Winning the War on Terror With Wheat
Khanjoor farms – a seed distribution center built in the Afghani Gazni province in 1975, was a difficult military target. The farm itself has deteriorated almost completely over the years, but its location in the code-red Andar district means that the approximately 2500 acres are under control by a large and powerful military force. Maj. Conan Martin estimates that it would take about 16,000 men to take the position, something which looked increasingly impossible while more pressing targets were available.
Of course, they don’t necessarily have to fight. If Khanjoor farms is a wheat seed distribution center, then maybe we just need to out-distribute wheat seeds.
In a bold new plan to win over the afghani populace instead of simply killing the Taliban, a Texan agribusiness team consisting of 12 farming specialist soldiers and a security force of 40, is developing a competing wheat distribution center that could provide wheat seed to most of Afghanistan’s farmers. They don’t need to take Khanjoor farms – they just need to make it irrelevant.
This kind of plan represents a radically different conception of the war on terror more reminiscent of the “hearts and minds” viewpoint that carries no negative connotations whatsoever.
“My philosophy is less aggressive,” Col. Andrzejczak said. “We are not an anti-terrorist brigade. We are a brigade supporting the people of Ghazni.”
Agriculture has the power to be a common language for all peoples across the world. We all eat, and for the most part, we all eat grains. Texans that know how to grow wheat have a lot of the same skills as Afghanis that know how to grow wheat.
This new plan looks like the nation building that Obama wants to focus less on in the war in Afghanistan, but it represents a very direct, tactical alternative to controlling a hostile area in Afghanistan. It’s not understanding the connection not just between the land and food, but the connection of food to regional politics and the power that the Taliban can exersize by controlling food supply.