Monday, February 22, 2010

Pay raise to Finnish soldiers in Afghanistan

The video describes the challenges faced by embedded tactical trainers (ETTs). ETTs are American soldiers who are training the Afghan army to mind their own backyard. The video mentions complete lack of discipline, rampant drug use, corruption in promotions and wrong kind of soldier material as main problems.

When the Finnish or American soldiers exit Afghanistan, in five years the locals will revert back to their own ways. It's insane to believe that you can just train them into Finnish ways like any Finnish conscript. Their background, culture, institutions and genes are very different from us.

The foreign military presence will hopefully give them enough time to establish stable institutions and rebuild infrastructure so that Afghanistan will continue as a democracy, instead of sliding back into being a fundamentalist totalitarian state (or was it feudal warlord anarcy?), and that's a huge improvement. But they are going to stay half illiterate, corrupted, drug-addled and poor no matter how much military support and development aid is wasted on them. Western presence is a light, passing breeze compared to the internal logic of 30 million Afghans.

Jyri Häkämies increased the pay of Finnish soldiers by at least 500e per month, which is money well spent on valuable work.

Those who oppose wasting taxpayer's money should remember that there are less than 200 Finns there, so multipliers stay small. Also, they will be brought back to Finland - it's not a permanent black hole for taxpayer's money like suggestions to raise development aid to 1% of GNP.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hello. Great job. I did not expect this on a Wednesday. This is a great story. Thanks!