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Organizing comes to the military

There are many signs that an organizing approach--respecting people’s capacities for self-directed public work--is beginning to spread to unexpected settings. The war in Afghanistan is certainly a case that surprises many, but as David Wood’s story in the Baltimore Sun shows, many military officers now acknowledge that simply using force to try to defeat the Taliban is not working. As Secretary of Defense Robert Gates put it, “We cannot kill or capture our way to victory."

Allied soldiers are thus learning and practicing organizing skills, like learning to listen to local people, understanding the local needs, situation, and politics, and learning to work collaboratively.

Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs