Author Archives: Mary Ann Callahan

The Wrong Debate….and At What Price?

  I am amazed at the things Americans talk about sometimes. The world seems to be spinning out of control, with our planet being threatened by looming ecological disaster and the continuous conflicts of mankind, yet our news is filled with the debate that rages around whether or not children...

read more

When Will They Ever Learn?

  It seems that US efforts to build up Afghan security forces are now classified.  The report of the decision to withhold information on the mission of the US military in support of Afghan forces comes at a very interesting time. Granted, Afghans must now defend their country after the...

read more

The High Cost of High Costs

The High Cost of High Costs By Mary Ann Callahan Something extraordinary happened in Washington in this last week of January 2015.   International Relief and Development, a long time USAID contractor given hundreds of millions of dollars for projects in post conflict countries like Afghanistan and Iraq, has been shut...

read more

Afghanistan’s Dead and Dying

  11 January 2015 On January 6th of this first week of 2015, the NY Times printed an article entitled“Ferrying the Dead of Both Sides in a Cruel Afghan War”.  It tells the story of an Afghan man named Abdul Hakim who retrieves the bodies of the dead for burial...

read more

9/11/2014

9/11/2014 It’s a cloudy day here in Upstate New York this September 11, 2014. It is quite unlike the pristinely sunny day thirteen years ago that so changed our world.  On that day I remember a brilliant blue sky and a sense of calm that has not been felt since...

read more

The Power of Peace

Afghanistan and the US The Power of Peace Earlier in this war torn month of August 2014, an article from Reuters about a little known power generation plant in Kandahar in southern Afghanistan appeared. Written by Jessica Donati and Sarwar Amani, it reported that the US was stopping its long...

read more

What’s The Difference?

  Unless one has been living on the moon, or has had the gumption to unplug from the constant stream of media talking points, it is clear that America’s two latest projects abroad, Iraq and Afghanistan, are being challenged in big ways by the another round of terror and conflict....

read more

The World Cup

It could not have happened at a better time.  As civil war in Syria flows into yet another round of fighting in Iraq and terrorism runs with impunity through that land, the Ukrainian-Russian conflict descends into childish name calling, and a growing  polarity  in the US threatens the spirit of...

read more

The Failure of Our Successes

  Early this morning, unable to sleep and channel surfing, I stumbled upon a Congressional subcommittee hearing on Afghanistan Reconstruction on C Span. It was particularly interesting since I spent the greater part of nine years in Afghanistan, from 2003 to 2012, working on reconstruction related programs funded by the...

read more

Real Heroes

  The release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in exchange for five Taliban prisoners from prison in Guantanamo has turned into quite the controversy. Washington is abuzz with talk of laws violated, dangerous precedents set and questions surrounding the exact circumstances of the sergeant’s actions prior to his capture. What should...

read more