This article first appeared on the MacArthur Foundation's Spotlight blog.
I spent the past week at the Virtual Worlds Conference and Expo in San Jose, California.
There were a number of interesting panels, but two themes caught my attention that I’d like to discuss here: 1) Concern for ROI or Return on Investment in Virtual Worlds; and 2) The Rise of China.
This article originally appeared on Diplomatic Traffic.
The largest defeat of British-Indian forces in the Second Anglo-Afghan War (1878-1880) came through the leadership of a heroic Afghan woman: Malalai of Maiwand. Malalai courageously inspired dejected Afghan troops and carried the Afghan banner into the battle that would end her life.
Now is the time to finish the job we began in Afghanistan five years ago. Last year saw a desperate and vicious onslaught by a new generation of Taliban forces with enhanced logistical and financial support. More than 4,000 Afghans, many of them civilians, were killed in military actions in 2006, a three-fold increase from the previous year. Suicide attacks -- a phenomenon unknown to Afghans before 2002 -- jumped to 118 from 21.
Do we Afghans ever think about our debt of service to Afghanistan and actually doing something about it? I think we hardly do so. But let us begin with the basic fact that the land we call home is diversely populated, geographically landlocked, politically and economically least developed, and unfortunately located in a predatory neighborhood where at least one of our neighbors sees its raison d'être partly dependent on instability in Afghanistan.