Home sweet home, Waziristan style. (photo: Omer Wazir)

I’ve been told that, after nine years, the reason we must continue to spend billions fighting in Afghanistan is to prevent it from again “becoming a safe haven for terrorists.” Alternaely, I’ve also been told we can’t pull out of Afghanistan because that could destabilize Pakistan and allow it to become a “safe haven for terrorists.”

Having caught Osama bin Laden living in a compound in a nice Pakistani city, it turns out the real “safe haven” for terrorism is fancy houses in the suburbs. By the transitive property of fear mongering, this means there is only one way to make America permanently safe from terrorism:

We must bomb every mansion in Pakistan.

Of course, the critics are going to say: “This is idiotic. Bombing every expensive home in Pakistan is going result in tens of thousands of innocent civilian deaths and put American service members at risk just to possibly kill a handful of al-Qaeda members. It would also be counter productive because the blowback would produce so much anti-American sentiment it would likely end up creating more terrorists.”

All that is probably true. Yet it is also true about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, which have resulted in thousands of innocent civilians dying, and we still haven’t stop fighting them.

After being told for so many years how critical it was to use military force to prevent possible “safe havens,” it doesn’t seem like we have any other choice.

I guess there is one other option–we could conclude that, be it Afghan cave, Yemeni valley, Germany apartment or Pakistani mansion, a nebulous, small, international terrorist group can, by design, move easily and find “safe haven” anywhere. Instead, accept that just isn’t a problem that can be solved with massive military actions in one country, but must be dealt with as an intelligence and law enforcement issue.

Of course, that must sound way sillier than blowing up million dollar homes in Pakistan–why else would our leaders in Washington have spent several trillion dollars on fighting wars to block “safe havens” instead of using the intelligence-based approach.

Home sweet home, Waziristan style. (photo: Omer Wazir)

I’ve been told that, after nine years, the reason we must continue to spend billions fighting in Afghanistan is to prevent it from again “becoming a safe haven for terrorists.” Alternately, I’ve also been told we can’t pull out of Afghanistan because that could destabilize Pakistan and allow it to become a “safe haven for terrorists.”

Having caught Osama bin Laden living in a compound in a nice Pakistani city, it turns out the real “safe haven” for terrorism is fancy houses in the suburbs. By the transitive property of fear mongering, this means there is only one way to make America permanently safe from terrorism:

We must bomb every mansion in Pakistan.

Of course, the critics are going to say: “This is idiotic. Bombing every expensive home in Pakistan is going result in tens of thousands of innocent civilian deaths and put American service members at risk just to possibly kill a handful of al-Qaeda members. It would also be counter productive because the blowback would produce so much anti-American sentiment it would likely end up creating more terrorists.”

All that is probably true. Yet it is also true about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, which have resulted in thousands of innocent civilians dying, and we still haven’t stopped fighting them.

After being told for so many years how critical it was to use military force to prevent possible “safe havens,” it doesn’t seem like we have any other choice.

I guess there is one other option–we could conclude that, be it Afghan cave, Yemeni valley, Germany apartment or Pakistani mansion, a nebulous, small, international terrorist group can, by design, move easily and find “safe haven” anywhere. Instead, accept that just isn’t a problem that can be solved with massive military actions in one country, but must be dealt with as an intelligence and law enforcement issue.

Of course, that must sound way sillier than blowing up million dollar homes in Pakistan–why else would our leaders in Washington have spent several trillion dollars on fighting wars to block “safe havens” instead of using the intelligence-based approach.

Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at http://pendinghorizon.com