Posted by: Christian | December 14, 2010

Open Letter to President Obama

I was asked to post a link to the letter, which seems to be gathering a sizable number of signatures from some rather knowledgeable people whose work focuses on Afghanistan.  I delayed posting a link so that I could also link to some responses. Alex Strick van Linschoten, one of the co-signers, has been good enough to compile the responses:

I won’t be putting my name to the letter, but I also won’t be commenting on why. Nor will I be commenting on what level of objection I have and to which points I disagree on. The names on that list  (with a couple of exceptions) belong to some very thick-skinned individuals who welcome open debate and criticism, so my lack of a response has nothing to do with fear of debate. I’m struggling to finish off my dissertation (hopefully submitted and approved by next summer) and fend off unemployment. Recently I’ve been in the office seven days a week and I have very little time to spare. So my days of leisurely blogging are done, at least in the near term. And plus, I’m a little weary at the moment of my reputation being based on blogging, as opposed to being based on what I can wring out of my dissertation: perhaps a book or a couple of articles in a peer-reviewed journal (that will take some time). The gap between my blogging and academic writing in terms of substance and quality, IMHO, is rather large.

I will continue blogging regularly on Afghanistan at some point. But for now it will just be an occasional blog entry on Tajikistan or perhaps a book review or two.


PS: No, my name being in the acknowledgments section of this CNAS paper is not an endorsement on my part. To be honest, I don’t even know what my opinion is these days.


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