Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. vii-viii

List of Illustrations

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. ix-x

read more

Acknowledgments

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. xi-xii

This book could not have been written without help from a wide range of people who provided the inspiration and insights needed to bring it to fruition.
In Afghanistan I was incredibly lucky to collaborate with many colleagues in the field who worked in the military, in government, ...

read more

Prologue

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. xoiii-xiv

In the faded photo a woman stands in bright sunlight in the middle of a poor Afghan village. She gazes confidently into the camera lens. She is in her twenties, with almond skin and black hair tied back. She wears a pleated skirt and a blazer, and she holds a sheaf of papers. Behind her is a mud house. ...

read more

Introduction

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. xv-xviii

Ten years after the Americans invaded Afghanistan and ousted the Taliban, the life of an average Afghan had changed in countless ways. More than eight million children attend school, millions of them girls.1 The bazaars bustle, and a woman can give birth to her baby in the local health clinic. ...

List of Abbreviations

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. xix-xxii

Part One: Into Afghanistan

read more

1. The Train-Up

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 3-8

I gripped the steering wheel and twisted my head back over my shoulder. The instructor sat beside me, his beefy arm draped loosely across the back of my seat as the speedometer of the old Ford Crown Victoria wound up, passing 25, 35, and 40 as we accelerated down the racetrack in reverse. We bounced tail-first along the speedway. ...

read more

2. KAF World

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 9-14

The twin-engine turboprop steadily descended out of the flawless blue sky on our approach to Kandahar City. Scattered clouds streaked the sky above. Gradually the mountains of Uruzgan and Zabul Provinces fell behind, and the hills of Kandahar, jagged and wind worn, rose from the flat desert floor. The land reflected infinite shades of brown, ...

Part Two: Into Dand

read more

3. Settling In

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 17-26

The tall helpful guy was a Canadian development official named Antoine Huss. In his early thirties, with sun-bleached hair and a chiseled face that creased easily into a smile, Antoine served as the district political advisor appointed by coalition forces, officially titled the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). ...

read more

4. Ousting the Taliban

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 27-34

Near the crossroads of two paved roads are about twenty family compounds standing shoulder to shoulder, their high mud walls almost touching. This is the little village of Deh Bagh, a small settlement of a thousand farmers on the southern fringes of Kandahar City, where the urban sprawl gives way to open fields. ...

read more

5. Nazak's Grand Bargain

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 35-44

In the fall of 2001 Hamdullah Nazak sat in a jail cell in Kandahar City. He was barefoot because his captors had taken his shoes, and his entire body was battered.
Until that morning his uncle had been with him in the jail, but when the sun rose his uncle was taken from his cell, escorted to the front of a crowd of people in a downtown street of Kandahar City, ...

read more

6. Priming the Economy

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 45-54

During our training in Washington DC a favorite question had been, “So what does a field program officer in a district actually do all day?” We received no straight answer. Instead we were told, “Do not promise projects to the Afghans. Do not think you are able to fund projects yourself; there is no money for this. Do write reports. ...

read more

7. Waiting to Work

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 55-67

Almost every week a helicopter from KAF brought VIPs into Dand to kick the tires. They would fly in, walk from the helipad at the adjoining U.S. base, and spend an hour or two with DG Nazak in his office. Usually the visitors were the same and featured the Canadian general in command and a few civilians. ...

read more

8. Kick-Starting the Staff

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 68-78

Every Friday several four-wheel-drive armored trucks called MATVs left our gate at COP Edgerton and drove ten kilometers south to the main battalion base near the Tarnak River in the center of the district. At the base the few of us who worked every day with the district government climbed out of the vehicles with their reinforced doors and went inside for the weekly staff meeting. ...

read more

9. Outpost Life

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 79-87

As summer turned into fall, one day dissolved seamlessly into the next. We would arrive at the district center, speak with the line directors, and brainstorm on their ideas and how to carry them out. We talked to whomever was in their offices—the directors of health, agriculture, education, or rural development. ...

read more

10. Security Holds

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 88-99

By the spring of 2011 the crack of rifle fire in Dand had been replaced by the steady chug of tractors tilling the fields. Insurgents were reduced to intimidating maliks, assassinating isolated victims, and setting bombs at the fringes of the district. ...

read more

11. Women's Work

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 100-110

A small group of Afghan police guards, invariably with long hair and sullen eyes and scruffily clothed in dirty blue coveralls, stood watch at the entrance to the district center. What they lacked in presentation they made up for in effectiveness. No one made it past the guards without being searched thoroughly. ...

