Time magazine’s cover for the week of Aug. 9 shows a young woman, Aisha, who had her ears and nose cut off by the Taliban for fleeing an abusive husband. Time managing editor Richard Stengal says Aisha “wants the world to see the effect a Taliban resurgence would have on the women of Afghanistan, many of whom have flourished in the past few years.” No Westerner, seeing this picture, could want anything but to promote an Afghanistan in which this kind of abuse is unthinkable as it is to us. But although the goal seems obvious, the solution is anything but.
In the New York Times, Nicholas Kristoff points out that for the cost of just one soldier in Afghanistan for just one year, we could build 20 schools there; for the cost of one cruise missile, 11.
For more on why I wish the answer was as simple as schools yes, soldiers no, click over to Slate’s XXFactor blog.