Tagged: Afghanistan war

Redefining national self-defense

August 3rd, 2010 in International Relations 0 comments

With U.S. involvement in Iraq drawing down yet still under fire in Afghanistan, Americans are questioning the U.S. military’s role around the globe.  International relations Professor Andrew Bacevich offers some proposals for the future in his new book, “Washington Rules: America’s Path to Permanent War.”  In a BU Today Q&A, Bacevich outlines his 3-point shift in principles that would justify the cost in money and blood of our military role globally.

The PentagonThere’s room for argument about what self-defense requires, and I’d like to see the argument engaged in by the American public and leadership. The point is to challenge the common practice and expectation that global policing defines the mission for the armed forces. That purpose vastly outstrips the capabilities of U.S. forces and implies demands on our resources as a nation that we are unwilling and probably unable to provide.”

Contact Andrew Bacevich, 617-358-0194, bacevich@bu.edu

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WikiLeaks and classified information

July 27th, 2010 in Uncategorized 0 comments

WikiLeaks logoThe massive unauthorized leak by WikiLeaks to three newspapers, including The New York Times, of 91,000 classified documents related to the war in Afghanistan may cause a reassessment of the war effort by the Obama administration.  It already has shown how times have changed in the Internet age since the leak of the Pentagon Papers by government insider Daniel Ellsberg in the ’70s.  College of Communication Dean Tom Fiedler, a former executive editor of the Miami Herald, says in a BU Today interview that the source of such a leak is less important than the vigilance of the newspaper publishing it.

“When a mainstream news organization gets information, the organization doesn’t say, ‘Are you a good person?’ The organization says, ‘Is that information verifiable?’ It doesn’t matter who WikiLeaks is.”

Contact Tom Fiedler, 617-353-3488, tfiedler@bu.edu

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Afghanistan's mineral future

June 24th, 2010 in International Relations 0 comments

mining equipmentWord that war-torn Afghanistan has at least $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits already has that country’s officials scrambling to start the process of opening up the nation’s reserves to international investors.  Anthropology Professor Thomas Barfield, who also is president of the American Institute of Afghanistan Studies, says cashing in on the potential will take significant infrastructure building which will require security and likely involve investment from China.  Barfield discusses the prospects and pit fields of Afghanistan’s mining future in a BU Today interview.

“The work needed to put in the infrastructure and the side effects — better transportation systems, electricity, jobs for people — that’s going to have an enormous impact well before we get to the question of payment of royalties.”

Contact Thomas Barfield, 617-353-2195, barfield@bu.edu

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The general and the president

June 23rd, 2010 in International Relations 0 comments

Obama & McChrystalGeneral Stanley McChrystal met privately with President Obama over contemptuous remarks the general and his staff made about top administration officials in a magazine article.  Shortly thereafter, Obama relieved the McChrystal of his command as head of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan.  International relations Professor Andrew Bacevich, a retired Army officer and authority on U.S. military and diplomatic history, says in a New York Daily News commentary that Obama should have pocketed any McChrystal resignation and tell him to get back to work pending the planned December formal assessment of the Afghan situation.

“But if by December the outlook for Afghanistan remains bleak, a change of command in Kabul will be very much in order – not for insubordination but for incompetence.”

Contact Andrew Bacevich, 617-358-0194, bacevich@bu.edu

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