For The American Scholar, Neil Shea provides a dispatch from Afghanistan as the U.S. troops draw down. Shea writes:
“The elders have stopped talking. They listen to a soldier explain to them for the third or fourth time how the new system is supposed to work.
‘You can’t come ask us to build you a madrassa or a clinic or a well anymore,’ the soldier says. ‘You have to go to your own government.’
It is the language of leaving, of withdrawal.”