“Yes We Can!” but not like that?

Tuesday’s historic and peaceful “regime change” in Washington, D.C. re-affirms the fundamental goodness and justness of the original vision of the founders and authors of the Constitution of the United States of America – and the socio-political-economic systems and structures it spawned. 

 

But once the celebrations ended, the tasks ahead for President “No drama” Obama and his team is truly rather daunting. Whilst the top domestic priority is to stop the rot in the American economy (and thus lead a global economic recovery), there is also the unfinished jobs in Afghanistan and Iraq.  Against the backdrop of these two conflicts, and the ongoing “Global War on Terror” (in whatever shape and form that takes – and even if it continues under the same name!).  In this regard, President Obama and his team have stated that they intent to create a military for the 21st Century.  But there is still a lot of discussing, deciding, planning and implementing to do before that becomes a reality.

 

Predictably – and inevitably – the debate polarises around a conservative / techno-centric and a progressive / human-centric view of what needs to be done.  In a nutshell; the techno-centric view is that there is nothing fundamentally wrong with the US military’s configuration and structures, systems and processes, and even the weapons, equipment and training of the troops – in this view, there might need to be some tweaking around the edges (much as we’ve already seen during the Iraq campaign) but the US’s undisputed technological superiority is the way to fight and win wars.  Over in the human-centric camp, their view is that there does need to be a significant degree of change the military’s set-up and approach to the global challenges we are likely to face today and in the foreseeable future.  As their points-of-view are the ones which are getting a lot “air time” in the present mood for change,  it is worthwhile looking more closely at some of the key points – and counter-points – of their views.

"Which way Mr. President?"

"Which way Mr. President?"

 

The articles about Afghanistan and Iraq that follow present some interesting views on these issues – and as usual, I believe the best answer will lie somewhere between the opposite ends of the spectrum.



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