It is absolutely imperative that we divorce ourselves of the responsibility of ‘waiting’ until the Iraqis decide to unify under one flag and redistribute the profits from oil as one nation. A major problem with tribal nations is their inability to overcome the obstacles to unification that has been embedded in their minds since birth. We can’t wait; the President must declare an ultimatum and allow the chips to fall as they may. In doing so, we quickly release our armed forces from further obligations to Iraq; reduce the Defense budget outlay for the war in Iraq which in turn will give us an opportunity to address the dire situation in Afghanistan.
We must quickly ramp up our armed forces in Afghanistan; seal the border electronically between Afghanistan and Pakistan and patrol by fly-over a two mile wide zone in the mountainous border area. With the border under surveillance, we should put the backs of our troops to the mountains and move east eradicating the Taliban and Al Qaeda as we move eastward. It will take a year to eighteen months to secure the border.
We should use that downtime to rest the troops coming from Iraq. Once we have gotten the two mile zone depopulated (Afghans must move out of the de-populated zone) and fully under electronic surveillance, we should insert the troops and began the sweep to rid Afghanistan of the Taliban and Al Qaeda. If the same amount of troops that were used at the height of the occupation of Iraq is use, this operation could be over in less than three years after mass troop insertion.
Employment and Re-tooling of the Work-Force
The Economy of the United States is ‘trickle-up’ and the current state of affairs on Wall Street and Main Street proves it to be just that. When credit dries up, the only thing that will open the doors to credit again is cash flow. We have to get the consumer spending again and the only way to do that is make jobs available to the workforce. We need the same kind of nationwide work projects that jumpstarted the economy the way the interstate highways did back in the late fifties and sixties. The new projects should be mass transit and the modification of the types of fuels that we use to produce energy.
We have to reduce our dependence on oil and the method to complete it is three-fold. We must re-invent the way we get from point A to B. Applying the same intensity to mass transit that we applied to developing the interstate would give us the relief that we need in least than three years time. We must demand that our automotive engines meet new design specifications that make it possible to triple the miles per gallon that we currently accept. All vehicles should meet these new design specifications within three years from setting the mandate – no exceptions!
We must, in addition to reducing our dependence on oil, re-invent the way we produce energy. Mass usage of wind, gas, hydro-electric, and solar energy is the answer to achieving a reduction in the use of oil and, as a by-product, the reduction of pollutants in our atmosphere. Integrating these solutions into the workforce equation will further increase the employment of our workers in jobs that cannot be shipped overseas.