Both this poll of American military officers and Nick Kristof's latest column suggest that we need to focus much more on development in Afghanistan and Iraq. Of course, the U.S. has devoted a decent amount of money allready to rebuilding in both Afghanistan and Iraq, but not enough to prove decisive in changing facts on the ground. Kristof's column is a bit over-the-top, but his key insight is the importance of the local buy-in. However, he does not acknowledge that it can be harder for locals to welcome working with U.S. troops occupying their countries than it is to for them to welcome some random U.S. do-gooder. Obama has talked extensively about this kind of work, McCain not so much.

--Tim Fernholz

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