Gary Owen

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Gary Owen is the pen name of a civilian development worker who has spent the last several years working in Afghanistan. A former infantry and civil affairs officer, he deployed twice to Iraq before leaving the military for a job as an idealist with a mortgage. He and his wife call Texas home when he’s not overseas trying to right the world’s wrongs one spreadsheet at a time. Read more of his musings on Afghanistan at his blog, Sunny in Kabul. (EDITOR'S NOTE: In order to preserve the author's pseudonymity, we have used a picture from his time touring with Van Halen.)

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Foreign Policy Essay

Sorry, Folks: Things Are Not Actually Going So Great in Afghanistan

Editor’s Note: A few weeks ago, we ran a provocative piece by Stephen Watts and Sean Mann in which they argued that in both its politics and in its development, Afghanistan is doing better than is commonly believed. Gary Owen, a civilian development worker who has spent the last several years working on the ground in Afghanistan, begs to differ. He paints a far gloomier picture of Afghanistan, arguing that the country and U.S. policy have a long way to go.

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