Saturday, January 31, 2009

Canada/Afghanistan (and me)

For those of you who have been wondering, I'm back home. I have more stories than I had time to write while I was over there, and so you'll still see more posts trickling out over the next little while. I also have some anecdotes that aren't posts in and of themselves, but are good information nevertheless, that I've got to figure out what to do with. Scraps on the workshop floor that I can't throw out, but haven't yet determined what to make out of them...

The body's recovering from the jet-lag. My head's still spinning, though. I'm trying to get back into home, family, work, but I find my thoughts still drifting back to the expedition again and again. I'm sleeping a lot, which I've learned over the years is a sure sign my subconscious has a bunch of stuff to sort through and make sense of.

Northtea was right: the place and the people - soldiers and civilians - get under your skin. They're good people doing something very important. But it's complicated and difficult, and I really don't know if we're "winning" at this point. I do know the folks on the ground are giving it their all, and that they're making a difference in the lives of ordinary Afghans. The question is, will it be enough to get the country past the tipping point?

Big questions. All I have are little answers at this point. But if enough people who have been there, who have expertise with the culture, with COIN, with success in the third world can provide enough different perspectives with little answers, the more of a complete picture those of us who are interested will be able to see.

And being able to contribute to that process, in however small a way, makes me very proud.

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Blogger Raphael Alexander said...

It was great stuff to read. I hope you put together a large presentation on it and submit it online for people to really understand what's going on there.

5:02 p.m., January 31, 2009  

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