January 24, 2008

Notes from Afghanistan

There is an op-ed in today's New York Times that doesn't quite explain much about Afghanistan but does offer a peek inside the world of international aid workers living in violent places. ("But I’ll miss Zeenia, the Serena’s sunny massage therapist. She was shot and killed on that terrible Monday.") Seriously, Abu Muqawama thought he had met some serious war junkies in the U.S. Army until he became friends with a bunch of journalists and NGO workers.

Elsewhere, Abu Muqawama's favorite Afghanistan blog -- which performs helpful favors like informing the world that the late Ahmad Shah Massoud is on Facebook -- is on hiatus, but that's not stopping it from pointing out this report analyzing Dutch and Hungarian efforts at state-building and counterinsurgency. Abu Muqawama just downloaded and read the report, which is very interesting. In fact, he takes back some of what he said about most Europeans not taking their counterinsurgency theory seriously. These two wild and crazy Hungarians have read their Nagl and Kilcullen and have thought hard about the ways in which Hungarian efforts in Afghanistan fit into the bigger picture.