What if my daughter wants to go to Afghanistan?

My daughter’s on-again-off-again boyfriend (boy, I wish it were permanently off-again!) boyfriend is a private in the US Army. He has just finished basic training and says that he is to be deployed to Afghanistan. Good for him. I hope that nothing terrible happens to him and that he serves with honor and distinction.

Now, my daughter has only a loose grip on the realities of the grown-up world. I can imagine that she would promise him that she will come to visit him in Afghanistan. Ha. She doesn’t even have a passport.

But, can one get to Afghanistan? Suppose I wanted to take in the tourist hotspots of Kabul. Maybe my daughter and I will go visit Dumba** (my wife’s and my “pet” name for the boyfriend). How would we do it? Does anyone sell tickets? And, no, we’re not signing up for the military. No fair expecting us to get some job that involves going to Afghanistan (like pilot for an airline that charters military flights, or becoming a war reporter). I just want a lovely two-weeks in Kabul and a side trip to see Dumba**. We can start our trip at Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) in Houston.

(Disclaimer: No way in Hell am I actually going to go to Afghanistan. No way is my daughter going, either. I would imagine such a trip would be expensive and she has no money. I’m just wondering if it could be done.)

Until someone informed shows up…

Of course it’s possible. If nothing else, you can fly to Pakistan and hire a driver. Wikipedia, however, says international flights to Kabul resumed just two days ago. Good timing!

There are two Afghani airlines, Ariana and Kam Air that fly in and out of Kabul, and according to Lonely Planet, it’s most common to go through Dubai. There don’t seem to be any flights you can currently book direct from the US to Afghanistan, so you would probably have to buy a ticket to Dubai (or Islamabad, or somewhere else vaguely regional), and then another ticket from there on to Kabul, which I imagine would be extremely expensive.

However, the US State Department would really rather you not go at all, and says that their resources to help Americans within Afghanistan are rather limited.

And as for the sights…well, Lonely Planet’s featured picture on the main Afghanistan page is of a bombed-out van surrounded by a pile of rubble, so, uh…have a great trip, and don’t forget your kevlar!

Could you even get a travel insurance policy to go to Afghanistan?

And I hear K&R cover is hellaciously expensive to get.

It’s a fricken war zone. I’m confident that her soldier’s chain of command would never allow her anywhere near him.

Not only would it be nearly impossible to go to Afghanistan as a tourist, the BF’s commanders aren’t even going to allow her to know where he even is, nor should they.

I suppose you could fly to Egypt, traverse the desert to Afghanistan via camel, and hire Geraldo Rivera to draw you maps in the sand to find him…

Visiting him while he’s actually in Afghanistan is impractical and likely very unsafe for you and your daughter. Honestly, you might be safer visiting Iraq.


Thanks for the replies. Please understand that I have no intention of actually going to Afghanistan or allowing my daughter to do so. I wouldn’t cross the street to visit Dumbass, let alone cross the planet. Even if my daughter completely lost her mind and made the attempt, she doesn’t have the money to make such a journey.

Egypt seems like a rather long walk.

In 2002 a Danish artist named Simone Kærnflew from Denmark to Afghanistan in a Piper Colt.

Not sure how crazy your daughter is but this lady did it without permission.

Assuming you’re white, it would be really, really dangerous. 19 Western aid workers have been killed this year, and they travel in groups and have military escorts in the more dangerous areas.

She could always get a job working over there for AAFES or something. Doesn’t take much skill. Entry level cashier and sales positions are always available. That solves the transportation issue and her lack of money issue.
And it wouldn’t be unheard of for the soldier to get a Pass to go and visit her, depending on her proximity to him.
Hell… she could end up working at the same base he’s at.

I’m sorry to contradict so many posters, but actually, there are tourists who visit Afghanistan (or at least, as far as I understand, Kabul). There are even tour operators organizing and selling such trips (I don’t know about the technicalities, like from where you fly in Kabul). I also remember that in some documentary about the military situation there, it was mentioned in passing that essentially all foreigners, tourists, journalists, etc… were staying in the same hotel, that looked quite nice.
I even heard recently that there are even organized tours in Iraq, though only in Kurdistan.
I made a quick search and apparently I could fly from Paris to Kabul in about 10 hours, for roughly € 3500, on an Air India flight.

The Kam Air office in Dubai near the Al Sabkha abra station sells tickets to Kabul. You can go if you like.

If the OP’s question is “how do I shut up my daughter when she starts talking about going to visit?”, I think **Ruby **has it. Even is she knew where to go and could get herself to the gate of his base, that’s as far as she will ever make it. She just won’t see him.

FWIW, a close friend of mine who works in one of the clandestine agencies wasn’t able to visit her boyfriend (a Navy Reserve Intelligence officer) when he was in Kabul. She was allowed to travel there if she wanted (plenty of clearance) but they couldn’t guarantee she’d be able to see him, even though he was stationed in a very peaceful area, and he wasn’t allowed off station at all, except for a two week vacation they sent everyone on in Qatar.