The Only ‘Surge’ That Will Last

President Obama wants to send 30,000 American soldiers; the Germans have promised more money; the Poles have just taken charge of a province; even the Dutch are thinking of keeping some troops on the ground. Which is all very well, as long as they all realize that the long-term solution to Afghanistan’s security doesn’t lie in soldiers sent by Washington or Berlin Continue reading “The Only ‘Surge’ That Will Last”

Tumble From a Pyramid

Scene One: We are buying an apartment in Warsaw, sometime in the early 1990s. At every stage of the transaction, my husband and I have to turn up in person, stand in line, present identity cards. We appear at the notary’s office, more than once. We appear at the tax office, more than once. Finally, we are asked to hand over a briefcase full of dollars. The seller will not accept a bank transfer and does not want to be paid in his country’s currency, either. Continue reading “Tumble From a Pyramid”