Tuesday, June 05, 2007

War in Afghanistan "a well-intentioned atrocity"

Michael Neumann, professor of philosophy at Trent University, wrote this piece on the atrocity of the war in Afghanistan.

When Myopia Becomes a Crime
Canada in Afghanistan

...[Y]et the West's war in Afghanistan is an outrage--contemptible in its conception and shameful in its execution.

...[R]espectable military thinking holds that, even with allies, The Mission might take half a million men. A Rand Corporation study in 2003 stated you need 20 soldiers per 1000 inhabitants for that sort of thing. Based on RAND's population figure for Afghanistan of 27,755,775, this, yields a force of about 500,000...Current 'coalition' forces number 30,000 to 50,000.

...[W]e hear a lot about commitment. Canadian Prime Minister Steve Harper, like Blair before him and like Bush, tells us that we've made a commitment to the Afghan people, and we must not leave them in the lurch. It's common to hear this from soldiers, too. This is, at best, self-deception. Suppose I promise to rebuild your bridge and allocate, from the very beginning, one tenth of the manpower and materials necessary to rebuild it. Then I have either made no commitment in the first place--just spoken some words without substance--or I made one without ever intending to keep it. Take your pick. Under either interpretation, this is sleaze masquerading as virtue.

...[T]he Mission, then, is a well-intentioned atrocity, so obviously futile that it shames all who join or support it in any way.

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