Seeking creative non-military solutions …

If your only tool is a hammer, every problem becomes a nail, the old saying goes. That means that in “the military industrial complex,” non-military solutions won’t simply be considered and rejected as impractical: they won’t even come up on the screen for consideration.
That’s why the recent statement on a humanitarian-development surge in Afghanistan is so important. A group of faith leaders (among which I am included) have sent a letter to the White House urging the President to widen the frame of discussion beyond how many additional troops to send to Afghanistan. We ask the President to consider an alternative approach – one that makes use of the US military as a peacekeeping force to supplement Afghan security as needed, but which focuses on humanitarian aid and development as the keys to a stable Afghanistan. (I blogged about this approach some weeks ago.)
Meanwhile, in a CPJ Capital Commentary, Steven Meyer of the National Defense University offers two similar non-military strategies regarding Iran and nuclear weapons – and they’re not the two you hear politicians normally proposing:

If we are really interested in controlling nuclear weapons we need to forget about sanctions or military action and assume a two-pronged approach. First, the P5+1 countries [permanent UN Security Counsel members plus Germany] need to continue work with Iran to agree to send its LEU [Low-Enriched Uranium] out of the country for reprocessing. Second, and most important, the P5+1 countries need to convene an arms control process that will aim to denuclearize the entire region, and not just Iran. Three countries in the region (Israel, India and Pakistan) are not signatories to the NPT [Non-Proliferation Treaty]. The Indian and Pakistani nuclear weapons programs are well known and Israel’s possession of nuclear weapons is the worst kept secret in the Middle East.
Unfortunately, the U.S., irrespective of administration, turns a blind and hypocritical eye to these programs. Peace and regional stability will never be accomplished by isolating Iran, but by incorporating Iran into a larger denuclearized context.

(You can read the whole piece here.)
If more and more of us consider, believe in, and advocate for creative non-military solutions, our voices can help crack open the closed paradigm of the military-industrial complex. You can make your voice heard on Afghanistan right now – right here.