Understanding Afghanistan


In an interesting Newsweek story, Joe Cochrane describes being caught in Kabul’s recent mob uprising — and provides context for the country’s flare-ups in violence:

Even under the best circumstances, Afghanistan is a massive undertaking in nation building. It’s landlocked, surrounded by potentially hostile neighbors, has limited natural resources and has been ravaged by decades of war. The international community remains completely engaged and committed here—it has little choice given the questionable performance of Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s government. “There is a frustration at the lack of progress, there is a frustration that the government is not reaching out to all areas of the country,” Adrian Edwards, spokesman of the U.N. mission here, told me today. “We need to deliver quickly here. Reconstruction is slow and people don’t see the dividend of peace.”

Related: The US invasion of Afghanistan — Operation Enduring Freedom — was launched on October 7, 2001. Has it really been nearly five years? Time flies.

Related to Related: who’s the lucky SOB at the Pentagon who gets to sit around and dream up these monikers for the US’s various conflicts? You’ve got your War on Terror, naturally. And then there’s Operation Iraqi Freedom, of course. And you can’t forget about Operation Unflinching Rottweiler.

Got you on that last one, didn’t I?

Here’s an in-depth look at the practice of naming military operations.

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