Peace Corps Afghanistan: 2006

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Peace Corps was active in Afghanistan from 1962 to 1976. Although President Bush proposed returning the Peace Corps to the country in 2002, the security situation in the country has not allowed a return to Afghanistan but the legacy of the Peace Corps' fourteen years in Afghanistan lives on in the many RPCVs who lives were deeply affected by their work in the country and in the many RPCVs who served in other countries but who now work in Afghanistan in civil affairs, diplomacy, as aid workers in NGO's and as journalists. RPCVs with an Afghan connection include Thomas Gouttierre who became Director of the Center of Afghanistan Studies at the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 1974; Sarah Chayes (RPCV Morocco) who since 2002 has been responsible for rebuilding homes and schools, creating employment for about 300 people and launching today's most popular local radio station in Kandahar; James Rupert (RPCV Morocco) who has reported on on Afghanistan since the 1980's for Newsday, Bloomberg, and the Washington Post; and Ben Rosen (RPCV Iran) who since 1995 has worked with Teacher's College to produce textbooks, design curriculum, recruit teachers and help local ministries take over these tasks and who returned to Afghanistan in 2003 to help reopen the college.

Peace Corps was active in Afghanistan from 1962 to 1976. Although President Bush proposed returning the Peace Corps to the country in 2002, the security situation in the country has not allowed a return to Afghanistan but the legacy of the Peace Corps' fourteen years in Afghanistan lives on in the many RPCVs who lives were deeply affected by their work in the country and in the many RPCVs who served in other countries but who now work in Afghanistan in civil affairs, diplomacy, as aid workers in NGO's and as journalists. RPCVs with an Afghan connection include Thomas Gouttierre who became Director of the Center of Afghanistan Studies at the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 1974; Sarah Chayes (RPCV Morocco) who since 2002 has been responsible for rebuilding homes and schools, creating employment for about 300 people and launching today's most popular local radio station in Kandahar; James Rupert (RPCV Morocco) who has reported on on Afghanistan since the 1980's for Newsday, Bloomberg, and the Washington Post; and Ben Rosen (RPCV Iran) who since 1995 has worked with Teacher's College to produce textbooks, design curriculum, recruit teachers and help local ministries take over these tasks and who returned to Afghanistan in 2003 to help reopen the college.


Contents

2006

2006: Military aims to bolster language skills

The Pentagon plans to spend hundreds of millions of dollars over the next five years to bolster foreign language skills within the military, a move to correct what is considered a critical handicap as soldiers pursue missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to documents and defense officials. It also provides more foreign language-proficiency pay for service members who become fluent in a language and creates a 1,000-member Civilian Linguist Reserve Corps, language experts who would be on call for military missions, the documents show. "What if we had a platoon of soldiers and Marines that had been, let's just say, in Iraq for a decade or more? Think how much more culturally attuned we might have been to conditions there?" Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Baltimore Sun. "Military Aims To Bolster Language Skills" January 2, 2006.


2006: Iran RPCV Paul Barker named Lewis & Clark Distinguished Alumnus

During Barker's first Afghanistan tour, which ran from 1995 to 1999, the Taliban seized control of most of the country and quickly imposed severe restrictions. Barker, together with other CARE staff, successfully negotiated an agreement with the Taliban leadership in Kandahar that ensured the Taliban's acceptance of CARE's humanitarian and development programs. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Newport News-Times. "Newport High Alum Named Lewis & Clark Distinguished Alumnus" January 6, 2006.


2006: Thomas Gouttierre says Most Indian students return to India

The idea that most students from India stay in the United States to live and work is no longer true, says Thomas Gouttierre, dean of international studies at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Thomas Gouttierre, dean of International Studies and Programs and director of the Center for Afghanistan Studies at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Afghanistan in the 1960's. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: TMCnet. "Fewer Students From India Make U.s. Home" January 25, 2006.


2006: Shannon Olive joined the Peace Corps in 1998 and spent more than two years in west Africa's Ivory Coast

"This is what you are supposed to do with your life," he says. "Give to others. Your life is potentially threatened anywhere, but if I died tomorrow, I would have no regrets and I would do it all over again. I'm helping out mankind and wouldn't have it any other way." Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Montgomery Advertiser. "Shannon Oliver Aims To Make A Difference" February 20, 2006.


