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Howard Gardner

Howard Gardner

Howard Gardner is the Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Senior Director of Harvard Project Zero.

Reduce Our Commitment

While I am used to being somewhat presumptuous, I cannot pretend to offer military or political advice vis-a-vis the situation on the ground in Afghanistan. However, I fully agree with the pundits who argue that President Obama made a huge mistake in taking on Afghanistan, even during the campaign, as "his" war.

One would have thought that the examples of LBJ in Vietnam, and of Bush 43 in Iraq, would have been cautionary. As FDR knew, American wars are won as much on the home front as on foreign battlefields, and the last thing that any of us want is an additional, endless, engagement in a land (I would not even say "nation") that has proved ungovernable and impervious to outside influences for thousands of years.

I would advise Obama, Clinton, Holbrooke, Gates and the military, to sharply reduce our rhetorical commitment to battling in Afghanistan. Short term our goals should be to make sure that there are not attacks on Americans on our soil or elsewhere and long term, as in Iraq, Iran, and elsewhere, to lessen the appeal of fundamentalist terrorist groups of any stripe.

By Howard Gardner

 |  August 24, 2009; 12:13 PM ET
Category:  Military Leadership Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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