Scroll down slightly for a table of contents for my posts on Afghanistan, etc.

Helmand Province


When I started blogging in 2005,
all my material on Afghanistan was in this one document.
As time went on,
that document became too large (over 400KB) to be effectively edited,
(it clogged my browser).
So now only a few items of background material appear in this document,
while articles about the Afghanistan war, and other related material, appear in

“No one is going to create Plato’s Republic over there
in one year, two years, or 10.

If the United States decides to deal only with
the saints in Afghanistan,
it’s in for both loneliness and failure.
That’s the risk,
and not everyone in our government sees it.”
a U.S. official
August 2010

And just of whom might this “U.S. official” be speaking?

Sealing the Afghan-Pakistan Border

Here is an excerpt from Steve Coll’s Ghost Wars.
Emphasis is added.

[GW, page 158]

On 1986-11-13, behind the Kremlin’s ramparts,
the Soviet Politburo’s inner circle met in secret....
Marshal Sergei Akhromeyev, the Soviet armed forces chief of staff,
explained that the [Soviet] Fortieth Army
had so far deployed fifty thousand Soviet soldiers
to seal the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan,

“but they are unable to close all channels
through which arms are being smuggled.”

The pack mules keep coming.
Blacktopped roads were now being constructed.
There was no sign of a realistic military solution.

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