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Contributing Authors


Anthony Arnott joined the British Army in 2001 and after a brief spell as an infantry platoon commander in Northern Ireland, he graduated from the Army Pilots Course, returning to Northern Ireland as a helicopter pilot in 2004. He deployed to Afghanistan on a number of occasions: as the Operations Officer for the UK helicopter force in 2008 and working in the Prism strategic analysis group based in Kandahar in 2010.


Dr Whitney Azoy first came to Afghanistan as a US diplomat in 1972. He has remained involved as field anthropologist, refugee relief worker, scholarship director, reconstruction consultant, poetry translator, author/ lecturer, Pulitzer nominee journalist, National Geographic filmmaker, four-time Fulbright grantee, and Director of the American Institute of Afghanistan Studies in Kabul. In October 2011, he served on a first-ever “Presidential Study Group”, held in Kabul by the Afghan National Security Council. Based in Spain, he currently lectures on Afghan geography, history, culture and social structure to US and other NATO personnel going to Afghanistan. The third edition of his Buzkashi: Game and Power in Afghanistan appeared in June 2011.


Yossef Bodansky has been the Director of Research at the International Strategic Studies Association (ISSA), as well as a senior editor for the Defense & Foreign Affairs group of publications, since 1983. He was the Director of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare at the US House of Representatives between 1988 and 2004, and stayed on as a special adviser to Congress until January 2009. In the mid 1980s, he acted as a senior consultant for the US Department of Defense and the Department of State. He is the author of 11 books – including Bin Laden: The Man Who Declared War on America (New York Times No.1 Bestseller and Washington Post No.1 Bestseller), The Secret History of the Iraq War (New York Times Bestseller and Foreign Affairs Magazine Bestseller), and Chechen Jihad: Al Qaeda’s Training Ground and the Next Wave of Terror – and hundreds of articles, book chapters and Congressional reports. Mr Bodansky is a Director at the Prague Society for International Cooperation, and serves on the Board of the Global Panel Foundation and several other institutions worldwide.


John Dowdy is a Director in the London office of McKinsey & Company, where he leads McKinsey’s global defence and security practice, focused on improving the efficiency and effectiveness of defence expenditure, improving supply chain and logistics processes and conducting stability operations in fragile states. Prior to that, he was responsible for all of McKinsey’s government work in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He also chaired McKinsey’s global efforts on economic development. In 2011 he jointly authored, with Drew Erdmann, Private Sector Development in Afghanistan: The Doubly Missing Middle (Aspen Strategy Group, 2011), upon which the chapter here is based.


Andrew (“Drew”) Erdmann is a Principal in the Washington, DC office of McKinsey & Company. He is a leader in McKinsey’s public sector, defence and security and strategy practices. He has led numerous engagements with defence, development and intelligence organisations, often at the intersection of economics and national security. He has extensive experience operating in fragile and post-conflict states such as Afghanistan and Iraq. Prior to joining McKinsey, he served in the US government with the Department of State, the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq , and, lastly, with the National Security Council staff at the White House as Director for Iran, Iraq and Strategic Planning.


Dr Magsie Hamilton Little is an academic, writer and publisher. Educated at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, and the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, she is a fellow of the Muslim Institute. As a British non-Muslim living in Afghanistan, she immersed herself in Islamic culture, experiencing for herself life beneath the burka. She is author of Dancing with Darkness: Life, Death and Hope in Afghanistan and The Thing About Islam, and has written for a number of newspapers and magazines, including The Times, The Daily Telegraph, Newsweek and The Daily Beast. She is the founder of Little Books Afghanistan a small charity giving books to Afghan children:

www.littlebooksafghanistan.org.


Dr Robert Johnson is the Director of the Changing Character of War Research Programme at the University of Oxford. As a lecturer in the History of War, his research interests are conflicts “amongst the people” in Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Middle East, and he is frequently invited to act as a specialist adviser to the British, American and Afghan armed forces on security, stabilisation and transition. He is the author of The Afghan Way of War (2011) and “History of Helmand” in the International Journal of Area Studies, and is currently working on the use of partnered auxiliary forces in counterinsurgency.


Dr Humayun Khan, who is a Yusufzai Pashtun, spent his early career in the Civil Service of Pakistan. He was selected to work in the then North-West Frontier Province and in the adjoining tribal areas where he served as Political Agent dealing with a number of Pashtun tribes. After seventeen years, he moved to the Foreign Service of Pakistan. He worked in the missions at Moscow and the UNO, Geneva, before being appointed Pakistan’s ambassador to Bangladesh in 1979. He subsequently became ambassador to India and High Commissioner in London. He was Foreign Secretary in 1988–89. After his retirement from service, he was selected as Head of the Commonwealth Foundation in London, a post he held from 1993 to 1999. Dr Khan lives in Peshawar and remains active in unofficial organisations dealing with Indo-Pak relations.


