International New York Times
January 24, 2014
Regarding “Kabul attack may alter foreigners’ view” (News, Jan. 20): Most Western diplomats serve in Afghanistan for a one-year tour. They arrive with no experience of the country, can’t speak either of its languages, and only venture out of their fortified embassies with difficulty. By the time they start to understand the country, they are gone. Vadim Nazarov, a Russian United Nations official murdered in the attack on the Taverna du Liban restaurant in central Kabul, devoted his life to Afghanistan. Fluent in Dari, he served there in the 1980s and continuously over the last eight years. He was a kind man, an excellent diplomat and an irreplaceable resource.
Peter W. Galbraith, Townshend, Vt.
The writer served as the deputy special representative of the United Nations in Afghanistan in 2009.