"Unless you solve the underlying root problems (of terrorism) like poverty and corruption, you’ve still got a witch’s brew to create another generation of fanatics," says Scott Harrison, a security consultant and a former CIA officer… That’s why, in poor villages in the Philippines, the Pentagon is investing in "targeted projects — a new well, a school classroom, and a $200 tin-roofed communal outhouse, or "comfort room," tucked behind the village market." Gaining the trust of residents here, once considered the second most-important front on terrorism, behind Afghanistan, means this Muslim community is being swayed…
For instance, members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, together with U.S. Navy and Marines, constructed two elementary school buildings on Sulu Island in 2006.
"This is how we win the war on terror," said Brig. Gen. Mastin Robeson, commander of the 3d Marine Division, Okinawa, Japan, during his visit to the construction site. "We do it by befriending and embracing our partners in places of the world like the Philippines," he continued, "to create a safe and secure environment so that increased economic growth and development can flourish from within."
Two other on-going construction projects are at Sulu High School and Maimbung High School, all on Sulu Island. When completed, the new buildings will be further outfitted with desks, computers, and Internet access.
(Read the full story at CS Monitor)