Clare Lockhart is the co-founder and CEO of the Institute for State Effectiveness (ISE), founded in 2005 to find and promote approaches to security, and economic institutions. ISE works in countries around the world to support leaders and managers to find paths for their countries to stability and prosperity, and work with networks globally to rethink the balance between state, market and civil society for the 21st century. Clare Lockhart served in Afghanistan as an adviser to the UN during the Bonn Process and to the Afghan Government, 2001 to 2005, helping to design a number of national initiatives including a program that provides a block grant to every village in Afghanistan, now present in 23,000 villages. She is co-author with Ashraf Ghani of Fixing Failed States (Oxford University Press, 2008) and contributes regularly to the media on issues of peace-building, state-building and development. She is a barrister and Member of the Bar of England and Wales, and has degrees from Oxford and Harvard Universities.


David Loyn is the BBC’s Afghanistan correspondent, and the author of Butcher and Bolt – Two Hundred Years of Foreign Engagement in Afghanistan. He was the only foreign journalist with the Taliban when they took Kabul in 1996, a country he has visited every year since then. He has won several awards including the Sony award as Radio Reporter of the Year, and two awards from the Royal Television Society, including Journalist of the Year. His first book Frontline – The True Story of the Mavericks who Changed the Face of News Reporting was shortlisted for the Orwell prize in 2005.


Dr Greg Mills is director of the Johannesburg-based Brenthurst Foundation. A special adviser to a number of African and other governments, he is widely published on international affairs, development and security, a columnist for South Africa’s Sunday Times, and the author of the best-selling books Why Africa is Poor – and what Africans can do about it (Penguin, 2010) and, with Jeffrey Herbst, Africa’s Third Liberation (Penguin, 2012). In 2006 he deployed to Kabul as head of the Prism strategic analysis group, and was seconded to ISAF in Kandahar, also with Prism, in 2010. Based on these and other peace-building experiences, in 2011 he jointly edited, with General Sir David Richards, Victory Among People: Lessons from Countering Insurgencies and Stabilising Fragile States (Royal United Services Institute, 2011).


Bijan Omrani is a writer, historian and broadcaster specialising in Central Asia and the classical world. He is the author of Afghanistan: A Companion and Guide and Asia Overland: Tales of Travel on the Trans-Siberian and Silk Road (Odyssey Publications) as well as a number of articles and book chapters on the history of Western political and commercial interaction with Afghanistan, in particular the history of the troubled Afghan–Pakistan frontier or Durand Line. He has written for a number of publications including The Spectator and Standpoint, and has lectured widely on Afghan history. He sits on the editorial board of The Asian Affairs Journal, and teaches Classics at Westminster School.


Ahmed Rashid is a Pakistani journalist based in Lahore, who has covered Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asia for a variety of publications since 1979. He is the author of the best-selling Taliban. His other books include Descent into Chaos: The US and the Disaster in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asia, Jihad (2002) and The Resurgence of Central Asia (1994). His fifth and latest book is Pakistan on the Brink, The Future of America, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Both Taliban and Descent into Chaos are on course lists at over 200 universities and defence colleges around the world. He writes for the Financial Times, the New York Times, the New York Review of Books, Spain’s El Mundo, BBC Online and Pakistani publications. Foreign Policy Magazine chose him as one of the world’s 100 most important global thinkers in 2009 and 2010.


Helen Saberi is a food writer/historian. She was posted to the British Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan in 1971. She met and married an Afghan engineer and lived in Afghanistan for nine years. She is the author of Noshe Djan: Afghan Food and Cookery (1986, revised edition 2000). The book has also been published in North America and translated and published in Italian, French and Dutch. She has also written a number of papers about Afghan food and culture for the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery. Her other published books include Trifle (2001, co-authored with Alan Davidson), The Road to Vindaloo: Curry Cooks and Curry Books (2008, co-authored with David Burnett) and Tea: A Global History (2010).


Victoria Schofield is a historian and commentator on international affairs, with specialist knowledge of South Asia. Her books include Kashmir in Conflict: India, Pakistan and the Unending War and Afghan Frontier: At the Crossroads of Conflict. She has also recently published the first volume of the official history of The Highland Furies: The Black Watch 1739–1899. Schofield is a frequent contributor to BBC World TV, BBC World Service and other news outlets. She has also written for the Sunday Telegraph, The Times, Independent, Asian Affairs and The Round Table: The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs. Schofield read Modern History at the University of Oxford and was President of the Oxford Union in 1977. In 2004–05 she was the Visiting Alistair Horne Fellow at St Antony’s College, Oxford.


Jules Stewart has spent most of his professional life in journalism, reporting from more than 30 countries. He has published two books on the Anglo-Afghan wars, as well as the story of the Khyber Rifles and a history of the North-West Frontier. He has given lectures based on his books at the Royal Geographical Society, the National Army Museum, the Jamestown Foundation, the Gurkha Museum, the Royal Society for Asian Affairs and other venues. He has also addressed British Army units deploying to Afghanistan.



Consultant Editor to Afghanistan Revealed


Lisa Choegyal has been in the tourism business for over 35 years. Based in Kathmandu, Nepal, she works throughout the Asia Pacific region as a consultant in planning and developing pro-poor-responsible tourism, including several missions to Afghanistan between 2005 and 2008. With a background in the private sector as director of the Tiger Mountain group, Lisa is author of several books on Nepal including Kathmandu Valley Style and Offerings from Nepal. She produced the South Asia editions of the Insight Guide series.

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