A two-star general killed yesterday in Afghanistan is now the highest-ranking American soldier to die in overseas combat since Vietnam. A gunman wearing an Afghan army uniform turned his weapon against international forces and other Afghans at Camp Qargha in Kabul. A German brigadier general was injured along with 14 others, half of whom are Americans.
The shooting was the latest in a string of “green-on-blue” attacks, where members of the Afghan forces, or people dressed like them, have attacked U.S. and coalition forces. More than 85 such attacks have occurred during the war. Since generals typically have their own security detail, Major General Harold Greene’s death highlights the dangers our troops face overseas, no matter their rank.
Closer to home, we’re learning that at least 71 people from three African nations currently affected by the Ebola outbreak have been stopped at the U.S. border this year. Twenty-eight from Pakistan have been caught trying to sneak into the U.S., along with 13 from Egypt, four from Yemen and four from Somalia. The last two countries are hotbeds for jihadist groups.
We’ve heard much about “terror tunnels” built by Hamas from Gaza into Israel. Less publicized have been the hundreds of tunnels built under the U.S.-Mexico border to smuggle drugs. Security analysts have long worried that these tunnels could be used by terrorists to bring suicide bombers or weapons of mass destruction into our country.
From Cain and Abel to Afghanistan and Iraq, human history has been the story of conflict. If we define war as an active conflict that claims more than 1,000 lives, scholars estimate that over the past 3,400 years we have had only 268 years of peace—eight percent of recorded history. The World Treaty Index lists more than 47,000 treaties created between 1900 and 1999. However, during that century more than 108 million people died in wars.
Human words cannot change human hearts. Only Jesus has the power to transform enemies into sisters and brothers. Only he can turn Saul the persecutor into Paul the apostle. Only he can bring peace in Afghanistan and the Middle East and your family and school and work. When we pray for peace in the world, we must pray for Jesus to be Lord and King of the world. Only then can our world find peace.
As we pray, let us be the hands and feet of Jesus as he answers our prayer. Let us risk everything to take his peace to our conflicted culture. David Platt is right: “Radical obedience to Jesus is not easy . . . It’s not comfort, nor health, nor wealth, and not prosperity in this world. Radical obedience to Christ risks losing all these things. But in the end, such risk finds its reward in Christ. And he is more than enough for us.”
How much will you risk for him today?