Not So Bad

by Nathan Hamm on 9/23/2004 · 1 comment

The bromide about Afghanistan amongst the chattering classes and many Democratic partisans is that we have abandoned the country to chaos. I have long believed that such a belief is entirely understandable. For example, if one were to pay absolutely no attention whatsoever to Afghanistan, I can see how that would make sense.

Leaving aside the occasional troop increases and whatnot (silly me, that wouldn’t count because they’re only “allies” not allies), and even taking into account that there is no shortage of bad news, I have a hard time believing that Afghanistan is either as bleak as some would have us believe. One need not be hold tightly to Chrenkoff’s good news to believe this either (praktike, by the way, has a critique of these roundups–it’s good to see him blogging again–h/t Joe Katzman).

It is entirely possible to be a reasonable person and believe that Afghanistan’s prospects are looking good for reasonable reasons. For that, see The Belgravia Dispatch (h/t Instapundit). In general the linked op-ed from Peter Bergen (who, I did not realize, is an adjunct professor at SAIS) is a fair balancing of the good and the bad.

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– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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{ 1 comment }

upyernoz September 23, 2004 at 3:08 pm

its seems like with afghanistan, 1/2 the people who comment say its a disaster, and 1/2 say it’s not that bad. personally, i think there’s plenty of evidence that they’re both right. its a big country with plenty of bright and dark spots–you can focus on either if you are so inclined.

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