8 years ago
We have previously discussed the unilateral surrender of both Secretary David Miliband and Secretary Des Brown to the Taliban. Continuing the parade of the confused is Britain’s top military officer, who initially does a very good job of advocating the implementation of soft power.
Britain’s top military officer described Afghanistan as “medieval” on Tuesday and said it could take decades before the country shows steady development.
Air Chief Marshall Jock Stirrup said it would be 15 years at current growth rates before Afghanistan reached the level of Bangladesh. Civilian reconstruction efforts would have to continue long after military operations.
“This is not something that could be done in one, two or three years because we are talking about a country that is essentially medieval, that has very little in the way of infrastructure, very little in the way of human resource, that has an endemic culture of corruption,” Stirrup told journalists.
“This truly is a long-term endeavour. I don’t think it is that long-term an endeavour for the military. I think we are talking about some years but we are not talking about decades,” said the chief of the defence staff.
“In terms of developing the country from an almost medieval status, that has to be an enterprise of decades.”
Okay, so far, so good. The Captain’s Journal is good to go with this. Now, slick your hair back and hold onto your breeches.
Stirrup said the major threat in the country was not necessarily the Taliban or al Qaeda, but building up a level of governance that allowed the country to function properly.
Can this man really be that clueless? There are many countries which need infrastructure. There are many countries which need investment for two or more decades. There are many countries close to medieval status, or worse (perhaps some tribes in the Amazon delta, or Haiti, and some locations in Africa). And it is certainly true that soft power needs to be applied to remove whatever incentive there is for those who are not hard core religious fighters to join their ranks (e.g., money as a replacement for poverty).
But many countries suffer from poverty, and yet there is no Taliban or al Qaeda present to foment attacks upon Western civilization. Can this man really believe that the major threat to Afghanistan is anything but al Qaeda or the Taliban? Can he really believe that proper infrastructure will cause al Qaeda and the Taliban to stand down in their efforts to undermine Afghanistan? If so, then he doesn’t understand their motivations. If not, then who other than the Taliban would be more dangerous to the people? Has Stirrup asked himself even these basic questions about his beliefs?