I think, that the
> Soviet
> Union was a greater danger than Islam, but at this late date it's of academic
> interest only. When a man has taken a sacred vow to kill you it's silly to
> ponder
> why he has done this, you should put all your mental resources at work
> figuring
> out how to kill him before he kills you. leave the "why" to the next
> generation,
> they will have more perspective and the luxury to think about it at their
> leisure.

I'm certainly not disagreeing with current US policy in Afghanistan. But
previous US involvement in Afghanistan has certainly contributed to the
current undesirable situation. This suggests that risk assessment was
faulty, and suggests that at least as much attention should be paid to long
term outcomes as short term gain. I think that this applies whatever the
situation; we pay politicians & diplomats for such foresight; marines are
the ones who kill others before they kill us.

Leaving 'why' to the next decade was dangerous in the 1980s as we can see
with the luxury of hindsight; I don't see that it is any less dangerous

Best wishes,


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