2006: Sarah Chayes writes: The night fairies

"Afghans, legendary for their tenacity in battle, have had their courage shattered by the gruesome bloodletting of recent decades. The odds were stacked so heavily against them, the weapons so mismatched, the perpetrators--Afghan and foreign alike--so insensitive to the strictures of honorable conflict, that courage became irrelevant. Afghans are now internally injured. They constitute an entire society suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. And so, it does not take much to intimidate them. A scattering of menacing handbills, some judiciously executed murders--outrageous enough in the choice of victims or venues, such as the night watchman who was hanged on the grounds of the middle school he protected just east of Kandahar--suffice to scare ordinary Afghans. They no longer have the psychological resources to take risks. And so, the arduous task of rebuilding one of the most isolated, war-shattered, and strategic countries in the world is now complicated not just by the danger to those delivering the aid, but also because the beneficiaries are growing afraid to be seen receiving the help. " Morocco RPCV Sarah Chayes has made a home in Kandahar, Afghanistan, became fluent in Pashto, one of the main Afghan languages, and devoted her energies to rebuilding a country gutted by two decades of war Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. "Afghanistan: The Night Fairies" March 1, 2006.


2006: James Rupert writes: Battling a resurgent Taliban in Pakistan

"The unprecedented scale of the battle, around North Waziristan's main town, Miramshah, reflects a continued, incremental growth of a new Taliban movement in Pakistan, three years after the government deployed much of its army to defeat it." Journalist James Rupert, head of Newsday's international bureau in Islamabad, Pakistan began his career abroad as a Peace Corps volunteer, teaching mechanics and welding in Morocco. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Newsday. "Battling A Resurgent Taliban" March 9, 2006.


2006: James Rupert writes: Scores Killed in Afghan Battles

"The last two days underscore what appears to be a major Taliban offensive to strengthen its influence in the south as U.S. forces there hand off combat roles to arriving NATO units." Journalist James Rupert, head of Newsday's international bureau in Islamabad, Pakistan began his career abroad as a Peace Corps volunteer, teaching mechanics and welding in Morocco. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Los Angeles Times. "Scores Killed In Afghan Battles" March 19, 2006.


2006: James Rupert writes: U.S. crash sparks fatal Afghan riots

"The riot underscored Afghans' growing frustrations with a 4 1/2-year-old foreign occupation that has brought disappointingly little physical and economic security and that too often seems to them like an assault on their cultural traditions." Journalist James Rupert, head of Newsday's international bureau in Islamabad, Pakistan began his career abroad as a Peace Corps volunteer, teaching mechanics and welding in Morocco. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Newsday. "U.s. Crash Sparks Fatal Afghan Riots" March 30, 2006.


2006: Morocco RPCV Sarah Chayes finds her calling in Afghan hot spot

Morocco RPCV Sarah Chayes has made a home in Kandahar, Afghanistan, became fluent in Pashto, one of the main Afghan languages, and devoted her energies to rebuilding a country gutted by two decades of war Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Boston Globe. "American Activist Finds Her Calling In Afghan Hot Spot" May 9, 2006.


2006: Afghanistan and Tunisia RPCV Stephen Conroy dies

From 1972-1976, he was in the Peace Corps in Afghanistan and then Tunisia. His stories of life there, with its labyrinth of alleyways and mysteries, kept listeners spellbound. After leaving the Peace Corps, Stephen chose to remain in Tunisia at the University of Tunis until 1981. It seems appropriate then, to use the words of Rumi, an Afghani poet, to bid Stephen farewell: ``That's how you came here, like a star without a name. Move across the night sky now, with those anonymous lights. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Providence Journal Bulletin. "Conroy, Stephen E., 55, Of Providence's East Side And Johnson's Pond, Coventry, Passed Away Tuesday, June 6, 2006, At His Home." June 8, 2006.


2006: John Sumser shares Peace Corps experience from Afghanistan

Sumser grew to love Afghanistan's barren land and its people. But his service there came to an abrupt end when the country's communists staged a coup and took over. He was accused of being a spy and was taken to a room where he was punched and threatened repeatedly. At one point, one man held a pistol to Sumser's head and said he would be killed immediately if he didn't admit to being a spy. His captors never believed that he was simply an English teacher working for the Peace Corps. "In concrete terms, I was without consequence," Sumser wrote. "No one really knew how many people had been killed in the last week, so one more wouldn't matter very much." In the end, they let him go, and as he walked out of the building, he was met by an official from the U.S. Embassy, which had helped obtain his release. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: The Modesto Bee. "Looking Back On Afghanistan: Stan State Professor Shares Peace Corps Experience" June 18, 2006.


2006: Jerry Spurgat taught English in Afghanistan 38 years ago as a Peace Corps volunteer. He left figuring he got more out of it than his students.

He found out last year he was wrong. A former student, now a doctor in Frankfurt, Germany, looked him up. Dr. Amamullah Alsee wanted to reconnect with the man he credits with not only teaching him English, which he says enabled him to learn German and become successful, but also with building the foundation for English education in the Afghan city of Herat. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier,. "Former Student Looks Up Peace Corps Volunteer Who Taught Him English 38 Years Ago" June 21, 2006.


