Katrina vanden Heuvel on Iraq and Afghanistan
Question: What is the US strategy moving forward?
vanden Heuvel: We owe the people of Iraq real reconstruction aid. One could call it what one wants. I’m not sure I’d call it reparations, but one, we’ve, you know, we’d destroyed their country, we have failed to provide them with the basic security, with the basic elements of human security. I think we need to withdraw expeditiously, as Barack Obama has talked about, and find a way with the international community to bring services, elemental human services to the people of Iraq and bring in the countries in the region. Let’s have a diplomatic surge after this military surge. And that’s what I think we owe the people of Iraq: sovereignty, security. With Afghanistan, I think we owe them a similar debt, which is, and with the people of Afghanistan have turned against the NATO western coalition for, one, failing to provide reconstruction aid, failing to provide security, allowing a central government in Afghanistan to breed corruption, and of course the aerial attacks, air raids have killed too many civilians, and that inflamed anti-American sentiment. We would do much better to find a way to bring the international community to Afghanistan to find a way to negotiate the Karzai government with the moderate elements of the Taliban providing human rights security for women and pouring money into that country for targeted economic development aid, not for military escalation, which will ensnare the United States as it did the British empire, the Soviet empire in a quagmire. So, there are many resources we can bring to bear diplomatic economic development and others instead of military escalation. It’s a broader question though, Brett, because I think we have not done a good enough job in rethinking what national security means. In Europe, there’s a lively debate about human security, which doesn’t put military might at its core. Sure, military use is part of the toolbox, but there have to be other means of engaging these two countries, short of continuing these two wars which have done, won nothing for our security, alienating people in those countries, turning them against America and the West and not providing for their citizens’ needs.
Katrina vanden Heuvel with ideas for Iraq and Afghanistan.
Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.
No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.
Upload your mind? Here's a reality check on the Singularity.
- Though computer engineers claim to know what human consciousness is, many neuroscientists say that we're nowhere close to understanding what it is, or its source.
- Scientists are currently trying to upload human minds to silicon chips, or re-create consciousness with algorithms, but this may be hubristic because we still know so little about what it means to be human.
- Is transhumanism a journey forward or an escape from reality?
The Harvard psychologist loves reading authors' rules for writing. Here are his own.
- Steven Pinker is many things: linguist, psychologist, optimist, Harvard professor, and author.
- When it comes to writing, he's a student and a teacher.
- Here's are his 13 rules for writing better, more simply, and more clearly.
A completely unexpected discovery beneath the ice.
- Scientists find remains of a tardigrade and crustaceans in a deep, frozen Antarctic lake.
- The creatures' origin is unknown, and further study is ongoing.
- Biology speaks up about Antarctica's history.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.