29 October 2009

UN guest house attack signals tactical shift

In response to some gestures of concern, I am fine, in part because I have been out of Afghanistan for the last few days. The recent attack on the U.N. guest house is a dangerous development, which represents a tactical shift for the Taliban, which is now targeting international civilian workers.

The American University of Afghanistan yesterday confirmed that it will close down Nov. 6, 7 and 8--a day on either side of the second-round, presidential run-off. International faculty have also been advised to put together a "go bag," a pleasnt euphemism for a bag of necessities to grab on the way out the door if the shit hits the fan and we are evacuated from Kabul. That is a probably a remote possibility, but good advice nonetheless.

I am currently in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, working on developing some distance learning courses between the American universities of Central Asia and Afghanistan for the spring semester. I obviously picked a good time to get out of Dodge. By the time I return to Kabul on Nov. 3, I will have three days of classes before the university is locked down.

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