2006: James Rupert writes: Afghanistan orders journalists to report more good news

"The war against the Taliban has gone badly these last months, but Afghanistan's national intelligence agency has devised a secret plan to reverse the tide of bad news. In a coordinated action this week, the intelligence men drove up to TV stations and newspapers in SUVs and dropped off an unsigned letter ordering journalists to report more favorable news about the government. In particular, the letter said, they should avoid "materials which deteriorate people's morale and cause disappointment to them."" Journalist James Rupert, head of Newsday's international bureau in Islamabad, Pakistan began his career abroad as a Peace Corps volunteer, teaching mechanics and welding in Morocco. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Seattle Times. "Afghanistan Orders Journalists To Report More Good News" June 21, 2006.


2006: James Rupert writes: Despite renewing commitment to help defeat the Taliban, many wonder whether U.S. is up to the task

In Afghanistan, to judge by public debate and by scores of interviews in the past month, Karzai has lost a significant amount of the broad popular support that elected him in October 2004. "The security is not better, the prices are higher and the money [to rebuild the country] is only going to rich men," said Shah Wali, a farmer in the southeastern city of Gardez. Rice underlined that Karzai is "admired and respected in the international community." And, she declared, "democratic institutions and the democratic future [are] ... getting stronger each day." But most Afghans interviewed, plus many independent analysts, say anti-democratic forces - such as the Taliban, corruption and heroin-trafficking mobs that include government officials - also have grown dangerously. Journalist James Rupert, head of Newsday's international bureau in Islamabad, Pakistan began his career abroad as a Peace Corps volunteer, teaching mechanics and welding in Morocco. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Newsday. "Rice Rallies, Afghans Still Worry" June 29, 2006.


2006: James Rupert writes: Taliban grabs hold in Pakistan

U.S. military officers in Afghanistan say it will be impossible to defeat the Taliban there as long as Waziristan offers them what is their biggest sanctuary in the Afghan-Pakistani theater. Waziristan's Taliban include fighters from the former Afghan Taliban regime, some Arabs, Chechens and other foreigners -- and thousands of new Pakistani recruits, local residents and journalists say. Hassu Khel's ordeal suggests a key reason why repeated Pakistani army offensives in Waziristan have failed to defeat the Taliban. The army-led government is relying too heavily on military force and has no effective political strategy to win over Waziristan's estimated 1 million people, say residents and analysts such as Behroz Khan, a Pakistani journalist who monitors the region. Journalist James Rupert, head of Newsday's international bureau in Islamabad, Pakistan began his career abroad as a Peace Corps volunteer, teaching mechanics and welding in Morocco. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: India Monitor . "Taliban Grabs Hold In Pakistan" July 13, 2006.


2006: Thomas Gouttierre faces undisclosed action following slapping accusation

After an investigation, the university administration stated that, since there were grounds for disciplinary action, Gouttierre would face undisclosed actions. Being removed from office was not one of them. Thomas Gouttierre, dean of International Studies and Programs and director of the Center for Afghanistan Studies at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Afghanistan in the 1960's. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: The Gateway. "Dean Faces Undisclosed Action Following Slapping Accusation" August 22, 2006.


2006: James Rupert writes: Pakistan's ruling army is forging a peace deal with Islamic militant guerrillas in the country's border region that will likely free the militants to increase attacks on U.S. forces in Afghanistan

"Pakistani newspapers say the army is close to a deal with locally based Taliban in the rugged border area of North Waziristan - the latest sign that a 2 1/2-year campaign to oust the militants from Waziristan has failed. The militants, mostly local, ethnic Pashtun tribesmen allied with an unknown number of Arab, Uzbek and other foreign fighters, effectively control North Waziristan, say residents of the region." Journalist James Rupert, head of Newsday's international bureau in Islamabad, Pakistan began his career abroad as a Peace Corps volunteer, teaching mechanics and welding in Morocco. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Newsday. "Deal May Lead To More Attacks" August 27, 2006.


2006: Two US Soldiers killed in massive suicide car bomb blast

The blast, which took place near the US Embassy in the Afghan capital, tore a military vehicle into two burning chunks and scattered debris and body parts over a 50-meter (50-yard) radius. It rattled windows throughout the downtown area and sent a plume of brown smoke spiraling into the sky. Mohammed Aslam, a Kabul police official at the scene, said he had seen seven bodies and nine wounded people. He said he could not determine if they included foreigners. An Associated Press reporter at the scene saw the bodies of two coalition soldiers lying meters (yards) from the vehicle. The attack, caused by a suicide car bomb, targeted an American military convoy, said Sgt. Chris Miller, a US military spokesman. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Khajee Times. "Suicide Car Bomb Near Us Embassy In Kabul Kills 7" September 8, 2006.


