Posted by: Tony Carson | 29 October, 2009

20 Afghan schools = 1 US soldier

“It’s hard to do the calculation precisely,” says Nicholas Kristof in his NY Times column More Schools, Not Troops, “but for the cost of 40,000 troops over a few years — well, we could just about turn every Afghan into a Ph.D.”

Rubbish? The Taliban will burn them down?

Kristof continues:

“Greg Mortenson, author of “Three Cups of Tea,” has now built 39 schools in Afghanistan and 92 in Pakistan — and not one has been burned down or closed. The aid organization CARE has 295 schools educating 50,000 girls in Afghanistan, and not a single one has been closed or burned by the Taliban. The Afghan Institute of Learning, another aid group, has 32 schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan, with none closed by the Taliban (although local communities have temporarily suspended three for security reasons).

“In short, there is still vast scope for greater investment in education, health and agriculture in Afghanistan. These are extraordinarily cheap and have a better record at stabilizing societies than military solutions, which, in fact, have a pretty dismal record.”

For Christ Sake, Obama, give peace a chance.

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