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Leadership: What Would You Do: College Admission Essay Sample

  • Category: Business School Application Essays
  • University: University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business
  • Pages: 2
  • Words: 803
  • Published: 28 April 2018
  • Downloads: 83
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If I could be the leader of any organization, I would want to be the President of the United States of America. Given the sheer complexity and vast array of policies necessary to govern the US, for brevity’s sake I will touch solely upon the changes I would implement in South and Central Asia, most specifically in Afghanistan. When it became evident that the US was going to become militarily engaged in Afghanistan, I became very interested in this part of the world; a small project I did for the US Navy in 2004 only further served to fan the flames of my curiosity. In the country advertised as the graveyard of empires, President Obama has committed to sending 30,000 additional troops; if we’re to succeed where all others before us have failed, then first and foremost, the conflict needs to be rebranded and redefined. The American public needs to be scrupulously informed and be made aware of the reality on the ground, so that our elected officials are not forced to prematurely withdraw our forces. Afghanistan has experienced four decades of continuous violence and instability, and it will take significant, continual efforts to build this country from the ground up in what will be a most difficult nation building task.

Be it 30,000 or 3,000,000 troops, any surge is doomed to eventually fail if Afghanistan’s economic situation is not turned around. Since 2001, heroin production has skyrocketed, with the proceeds benefiting the insurgents and the warlords; heroin trafficking was a $3.1 billion business in 2007. Our NATO allies have, at times, not allowed their soldiers to participate in counter narcotics operations, or even to operate after dark; these restrictions must end at once. Progress is being made, but NATO forces cannot be restricted in regards to pursuing militants and drug traffickers. One such strategy which also must be utterly abolished is the arming of warlords. Economic and humanitarian progress is hampered by the warlords’ continued strength and presence as it is by the Taliban insurgency. While it is true these men in power provide some semblance of stability in the areas in which they control, their ambitions are purely driven by greed and vanity; this strategy has made progress over the longer term highly difficult to achieve. The warlords control large sectors of the economy, taxing and profiting as they see fit; the Afghan central government never sees any of these revenues, which only constrains and weakens it even further.

I would continue to utilize the practice of aerial crop spraying, though only as a last resort. Poppy eradication alone will not be enough; viable alternatives must be presented to farmers. In concert with this, transport and infrastructure must be developed, as well as the provision of education, health care, security, and stability. To foment economic progress, infrastructure development needs to be vastly accelerated; roads, railway track, bridges, tunnels must be built and secured, within the cities and countryside, and to the five bordering nations. In a departure from US policy since 1979, I would aim to re-establish diplomatic relations with Iran. Afghanistan is 20% Shia Muslim, and half the country speaks Dari, linguistically very similar to Farsi. In addition to aiding Afghanistan economically, I think Iran would be a perfect candidate to help increase Afghanistan’s literacy rate, measured to be as low as 10%.

In regards to policies I would retain, I would continue to train the Afghan National Army; granted, the Afghan Army is still too small, but it has shown great progress. It is a competent fighting unit, and can be seen as a source of pride for the Afghans. I would continue to embed NATO mentoring teams with the Afghan Army, as this is the best way to train Afghan forces. I would also retain the current policies used to train the Afghan police; if the heroin trade can be eradicated, then the police would become much more effective (corrupt, drug dealing police remains a large concern). Additionally, the US must continue to encourage and support Pakistan’s war in Waziristan, the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, and the North-west Frontier Provinces. Great efforts need to be taken to assure the Pakistani government that there is no realistic threat from India, so that Pakistan will continue to engage the Taliban and al-Qaeda forces sequestered and hidden away in these remote areas of the country.

As Commander-in-Chief, these are just some of the decisions I would take regarding Afghanistan and South and Central Asia. Ultimately, I would seek to ensure that our moral compass does not waver as we aim to lead the world by example; the world may quickly and easily forget our triumphs and our contributions, but it will forever be slow and reluctant to forget our hypocrisies and our blunders.

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