The New Yorker published an outstanding article on Afghanistan in its most recent edition.
Titled, “Will civil war hit Afghanistan when the U.S. leaves?,” the article describes both the current situation and how things went down in Afghanistan after the Soviets left.
While the article is balanced and leaves open both the chance of stability or complete ruin, there are some shocking statements in it that should cause all Americans alarm.
Here are some examples (all direct excerpts):
- A few weeks ago, Nasir returned to Deh Afghanan. The Taliban were back, practically ignored by U.S. forces in the area. “The Americans have a big base there, and they never go out,” he said. “And, only four kilometres from the front gate, the Taliban control everything. You can see them carrying their weapons.”
- Largely prohibited from venturing outside their compounds, many American officials exhibit little knowledge of events beyond the barricades. They often appear to occupy themselves with irrelevant activities such as filling out paperwork and writing cables to their superiors in the United States.
- In the early years of the war, diplomats were encouraged to leave their compounds and meet ordinary Afghans. In recent years, personal safety has come to overshadow all other concerns.
Numerous people quoted in the article stated the only hope to prevent civil war in the country is a strong Afghan Army. I tend to agree that’s the country’s greatest hope.
But the Army is made up of Pashtuns, Tajiks, and Uzbeks, and none of these different ethnicities like or trust each other. In fact, they’ve all been fighting for years before the United States arrived.
Plus, there’s the problem of militias throughout the country. The article described the problems these militias are already creating.
Read the article. It’s the best single summary article of Afghanistan that I’ve read in at least two years. (Link again.)
Stan R. Mitchell
Oak Ridge, Tenn.
P.S. Please accept the greatest gift I can give.
P.P.S. Thanks to all who continue to make my novel Little Man, and the Dixon County War a huge success! It’s gone as high as No. 16 on the Amazon UK Paid List (see here and here), landing smack dab between a Louis L’Amour and Zane Grey book. Learn more about it here.