Jared Kushner’s new plan for peace in the Middle East was revealed last week, after his meeting in Bahrain with investors from around the world and leaders from the region. While the people who have been pretending to pursue peace in the region for so long are doing all they can to naysay the plan, Kushner seems to understand better than they on what truly drives peace.
As we’ve come to learn from President Trump’s successes so far, it seems nearly all of our global arrangements have been done by politicians looking for sound bytes and polling points rather than a true, lasting path to success for the USA. It’s amazing what can happen when someone outside of that mindset gets to work on making actual change.
If you don’t understand the USA’s geopolitical strategy in funding around the world, I can sum it up in one simple word: stability.
Before my time in Special Forces, I had a hard time understanding why in the world the USA would spend so many billions of dollars giving money to places in Africa, the Middle East and Central America.
But as has been said many times by people who understand what is needed and are truly trying to make a difference, peace in any nation boils down to three simple metrics: education, economics and agriculture.
If you look around the world at the hotspots of extremism, terrorism and fanatacism, a few glaring similiarities quickly surface. Each location that births the worst terrorists and highest levels of terrorism is in extreme poverty, has abysmal literacy rates and virtually no economy of its own, outside of aid from other governments.
If you’re familiar with the verse “give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day, teach a man to fish and he’ll eat for life,” you understand the basic principle. But unfortunately many of our policies pre-Trump focused on the former, rather than the latter.
We found while fighting in Afghanistan & Iraq that a large number of the fighters emplacing IEDs and ambushes for NATO troops weren’t in fact zealots who hated America, they were merely men with no way to feed their families who were paid to attack our forces.
Furthermore, one of the largest paths to radicalization we found were via madrassas, Islamic religious schools that took in disadvantaged children with the promise of food, a bed and a path to literacy by reciting the Quran dozens of times a day.
Much like gangs in the United States, many of these madrassas would identify the most easily brainwashed of the children and separate them from the rest, focusing their future training on terrorism rather than religious studies.
If we can break that cycle, where children actually have food in their bellies and aren’t forced to go to indoctrination centers for meals and a chance to learn to read, Kushner’s can succeed where many other plans have not.
Along with these paths to indoctrination, in a failed state such as Somalia or Afghanistan you have more than merely a steady supply of would-be foot soldiers. You also have places where it is extremely easy to go “off the grid” and set up a terrorism training center in the desert.
If there are any police, they are easily bribed to stay away from your location due to the government’s lacking funds and likelihood of not being able to pay the police well (or with any regularity).
Furthermore, the articles from the normal crowd of anti-Trumpers (NYT, Mother Jones, Vice, etc) focus on the fact that many of Palestine’s current leaders do not support the plan. And of course they don’t – if Palestine actually finds peace these leaders chosen for their wartime posture will no longer be needed and will be out of a job.
And, of course, they likely remember the $221 million given to them by Obama on his last days in office, and are hoping for another Obama-like candidate in 2020 who will fund their terrorism rather than seek a way to end it altogher.
Kushner understands that his $50 billion investment plan for Palestine has the potential to cut off the supply of young minds to be indoctrinated, and most of his foes seem to be against his plan for one simple reason.
Much like the Democrats so viciously attacking Trump’s successes, they understand that if Kushner actually succeeds, it will show the world just how little they know and how little they’ve done to fight these issues over the decades we’ve been funding and supporting them.
Robert Patrick Lewis is a Green Beret OIF/OEF combat veteran with 10th SFG(A), CMO of Heroes Media Group, entrepreneur, MBA and award-winning author of Love Me When I’m Gone: The True Story of Life, Love and Loss for A Green Beret In Post-9/11 War , The Pact and The Pact Book II: Battle Hymn of the Republic. Follow him @RobertPLewis on Twitter or on his RobertPatrickLewisAuthor Facebook page.