Meanwhile, Back in Kandahar…


The Wash Post reports on trouble brewing in Afghanistan, a country whose place names have now almost certainly been forgotten by most Americans (if in fact we ever learned them in the first place):

Many Kandaharis, once alienated by the harsh rule of the Taliban, say their early support for [President Hamid] Karzai is now giving way to a grudging nostalgia for the Taliban era.

At that time, many said, a person could walk around the city carrying quantities of cash and drive roads long after dark without fear. Today holdups are common, few people venture out after sunset, and many are haunted by a sense of vulnerability.

Whole thing here.

This story is soft on specifics–lots of talk of crime waves and kidnapping sprees but little hard data (understandably, given the lack of information available). But it's a reminder that elections, however improbable and well-supported and legitimate, remain a starting point of nation building, not its conclusion.

Back in our November issue, we ran a piece about the "coming warlord war" in Afghanistan. Clearly off in its timing, here's hoping that doesn't come to pass. Read it here.