Magazine November 23, 2009, Issue

The View From Man Bear Pig

A U.S. soldier from Stryker Brigade walks during a foot patrol in Arghandab District, Kandahar province November 1, 2009. (Omar Sobhani/Reuters)
On the ground in Afghanistan, it’s still a question of power, not politics

Outpost Man Bear Pig —

After the AK rounds cracked over the sandbags, Sgt. Robert Kightlinger, 23, of Jackson, Calif., muttered “Insolent bastards” and led a dozen Marines and Afghan soldiers outside the wire in pursuit. Leaving behind six Marines to guard this isolated outpost in Helmand province, they bounded across dry poppy fields and soon found cartridges dropped by the shooters. A kilometer farther on, their attackers stopped to fire from a mosque. The mosque was off-limits unless the Marines could positively identify an enemy holding a rifle. Instead of providing the Marines with that opportunity, the shooters slipped

Bing West, a bestselling author and former assistant secretary of defense, served as a Marine grunt in Vietnam and later as a dean at the Naval War College.

In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners


China Alone?

When China Rules the World: The End of the Western World and the Birth of a New Global Order, by Martin Jacques (Penguin, 576 pp., $29.95)
Film & TV

Dark and Wild

This is a film about childhood that can be appreciated by pretentious, nitpicky grown-ups, it will find its fiercest fans among the Maxes of the world




‘Would it not be easier,” wrote Bertolt Brecht after the East German uprising in 1953, “for the government to dissolve the people and elect another?”

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