- By Margaret Slattery
Margaret Slattery is assistant managing editor at Foreign Policy, working primarily on FP's print magazine. A Los Angeles native and recent graduate of Yale University, where she majored in English, she has written for The New Republic and has studied in Leon, Spain.
This morning, FP published our newest ebook, Bird of Chaman, Flower of the Khyber, Matthieu Aikins’s great read about his wild ride in a Pakistani truck, starting in Karachi and following the military supply route into the Afghan war zone. The book, the second in our Borderlands series of dispatches from the world’s most contenious fault lines, is now on sale on our site and for the Kindle on Amazon.
Over the course of six days and 1,000 miles, Aikins encountered roadside bandits, Kalashnikov-wielding tribal patrols, predatory police, and hawk-eyed toll guards. But he also befriended a group of rural Pashtuns, among the many who have left their tribal homelands for jobs as truckers, carting supplies into Afghanistan and, in the process, becoming crucial actors in the U.S. and NATO military operation there.
Aikins rode with two such Pashtun men — a pair of hash-smoking brothers from the northern border town of Landi Kotal — in the back of their rickety 1993 Nissan, where he took the short video above, just as the truck was entering the famed Khyber Pass between Pakistan and Afghanistan.