Eager to support Current Intelligence’s continued presence online -- and proud to be associated with a number of very smart people -- I’ll be posting some thoughts on Afghanistan and topics related to my ongoing research/writing in this new "Afghan Wire" blog. The name is taken from an old venture that I worked on together with my colleague, Felix Kuehn, in which Dari/Pashtu-language articles and broadcasts were translated, summarized and published online in a daily newsletter. Needless to say, we ran out of funding and there wasn’t actually that much interest outside a small community of readers.
Since then (2008) I’ve been based full-time in Kandahar, working on a number of different research projects. I’m currently working on a PhD at the War Studies department, King’s College London, on the identity of the Taliban movement as expressed through their own writings and statements; as co-editor of two books written by former Taliban envoy to Pakistan, Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef, one of which was published by Hurst and Columbia University Press in February 2010; a volume of poetry written by Taliban members, together with Felix Kuehn, to be published by Hurst (UK) in April 2011; and a history of the relationship between the Taliban and al-Qaeda 1970-2010 to be published by Hurst (UK) in early 2011.
I’ve worked as a freelance journalist from Afghanistan, Syria, Lebanon and Somalia, writing for Foreign Policy, International Affairs, ABC Nyheter (Norway), the Sunday Times (UK), the Globe and Mail (Canada), The National (UAE) and The Tablet (UK). I also played a facilitating role in the two Emmy Award-winning Globe and Mail features, Talking to the Taliban and Behind the Veil, both made in Kandahar.