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Thursday
Jul222010

What Development Looks Like

 About two years ago I drove from Taluqan to Fayzabad in the remote northeast of Afghanistan.  It took six to eight hours to cover a distance of 170km.  Across the river from the dirt track that served as the road, work crews were engaged in the seemingly ceaseless and impossible task of blasting and digging away at the mountains which hindered the desired course of the road.

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Thursday
Jul082010

The Government Should Start to Govern

On a hot day in London I had look back at the building from which I had just emerged to make sure it hadn't been the Iranian embassy, which is right around the corner. Why? A number of applicants and myself had just been treated with an astounding degree of unprofessionalism in the rejection of our visas by the Afghan embassy. This episode reminded me of why I agree with one element of NATO's Afghanistan strategy, the withdrawal timetable.

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Thursday
Jun032010

News Fail: Reporting Afghan public opinion

recent story on Aljazeera reminded me how difficult it is to gauge public opinion and its potential consequences in Afghanistan.  While such stories may be accurate on the protest’s specific details or the immediate impetus, they fail to contextualize the story in such a way that non-expert readers can appreciate its implications.  The greater issue with Afghan public opinion on any issue is how disjointed it is and how it is intertwined with events that may or may not have happened.

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