In Foreign Policy, a short essay about reading US diplomatic cables after the revolutions in Libya, Tunisia, and Egypt.
Originally appeared in Foreign Policy.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, high priest of American letters and patron saint of homebodies everywhere, reserved his harshest words for the voyager. Travel, he famously wrote, “is a fool’s paradise,” a sickness that afflicts those who don’t realize that wisdom is inward. Instead of broadening the mind, travel narrows it.
My report from the rebel-encircled banquet of François Bozizé, president of the Central Africa Republic, is in the July/August Foreign Policy.
Originally appeared at ForeignPolicy.com.
What will happen to Iraqi reconstruction when all the marines are gone?
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.