Part Three: Dand in the Balance

read more

12. Stealing from Women

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 113-121

By late autumn a number of programs were ticking along nicely. For instance, a new vocational education school opened in Dand in early October. It was a major success for DG Nazak, who invited in the media and some leading provincial figures. The school almost hadn’t opened, but the effort to do so had recovered nicely ...

read more

13. Still Starved of Money

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 122-138

As the months passed, Lt. Colonel Payne’s attention was taken up more and more with events in Panjwai as all his infantry companies, bar one, moved there from Dand. In the late fall the battalion headquarters shifted to Panjwai, too. The main base in central Dand closed. ...

read more

14. Corruption of Many Kinds

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 139-146

Two roads stretch like ebony ribbons from Kandahar City into the heart of Dand, past copses of green trees and wheatfields of brilliant gold. Every hour Toyota taxis, large trucks, and horse-drawn carts passed by, plying their trade. ...

read more

15. Holding Back the Taliban

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 147-159

The simple mud fort was old and battered. Home to more than a dozen members of the Afghan National Police (ANP), the “fort” had once served as a family’s home and was located in a green blanket of vineyards that stretched in every direction. A dirt track beside the house led deeper into the fields. Two hundred meters to the south, taxis, cars, ...

read more

16. The Economy Misses

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 160-168

As 2012 began, the district encountered a trifecta of problems caused by bad fortune and U.S. missteps.
The weather turned cold. I woke up one morning to find ice covering the puddles left by the previous day’s rain. Walking to the district center, we skirted shallow ponds and slithered through thick mud. ...

read more

17. Solutions Made in Washington

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 169-176

As winter passed the rains tapered off, falling only once a week or so and then not at all. In fields and orchards buds of grapes and pomegranates flourished under the bright spring sunshine and winter wheat sprouted pale green stalks. ...

read more

18. Dand in the Balance

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 177-186

In mid-July 2012 District Governor Nazak held a press conference and announced his resignation. The district staff and residents were alarmed and deeply unhappy. For them this was the end of an era and the beginning of an unsettling time in which nothing was certain anymore. ...

Part Four: On to Maiwand

read more

19. Two Districts

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 189-198

The flying time from Dand to Maiwand was less than thirty minutes. The nose of the old twin-engined helicopter surged forward, leaving Dand quickly behind. We flew over the Arghandab River with its brown water dividing the green fields of Panjwai and Zhari Districts. On our right the desert hues of sand stretched farther north in northern Zhari District. ...

read more

20. Security Failing in Maiwand

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 199-208

Maiwand District occupies a special place in the hearts of the Afghan people, being the scene of one of their greatest victories over the British Empire. The defeat of the British at Maiwand in 1880, during which 969 British and Indian soldiers died, is the Afghans’ second-greatest triumph after the defeat of the British army in the retreat from Kabul ...

read more

21. Drugs, Not Jobs

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 209-216

Every Wednesday morning District Governor Salih Mohammad walked across the district center compound to his office building and met with the elders assembled in his conference room. On alternate weeks they discussed different subjects, so some village elders only came every other week. ...

read more

Epilogue

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 217-224

The British successfully ruled the tribes along the edge of the North-West Frontier Province and Baluchistan for a hundred years, from 1848 to 1947. The regions of direct rule were known as the Settled Areas. Just beyond, in the true border regions where the British had influence but no direct control, lay the so-called tribal areas, ...

Notes

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 225-232

Bibliography

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 233-238

Index

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 239-250

Image Plates

pdf iconDownload PDF