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Wednesday 23 Aug 2017 | 16:14 | SYDNEY
Wednesday 23 Aug 2017 | 16:14 | SYDNEY

Friedman on Afghanistan

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21 July 2009 10:08

Leaving aside the cloying sentimentality of this paragraph of Thomas Friedman's op-ed, it pretty much reflects my feelings about the Afghanistan operation:

In grand strategic terms, I still don’t know if this Afghan war makes sense anymore. I was dubious before I arrived, and I still am. But when you see two little Afghan girls crouched on the front steps of their new school, clutching tightly with both arms the notebooks handed to them by a U.S. admiral — as if they were their first dolls — it’s hard to say: “Let’s just walk away.” Not yet.

To put Friedman's argument in bloodless, policy wonk terms, it means there is a strong humanitarian case for the Afghanistan operation, but a weak strategic case. Of course, there are girls and boys in many parts of the world just as deserving of Western assistance as these Afghans.

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