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Afghanistan: An Interview With Matthew Hoh

In todays video, I conducted an interview with Matthew Hoh, about the Afghanistan war and his time there. Along with his unique perspective of personally being there, he also backs up that experience with great knowledge of the subject area. The interview is packed with great information about the US War in Afghanistan and beyond.

Please feel free to comment if I have missed any links in the show notes.

Twitter @truthovercomfo2 -

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Bio - Matthew has been a Senior Fellow with the Center for International Policy since 2010. In 2009, Matthew resigned in protest from his post in Afghanistan with the State Department over the American escalation of the war. Prior to his assignment in Afghanistan, Matthew took part in the American occupation of Iraq; first in 2004-5 in Salah ad Din Province with a State Department reconstruction and governance team and then in 2006-7 in Anbar Province as a Marine Corps company commander. When not deployed, Matthew worked on Afghanistan and Iraq war policy and operations issues at the Pentagon and State Department from 2002-8. - Center for International Policy | Matthew Hoh

Matthew Hoh - Twitter

ResignationLetter - Matthew Hoh

UN Opium Chart "It is no coincidence that Afghanistan began to emerge as a significant producer of illicit opium in precisely the period of protracted war, which began in 1979 and still persists. Peace has not yet been made in Afghanistan and faction-fighting, warlordism and particularistic nationalisms remain endemic. Though the recent historical record is patchy, it is clear that the country was not among the world´s main opium producers until the late 1970s. Opium has been cultivated and consumed in the region for centuries and there is some evidence that opium poppy has been a traditional crop in parts of Afghanistan since the 18th century." Page 30

"People are supporting the government. In 2008 we conducted a survey in Helmand, it showed that 79% of the instability had local factors, like drug mafia, warlords, criminals, corruption and others. 21% of it was due external factors, which could be divided into sub factors. Majority of people are observers, they watch who is doing what? Waiting for the government and Taliban that who is going to do what. All this majority could be your partner if they know that their life is secure. They know how to gauge their safety in the locality. They know the power of the government, when they have the perception that the government cannot secure itself so how can the government provide security to me. For example when 50 Taliban can destabilize a whole district, so what will the people think? I spoke to about 200 community elders a while ago for one of my papers that was published in Foreign Policy. I asked them what is the number of police in your districts and number of Taliban, and population. I asked that why is it possible that a large number of about 500 security forces cannot defeat about 20 or 30 Taliban. The community elders replied that the security people are not there to defend people and fight Taliban, they are there to make money. They are selling their fuel, send soldiers or police to go home and the salaries are received by their chief or sell weapons. I asked the elders that ok the government is not protecting you, but you are about 30 thousand people in the district if you don’t like Taliban then you must fight against them. Their response was that we don’t want this corrupt government to come and we don’t want Taliban either, so we are waiting to see who is going win." Shahmahmood Miakhel, Lessons Learned interview, 2/7/2017Governor of Nangarhar province; former country director for Afghanistan at U.S. Institute of Peace. Former adviser to Afghan Interior Ministry and U.N. mission in Afghanistan Page 6



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