Not long ago, I posted a stunning video that was recently put together to promote tourism in Namibia. Now, the NATO channel, an arm of NATO’s public diplomacy machinery, has produced a video to promote tourism in Afghanistan, of all places!
Having visited Afghanistan myself nearly a dozen times, I’ve got no gripes with the claim that Afghanistan is abundant with natural and cultural beauty. And I was proud to visit Bosnia and Herzegovina a few years ago as a tourist, only 8 years after I had deployed there as a peacekeeper. But my first thought was, “surely the public diplomacy wizards at NATO haven’t deluded themselves into thinking Afghanistan will be a prime tourist destination after we’ve declared victory in 2014.” But the narrator of the video admits correctly, “Only the most optimistic foresee a near future where tourists flock to Afghanistan in their droves, as they did in the sixties and seventies. But experienced adventurers, with carefully planned itineraries and local help, can expect a unique visual and visceral imprint, unmatched anywhere else in the world.”
If you’ve got a sense of adventure, you may want to book your tickets soon, before the hotel in the Panjshir fills up!
Oh, and a side note – Shah Ahmad Massoud was not universally revered by Afghans as the narrator asserts. But I’m sure that will come out in the comments on YouTube.