Neil Shea

writer | photographer | story consultant

This story appeared in the Spring 2012 issue of the The American Scholar.

A Gathering Menace

Making Taliban | in The American Scholar

The soldiers around me were barely visible, but I could smell them. They had not washed for days, and a sharp musk of sweat and sleeplessness, tobacco and chemically mummified food, wove through the fields and orchards. It was after midnight, moonless, the stars brilliant but unhelpful. The soldiers wore night-vision goggles, but I did not, so I stumbled after their scent along the remote edge of a fading war, envisioning things I could not see.

+ full story in the Spring 2012 issue of The American Scholar.