Re: Aid for Afghanistan

From: John Clark (
Date: Wed Jan 02 2002 - 09:29:57 MST

Geraint Rees <> Wrote:

> previous US involvement in Afghanistan has certainly contributed
>to the current undesirable situation.


>This suggests that risk assessment was faulty

Not if the alternative was worse. At the time America's opponent was the
USSR an empire that had in the previous 50 years made a pact with Hitler,
murdered tens of millions of its own citizens, let millions more starve to
death because of a foolish agricultural ideology, and put millions more in
concentration camps for reasons like saying what you really think to somebody
you thought of as a friend, being Jewish, and for no reason at all.
Oh yes I almost forgot, they also had 50,000 thermonuclear bombs with the
names of American cities on them. I would asses that risk as rather high.

>and suggests that at least as much attention should be paid to long
>term outcomes as short term gain.

I strongly disagree, especially in foreign relations because short term
consequences can usually be predicted at least approximately but long
term it's pure speculation; ask two experts and you'll get three opinions.
Our goal should be to kill as many terrorists as we can in the next 6 months
and disrupt their network so they don't crash another airliner into a
building. What outcome this will produce two decades from now nobody
known and nobody can know.

         John K Clark

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