Tuesday, December 2, 2008

David Brooks, advocate for activism

David Brooks, the conservative who occasionally thinks like the liberal he once was, writes about the changes in strategy in the war in Afghanistan. He explains Condi Rice's transformation:

In this new world, [Condi] continued, it is impossible to draw neat lines between security, democratization and development efforts. She called for a transformational diplomacy, in which State Department employees would do less negotiating and communiqué-writing. Instead, they’d be out in towns and villages doing broad campaign planning with military colleagues, strengthening local governments and implementing development projects.
Apparently this realization was a ground-up thing: the guys on the ground, the lieutenants and captains actually fighting the war, were the first to realize that the application of force was not enough; they needed to win over the hearts and minds of the people on the ground to prevent the Taliban from taking over.

This makes perfect sense to me, I just hope that our troops actually can implement this kind of change and make it stick.

It also reminds me of something. Let's see, belief in government's ability to improve the lives of citizens, requiring a dedicated commitment to developing the ability to deliver competent, professional governance.

What does that sound like?


Thanks for the help, Mr. Brooks.

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