The Common Good

Reverend Jim Wallis On Afghanistan

Source: Sojourners
Date: October 29, 2009


Thursday, October 29, 2009

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WASHINGTON, DC - Reverend Jim Wallis, President and founder of Sojourners, the largest network of progressive Christians in the nation, today released the following piece about United States activity in Afghanistan calling the current options on the table in Washington too narrow and offering a new approach.

(entire piece at link, excerpts below)

Afghanistan: A Whole New Approach

by Jim Wallis 10-29-2009

"Dick Cheney always wants to fight. But Cheney's foreign policy was an embarrassment for America, and a tragedy for the rest of the world. And not to follow his advice is always a good first step of moral wisdom.”

"What we need is a whole new approach in Afghanistan. The argument in Washington, D.C. is far too narrow.”

"Counter-insurgency increases the massive American footprint in Afghanistan, which is clearly one of the primary causes of our failures in that country thus far. Add in a corrupt Afghan government, a radically decentralized society, and a physical terrain that has confounded every other occupier in history there; it doesn't make many of us hopeful, and painfully reminds us of a history that deeply formed us.”

Let the non-military strategies lead the way… Also bring in some of the religious and other nonprofit leaders from the Obama Advisory Council and others, to focus on the deeply ethical and moral issues that are at stake in our decisions… legitimately protecting Americans from further terrorism, defending women from the Taliban, developing a diplomatic surge, genuinely supporting democracy, and saving innocent lives from the collateral damage of war…”

"The conversation is much too narrow right now on Pennsylvania Avenue and at the U. S. Congress. It's time for a deeper look and a whole new approach. Stupid people might call that dithering; smart people would call it discernment.”


Sojourners' mission is to articulate the biblical call to social justice, inspiring hope and building a movement to transform individuals, communities, the church, and the world. Visit, and

Jim Wallis is the founder and president of Sojourners, the largest network of progressive Christians in the United States focused on the biblical call to social justice. Wallis is also author of the New York Times bestseller God's Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It. His latest New York Times bestseller is The Great Awakening: Seven Ways To Change The World, Reviving Faith & Politics.

Wallis is a leading figure at the crossroads of religion and politics in America today serving as a public theologian, internationally renowned speaker and preacher, and faith-based activist.