It's official! Our assessment on the potential NATO Country Contributions to ISAF is on the Hill and ready to go to Edinburgh this week! The irony of it is that we spelled "capabilities" wrong on the front cover...how that got past the dozen or so people who reviewed the assessment, we shall never know.
Anyway this week was much more relaxed and after going "NATO-lite" for the week, I have had some time to look at the crossover between this internship and my SIS Intro to International Relations Research Course. I got a new book called Seeds of Terror, by Gretchen Peters this week for my research proposal on the effects poppy farmers have on nation-building in Afghanistan and in our final assessment we are including a section on how failure to create a stable Afghanistan will affect the amount of heroin and drug-related deaths in Europe and how the Taliban are thriving because of this industry. A stronger Taliban means a stronger al Qaeda means a greater threat for European security. So I found this really good book connecting this drug money to the Taliban and Ryan (my boss) was pretty excited because he hadn't seen it before! Yay me! Another contribution to the assessment! So I'm using this book for my paper and the assessment! Two birds with one stone!
This week I got to face one of my biggest fears again....calling! Only this time I was calling the actual experts on our list (and sometimes their assistants)! This was much more nerve-wracking than any calling I had ever done so I ended up writing a script for myself. This method worked pretty well and I would definately suggest doing it if you have this same fear. If you freeze up when someone picks up on the other end of the line all you have to do it read!
Thursday I also got to spend half of the day working at our Conference being held for the college students accepted into our Fellowship program. It was really nice to take that time away from sitting at a desk and interact with students more my age. A lot of them are writing about problems abroad for their Fellowship papers and I found many of them very interesting. It was also very good to see how the Center reaches out to the national community!