"Shop and Awe"

Defense Tech pal and Army reserve officer Kris Alexander has a dynamite essay up on Intel Dump now, about how we need to start using our wallets to win the war on terror. "Call it 'shop and awe,'" Kris says.souk.jpg

We have the worlds most powerful economy but havent leveraged it into the fight. We should be pursuing policies that capitalize on the success of several private sector companies and jump start the economys of strategically important regions helping to create a bigger middle class in the Middle East...Last year, Bob Dukelow, a now-retired senior civilian pentagon intelligence analyst with on the ground experience in Afghanistan, began looking into new strategies to win the GWOT. He heard about an area on Overstock.com called worldstock where they sell goods from developing countries like Afghanistan. Bob concluded that Overstock, and companies like it, had a role to play in our counter-terrorism strategy.Venues like this create better opportunities for local craftsmen in remote areas to get their products to markets they normally would not reach, Bob says. We can pull these craftsmen and their families into the functional core of the world's economy lessening the chance they will fall prey to the rhetoric of fundamentalist terrorist recruiters...By giving a venue to craftsmen [the program] has helped create 15,000 jobs worldwide 1,500 in Afghanistan alone... [And] some guy... who believes that he is getting a fair shake out of the New World Order is less likely to end up needing a JDAM parked on his head by some guy like me.
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