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comment by nowaypablo
nowaypablo  ·  264 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The Spy Who Came Home: why an expert in terrorism became a beat cop

Wish I had a badge to bump this up. This is the gold standard of a profile piece.

    No military force can end terrorism, just as firefighters can’t end fire and cops can’t end crime. But there are ways to build a resilient society. “It can’t be on a government contract that says ‘In six months, show us these results,’ ” Skinner said. “It has to be ‘I live here. This is my job forever.’ ” He compared his situation to that of Voltaire’s Candide, who, after enduring a litany of absurd horrors in a society plagued by fanaticism and incompetence, concludes that the only truly worthwhile activity is tending his garden. “Except my garden is the Third Precinct,” Skinner said.

Fuckin' A.

ghostoffuffle  ·  264 days ago  ·  link  ·  

This article made me feel like I've been relying on some reductive-ass thinking re. Hearts and Minds for a long time. Kinda took it as gospel that of course we have to win over the community leaders in Kandahar if we want to get anywhere in Afghanistan. Never tried to apply that kind of logic to my own city. What are community leaders? How big is a community? How do we win people over? What's the timetable? Whut? I don't like to think that I reduce other cultures to a bunch of airy-fairy sociological precepts... but hell yeah I do