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The military's global bootprint

December 02, 2007

Re "Unheralded military successes," Opinion, Nov. 25

I do community development work in Muslim Mindanao, Philippines, in what are called "from arms to farms" programs. I agree with Robert Kaplan's assessment that U.S. military activities in the country have been successful, but add that the military's work is made easier in that, for the most part, violence in the region is not ideology- or religion-based. For example, suicide bombings rarely happen; kidnap-for-ransom and extrajudicial killings or political vendettas are the norm. Indeed, one of the most highly successful business ventures is that of a fruit-exporting corporation whose workforce consists of ex-Muslim insurgents.

Perla Limbaga Manapol

Camarillo

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As he applauds the U.S. military deployments the world over, Kaplan asks if there is anything "more morally prudent and cost-effective than crisis intervention." Rather than protect the interests of the military/industrial complex, the multinational corporations and the corrupt politicians, our focus must now be on the many domestic crises facing America: the crises in education, healthcare, the economy, employment, housing and public health; the rising costs of basics; as well as the loss of America's credibility and standing in the world.

Perhaps Kaplan hasn't noticed the effect on our treasury due to the continued meddling in the affairs of any and all countries? This growing U.S. military presence throughout the world, as in the Project for the New American Century's "Pax Americana," is neither prudent, moral nor cost-effective -- just part of the neocon doctrine.

Marge Hackett

Ojai

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