Afghanistan: wheat seed and worse -

Afghanistan: wheat seed and worse


You will perhaps already have spotted my article about Afghanistan from this week’s print edition. Later today there will be other posts about details or subplots that didn’t make it into the main narrative.

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Afghanistan: wheat seed and worse

  1. I hope one of those details involves the revelation of why we’re in Afghanistan to begin with.

  2. Excellent article. I like that you were able to find some seeds of hope, in spite of the gloom.

  3. Thank you, Mr. Wells, for this series.

    National Geographic Adventure has a piece about Rory Stewart along with 23 photographs by Aaron Huey. They are here (copy and paste to address bar):


  4. Nice headline “Can Rory Stewart Fix Afghanistan?” I bet he cringed when he saw that.

    Afghanistan is “broken” because the concept of the nation state was foisted upon them and it doesn’t fit.

    Not that I have a better idea, but why this obsession with fixing the world? Enough chatter. Time to read Paul’s article.

  5. In your opinion will our investment in both blood and treasure pay off in the end?

  6. Secretary Gates was on Charlie Rose last night. One point he made that I found interesting was, given the Afghan history of reaction to foreign troops on its’ soil, there is a possibility of having too many forces in-country. The idea being that at a certain point the level of resentment would rise and resistance would exceed any benefit that the increased troops may offer.

    It was good to see that the history of the country is slowly seeping upward to the command levels.

  7. Robert, in all honesty that’s a hard question to answer. Which is not quite the same as saying the answer is ‘no’ and I’m afraid to say so; if I had the only vote I’d say keep our people there and let them keep trying. But this whole adventure is far tougher than it seemed in early 2006. I’ll see if I can find John Geddes’ excellent piece that describes how it grew tougher in 2006.

    Sisyphus, Stewart had an op-ed making the argument you cite in the NYT? Washington Post? Somewhere, two weeks ago. I’ll try to dig it up.

  8. Sis, Paul

    Rory Stewart Op-Ed was in NY Times (Nov 22 ’08).

  9. Thanks, jwl.

    Oh, and sorry you had to expose yourself to the many and various iniquities of the NYT on behalf of my sorry self (joke).

  10. I have always supported our involvement in Afghanistan, though I had some concerns about Harper’s approach since his election. It seemed his was more concerned with banging heads than doing what works.

  11. Sir, your report was maddeningly devoid of a clear answer about what to do next. Which, given all I have heard about the place, is a perfectly realistic description of the situation. I shall append your annual reports to the Manley work and I will keep struggling to decide what I as a single Canadian believe should be the next best, or least worst, step for Canada over there.

    Thank you.

  12. The US bombed and then invaded Afghanistan as part of a geostrategic plan. Canada joined up to appease the US, and maybe get in on the plan. Bush got NATO involved so US forces could be diverted to Iraq. He’s even on record chortling about that. Everything since has been concealment and justification. Most Afghan casualties are the result of US airstrikes, not IEDs, and that will only get worse now. It’s all in vain. Get out.

  13. MYL,

    I have heard it said that Afghanistan is “biblical” in its primitiveness.

    Chariots and fine steeds will evolve as the obvious long-term tactic. Less of a mess when the IEDs explode, and that is a bonus.

    As Paul wrote, “In the meantime, the open border helps ensure that there will always be more bad guys than NATO and the Afghan army can handle.”

    So, if the chariots and steeds are supported by 1,700,000 Persians, newly recruited from NATO’s future new member Iran, the “coalition of the willing” will succeed.

  14. Poor myl. Always seeking clear answers. Always doomed to disappointment.