Faisal Devji is professor of Indian history at the University of Oxford. He is the author of, inter alia, “Muslim Zion: Pakistan as a Political Idea” and “The Impossible Indian: Gandhi and the Temptations of Violence.”
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Afghanistan itself was a sideshow in which money and careers could be made and repatriated. In the meantime, an artificial economy was created there to service birds of passage, from diplomats and aid workers to military officials and outside contractors.