Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in Kabul. (Jason Reed -- Getty Images)

I'm back from a week-long vacation and am still catching up, which is why Monday's collection is longer than usual. This post is part of a recurring feature highlighting some of the best foreign affairs coverage from other media outlets, blogs, academic institutions and think tanks. It’s also meant to give you a sense of what might end up driving the foreign policy conversations for the day. We hope you enjoy it and check back tomorrow.

1. Los Angeles Times: Chuck Hagel's not-so-great visit to Kabul

A nice preview of the next two years in U.S.-Afghan relations, which look like they might be escalating from "troubled" to a complete mess. Whatever game Afghan President Hamid Karzai is playing, it doesn't appear to be working out very well for him or for the United States.

2. Foreign Policy: Invisible Children "save" Africa, as retold in a graphic novel

Relive everyone's favorite well-meaning but neo-colonialist enterprise, this time as a comic book. This is just an excerpt; you can get the full graphic novel here.

3. The New York Times: How a U.S. Citizen Came to Be in America’s Cross Hairs

The most complete telling so far of how the Obama administration decided on, and then carried out, a plan to kill American citizen Anwar al-Awlaki without due process, the first such killing since the Civil War.

4. The Atlantic: The Girls With the Dragon Weddings

The enterprising Matt Schiavenza recently joined the Atlantic to launch a China-specific vertical. One of the first pieces he's edited is this great dispatch on Chinese-American weddings as fascinating, if sometimes difficult, moments when modern American and Chinese traditions collide.

5. New Yorker: A Scandal at the Bolshoi Ballet

Settle in to David Remnick's long-form treatment of this colorful and storied institution of Russian high culture.