It is hard to say why, but this was a more-interesting-than-average, highly readable report from the coalface. I've never heard of Zabul province, have you? I think that might be the point. Apparently it's the Missouri of Afghanistan.
In Tarin wa Jaldak, we met with the shopkeepers in the bazaar and their primary concerns were the process for opening new shops and taxation. That’s a success—they were not fearing for their lives. In Suri, a part of Shinkay District, property values have risen due to the American troops stationed nearby.
And here is the lesson:
The Afghan paradox is that while reality here can be infinitely granular, differing almost from village to village, the whole picture counts too. Places like Zabul are impoverished because they are ungoverned, but they are also ungoverned because they are impoverished. Security is weak in such provinces because the central government remains a disaster, and the central government remains a disaster because these provinces have no security.