March 11, 2003 - PCOL Exclusive: RPCV Duaine Goodno says the situation in Afghanistan and other countries could deteriorate quickly

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By Admin1 (admin) on Friday, March 14, 2003 - 11:38 pm: Edit Post

RPCV Duaine Goodno says the situation in Afghanistan and other countries could deteriorate quickly

Read and comment on this email from RPCV Duaine Goodno who is working for a NGO in Aghanistan as he comments on the security situation in the country at this time. This email is reprinted with the permission of the writer. The story gives a sobering view of what may happen in Afghanistan and the Middle East with war in Iraq. As we have stated before, PCOL tends to give credence to what RPCVs say when they talk about their COS because they speak the language, they know the background and history, and they understand the situation better than a reporter who comes in for a story. Read the email at:

After several queries in the last two days on the safety and security in Afghanistan, I thought it may be helpful to write a note about the two issues.*

* This link was active on the date it was posted. PCOL is not responsible for broken links which may have changed.

After several queries in the last two days on the safety and security in Afghanistan, I thought it may be helpful to write a note about the two issues.

It is reported here that the UN has notified all its foreign staff that they will be evacuated if there is a war in Iraq. I asked a guard at the U.S. Embassy (such as it is) on the situation. He acknowledged the UN notice, but said that the U.S. had not issued any alert or warning. He indicated the rumor (or fear) is that the Taliban would resurface in force.

Some in the American community have obtained visas for Pakistan. The thought being that Dubai will be cut off and they can evacuate on the ground to Pakistan. That doesn't sound desirable to me, but understand the merit of having options.

My assessment: There may be some incidents around the world in the immediate aftermath of the attack against Iraq, then they will subside. If the U.S. starts taking casualties and uprisings occur elsewhere, then I think the situation could deteriorate rather quickly -- but not just here -- in many locations around the world. The good news is that a major upraising in Afgh is an opportunity to eliminate the enemy and the allied forces are well positioned to do exactly that. The best plan is to stay put and out of sight.

Meanwhile we are taking certain precautions, just in case. We will stay alert and continue to assess the situation on a daily basis. Worried, no. Observant, cautious and prepared, always!

As for safety. Herat is extremely safe, but not for women. The situation is very difficult with many of the Taliban rules being strictly enforced. Controlled for a long time by one warlord it is a country onto itself.

Mazar has been extremely dangerous with factional fight among three warlords. There was a recent brokered cease fire, but it's too early to know if it will hold.

Kabul has been extremely safe. I heard before I left that the situation here was deteriorating. I see no evidence of that being true. When I received the email today, saying again that the word is that the situation is deteriorating for women I reacted with alarm. I thought maybe that I was not seeing the problem so I asked. I asked several young women who work at the Gallery of Fine Arts. I was told that they feel very safe. One said that she was sometimes uneasy when at the market, but only there. I was also at Women for Women today, so I asked there. They have many women in and out all day long. I was told that there is no increase in their fear.

Last week while eating dinner at a local restaurant there was a table of eight young adults. Half men and half women, they talked and they laughed. At the end of their meal, they left together. My host commented, "That's how Afghanistan used to be."

I can't say whether you will be safe or secure, nor can I say that you should or shouldn't come. My being here is a testament to my feelings. I would hate to think my epitaph will say, "here lies a stupid man", nor would I want it to say that I'm brave. Rather, I want it to say that I choose to live life. So my question to you is, "How do you want to live your life?" If not now, when?

A man is afraid of what is outside so he lives his life indoors. He is afraid that someone will break in and harm him, so he bars his windows and locks his door, unable to venture out. Does the man live in a house or a jail? What is the quality of his life. What has he given to mankind? What will he say about his life on the day he dies?

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This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Afghanistan; Safety and Security of Volunteers; Iraq



By Riasat ( - on Tuesday, October 02, 2007 - 5:22 am: Edit Post

It is fact there is uncertainity and long suspense with fear and hope.
U.S. and other allies should handed over the controle of afghinistan to local authorities and should help to rebuild country, other wise it will be a suspensed history to world . peace hormany,unity and justice are basic elements to establish lost confidence.

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