Afghanistan and Nation Building

By Wayne Spencer - October 24, 2001

What is the administration's plan for Afghanistan after the anti-terrorist war? The present administration policy is that the United States should not be in the business of "nation building." This policy has been stated over and over by both our appointed President and Vice President.

After World War II we not only helped to rebuild the economies of the Axis countries but reestablished their governments as well. In the case of Japan we even wrote their present constitution and changed them from a monarchy to a pluralistic democracy.

If we are to refrain from nation building in Afghanistan then who will take over when we leave? Isn't it the void left by our absence after the defeat of the Soviet Union exactly what helped lead to the present plight of Afghanistan and the resulting terrorism?

If we leave the nation building to others, who will do it? I submit that there are many non-democratic countries in the area all too eager to intercede. There has been talk of letting the Northern Alliance move in and take over. They have been doing a great deal of lobbying in congress and on news programs in the last few weeks to do just that. But the Northern Alliance has not shown itself to be very democratic in the past, nor has it been representative of anywhere near all of the people of Afghanistan.

Unless the administration reverses its policy regarding nation building, joins with the United Nations and the other world democracies, to rebuild the economic and political fabric of Afghanistan the problems in the region will continue to fester. History has shown us that it is vital to establish pluralistic constitutional political structures based upon human rights in order to establish lasting peace.

If members of our armed forces are putting their lives on the line for this cause, then let it not be in vain. Write to the President, your Senator and Congressperson and let them know you want the job done right.

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Copyright © 2001 by Wayne Spencer - This article may be freely distributed with this copyright notice attached.