Foreign Policy senior editor David Bosco travelled to Afghanistan in August 2004, and prepared a series of dispatches for Slate magazine. Selections are below.

Monday, August 9
Subject: A Half-Hearted Ceremony for a Half-Hearted Mission
One of Kabul's increasingly notorious traffic jams finally eased as we headed from the city center. My taxi driver, a Tajik who grew up in the city, told me that he drove for the Soviet forces during the occupation. He gestured toward the sprawling complex that used to house the Soviet Embassy here. "They were good people," he said quietly. Unsurprisingly, he relocated to Pakistan after the Soviet-backed government fell in 1992. More

Tuesday, August 10, 2004
Subject: The Limits of Médecins Sans Frontières
I swung by one of the offices of Médecins Sans Frontières in Kabul yesterday. The humanitarian organization is justly famous for its lifesaving work in conflict zones. In 1999, it won a Nobel Peace Prize for its labors. And for almost 25 years—through the Soviet occupation, the civil war, and Taliban rule—MSF doctors and staff provided assistance to the suffering Afghan people. More

Friday, Aug. 13, 2004
Subject: Afghanistan's New Model Army
 Armed men aren't hard to find in Kabul. The serious guy down the hall from me carries an M-16 as he pads around the hotel. I suspect his requests for laundry service are met with alacrity. He seems to be one of the private military contractors you hear so much about these days, but I haven't struck up a conversation. I was looking for a different kind of armed man—soldiers from the emerging Afghan National Army. More