What is state failure? See my conceptualisation of state failure on the right flank below.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Expression of thanks

The Ministry hereby issues the following press statement:
Thank you for not bombing the goatherd who was so irresponsible as to walk his goats out there in the Afghan middle of nothing!
Thank you for not bombing the bridge in a country we would like to see "reconstructed," and where giving farmers the chance to use a decent road infrastructure - among other things - is the only hope for the long run to rid the country of opium poppy cultivation.
And now for the more serious part. Maybe the Ministry should set up a new working group to examine how four people involved in doing something bad in the middle of the field can be stopped in any other way than using F-16s and a hundred armed men.
And look! This Ministry is working fast! Here are the conclusions! Already!
The answer is so damn simple. Collect intelligence. Follow where the guys are going, get to know at least which village they are headed to. Mark the location of the IED. Get rid of the IED later on. Go to the village where these guys came from. Oops... you cannot go there just like that, as there are hundreds of AK-wielding Taliban in there? Maybe that is a bigger problem! Or, alternatively, if you can go there, maybe you should ask some questions. Maybe you should wonder what the village could be offered to get them to do what you want. Protection? Participation in that project in the vicinity that they were excluded from?
The alternative of using A-10s (the Ministry expresses uncertainty whether these were A-10s) to spray bullets at IED planters is a second-best option. At least it is not so damn reckless. But of course then you do not get the nice part of knowing who on earth live around you on that unknown planet you and your comrades were deployed on, which you might do if you ask questions from people who may know some answers.
In other words, do not be so enemy-centric.

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