Informed Comment (USA)
Poetry and Drones: Talking to the Taliban
Scholars Alex Strick van Linschoten, 28, and 32 year old Felix Kuehn have swapped the musty libraries of London for the dusty streets of Kandahar, spiritual home of the Taliban. There the two have lived for almost five years, engaging with those many call the enemy in an effort to further understanding.
Their research has resulted in two outstanding books. An Enemy We Created: The Myth of the Taliban/ Al Qaeda Merger challenges the orthodoxy that the two militant organisations are much alike. Understanding any distinction may be critical if tentative peace moves with the Taliban are to have any chance of success.
Next month the duo is also publishing Poetry of the Taliban, containing more than 250 translated poems written by Afghan Taliban fighters which presents them in a rarely-glimpsed cultural context.