Change…

We really need to rethink this fight.  I’ve got nothing of value to offer in this post except for a few idol thoughts brought on by another late Afghan night fueled by too much caffeine and a mind set a bit free from a day spent dealing with millions of dollars of worthless property that I will never use outside the wire to bring anything resembling peace and security to the people of Afghanistan.  If you look at things from an economic perspective, there is absolutely no way any of our inputs are worth the gains we are seeing on the ground, especially in the short time horizons we are giving ourselves.

There is a saying that while American have all the watches, Afghans have the time and this could not be more true from what I have seen.  We base all of our achievements into out one-year deployment cycles and while we try to implement something into them, there is very little continuity and long-lasting development goals achieved.  Our operationalization of this conflict as a war against terrorist enemies really doesn’t work with the realities on the ground and the more killing we end up doing, the more fighters appear with nothing left to lose bankrolled by states and organizations who simply want to degrade American interference and hegemony in the region.  While this is truly a global conflict and the problems of Afghanistan cannot be solved without going through Tehran, Islamabad, and New Delhi even calling it a conflict only draws in too many of our preconceived notions and of what constitutes a conflict anymore in today’s world.  Surely there is a great deal of violence at play in the system here but from the looks of things, it is as much if not more structural in nature as it is physical.  We cannot stop a system of killing without looking first at the inequitable and violent global structures which make it the only economically feasible activity.  And in the end, we are left with far too many questions than answers…

What is the operational definition of “war” and “conflict” in today’s world?

What makes such a great expenditure of military resources actually worth a damn amid all the other global problems we are experiencing as a society?

How does the military control mission creep and make up for its organizational shortcomings and short timelines (much shorter than even our pathetically shortsighted national election cycle)?

How do we, as young upcoming free thinkers effect change on a system that is so incredibly broken it appears on the brink of collapse?  What networks and resources do we have available?

What type of world will we pass on to our children and will they spend the better part of their productive lives digging themselves out of the pile of shit we have created?

What timelines and new paradigms must we develop to deal with these problems?  Will any of them be accepted?

How can we return value to all human life?  How many people have to suffer and die with little to no opportunity to improve their situation?

We desperately need a new paradigm of security, but what could it be?  Are armies really the best tools for any of it?

Who among us will be capable of standing up and leading our generation into the future?  Will they live long enough to see their changes take place?  How will we build the global society our children deserve?

How do the Arab Spring, the European Summer, and the global financial crisis work as catalysts for this change?

What is the role of modern religion in today’s world?  Surely there is a God somewhere, but what the hell is He thinking about the bullshit we have created?

Moments of peace are fleeting and sometimes far between, but can we all find ways to enjoy the true beauty that exists in the world we have been given?

That’s really all I’ve got for tonight…nothing really substantial but I can’t offer much else.  Cheers from the ass end of nowhere.  God Save the Arab Spring and long live our generation.  Fight the Long Fight boys and girls…

Peace,

Brian

30 July 2011, 2345 AST, Orgun-E, Paktika, Afghanistan

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About briangdonnelly

I'm pretty much a random traveler and free thinker. Right now I live and work with the Army in North Carolina. I grew up in Missouri but am from the northeast US and have traveled a lot with the Army and life in general so I can't say I really have a "home" except where I chose to catch a few hours or rack each day. Overall, life is pretty awesome and I'm looking forward to changing the world. Hit me up if you care... Peace, Brian
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