2006: Vehicle bombing in Kabul takes life of Staff Sgt. Robert J. Paul (RPCV Kenya)

Paul was a native of Hammond, Ind., and joined the Army Reserve in April 1997, two years after earning a master's degree in urban planning and economic development at the University of Maryland. In his civilian life, he was a senior land-use planner for Wasco County. The Army said Paul, a veteran of the Peace Corps, had received numerous military awards and served a tour in Iraq in 2003 as a civil affairs sergeant focusing on urban planning. Paul and other members of the 364th Civil Affairs Brigade were deployed last spring to Afghanistan. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Oregon Live. "Vehicle Bombing In Kabul Takes Life Of Army Reservist From The Dalles" September 12, 2006.


2006: Staff Sgt. Robert J. Paul (RPCV Kenya) killed in car bombing in Kabul

Paul was a native of Hammond, Ind., and joined the Army Reserve in April 1997, two years after earning a master's degree in urban planning and economic development at the University of Maryland. In his civilian life, he was a senior land-use planner for Wasco County. The Army said Paul, a veteran of the Peace Corps, had received numerous military awards and served a tour in Iraq in 2003 as a civil affairs sergeant focusing on urban planning. Paul and other members of the 364th Civil Affairs Brigade were deployed last spring to Afghanistan. ��\blue{PCOL Comment:} One year ago, Staff Sgt. Robert J. Paul (RPCV Kenya) carried on \link{http://peacecorpsonline.org/messages/messages/2629/2034986.html#POST49063, an ongoing dialog on this website} on the military and the peace corps and his role as a member of a Civil Affairs Team in Iraq and Afghanistan. We have just received this report that Sargeant Paul has been killed by a car bomb in Kabul. Words cannot express our feeling of loss for this tremendous injury to the entire RPCV community. Most of us didn't know him personally but we knew him from his words. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends. He was one of ours and he served with honor. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Oregon Live. "Vehicle Bombing In Kabul Takes Life Of Army Reservist From The Dalles" September 12, 2006.


2006: Remembering Kenya RPCV Bob Paul

Army Staff Sergeant Robert Paul of The Dalles was killed in Kabul when a bomb-laden car exploded next to his Humvee during a patrol. In a written statement, Paul's family says he was the kind of guy, who if called for duty, would serve. They says he never turn down an opportunity because he always wanted to make a difference. They pledge to do everything possible to ensure his daughter grows up to know how much her Dad loved her. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: PBS. "Remembering Two Oregon Soldiers Killed In Afghanistan" September 13, 2006.


2006: An intense life cut short in Afghanistan

Army Staff Sergeant Robert Paul (RPCV Kenya) was killed in Kabul when a bomb-laden car exploded next to his Humvee during a patrol. In a statement, his family said Paul "never turned down an opportunity because he always wanted to make a difference in everything he did." Paul wasn't as laid back as his image might have suggested: He was intense, very studious and sank his teeth into a project until it was done, Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: York Daily Record. "An Intense Life Cut Short In Afghanistan" September 14, 2006.


2006: RPCV Sarah Chayes believes the United States is paying for a mistake in Afghanistan now so widely acknowledged it has become a cliche: intervening militarily with "no concept" of how to "create a working society after the intervention"

Chayes's book, "The Punishment of Virtue: Inside Afghanistan After the Taliban," represents a paradox of which its author is fully aware. She has used her years of non-journalistic experience to offer an intimate insider's tour through a complex universe Americans need to understand -- one in which warlordism, corruption and renewed Taliban activity have combined to undermine the "civil society" she was trying to nurture. Hers is the kind of fleshed-out portrait that even the best on-the-run journalism rarely provides. Morocco RPCV Sarah Chayes has made a home in Kandahar, Afghanistan, became fluent in Pashto, one of the main Afghan languages, and devoted her energies to rebuilding a country gutted by two decades of war Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Washington Post. "A Voice In The Afghan Wilderness" September 19, 2006.


2006: Merideth Howard and Bob Paul made a supply run to a U.S. military base near the Afghan capital. They never made it back, dying in a fiery suicide bombing in Kabul on Sept. 8.

Paul, 43, of Hammond, Ind., had more experience than the rest. An urban planner and a Peace Corps veteran, he had volunteered to spend all of 2004 in Iraq on a provincial reconstruction team. Paul embraced civil affairs and all that it meant. He died with about $800 in his pocket, a sum that was to have bought a set of false teeth for the mayor of Mehtarlam. Civil affairs is not a new concept for the U.S. military, but provincial reconstruction teams are. The first team began its work in Afghanistan in 2003, a calculated attempt to try to fight the Taliban by helping Afghans rebuild. Almost immediately, the teams became controversial. Aid agencies accused the teams of blurring the line between the military and aid, possibly endangering traditional relief workers. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Customer Interaction Solutions. "She Was 52 When Afghan Bomb Struck: Merideth Howard, The Oldest Known Woman To Die In Combat, Was Behind The Gun Of A Humvee" September 24, 2006.


