We Needed a New Approach in Afghanistan — and This Isn’t It

Jim Wallis: 4/12/09

The decision by President Obama to send additional troops to Afghanistan saddens me. I believe it is a mistake, it is the wrong direction for U.S. foreign policy, and it is disappointing to many of us in the faith community and our friends who spearhead the on-the-ground development efforts in Afghanistan and around the world. We needed a new approach to the very difficult and complicated situation in Afghanistan, and this isn’t it. We were promised fundamental change in the direction of U.S. policy around the world, and this isn’t it. We were promised change we can believe in, and this military escalation is not something many of us as faith leaders can believe in. This is still a primary reliance on military solutions and occupations to defeat terrorism – a strategy which has not succeeded. The defeat of violent extremism is a necessary goal of the international community – but old thinking, old ideas, old strategies, have failed time and time again to do that. And we have no reason to believe it will succeed this time.

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