thinking outside the box and other kabul clichés

on the way back from the 3-hour long presentation the few of us in the car discussed what everyone took out of the meeting, and we agreed that it was a 3-hour long problem statement about how everything did not, does not and will not work.

in terms of what was proposed as solid, actionable, practical ways forward? well, the most memorable thing anyone could think of was this: we have got to think outside the box.

now if this country is at the mercy of these platitudes, then by goodness things will not work, and no wonder they have never worked.

what are some of your favorite kabul clichés?
i know harryrud a while ago began compiling a list like this. we have began one here in office too (yes, we are a pretty cynical and witty bunch and think that we are better than anyone else -which is, i am sure, everyone’s opinion of themselves around here.) i will see if i can share the list here at some point.


~ by safrang on February 8, 2009.

2 Responses to “thinking outside the box and other kabul clichés”

  1. I know some! I know some! And this is just from the banter we get remotely from my office’s Afg project.

    “Building local capacity”

    “Strengthening democratic institutions”

    “Fostering a culture of transparency”

    The first two are pretty easily defined, noble concepts, but used to fill air generally. The last always elicits a wtf? response from me, because what does that even *mean.” Like, *really* mean?

  2. Back in the good old days–itself a cliche!–when I was in Kabul, the term ‘coordinate’ used to be on everyone’s lips.

    In DC, a more annoying one is not letting go: ‘carrots and sticks’

    Hope you are well.

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