What is state failure? See my conceptualisation of state failure on the right flank below.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Meet reporter Anup Kaphle (and the Afghan National Police force)

I called attention yesterday to video reporting from Helmand, about the Gurkhas there. I was intrigued by the simple but rather important point about how well the relationship seems to function between the Gurkhas and the Afghans, Bollywood and happily sharing meals and jokes being part of it. This does not necessarily mean that the reporter necessarily said it right when he believed this was likely the culturally closest relationship you get between foreign soldiers and Afghans in Afghanistan right now. Even countries like the United Arab Emirates are involved to a degree in Afghanistan.
Nevertheless I did find the reporting sympathetic, and I looked around for who the reporter was. He is also from Nepal, and I found his blog that you should definitely check out. And also this post of his at The Atlantic. And also this slideshow. And so on. Absolutely do check out this article about the Afghan National Police, in case you missed it. Some numbers to quote here, from the article, given as of September 2009:
"Since the war began in 2001, the Americans have lost about 699 soldiers in Afghanistan; the British about 184, and the Canadians about 125. The Afghan police force has had 1,200 deaths in 2008 alone."
The article gives you a portrait of the human beings and the institution behind the latter figure.
At The Atlantic (here) there is also some great footage, from Anup Kaphle, of an Afghan policeman singing Hindi songs. I will happily embed it here, to give the Afghan police face.

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