the argument that terrorism can be prevented essentially by remote control wasHoffman continues:
“immensely seductive” — and completely wrong. “We tried to contain the
terrorism problem in Afghanistan from a distance before 9/11,” [Hoffman] said.
“Look how well that worked.”
UPDATE: Peter Bergen weighs in on Afghanistan, noting that
[T]he success of strikes from Predators in killing Qaeda suspects in Pakistan
depended on accurate information on terrorists’ whereabouts from Pakistani
intelligence. In Afghanistan, without such sources, “we’d be flying blind,” he
- More than five million refugees have returned home since the fall of the Taliban. This is one of the most substantial refugee repatriations in history, yet it is little remarked upon because it has largely gone so smoothly.
- One in six Afghans now has a cell phone. Under the Taliban there was no phone system.
Millions of kids are now in school, including many girls. Under the Taliban girls were not allowed to be educated.
- In 2008, Afghanistan's real GDP growth was 7.5 percent. Under the Taliban the economy was in free fall.
- You were more likely to be murdered in the United States in 1991 than an Afghan civilian is to be killed in the war today.