Foreign Policy Blogs

Back in Afghan Action

I apologize for my absence as I’ve been in the middle of an apartment move that made me wish I was literally in a ‘graveyard of empires’. But now I’m nearly settled, the internet now is internetting effectively, and we can get back to all things Afghanistan shortly.

During the past week of moving mayhem, I did acquire the book ‘The Only Thing Worth Dying For: How Eleven Green Berets Forged a New Afghanistan‘ by Eric Blehm, who was part of the Green Beret team that helped unseat the Taliban in 2001. Blehm has been all over the news and I look forward to reading the book and reviewing it for all you. Here is the book’s release statement:

Eight years and over 900 fallen American soldiers later, the war in Afghanistan rages on. Until now, the American public has had scant opportunity to understand either the reality on the ground or the people fighting this war. With the release of The Only Thing Worth Dying For, readers will finally get a look into the secret world of Special Forces soldiers operating in the thick of Taliban country just weeks after the terror strikes on 9/11.

And here’s a short video by Blehm:

In addition, since I’ve been absent, the parliamentary elections have been pushed back until early fall, US Ambassador Karl Eikenberry’s memo to President Obama advising against a troop surge was leaked, President Karzai offered up a comprehensive plan to bring low to high level members of the Taliban in from the cold (or should we say, hills), and a major conference regarding the present and future of the country was held in London. I’ll try to touch on each of these as they evolve in the next few days and weeks. Until then I recommend checking out these two pieces:

Peter Feaver’s analysis of the Eikenberry memo, which focuses on both its political and policy impacts.

Ahmed Rashid, who knows the Taliban well, gives his view (he’s strongly in favor) of opening up a reconciliation program for the Taliban insurgents.