Sunday, August 19, 2007


A German woman was kidnapped in broad daylight from a Kabul bakery popular with foreigners. Her male expatriate colleague was not taken.

Canadian Prime Minister Harper continue to trumpet his armed forces 'humanitarian' work in Afghanistan to his electorate in an attempt to maintain public support for the deployment. Germany is not ruling out further troop contributions for Afghanistan, despite sharing similar Canadian reticence to go down the road of combat deployments.

Great piece entitled, 'Professors on the Battlefield', showcasing the deployment of social scientists with US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan as cultural advisors to Brigade Commanders. If it isn't enough that humanitarians denounce the blurring of lines between military and humanitarian action, the American Anthropological Association recalls the irreparable damage done to academia by 'militarization of the social sciences' that affected their profession in the 60's and 70's. The article captures the worrying comparison to that which humanitarian organizations face in speaking with donors, diplomats and armed forces:

'In recent years, the annual meetings of the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association and the American Anthropological Association have been dominated by discussion about what ethical responsibilities scholars have in relation to war, terrorism and torture. At such events, Ms. McFate and her rare sympathizers often sound like a lone voice in the wilderness.'

Finally, it seems that PRTs are in season again: a DefenseLink 'good news' piece on PRTs in Afghanistan.