2006: Merideth Howard and Bob Paul made a supply run to a U.S. military base near the Afghan capital. They never made it back, dying in a fiery suicide bombing in Kabul on Sept. 8.

Paul, 43, of Hammond, Ind., had more experience than the rest. An urban planner and a Peace Corps veteran, he had volunteered to spend all of 2004 in Iraq on a provincial reconstruction team. Paul embraced civil affairs and all that it meant. He died with about $800 in his pocket, a sum that was to have bought a set of false teeth for the mayor of Mehtarlam. On missions in Afghanistan, Paul was the driver and Howard was the gunner, standing on the box to make up for her height, about 5-foot-4. For Afghans in this conservative tribal area, where most women wear burqas that cover everything, it must have been a bizarre sight: a gray-haired woman in a helmet on top of a Humvee. "That's why Sgt. Howard loved the turret," said Air Force Senior Airman Brenda Patterson, 26. "She wanted to give little girls dreams of their own." Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Customer Interaction Solutions. "She Was 52 When Afghan Bomb Struck: Merideth Howard, The Oldest Known Woman To Die In Combat, Was Behind The Gun Of A Humvee" September 24, 2006.


2006: Mark Schneider is senior vice president at the I.C.G. and an expert on post-conflict reconstruction in Afghanistan

I.C.G.'s Schneider points to specific reforms in four major areas. "If you look at any post-conflict situation you really talk about security. You look at an effort to establish a functioning and effective government. You talk about restarting an economy that can be sustaining. And you talk about rule of law." Schneider says several things stand in the way of those needed reforms. Corruption -- both within and outside the government; the continued presence of armed militias; and the legions of insurgents intent on reversing the country's newfound freedoms. Mark Schneider, Senior Vice President of the International Crisis Group in Washington, was the second Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (El Salvador, 1966–68) to head the agency. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: VOA News. "Dispute Over Reform Agenda For Afghanistan" September 26, 2006.


2006: Drew Dix was recognized for his bravery in saving USAID nurse Maggie O'Brien (RPCV Afghanistan)

Maggie O'Brien was a civilian nurse from Dorchester who answered President Kennedy's clarion call to service by going to Afghanistan with the Peace Corps. She could have nurtured her opposition to war with a protest seat at home. Instead she chose to make a pacifist stand by serving the besieged citizenry in the South Vietnamese province of Chau Doc. In the course of 56 extraordinary hours, Dix and the modest commando force he led managed to extricate O'Brien and eight other USAID civilian workers in the midst of withering fire before going back to free the wife and children of a deputy province chief. The details of how Dix then went on to repel a much larger enemy force, capturing 20 prisoners (including the highest ranking North Vietnamese general officer ever seized), is one of those legendary feats memorialized forever in the citation that accompanies the Medal of Honor. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Boston Herald. "Hero Gi, Dot Pacifist Forever Allied By War ; Medal Of Honor Winners Saluted In Hub" October 1, 2006.


2006: Sarah Chayes says: "I don't think Osama bin Laden is in Pakistan"

"I think all of that is a smokescreen -- but that's my own opinion -- and the people who are troublesome to Afghanistan are in Quetta. They are not in caves. They are sitting around in apartments and driving cars that are often licensed with ISI plates in Quetta. So Waziristan is like a red herring." Morocco RPCV Sarah Chayes has made a home in Kandahar, Afghanistan, became fluent in Pashto, one of the main Afghan languages, and devoted her energies to rebuilding a country gutted by two decades of war Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Rediff. "'Osama Is Not In Pakistan'" October 6, 2006.


2006: Sarah Chayes on Life in Afghanistan After the Taliban and Why She Left NPR

"We said that -- we, the U.S. leading an international coalition -- said that we were there to not only dismantle the Taliban, but begin to lay the foundations of a respectful democratic country that would carry Afghanistan forward into the community of nations, as it were. But what happened was that our other motivations of the so-called war on terror ended up trumping those goals, so that instead of supporting thoughtful, educated leaders and helping bring them to power and helping develop that capacity for leadership, we basically recruited thugs, who were supposedly helping us in the war on terror and were meanwhile abusing, robbing their own citizens. And so, what you see now is just a terrible disaffection. It’s not an ideological opposition to the United States as a Western country. It’s just exasperation with the government that we ushered into power. " Morocco RPCV Sarah Chayes has made a home in Kandahar, Afghanistan, became fluent in Pashto, one of the main Afghan languages, and devoted her energies to rebuilding a country gutted by two decades of war Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Democracy Now. "Amy Goodman: Sarah Chayes Joins Us Now. She’s A Former Npr Correspondent Who Covered The U.s. Invasion Of Afghanistan. She Left Journalism In 2002 To Run An Aid Organization In Kandahar Called Afghans For Civil Society. Sarah’s New Book Is Called The Punishment Of Virtue: Inside Afghanistan After The Taliban. Welcome To Democracy Now!" October 10, 2006.


