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So there I was, in the graveyard at dusk, the little girl screaming. I couldn’t deny it, it was all my fault. Umm? Maybe I should start again.

December’s issue of Prospect features a perceptive article by Alex de Waal on the west’s failures in Afghanistan. De Waal suggests that western officials, comfortable with academic concepts like “nation building,” “civil society” and “rule of law” have a hard time understanding the nitty gritty of politics in places like…

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