Are there alternative solutions to combating terrorism in Afghanistan?
What solutions to terrorism other than war have hubbers discovered that are already at work in Afghanistan? I read a hub about teaching yoga, written by Debbie Bruck that was inspiring. Any others?
The problem in Afghanistan was made over decades (perhaps centuries if you want to go back that far) and thus cannot be fixed in a few years.
Most Afghanis are peaceful tribesmen who took up arms to defend their tribe / family. After decades of neglect, then Soviet invasion, most of them got brutalized into fighting machines as they knew nothing else. When the Soviet Union left, and so did the American aid, the warlords started fighting each other, and Taliban came in and offered their version of "peace", which didn't turn out that well, but they probably will have been left in place if they didn't try to shelter Osama Bin Laden.
Now that Taliban is gone, and a civilian government is in place, the warlords are not ready to give up their power, and Taliban sympathizers and remnants don't want to give up their hyper-Islam for secular ways. The proliferation of weapons means terrorism is always around the corner. Add to that Afghanistan has a severe lack fo communications and roads means a "central" government will never really be able to rule the outer reaches effectively, which lead to part of the chaos. The lack of much of an economy doesn't help either, nor does the lack of infrastructure after decades of fighting.
There was a story about how some villages growing opium (it was a staple crop for the Taliban controlled villages) transitioned into growing saffron (and that is a VERY valuable spice). THAT is a good move as it both props up the economy AND gives the village something to do.
http://articles.sfgate.com/2009-03-01/n … ts-farmers
Not sure what happened to that village now. I heard some what village elders got killed because they collaborated with the central government.
Educating women has proved to have a remarkable knock-on effect, including reducing violence/ terrorism in several countries. The amazing book 'Half The Sky' tells many stories of women around the world. It's not sexist against men, far from it actually, but shows true statistics and real examples of what a difference educating women and empowering (in the true sense of the word) them can do for the whole world.
Do you have the link to that Hub it sounds really interesting!
kschang is right that there will never be a quick solution but there are changes being made right now, we sadly rarely get to hear about them though.
This is a subject I've developed a bit of an opinion on based on third party information. While I was not deemed fit for military service, several relatives were and served tours in Afghanistan over the last decade or so. The general consensus seems to be that a strong military presence in Afghanistan is trying to plug a leaky dam. It's necessary, but it's a stopgap measure and it's only dealing with the most immediate problem rather than focusing on the problem's source.
Local warlords and high-ranking Taliban members employ strong religious doctrine in order to hold power in the form of lots and lots of brainwashed footsoldiers and civilians. Preaching religious war is profitable, as it allows them to collect heavy dividends from the local populace and, more importantly, receive massive donations of money, illicit goods, and weapons from sympathizers abroad.
So, in essence, the higher-ups are doing it for power and money. The footsoldiers are carrying out orders because the higher-ups are supplying them with the weapons they need to wage war. What you need to do is track the source of funds, weapons, and illicit goods internationally to Taliban sympathizers and cut off the flow into Afghanistan. It acts as a disincentive because, with no money coming in, there's no profit to the higher-ups. And with no weapons coming in, there's no way the footsoldiers can cause so much trouble. Eventually, by starving them of what they need to keep fighting, they disband. That tends to be the idea around the campfire, at least.
Karen is right that empowering their women would help bring them out of the dark ages. ALL top industrialized nations in the world value the contributions of women in the society.
However.... Hell will freeze over before enough Afghan men agree to that move. I wish I am wrong here, but I can't conceive of it...
By the way an Afghan is a person from Afghanistan. An Afghani is a denomination of money - like the dollar - used in Afghanistan. Just some trivia.
Karen, here is the link to Debby Bruck's hub about teaching yoga in Afghanistan- thanks for asking!
http://debbybruck.hubpages.com/hub/Aman … -Practices
Although, this may be naive, I propose being nice to people rather then killing them would promote a positive attitude towards the U.S.. This wouldn't work overnight, but obviously, neither does war. If we're seen as a positive force rather than negative, people in that country will want to stop others from commiting terrorist acts against us instead of supporting them.
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