2006: Sarah Chayes says: "I think Pakistan has been using Al Qaeda figures as a way of buying off America"

"Osama bin Laden comes in 1996, and the Pakistani government was probably delighted to get some more money and some more seasoned fighters in Afghanistan. But then Osama bin Laden does 9/11, and the US comes and kicks the Taliban out of Afghanistan. In a way, it was Al Qaeda that ruined Pakistan's nice chess game. So why would they have any positive feelings about Al Qaeda? That is why he (Musharraf) has been turning Al Qaeda people once every two or three months." Morocco RPCV Sarah Chayes has made a home in Kandahar, Afghanistan, became fluent in Pashto, one of the main Afghan languages, and devoted her energies to rebuilding a country gutted by two decades of war Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Rediff. "'India Is Pak's Fundamental Concern'" October 10, 2006.


2006: Sarah Chayes says that Pakistan's President General Pervez Musharraf is just not doing enough to stem the flow of the Taliban into neighbouring Afghanistan

"There is no doubt about it. I wouldn't be speaking to you the way I am if I weren't sure of this. Oh, my God! In Kandahar, it is so visible. I went to the border a year or so ago, and I just sat on the border to watch who is coming through the main border crossing. And there were at least half-a-dozen Taliban who came through in less than 10 minutes. I have so many examples of people who cross into Pakistan and there are Talib. You can have a discussion with them in the taxicabs. It's not just that they have the turban on. They absolutely are the Talib, and even when they don't have the proper papers the frontier guards wave them through. " Morocco RPCV Sarah Chayes has made a home in Kandahar, Afghanistan, became fluent in Pashto, one of the main Afghan languages, and devoted her energies to rebuilding a country gutted by two decades of war Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Rediff. "'India Should Just Shut Up'" October 12, 2006.


2006: Sarah Chayes named as the first recipient of its Ruth Salzman Adams Award

The Bulletin's Ruth Adams Award identifies emerging writers, filmmakers and video producers who have demonstrated the capacity to translate complex ideas and issues of peace and security into everyday language and images. The annual award provides $7,000 to $10,000 to one person for a project on a significant issue. Ruth Salzman Adams (1923-2005) served twice as the editor of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists magazine. She was widely respected for shaping several generations of writers and researchers, according to Executive Director Kennette Benedict, who worked with Adams as a former official at the MacArthur Foundation. Morocco RPCV Sarah Chayes has made a home in Kandahar, Afghanistan, became fluent in Pashto, one of the main Afghan languages, and devoted her energies to rebuilding a country gutted by two decades of war Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: EurekAlert . "Bulletin Of The Atomic Scientists Taps Sarah Chayes" October 16, 2006.


2006: Sarah Chayes says: "It was a major blunder to start Iraq when Afghanistan was so fresh. Its a blunder because we -- the United States--just don't have the human resources"

"The American government, is in a way, over its head and it doesn't understand that you need to have a really textured, rich, intimate, long-standing local knowledge of places like this before you start running around creating governments. And, the idea that you can have that kind of knowledge of a place like Afghanistan and a place like Iraq at the same time is ridiculous, with nobody who speaks the language, with foreign service officers rotating in and out every few months, and the same with the military. It's a style of arrogance that to me goes even beyond colonial arrogance. At least during the colonial period, people came out and learnt the language, stayed a long time, they lived with the local population even if in a very hierarchical fashion. It was actually a lot less arrogant than what we are doing now. " Morocco RPCV Sarah Chayes has made a home in Kandahar, Afghanistan, became fluent in Pashto, one of the main Afghan languages, and devoted her energies to rebuilding a country gutted by two decades of war Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Rediff. "'The Us Is Really Stupid'" October 16, 2006.


2006: Jeffrey Simpson writes: We can only hope, perhaps against hope, that Sarah Chayes is wrong

If her description and analysis of what has been happening is correct, then the Canadians stationed in Kandahar province are operating at least partly under false assumptions. Forty-two Canadian soldiers have died there, two on the weekend. Others have been wounded, their lives scarred forever. Afghanistan is now Canada's largest recipient of foreign aid. Parliament has approved a two-year extension of Canada's mission there. And the government insists that Canada will "finish the mission" and "get the job done." Morocco RPCV Sarah Chayes has made a home in Kandahar, Afghanistan, became fluent in Pashto, one of the main Afghan languages, and devoted her energies to rebuilding a country gutted by two decades of war Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Globe and Mail. "Pay Attention To This Voice In The Afghan Wilderness" October 17, 2006.


