Afghan Vignette 7: How to Buy Peace in Afghanistan

In the course of what is now called a counterinsurgency campaign by U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, we have been told a lot about using aid, latching onto civilian non-governmental organizations (“civil military fusion“), “mixing fighting and food,” building clinics, undertaking development efforts to ensure jobs and “bring progress” to Afghan villagers in order […]

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Afghan Vignettes 4 & 5: How to Build Trust

VIGNETTE #4 This particular vignette came to me already made, thanks to THUS, who had the benefit of viewing a 19 August 2009 BBC Newsnight report with Kirsty Wark, that featured a film of U.S. Marines as they patrolled in Helmand province. While counterinsurgency and winning “hearts and minds” may be the nationally televised official […]

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Losing Hearts and Minds in Afghanistan

Below is a presentation recently made by Andrew Wilder, Research Director for Policy Process at the Feinstein International Center at Tufts University, as well as a blogger at Foreign Policy’s AFPAK Channel. Wilder presents a much less rosy and optimistic picture of the actual course of U.S. “aid,” “stabilization,” and “reconstruction” than others might have […]

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Bait & Switch from the Anti-Colonial Hearts & Minds

Reading like a classic scene replayed from the vast literature on colonial history, this gem: In the southern province of Helmand, U.S. Marines have been trying to secure the strategic town of Dahaneh to cut Taliban supply lines and enable the government to open a polling station there. After two days of fighting, Marines helped […]

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