Following U.S. troop withdrawal in 2014, Afghanistan faces an uncertain future. Its fate could be compromised or even commanded by war lords, terrorists or corrupt government officials. Fellow Vanda Felbab-Brown spent time on the ground observing events and talking to a mix of Afghans from high ranking officials to village elders, to merchants to the person on the street. In this four-part video series based on her book, “Aspiration and Ambivalence: Strategies and Realities of Counterinsurgency and State-Building in Afghanistan,” Felbab-Brown offers analysis on an Afghanistan in flux.
At an even broader level, Islamic exceptionalism means questioning the conventional technocratic approach that sees problems both at home and abroad as products of material factors that can be addressed through targeted policy interventions. Things like poverty, underdevelopment, rural-urban migration, and so on all matter, but so do the things that can’t be measured.