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February 01, 2009


Berny Jacques

Cortright's position seems to be very naive in regards to the security side of the coin. I agree with him on increasing development and diplomacy; but these novle efforts must be coupled with security forces who will serve as a safeguard against those who seek to disrupt the devolopment and diplomacy efforts. I want to agree with Cortright, but he seems to ignore the fact that there are extremists who will still wage violence despite of the purpose of our presence there. Social development cannot take place without a secure environment; security forces provide secure environments.

Berny Jacques

I prefer the Zakaria model http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/postglobal/fareed_zakaria/2009/02/four_keys_to_success_in_afghan.html

Jeff B

Cortright is quite familiar with extremists. Don't confuse his "pragmatic pacifism" with "absolute pacifism," regardless of their strengths and weaknesses (both biblical and strategic). He deals with the issue of terrorism in Gandhi and Beyond: Nonviolence for an Age of Terrorism (maybe you've already read this; I don't know).

You may still disagree with him even when you more fully understand where he's coming from, but accusations of "naivity" add little depth to the conversation.

He hosted a most engaging symposium this past week at Notre Dame that commemorated 60 years of the Geneva Conventions. I wish I could have attended more sessions. Multiple viewpoints were well represented. One presenter (Martin Van Creveld) went as far as to call international law (treaties, ICJ, ICC, etc.) a house of cards that will/should scatter like the cards in Alice in Wonderland (he also expressed sympathy for S Milosevic).

Cortright has studied these issues more in-depth than most of us here, so agree or disagree, I think we should focus on the issues not on labeling.

Interesting article by Zakaria. I think it could be argued that Zakaria's goal (as stated by Gates) is looking for short-term success, whereas Cortright is looking at a long-term solution (though they do clearly have different perspectives on the power of non-military activities, something that could also be said of readers of this blog).

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