Saturday, March 31, 2007

Ridin' Shotgun in Range Magazine

From the Spring 2007 edition of Range magazine comes a really great article written by Jeff Goodson, a soldier currently on his second tour in Afghanistan. Three paragraphs in particular jumped out at me,

One of the biggest concerns over here-besides getting home in one piece-is the level of commitment for the war back home. Things were pretty subdued after last fall's US elections. Most folks are here because they want to be, and there's a lot of concern that the new American Congress will starve the war effort for political or ideological reasons.

People are optimistic that we can drag Afghanistan into the 20th, if not the 21st, century,and neuter its ability to serve as a training ground and base of operations for our enemies. But you can't win a war on the cheap, especially this war. Realistically, it's going to take years of military and development assistance-roads, power, schools, clinics, business training, capacity building-to bring Afghanistan to the point where a boy who comes of age here wants to marry and raise a family, rather than blow himself up at the urging of his religious leaders.

Building that kid's future is our job. We need a sustained commitment from the American people, though, to do it.

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