Friday, February 18, 2011

Spar विथ the Devil

cartoon from

Cartoon by Dave Walker. Find more cartoons you can freely re-use on your blog at We Blog Cartoons.

I replied to a question from a friend on FB, thought I'd record it on here.

The piece was challenging the ISAF op in Afghanistan suggesting that there was strategic stalemate. My response is in tune with teh it's about what we are becoming mindset. There really is too much at stake not to take these matters seriously. The lives of our children for starters and not just the ones that we may send out to fight our wars.

The author fails to contextualise military operations within the development of governance and infrastructure piece. The NATO strategy is investment in authentic Afghan capabilities, civil and military, while conducting aggressive forward d...efence. Working the numbers has limited application and misses the long term effect of the Combined Team's efforts, that being the Aghan National Security Forces, ISAF and civil organisations. The population's confidence in the security of the police will not increase until they experience security over the course of several seasons. In Northern Island we defeated Republican and Loyalist armed organisations militarily, socially and politically, it took at least thirty years and you could not yet report that the people of Ulster are living in complete peace and harmony.

It's far from perfect, there is much that can be done to get better. The politics is sectarian, there is so much more to learn from the culture and there are ways in which we can understand Islamic theology better so we can meet people where they are when we communicate. It's a classic VUCA environment that undoubtedly benefits from Paparonian divergent thinking. So keep feeding us officers with the capacity to challenge technical rationality, who have an insatiable appetite for history and are willing to put love for a neighbour ahead of personal gain. If my son comes here to spar with the Devil, hidden in Improvised Explosive Devices, I need him led by men who are careful listeners, thoughtful, merciful, and courageous. See Joshua 1:9.

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