Today in The Daily Beast.
1 September 2009 • 6:44 pm 0
An article on dairy training in Iraq. September 2009 Atlantic.
SINCE MID-2009, Lockie Gary has lived part-time on a Marine base in Fallujah and led a series of seminars that aim to train insurgents’ widows to become milkmaids. On this hot June day, he is in a makeshift classroom in a rural technical school, addressing five quiet but curious students. Cows and humans have many of the same needs, Gary tells his students, and when cows are stressed, they give less milk. “The same things that cause you stress will stress your cows,” he says, and waits for an interpreter to translate. “What stresses you?” Read the rest of this entry »
11 August 2009 • 6:49 pm 0
I spent much of this summer with Canadian, Afghan, British, and US forces in southern Afghanistan. Here are some of the resulting dispatches.
10 July 2009 • 11:40 am 0
A review of Seth G. Jones’s In the Graveyard of Empires, in the Barnes & Noble Review.
30 June 2009 • 10:59 am 0
Originally appeared at ForeignPolicy.com.
Last week I listened to Maj. Ashley Burch, a Marine civil affairs officer in Ramadi, explain a raft of ambitious reconstruction aimed to smother the town of Karmah — a persistent center of insurgent activity — in American largess. I was duly impressed. Then, as I walked out of the office, I glanced at a wall map of eastern Anbar province. A bright stripe of yellow Post-its ran across the 104 km highway that connects Ramadi to Baghdad, each with the words “No-Go Zone” written across the top and a date, with the more recent dates closer to Baghdad.
30 June 2009 • 2:15 am 0
Over at The Atlantic, I wrote a cycle about returning to Iraq in the run-up to the US withdrawal from Iraqi cities.
13 June 2009 • 3:42 am 0
28 February 2009 • 12:54 am 0
Originally appeared at The New Republic.
U.S. Marines, not noted for their sentimentality, call the flights that carry their dead comrades home “angel flights.” I witnessed my first of these at a remote airfield in Anbar province, Iraq, in 2005. For about an hour, all activity on the tarmac ceased, including my own unloading of a 727 in my job as a commercial shipper. A furious Marine officer ran to confront me and demand that my pilot cut the 727′s engines. The pilot protested–his plane was nearly unloaded, and he wanted to fly to a safer airport as soon as possible–but the Marine permitted no debate. The engines powered down, and in the desert silence, from a distance of a few hundred feet, I could hear the clopping of individual boots as hundreds of Marines filed in to stand at attention and watch the chilled metal box proceed slowly into the belly of the plane. Read the rest of this entry »