2006: Robert Paul upheld peace amid Afghan war

More than 150 people filled The Dalles Wahtonka High School auditorium, greeted by bagpipes on a wet, dreary Sunday afternoon, to praise the Oregon transplant who wore Tevas outdoor sandals to his wedding and spent two years in the Peace Corps. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Oregon Live. "Soldier Upheld Peace Amid Afghan War" November 6, 2006.


2006: The Dalles remembers Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Robert Paul killed in Afghanistan

Paul said her son never stopped charting his own path, whether it was taking German when French and Spanish were the only languages offered, or announcing over dinner that he had joined the Peace Corps. "His first year there, he learned Swahili, and that's a very hard language, I understand," she said. "Then when that year was up, he called and said he was staying another year." Kenya RPCV Robert Paul worked in a Civil Affairs unit in Afghanistan. He was killed in a car bombing in 2006. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: KGW. "The Dalles Remembers Planner Killed In Afghanistan" November 6, 2006.


2006: Hanna Bloch reviews The Punishment of Virtue

"Part memoir, part history lesson, part case study and part diatribe, The Punishment of Virtue is most compelling and original when Chayes chronicles her frustrations and modest successes in Afghanistan's Pashtun heartland. This is a passionate and emotional book, and that is its strength and its weakness. Chayes' empathy for Afghanistan is palpable and fuels an apparently heartfelt concern for the country's future (which she believes holds the key to the world's post-Sept. 11 future as well)." Morocco RPCV Sarah Chayes has made a home in Kandahar, Afghanistan, became fluent in Pashto, one of the main Afghan languages, and devoted her energies to rebuilding a country gutted by two decades of war Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Baltimore Sun. "A Grim Picture Of Afghanistan Going Wrong" November 19, 2006.


2006: U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Clint Douglas, a former Peace Corps volunteer, was deployed to Afghanistan with the 20th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Illinois National Guard, for more than six months

"Now, I had never in my pitiful life knowingly exchanged pleasantries over lunch, or any other meal for that matter, with a man who was regularly trying to kill me. But when Bill invited me to escort him to the castle for his first meeting with Audin, I jumped at the opportunity. The idea seemed so elegant, like the medieval Spaniards and Moors retiring to each other's tents to play chess and exchange bons mots after a bloody day of battle and slaughter. Perhaps the metaphor was unnecessary; we would, after all, be departing from our own high-walled mud fortress to visit another, albeit grander one. We were literally making a kind of feudal social call. This situation, however, was less straightforward; Zia Audin was technically on our side. And anyway, I really wanted to see the inside of that castle". Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Military.com. "Lunch With Pirates" December 12, 2006.


2006: "Peace Corps Online" and NPCA collaborate on story "Snowshoe Bob" in Worldview Magazine

Robert Paul died September 8 of this year when a suicide car-bomber struck his Humvee in Kabul, Afghanistan. Sgt. Paul was in his third year of active duty in the Army reserves and had completed two years in Iraq commanding a civil affairs unit in Baghdad. Paul had also served in Peace Corps in Kenya and last year, while studying Thai at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, joined a 2005 e-mail debate peacecorpsonline.com (sic) about Peace Corps as an incentive for military recruitment. These are excerpts of his side of the discussion. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Worldview. "Showshoe Bob" December 21, 2006.


2006: Louise M. Pascale is republishing the collection of Afghan children's songs that she had compiled as a Peace Corps volunteer in the late 1960s

Rummaging through her bookshelf five years ago, Louise M. Pascale, an assistant professor of creative arts and learning at Lesley University in Cambridge, came upon the collection of Afghan children's songs that she had compiled as a Peace Corps volunteer in the late 1960s. It was sort of like finding an old yearbook, but instead of illustrating how hairstyles and skirt lengths had changed over the years, the tattered green songbook called attention to a greater change: The devastation reaped on Afghanistan after years of Taliban rule. Holding the relic, Pascale was certain that all remaining copies of the songbook, which she distributed in Kabul during her time in the Peace Corps, had been destroyed. She assumed they were lost, along with instruments and archives of local folk songs, when the Taliban outlawed music. "I said to myself, 'I want to give this back to the kids in Afghanistan,' " Pascale recalls. " 'It's not doing me any good in my bookcase.' " The songbook has come a long way from its creation nearly 40 years ago, when the 22-year-old Pascale realized, while traveling to Afghan schools to teach music, that students lacked books of songs. She worked with local poets and musicians to transcribe traditional songs. Pascale's goal, to return these songs to a country stripped of its music, will be realized in the coming months. But the project is not over yet. The Afghan minister of education has asked that songs now be gathered for adults, so a second book can be created. Pascale takes the request as a good sign: "It makes me feel that they see the importance of it, and they know that music is a way to solidify and connect the country." Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Boston Globe. "Kabul's Kids Given Their Music Back" December 31, 2006.


