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Building New Armies Builds World Peace?

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"In addition, it will move Americans from TV's pillowed couches to fields of healthy service and action. Having Americans directly involved in ameliorating problems at home or abroad will make America wiser and more perceptive. It'll keep us focused on what's important and keep us from stumbling into future costly, bloody public policy mistakes."

"Are you referring to any recent public policy mistakes?"

"Recent and long past too. Pick a handful of countries from any troubled spot in the world and you can find a human policy problem -- or answer. Take Iran, Iraq, Syria, Palestine, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Sudan. Since 1961 when JFK started the Peace Corps, only about 4,000 PCVs have served in those countries. Hardly any have served in those countries over the last three decades.

"Yet we've sent billions in arms and hundreds of thousands of troops during that period. That equation has never worked for the nation implementing it or for the world it implements it upon. That equation has bloodied our and their people. It has weakened our and the world's economy. If we continue that equation, it will produce bleak, bloodied history."

"So, you are setting out to build this robust 21st century army, because you want us and the world to 'Learn from history, lest we be doomed to repeat it?"

The President's "Yeph"" was cut short with a door knock and entry by his aide reminding him that our 20 minutes were ending and his next appointment was coming up.

The President nodded and continued, "Can you imagine how much safer, saner, and less bloody recent history would have been had we built this army 30-40 years ago? Twenty-one centuries have gone by and nations still don't build these kinds of armies. We've grown from gladiators dying in coliseums to refereed football games. It's time we started fielding a new, less deadly army.

"We can't keep throwing our troops into bloody coliseums. We can't just have those not fighting cheer from coliseum seats or pray on Sundays and at funerals. We've got to get armies of good people involved in hard, sweaty, peaceful work that lays the foundations for miracles."

"Thank you, Mr. President."

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Dwayne served in the Peace Corps in the slums of Mhumbhai, India, worked several Habitat Projects, and was on the start-up team of the California Conservation Corps. He has a Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate Universty, has been a builder, teacher, (more...)

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