VDH has an excellent analysis as to why you train:
Iraqi guardsmen are fighting al Qaedists as Afghans die in firefights with Taliban remnants. Note well that at the loci of American democratizing presence in Afghanistan and Iraq, there are few local Iraqis and Afghans — as there are few Turkish or Indian Muslims — who are eager for global jihad against the West. The killers instead flock from elsewhere to those new nations to stop the experiment before it spreads. Give dictatorial Pakistan or Egypt billions, and we get ever more terrorists; give the Iraqis and Afghans their freedom and their citizens are unlikely to show up in London and Madrid blowing up civilians, but rather busy at home killing jihadists.
In this Mexican standoff, the Islamists, dictators, and democratic reformers are waging a struggle for the hearts and minds of the Middle East. We have had our own similar three-way shootout in the West between fascists, Communists, and liberal republics. Backing Communists to stop fascists or helping autocrats fight Communists were stop-gap, wartime exigencies — never solutions in themselves.
The Middle East does not need a reformation in Islam as much as a war to eradicate a minority of religious fanatics who are empowered through their blackmail of dictatorships — and to do so in a way that leads to constitutional government rather than buttressing a police state. So far governments have chosen appeasement and bribery — if at times some torture when demands for investigations rise — and so time is running out for the entire region.
There are a million Muslims in Israel — the mother of all evils in the radical Islamic mind. Yet very few have turned themselves into global jihadists, and hundreds are not blowing themselves up daily in Tel Aviv, much less in London or New York. Why? Perhaps the twofold knowledge that they have rights in Israel not found in the Arab world that they don’t wish to forfeit, and they are surrounded by people who would not tolerate their terrorism.
For the first time, Afghans and Iraqis have a stake in their own future — and know the United States is at last on the right side of history and intends to stay and win by their side.
So we press on.
VDH's Private Papers :: Reformation or Civil War?