The cover of the July 28, 2008 edition of TIME magazine set me back on my heels this week when it arrived in the mail. The cover title reads: “Afghanistan – The Right War“. My first thought was, they’re NUTS! I can rationalize a “Just” war, and even a “Necessary” war, but the “Right” war, NO WAY! There is no such thing as a right war. War is wrong, period. Semantics you say… I don’t think for a minute that the use of the word “right” by TIME magazine wasn’t a very well thought out and calculated tactic.
When I finally read the article written by Rory Stuart in Kabul, he never mentions the word “right”. He does however write a very constructive piece about the deteriorating conditions in Afghanistan and even suggests some constructive solutions to the problem. Looks to me like a TIME editor threw in a cover title meant solely to sell magazines with no concern for the intentions of the articles author.
Reading further, strategies to win the war are discussed by McCain and Obama. McCain clearly wants to charge on with fixed bayonets and surge bravely into the wilds with more troops and yes, billions more US dollars. It’s totally unclear as to what Obama wants to do about the problem. He uses phrases like “refocusing our efforts on Afghanistan and our broader security interests”. And he suggests “increasing nonmilitary aid by at least $1 billion”.
In my opinion, neither has the “right” answer. Let’s hope whoever wins this election can put together a team of qualified experts that can get the US back on the road to foreign policies that make sense.