Archive for September, 2006

Sarah Chayes talking about Afghanistan

Uncategorized | Posted by brianpcf
Sep 11 2006

Went to see Sarah Chayes last night at the Fireplace Mansion at 2300 1st St NW. Extremely interesting speaker, you can check out her book at:…

Also, you can check out the sponser, DC International Connection at:

Bottom line is that she gave an extremely intelligent and unique perspective on what’s going on in Kandahar. She’s lived there for the past five years, initially covering the war in 2001 and then staying at the request of Hamid Karzai’s uncle, who is the chief of Kandahar’s Popolai tribe.

Since then she’s run a non-profit that is attempting to promote “alternative livelihoods,” i.e., non-poppy cultivation. She and many others compained about the U.S. policy in Afghanistan and suggested positive avenues the U.S. could take to fix a lot of the problems Joe Afghan is facing.

While many of the proposals seemed well thought out, I asked Sarah since it seemed like so many of the problems were caused by U.S. involvement and action, why should she think further involvement would solve the Afghans problems. Should we rather just make it abundantly clear that the Afghans are now responsible for themselves and the sense of entitlement and dependence should end?

Her reply was that the U.S. treated the patient for it’s cancer by removing the Taliban, but it injected another type of cancer by allowing/supporting warlords like Dostum and Ismail Khan to take over as “duly elected” representatives. By the U.S. allowing this, it was our responsibility to fix it.

Anyone’s thoughts are welcome.