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article imageTroops Want to Leave Afghanistan, But How and When?

By Mac     Jan 3, 2007 in World
As the conflict in Afghan reaches a turning point, the similarities to Iraq are obvious...
This is an interesting article. Allied troops would like to pull out of Afghanistan, but are unable to do so before the security forces are fully able to protect their new government and civilian population. But the training of a good security force is proving difficult. Sound familiar?!
While Allied troops wish to leave, doing so would leave the population at the mercy of the Taliban insurgents, who wish to return Afghanistan to Sharia Law - fundamentalist Islam. Under this in the past, schooling was unavailable to girls and women, all schools taught only Islamic subjects, Islamists stopped and punished people in the streets for some slight infraction of their interpretation of true Islamic behavior, the economy was a mess, and there was no real justice system or elected government. A return to this would be the betrayal of the Afghani people by the Allied forces.
"We appreciate the foreign soldiers being here, fighting for us. But for how long will their mothers allow them to do this? For how long will they stay?" asks Parliamentarian Mirwais Yasini, from Nangahar province. "We have to build our country ourselves. Nobody will build a house for someone else. A friend may lend bricks and mortar, but you will have to build your house yourself."
Years ago, I lived for a summer and worked amongst the very poor in Apalachian Tennessee, with a Christian group who was rebuilding for them. As we rebuilt a chimney and wall one day, the men of the household sat on the porch idly. One of the young women walked a quarter mile down the dirt road to a cave to get spring water - indoor plumbing was not available. I looked at this and thought, "Why are we doing this? Why aren't we helping THEM do it?" I think our failure to show them how to do it for themselves bred indifference and hostility in the people we were trying to help...
But of course, teaching a few poor people to build a wall, and raising a competent army and police force in a budding Democracy are two different tasks. . .
More about Afghanistan, Afghans, US, War, Taliban
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