Afghan Journal

Lifting the veil on conflict, culture and politics

A piece of America in the heart of Taliban country



Reuters correspondent Michael Georgy is on an embed in Kandahar airfield where U.S.-led NATO troops are preparing an operation against the Taliban in their southern Afghan stronghold. Here’s a glimpse of life on the base.

By Michael Georgy

I walked by TGI Friday’s and a Canadian brand coffee shop as men and women playing volleyball looked like they were enjoying
the beach in California. People were drinking milkshakes along a lovely boardwalk. There was a French-style patisserie for those seeking a bit of European culture.

It felt like I was back home in the United States, not thousands of miles away in the heart of Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan, a centuries-old country that has fended off one foreign power after another. Is there something terribly wrong with this picture? Is this huge, growing air field a glaring example of what critics say is Western insensitivity to other cultures, even though it is securely contained in a place most Afghans will never see?

Just outside the airfield are some of the people that America has vowed to save from Taliban “terrorists” by pounding the militants and helping to build solid government institutions.