Badkhen, a courageous war correspondent, decided to embed not with American troops but with the Afghan people in 2011. Throughout the year, she returns again and again to the country, traveling by foot, by taxi – and even by donkey – to the remote villages and hamlets of the Afghan North, reporting as the Taliban take over large swaths of territory and also on the unimaginable daily hardships of life in a place where even such basics as water, electricity, a doctor, and a working school are impossible luxuries. It’s a place so remote that even the death of Osama bin Laden barely registers, where war is taken as a fact of life, along with the rituals of mourning and celebration that Badkhen is allowed to witness up close. As bestselling author Peter Bergen says in the accompanying introduction to the ebook, a special collaboration of Foreign Policy magazine and the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, it is “a bleak tale told by an expert storyteller.”
This is the story of her year, a year in the life of a war that will not die.