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"Peace News has compiled an exemplary record... its tasks have never been more critically important than they are today." Noam Chomsky

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Afghanistan

What Does War Generate?

Who carries out the works of mercy in the war-torn country of Afghanistan?

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Learn Your Lessons Well: An Afghan teenager makes up his mind

A young Afghan peace activist sets out his hopes for the future.

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Mike Martin, An Intimate War: An Oral History of the Helmand Conflict

Hurst, 2014; 389pp; £25

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Clark Stoeckley, The United States vs Pvt. Chelsea Manning

OR Books, 2014; 199pp; £12. Purchase online here: http://www.orbooks.com/catalog/manning-trial/

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Afghans pay price for US refusal to make peace

A sharp increase in civilian casualties in Afghanistan following the closure of some US/NATO bases suggests that ordinary Afghans are now paying the price for the US decision to block earlier peace initiatives.

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Mother Mariam and Habib

We are sitting on the floor in a simple outhouse room attached to the Afghan Peace Volunteer’s compound, the unheated space is normally used for teaching local children various classes. Habib and his mother Mariam sit in front of us motionless, Mariam wears the burqa so it is not possible to read her face and ascertain how she might be feeling, the tentative expression on Habib’s face tells us that their life is hard.

It was around 2 months ago when I first met 12 year old Habib, he arrived on the doorstep with some of his friends wanting to join the Street Kids Project being run by the APV- an effort to help some of the 60,000 street kids of Kabul. Habib’s face looked concerned as he clutched his weighing scales- the tool of his trade- 5 Afghanis a go, around 5p.

Since then I have bumped into him a few times. Once outside our local bank- it was the first day of snow and he sat in the doorway shivering, his scales by his side, his ragged thread bare clothes offered small benefits to the freezing cold. I then saw him a few weeks later with his friends, who also work the streets, they were playing tag by the river, their faces beamed with exhilaration as they ran up and down a small unpaved road.

Voting with their feet

Afghan Peace Volunteers

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Fred Branfman: Voices from the Plain of Jars: Life Under an Air War

University of Wisconsin Press, 2013; 176pp; £17.50

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Salt and Terror in Afghanistan

Kathy Kelly reports from Afghanistan.

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Locked in Winter

Kathy Kelly reports from Chaman e Babrak in Afghanistan.

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