Among Mahatma Gandhi’s boldest ideas was his dream for a Shanti Sena or ‘peace army’: that somehow cadres of men and women who were unarmed could confront attacking armies.
By far the most dramatic Shanti Sena the world has ever seen was organized in what was then the Northwest Frontier Province of India by the Mahatma’s close disciple Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan; and the Khan did this not among gentle Hindus but the notoriously warlike Pashtuns, or Pathans.
The US has a legal and ethical obligation to the people of Afghanistan. That obligation will not be met by putting more boots on the ground. Instead, we need policies that address the grinding poverty, mass violence against women, predatory government and ongoing warfare that plague Afghanistan.
Nonviolent Social Change is dedicated to publishing accounts of nonviolent conflict that have not been given sufficient attention. Published since 1971 as the Bulletin of the Peace Studies Institute, Nonviolent Social Change is an annual publication of the Manchester University Peace Studies Institute, North Manchester, Indiana.
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