It looks as though we are engaged in a hopeless ‘war’ in Afghanistan. Some move is in the works to substitute civilian support for killing. But what might be the consequence if we went all the way by pulling out our troops and promising the funds now spent on them for rebuilding the country — so long as it ceased its abuses of its people there?

Such a program might not work, but it certainly would signal the shift in American policy around the world from its role as ‘big cop’ to supporter of human rights and the rights of nations to rule themselves — with assistance to those who treated their own peoples decently. Some nations would undoubtedly continue their leadership abuses, but economic and other pressures could be mobilized against them for so doing.

Too frequently our tactics are determined by particular cases rather than valid international strategies.

What do you think?

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent 212-665-8535 (voice mail only) [blind copies]

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