HatTip to Adrian H. Simply an excellent op-ed by South Korean journalist Kim Young-hie, so it gets a full post here...
Why we send troops to Afghanistan
Their eyes will be awakened to an entirely new world and their hearts inspired with a pioneering and enterprising spirit.
February 27, 2010
South-Central Asia’s Silk Road, the crossroads of the continent and the focal point of the world’s oldest trade route, had taken ancient merchants, scholars, culture and soldiers from Asia to the Mediterranean Sea. The path to the south led to India, the one to the east lead to China, and to the north lay central Asia, home to nomadic tribes. In 330 B.C. Alexander the Great of Macedon raced through the region with his cavalry in his conquests in Persia and India. The area was reduced to a state of rubble by deadly Mongolian horseback archers led by Genghis Khan.
The harsh, inhospitable landlocked region borders China, Pakistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. A melting pot of diverse races has been hardened by years of invasions and hardship. Into this land we plan to send 350 South Korean military troops in the summer to help rebuild Afghanistan... (full op-ed)