References

  1. Baltimore Sun. "Military Aims To Bolster Language Skills" January 2, 2006.
  2. Newport News-Times. "Newport High Alum Named Lewis & Clark Distinguished Alumnus" January 6, 2006.
  3. TMCnet. "Fewer Students From India Make U.s. Home" January 25, 2006.
  4. Montgomery Advertiser. "Shannon Oliver Aims To Make A Difference" February 20, 2006.
  5. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. "Afghanistan: The Night Fairies" March 1, 2006.
  6. Newsday. "Battling A Resurgent Taliban" March 9, 2006.
  7. Los Angeles Times. "Scores Killed In Afghan Battles" March 19, 2006.
  8. Newsday. "U.s. Crash Sparks Fatal Afghan Riots" March 30, 2006.
  9. Boston Globe. "American Activist Finds Her Calling In Afghan Hot Spot" May 9, 2006.
  10. Providence Journal Bulletin. "Conroy, Stephen E., 55, Of Providence's East Side And Johnson's Pond, Coventry, Passed Away Tuesday, June 6, 2006, At His Home." June 8, 2006.
  11. The Modesto Bee. "Looking Back On Afghanistan: Stan State Professor Shares Peace Corps Experience" June 18, 2006.
  12. Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier,. "Former Student Looks Up Peace Corps Volunteer Who Taught Him English 38 Years Ago" June 21, 2006.
  13. Seattle Times. "Afghanistan Orders Journalists To Report More Good News" June 21, 2006.
  14. Newsday. "Rice Rallies, Afghans Still Worry" June 29, 2006.
  15. India Monitor . "Taliban Grabs Hold In Pakistan" July 13, 2006.
  16. The Gateway. "Dean Faces Undisclosed Action Following Slapping Accusation" August 22, 2006.
  17. Newsday. "Deal May Lead To More Attacks" August 27, 2006.
  18. Khajee Times. "Suicide Car Bomb Near Us Embassy In Kabul Kills 7" September 8, 2006.
  19. Oregon Live. "Vehicle Bombing In Kabul Takes Life Of Army Reservist From The Dalles" September 12, 2006.
  20. Oregon Live. "Vehicle Bombing In Kabul Takes Life Of Army Reservist From The Dalles" September 12, 2006.
  21. PBS. "Remembering Two Oregon Soldiers Killed In Afghanistan" September 13, 2006.
  22. York Daily Record. "An Intense Life Cut Short In Afghanistan" September 14, 2006.
  23. Washington Post. "A Voice In The Afghan Wilderness" September 19, 2006.
  24. Customer Interaction Solutions. "She Was 52 When Afghan Bomb Struck: Merideth Howard, The Oldest Known Woman To Die In Combat, Was Behind The Gun Of A Humvee" September 24, 2006.
  25. Customer Interaction Solutions. "She Was 52 When Afghan Bomb Struck: Merideth Howard, The Oldest Known Woman To Die In Combat, Was Behind The Gun Of A Humvee" September 24, 2006.
  26. VOA News. "Dispute Over Reform Agenda For Afghanistan" September 26, 2006.
  27. Boston Herald. "Hero Gi, Dot Pacifist Forever Allied By War ; Medal Of Honor Winners Saluted In Hub" October 1, 2006.
  28. Rediff. "'Osama Is Not In Pakistan'" October 6, 2006.
  29. Democracy Now. "Amy Goodman: Sarah Chayes Joins Us Now. She’s A Former Npr Correspondent Who Covered The U.s. Invasion Of Afghanistan. She Left Journalism In 2002 To Run An Aid Organization In Kandahar Called Afghans For Civil Society. Sarah’s New Book Is Called The Punishment Of Virtue: Inside Afghanistan After The Taliban. Welcome To Democracy Now!" October 10, 2006.
  30. Rediff. "'India Is Pak's Fundamental Concern'" October 10, 2006.
  31. Rediff. "'India Should Just Shut Up'" October 12, 2006.
  32. EurekAlert . "Bulletin Of The Atomic Scientists Taps Sarah Chayes" October 16, 2006.
  33. Rediff. "'The Us Is Really Stupid'" October 16, 2006.
  34. Globe and Mail. "Pay Attention To This Voice In The Afghan Wilderness" October 17, 2006.
  35. Oregon Live. "Soldier Upheld Peace Amid Afghan War" November 6, 2006.
  36. KGW. "The Dalles Remembers Planner Killed In Afghanistan" November 6, 2006.
  37. Baltimore Sun. "A Grim Picture Of Afghanistan Going Wrong" November 19, 2006.
  38. Military.com. "Lunch With Pirates" December 12, 2006.
  39. Worldview. "Showshoe Bob" December 21, 2006.
  40. Boston Globe. "Kabul's Kids Given Their Music Back" December 31, 2006.
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