Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Mental Battles

(In response to Maladies of Interpreters - NY Times, 9/22/09) The most complicated problem that confronts our country as we muddle through a seemingly endless Iraq and Afghanistan effort, is that war has become as much a mental action as a physical one. We increasingly talk about making progress not by eradicating an enemy, but by talking nicely to those we would like to be our friends. How can we possibly define victory?

If we thought trying to find Bin Laden is hard, it is child's play compared to the mysteries of dealing with these territories. We appear adrift as we wrestle with ideas that are as foreign to us as the people. We don't understand their culture and we don't understand our role. As unpopular as our actions are here at home, the critical public opinion is the one on the street in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Before we increase our troop presence in Afghanistan, let us be honest in our assessments. If interpreters are key to success in Afghanistan, then maybe that's the surge we should pursue.

1 comment:

Jack said...

I cannot criticize something I agree with.