More Troops in Afghanistan? It’s About Time

Three Women in Burqas in Kabul, Afghanistan, March 2006

Should politics and travel mix? Having recently read Travel as a Political Act, if traveling to enrich the mind and spirit, it’s inevitable politics will play some role. For me, travel isn’t always about sleeping in lush beds and lounging by pools sipping cocktails (although that’s nice). It’s about experiencing, broadening my horizons, and making connections with people which is part of the reason I traveled to Kabul in March 2006. And traveling to a war-torn country means politics will play a role.

An opportunity with Global Exchange came about to visit Kabul** and reading The Kite Runner inspired me to see firsthand what was happening. A blog was kept at QKG’s Afghanistan during my journey. Sometimes I’m still amazed I made the journey especially with daily reports of intensifying violence and casualties.

Immediately below is a slide show of Afghanistan’s youth and her future. Nearly four years later, I wonder what these young people are doing. Morbidly, I wonder if they are still alive.

To accompany this post, be sure to read this essay titled, Empowering Women is Key to Afghanistan’s Reconstruction, which I wrote for the Tallahassee paper Apalachee Tortoise for the February 2007 issue. A common message I heard during my journey was, “We have been forgotten.” Afghans were thankful the U.S. entered in 2001 however they felt abandoned because most troops were soon deployed to Iraq and the job was not finished. Bringing in more troops should (in theory) finish what the U.S. started.

So yes, I’m happy President Obama is sending more troops into Afghanistan, I just hope it’s not too late.

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Jenn

Jennifer A. Huber is an award-winning travel and outdoor blogger and writer in Southwest Florida. Originally from Buffalo, N.Y., a hiking trail led her to a career path in the tourism industry for more than 30 years. She spent a decade with a park management company in Yellowstone, Death Valley, and Everglades National Parks. She founded the travel blog, SoloTravelGirl.com with the goal of inspiring others to travel alone, not lonely. The unexpected death of her former husband in 2008 reminded her how short life is. His passing was a catalyst for sharing her experiences with the goal of inspiring and empowering others to travel solo. Jennifer holds a Travel Marketing Professional certification from the Southeast Tourism Society, is a certified food judge, member of the NASA Social community, and alum of the FBI Citizens Academy. When not traveling, she is either in the kitchen, practicing her photography skills, or road tripping with her dog, Radcliff.

Temple of Serapis located on the coast of Gulf of Pozzuoli. Image credit: Joseph Walker.
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