Oqa, Afghanistan—“Never heard of him,” says Mirza the tumbleweed-gatherer. “Was he an Arab? Someone who helped the Taliban?” asks Nazar the hunter. Aman Bai, a former mujahedin commander, squints at the wasteland that clenches his village in a menacing, infertile grip. After a rainless winter, the spare blades of hard, thorny greens that have poked at last through the clay soil are not enough to graze Oqa’s washboard-ribbed livestock.