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Wall St. Journal - Spirit of America & Afghanistan

I have an article in the opinion/editorial pages of the Wall Street Journal today. The point is this: the tangible support of the American people can make the difference between success and failure in Afghanistan.

 

Like our book "101 Ways to Help the Cause in Afghanistan" our goal is to engage more Americans in support our troops and the people of Afghanistan. We're working on other ways to accomplish that task. If you're interested in being involved, please let me know. The op/ed follows …

wall street

Spirit of America in Afghanistan

Ordinary citizens can contribute to our victory.

By Jim Hake

In 2003, Sgt. First Class Jay Smith and his Army Special Forces team were based in Orgun-e, Afghanistan and were taking regular rocket fire from al Qaeda fighters. But Sgt. Smith and his men were armed with an effective counterweapon — gifts of school supplies and sports gear for children, and clothing, shoes and blankets for nearby families, all provided by American donors.

After receiving these items, the grateful villagers reciprocated by forming a night-watch patrol to protect our soldiers. Good relations with locals helped save American lives. I've witnessed this success on the front lines, aided by support from home, repeated many times since Sgt. Smith.

Accordingly, when President Barack Obama presented his plan for Afghanistan earlier this month he left out one critical element: the American people. Our initiative, resourcefulness and goodwill are incredibly powerful. In fact, the tangible support of the American people can make the difference between success and failure in Afghanistan.

Our troops in Afghanistan are engaged in counterinsurgency, a type of war that depends on winning over the local people. Marine Gen. James Mattis, commander of U.S. Joint Forces Command has said that, "One way we create the necessary credibility among the people and dissuade them from supporting our enemies is to show them hope of a better future." This is where the American people can play an indispensable role.

Our troops in Afghanistan are engaged in counterinsurgency, a type of war that depends on winning over the local people. Marine Gen. James Mattis, commander of U.S. Joint Forces Command (which supports ongoing military operations and helps shape military forces for future conflicts), has said that, "One way we create the necessary credibility among the people and dissuade them from supporting our enemies is to show them hope of a better future." This is where the American people can play an indispensable role.

Continued, read the whole thing here:

At the bottom of the page you can email the article to your friends. Please do it if you can. The "most emailed" articles become the most widely read - a virtuous circle.

Fyi, the Journal chose the title and subtitle of the op/ed. I don't think there is such a thing as an "ordinary American" but I'm delighted the Journal is getting the word out about the Americans people, Afghanistan and Spirit of America.

Our best wishes for a very happy New Year.

Jim Hake the Spirit of America team

ps: for year-end giving:

1-800-819-7875  


No endorsement of Spirit of America by the US Department of Defense or its personnel is intended or implied.