Tuesday’s spectacular Taliban attack on the U.S. Embassy and NATO military headquarters in Kabul seems to have touched a nerve with the staff of the U.S. Institute for Peace who work in the Afghan capital.
The Institute for Peace is a $39 million federally funded government program that favors “conflict resolution” to the tactics of its military counterpart working across the Potomac River, the Pentagon. The taxpayer-supported agency has been a darling of pacifists and peace groups across the nation. Not surprisingly, the Institute was the brain child of the Carter administration.
With much regret no one can point to any reduction of war since the agency’s creation in 1984.
This shortcoming may have been on the mind of Hamid M. Khan, a a rule-of-law adviser in the Kabul at the Institute of Peace as Taliban suicide-bombers and heavily armed terrorists stormed the military center of NATO and the U.S. Embassy in Kabul on Tuesday. The Washington Post described Hamid’s less than peaceful experience:
Hamid “said he and his colleagues spent hours huddled in a safe room at their compound as blasts and gunshots thundered nearby at the site of the main attack.
“The entire staff is hunkered down,” he said, using BlackBerry Messenger to communicate. “We’re very tense and alarmed by how close the rocket attacks and gunshots keep coming.”
Like most unarmed people in Kabul that day, Hamid and his staff were understandably terrorized. They were saved by NATO, U.S and Afghan military forces carrying real guns, supported by American helicopter gunships.
The Tatler is wondering how, at that moment, they may have felt about the effectiveness of their conflict resolution strategies.