Saturday, May 20, 2017

Travers Child — Reconstruction and conflict: Losing hearts and minds

The pervasive ‘hearts and minds’ theory guiding counterinsurgency doctrine contends that military-led reconstruction reduces violence in post-conflict settings.| Using rare data from Afghanistan, this column questions the theoretical and empirical basis of that perspective. Military-led projects in the health sector are found to successfully alleviate violence, whereas those in the education sector actually provoke conflict. The destabilising effects of education projects are strongest in conservative areas, where public opinion polls suggest education projects breed antipathy towards international forces.
Imposing liberal values creates conflict in traditional areas. Another paradox of liberalism.

Vox.eu
Reconstruction and conflict: Losing hearts and minds
Travers Child | PhD candidate in Economics, Tinbergen Institute and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

11 comments:

Auburn Parks said...

Better the paradoxes of liberalism then the paradoxes of "traditional" read backward cultures.

"Educate your daughter and we will kill her!" Now there is an example of a nice traditional non-paradoxical, non-western straightforward ideology and culture, with none of that ugly stuff like violent conflict, protecting minority rights, and human rights.

Why are we even in Afghanistan anyway? Its not like they attacked us or anything, the Taliban and Al Qaeda are examples of good traditional cultures without any of that nasty "liberal" ideology dragging them down and creating evil paradoxes.

Matt Franko said...

The former government there, Taliban, provided sanctuary for Al Queda to conspire to commit international murder/terror with impunity... so it had to go...

Auburn Parks said...

Franko-

You got it all wrong. They were just standing up for the good traditional people of the world against the evil liberals. Its our fault they attacked us. You know because infidels in muslim countries deserve to be killed because allah.

Matt Franko said...

If al Queda, while enjoying the sanctuary of the Taliban, had not done the 9-11 attacks we would not be there...

they could still be peacefully stoning people at the half time of soccer games and everything... nobody here really cares about Afghanistan the whole place could get swallowed up and no one here would give a shit...

Auburn Parks said...

HAHA

Exactly. To me one of the funniest bits about the taliban and Al qaeda (According to George Freidman founder of Stratfor) is that they seemed to really believe that they had caused the destruction of the Soviet empire, seeing as the collapse happened just a year or so after the soviets pulled out. That they had "defeated the evil godless empire".

This led to themm being pissed about Saudi Arabia picking the US to defeat Saddam in 91 instead of the mujahedeen, they really thought that they were actually powerful. That they really could bring back a golden Islamic empire across the center of the Asain land mass. So that was all a part of the jihadis logic. If they could just get the US to invade a muslimm country, then they could defeat us and bring about the collapse of the great Christian empire. Only people stupid enough to believe they will get 72 virgins after they blow themselves up could believe something as stupid as their ideology.

Thats why the idea of just leaving is so repulsive to me. These nutjob jihadis can beat these backwards ass third world Govts in war. Thats the scary part, without help from the outside, almost no muslim govt could survive a civil or insurgent war against the jihadis. And like you said, these people simply cannot be trusted to control a real geographical nation.

Bob said...

Afghanistan has mineral wealth:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mining_in_Afghanistan

Tom Hickey said...

Better the paradoxes of liberalism then the paradoxes of "traditional" read backward cultures.

That may be true to a certain extent but there is no absolute criterion available for deciding among world views or the types of framework that underlie similar ones.

There are tradeoffs with all of them.

My own world view is a combination of liberalism and traditionalism, and that is true of a very large number of people, including most US voters.

The paradoxes that arise in each have to be confronted, rather than being ignored or explained away (usually by handwaving).

Auburn Parks said...

Totally agree Tom It's just my personal perception of you and others on this site that you guys are seemingly 100% focused on the paradoxes and ills of the West.

But I am no extreme moral relativist. There are objectively better and worse ways to have a society work. There are objectively better and worse ways of morality.

Going into Afghan culture is like literally going back into time. The tribal Traditions that Afghanistan still has is the tradition of all human sociey. A modern nation-state society is the next evolutionary rung above our tribal past. At least under the specific metric of how to organize larger, more flexible and diverse Networks of people encompassing larger and larger Geographic areas.


Tom Hickey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tom Hickey said...

To me one of the funniest bits about the taliban and Al qaeda (According to George Freidman founder of Stratfor) is that they seemed to really believe that they had caused the destruction of the Soviet empire, seeing as the collapse happened just a year or so after the soviets pulled out. That they had "defeated the evil godless empire".

This is what Zbig thinks and he was the chief strategist that devised arming the "freedom fighters" under Osama that later morphed into AQ. Asked not long ago whether it was worth it he said, absolutely, it resulted in the collapse of the USSR.

http://www.takeoverworld.info/brzezinski_interview_short.html

Bob said...

It's not a paradox for groups to want what they want at the expense of others. It would be strange to live in world where every situation is win-win. In reality, there are win-lose and lose-lose situations. Compromise is a way of striking a balance. War/conquest is a way of not having to find balance.

The efforts in Afghanistan are rife with corruption. There is no intent to improve the lives of the people, only to grab as much as possible for oneself. The longer term goal may be to secure the country for exploitation and profit.

If we wanted to destroy Afghan culture, we would attempt social engineering.