How is a "Winning the Peace" Strategy Relevant to Afghanistan?

Afghanistan is an excellent example. The former Soviet Union occupied Afghanistan from 1979 until 1989, and they were toppled in large part by the assistance the United States provided to the Majahideen. When the USSR was defeated, America and the international community went on to other challenges, and Afghanistan was placed on the back burner. Like Nicaragua or Haiti, when the dictators fell, the country was forgotten.

What was left behind in Afghanistan was a catastrophe. We had succeeded in winning the war, but as the 1990’s demonstrated. we clearly failed in winning the peace.

America really regretted this lack of attention in 1995 when the Taliban took total control of the country, and immediately began to persecute its people. Many pundits said the Taliban took the country back to the stone age, and this was an apt description.

The cruel Taliban regime was defeated militarily in less than a month in October of 2001, but after 23 years of war, the reconstruction of that nation has been both time consuming and expensive. America provided $649 million in economic assistance to Afghanistan in 2002, and another $1.2 billion in 2003.

This is a generous level of support, but far more needs to be done. The country lacks almost any infrastructure including roads, dams and power plants. Electricity and clean water are severely restricted, and the demand has increased because when the fighting stopped over 2 million refugees returned to Afghanistan. Over $20 billion will be needed over the next five years, and this type of aid is a key reason the United Nations is so valuable.

The UN organized a donors conference in Tokyo and a dozen nations as well as the World Bank and the European Union pledged $5.2 billion. Afghanistan needs much more, but this is a solid start. Per capita economic aid and humanitarian assistance was provided by UN member nations in even larger amounts in East Timor, Rwanda, Kosovo and Bosnia. Because of the UN, a multinational peacekeeping force has had a major role in all of these nations.

What is your mission?

The mission of the Republican Security Council (RSC) is to promote the values, ideals and national security interests of the United States. Our work is necessary because America faces determined enemies and unprecedented challenges. We are proud to be Republicans because we are the party that ended slavery and advances freedom, progress and economic growth. The GOP is a party of ideas, bold words and bold deeds. Since the election of 1860, the Republican Party has advanced the founding principles of freedom and limited government, while bolstering our national security.
The RSC was formed because the Democratic Platform will lead to America’s decline, leaving allies to doubt us and adversaries to test us. If America does not have the strength or vision to lead, then other powers will take our place, pulling the world in a very different direction.
We believe America is a nation with a calling. It is the greatest force for good the world has ever known, and remains the hope of the oppressed. We believe peace and prosperity depend on military, economic and diplomatic strength. We also need confidence in the American cause, clarity in purpose, and resolve in our might.
The RSC advocates a strong national defense including military modernization and readiness programs.  Unfortunately many lawmakers have voted against body armor, ammunition, fuel, spare parts, armored vehicles, extra pay for hardship duty and support for military families. A strong national defense is essential, but it is only a first step. There are many problems in the dangerous and chaotic world that cannot be handled by the United Nations or the European Union, and  steady, consistent, principled leadership. an American leadership role is necessary. The operating principle of American foreign policy is work with our allies to deter aggression before it breaks out into open conflict.   We will work with our allies, but often American leadership is necessary to maintain peace and prosperity, and to confront terrorism, nuclear proliferation, and regional conflicts. The United States and its allies are confronted by a rising tide of chaos orchestrated by radical and violent Islamic extremists in at least 12 nations. Osama bin Laden is dead, but al Qaeda and other terrorist groups have not been contained, and their strength is not diminishing. We must clearly stand for the values of representative government, economic opportunity, and human rights. And we must stand against the extension of Iranian or jihadist influence. The RSC also agrees with Admiral Mike Mullen, the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who says “I believe the single, biggest threat to our national security is our debt.  We  have a responsibility to help eliminate that threat.” Interest on the debt will soon nearly equal the entire defense budget. We don’t have that much time to stop deficit spending and restore economic growth, but it can be done if we are serious and smart.  We actively oppose isolationism, protectionism and deficit spending.What Are We Doing? The RSC is committed to the development, adoption and implementation of a new strategy and that is why we wrote the National Security Resolution. It is based on “A Forward Strategy for Freedom” which was proposed by President George W. Bush on November 6, 2003, and its goals were refined by Mitt Romney and the 2012 GOP Platform. We want to adopt this strategy as the new foreign policy of the United States. It emphasizes the importance of military and economic strength, as well as we will extend the frontiers of freedom. Wherever men and women rise up for their own freedom, they should know America is on their side. the promotion of democracy, freedom movements, human rights, free speech, a market economy based on the private sector, and an independent judiciary and news media. It is a strategy which respond to the various anti-American groups and jihadists,  and  encourages the Muslim world to reject extremism on its own. The importance of this strategy is best seen in the Middle East where there is a growing energy and passion for freedom. Unfortunately moderates are not winning the Arab Spring and women have made few gains. Over 30,000 have died in Syria, an American ambassador was killed by terrorists in Libya, Iran continues to pursue nuclear weapons and there is a Muslim Brotherhood president in Egypt. Young women across the Middle East will hear the message that their day of equality and justice is coming. Young men will hear the message that national progress and dignity are found in liberty, not tyranny and terror. Reformers and political prisoners and exiles will hear the message that their dream of freedom cannot be denied forever. And as freedom advances, heart by heart, and nation by nation, America will be more secure and the world more peaceful. We have dealt a serious blow to Al-Qaeda in recent years. But they are not defeated, and they’ll strike us again if they can. Iran remains the chief state sponsor of terrorism and on the path to acquiring nuclear weapons. Russia’s leaders, rich with oil wealth and corrupt with power, have rejected democratic ideals and the obligations of a responsible power.  to help move the Middle East away from old hatreds and resentments and toward the lasting peace that only freedom can bring. The biggest threat we face today is having nuclear weapons fall into the hands of terrorists. The president is working with many countries in a global effort to end the trade and transfer of these deadly technologies. The most important result thus far, and it is a very important one, is that the black-market network that supplied nuclear weapons technology to Libya, as well as to Iran and North Korea, has been shut down. We are transforming our military and reforming and strengthening our intelligence services. We are staying on the offensive, striking terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here at home.