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An argument for non-intervention

Clearly, we don’t do too well when we intervene militarily in the affairs of other countries unprompted, with pretty much the worst track record of military interventions one could imagine. And apparently, other countries can take care of themselves just fine without our help. Long story short, unless people are explicitly asking for help, we don’t need to mess with other people’s political and military situations.

‘The Kill Team’ provides slanted account of Maywand District murders

“I couldn’t take it anymore. I wanted to tell somebody what was going on,” said Specialist Adam Winfield, recalling his time with the Fifth Stryker Brigade, Second Infantry Division, stationed outside Kandahar, Afghanistan. The unit became known as “The Kill Team” when five of its members were accused of murdering three Afghan civilians in 2011. A new documentary by the same name explores the aftermath of the killings, focusing on the story of Winfield and his family. In the end, this perspective is more limiting than illuminating. At every step of the way, the film depends on emotional manipulation, rather than dispassionate, evidence-based argument.

Following the Maywand District murders, government officials portrayed the atrocities as the product of a few bad apples rather than systemic issues within the armed forces. It is laudable that director Dan Krauss sought to interrogate, or at least contextualize, this framing of the crimes. In all likelihood, there is a documentary to be made about the institutional conditions and leadership vacuum that made the crimes possible. But “The Kill Team” is not that movie.

Stanford Knight Fellow promotes female journalists in Afghanistan

As U.S. troops gradually withdraw from Afghanistan and as the country nears a pivotal presidential election, gender roles and the status of women in Afghanistan have been thrown into uncertainty. Amidst that disruption, Amie Ferris-Rotman ’14, a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow, has launched an initiative that aims increase the number of local Afghan female journalists working for international news agencies.