|Alexander Stewart (Geologist) examining a repaired wall|
at the Band-e Sultan Dam in Ghanzi. Taken from ref .
While this unprecedented approach to fighting is proving to be valuable, it is has not been without tragic cost. As is explained in the article, while these are noncombat missions, they are still done in war zones, they are very dangerous, and soldier scientists have lost their lives.
These military efforts of incorporating soldier-scientists in noncombat missions has not been without controversy. Some people disagree with these projects, even claiming those involved are are "weaponizing geology". I am certainly not an expert on this topic, but I think that these efforts of soldier-scientists are going to continue to be valuable in promoting and preserving peace in Afghanistan. The improvement of the Afghan education system and farming/construction efforts is a valuable and noble cause, and even seems to be in line the goals of the US Peace Corps, which is cool. This being said, I am just skimming the surface of a very interesting conversation point, and would love to hear what you think. Do you agree or disagree with the efforts of soldier-scientists in noncombat missions in Afghanistan? What information am I, or the authors of this Science article, leaving out? Leave a comment below and I will be interested to hear from you. This is all interesting to me and I, as well as other readers, would love to learn from you.
1. Stone, R (2013). Soldier-Scientists Join Counterinsurgency in Afghanistan Science, 342, 682-682 DOI: 10.1126/science.342.6159.682