How to Do Things Differently Next Time

There is a lot of talk about the U.S. not doing enough to help those Afghans who have worked alongside U.S. forces over the last 20 years. The State Department has said they’re prepared to help the approximately 20,000 who have applied for asylum in the U.S., which is really a very small number that won’t even be noticed outside of a few large cities, and will widen cultural diversity and lead to finer dining. However, they won’t lift a finger to help them get out.
Seems harsh and cruel to me, but it happens a lot with American overseas conflicts.
Anyway, what we need to learn from this conflict is not how to extricate ourselves with a bit more decency and grace, but how to actually win the next time. The answer is easy. You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.
If, the next time the U.S. wants to invade some country, to steal their oil, or their poppy fields, or whatever (and I’m not actually recommending the U.S. do that), they should start by picking a few communities, near the border so a quick retreat is possible, and flood them with food, medicine, a new hospital or two and lots of local clinics, elementary schools for all the kids, especially girls, a few high schools with great sports facilities, a university, a couple of cinemas, and so on. As people move into those communities, you can expand, and build more.
The labor will be local, and their economy will improved, and before you know it you will have a modern state, at a small fraction of the price. It costs less to build a high school than it does a fighter jet, and the high school will last longer.

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