Government officials in Afghanistan joke that Hollywood should make a movie called “2014.” That’s the deadline for US troops to depart. It’s also the year a presidential election will put someone other than Hamid Karzai in office. It’s a double-whammy of uncertainty in a country that already has lots of reasons to be anxious about the future.
“Some people have already transferred all their cash from Afghanistan to Dubai,” my friend Shoaib Barakzai, a wealthy businessman in Kandahar, told me on the phone yesterday. “Everybody is afraid of 2014.”