Afghanistan

A Military History from Alexander the Great to the War against the Taliban
Author: Stephen Tanner
Publisher: Da Capo Press
ISBN: 0786722630
Category: History
Page: 392
View: 9037
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For over 2,500 years, the forbidding territory of Afghanistan has served as a vital crossroads for armies and has witnessed history-shaping clashes between civilizations: Greek, Arab, Mongol, and Tartar, and, in more recent times, British, Russian, and American. When U.S. troops entered Afghanistan in the weeks following September 11, 2001, they overthrew the Afghan Taliban regime and sent the terrorists it harbored on the run. But America's initial easy victory is in sharp contrast to the difficulties it faces today in confronting the Taliban resurgence. Originally published in 2002, Stephen Tanner's Afghanistan has now been completely updated to include the crucial turn of events since America first entered the country.

Losing Afghanistan

An Obituary for the Intervention
Author: Noah Coburn
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 0804797803
Category: Social Science
Page: 264
View: 2669
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The U.S.-led intervention in Afghanistan mobilized troops, funds, and people on an international level not seen since World War II. Hundreds of thousands of individuals and tens of billions of dollars flowed into the country. But what was gained for Afghanistan—or for the international community that footed the bill? Why did development money not lead to more development? Why did a military presence make things more dangerous? Through the stories of four individuals—an ambassador, a Navy SEAL, a young Afghan businessman, and a wind energy engineer—Noah Coburn weaves a vivid account of the challenges and contradictions of life during the intervention. Looking particularly at the communities around Bagram Airbase, this ethnography considers how Afghans viewed and attempted to use the intervention and how those at the base tried to understand the communities around them. These compelling stories step outside the tired paradigms of 'unruly' Afghan tribes, an effective Taliban resistance, and a corrupt Karzai government to show how the intervention became an entity unto itself, one doomed to collapse under the weight of its own bureaucracy and contradictory intentions.

Afghanistan

A Cultural and Political History
Author: Thomas Barfield
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400834532
Category: History
Page: 408
View: 3322
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Afghanistan traces the historic struggles and the changing nature of political authority in this volatile region of the world, from the Mughal Empire in the sixteenth century to the Taliban resurgence today. Thomas Barfield introduces readers to the bewildering diversity of tribal and ethnic groups in Afghanistan, explaining what unites them as Afghans despite the regional, cultural, and political differences that divide them. He shows how governing these peoples was relatively easy when power was concentrated in a small dynastic elite, but how this delicate political order broke down in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries when Afghanistan's rulers mobilized rural militias to expel first the British and later the Soviets. Armed insurgency proved remarkably successful against the foreign occupiers, but it also undermined the Afghan government's authority and rendered the country ever more difficult to govern as time passed. Barfield vividly describes how Afghanistan's armed factions plunged the country into a civil war, giving rise to clerical rule by the Taliban and Afghanistan's isolation from the world. He examines why the American invasion in the wake of September 11 toppled the Taliban so quickly, and how this easy victory lulled the United States into falsely believing that a viable state could be built just as easily. Afghanistan is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand how a land conquered and ruled by foreign dynasties for more than a thousand years became the "graveyard of empires" for the British and Soviets, and what the United States must do to avoid a similar fate.

The History of Afghanistan


Author: Meredith L. Runion
Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group
ISBN: 9780313337987
Category: History
Page: 155
View: 6018
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Provides general readers and students with an understanding of one of the most controversial nations in the contemporary world.

The Wars of Afghanistan

Messianic Terrorism, Tribal Conflicts, and the Failures of Great Powers
Author: Peter Tomsen
Publisher: PublicAffairs
ISBN: 1610394127
Category: History
Page: 912
View: 7580
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As Ambassador and Special Envoy on Afghanistan from 1989 to 1992, Peter Tomsen has had close relationships with Afghan leaders and has dealt with senior Taliban, warlords, and religious leaders involved in the region's conflicts over the last two decades. Now Tomsen draws on a rich trove of never-before-published material to shed new light on the American involvement in the long and continuing Afghan war. This book offers a deeply informed perspective on how Afghanistan's history as a “shatter zone” for foreign invaders and its tribal society have shaped the modern Afghan narrative. It brings to life the appallingly misinformed secret operations by foreign intelligence agencies, including the Soviet NKVD and KGB, the Pakistani ISI, and the CIA. American policy makers, Tomsen argues, still do not understand Afghanistan; nor do they appreciate how the CIA's covert operations and the Pentagon's military strategy have strengthened extremism in the country. At this critical time, he shows how the U.S. and the coalition it leads can assist the region back to peace and stability.

Return of a King

The Battle for Afghanistan, 1839-42
Author: William Dalrymple
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0307958299
Category: History
Page: 560
View: 5495
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From William Dalrymple—award-winning historian, journalist and travel writer—a masterly retelling of what was perhaps the West’s greatest imperial disaster in the East, and an important parable of neocolonial ambition, folly and hubris that has striking relevance to our own time. With access to newly discovered primary sources from archives in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Russia and India—including a series of previously untranslated Afghan epic poems and biographies—the author gives us the most immediate and comprehensive account yet of the spectacular first battle for Afghanistan: the British invasion of the remote kingdom in 1839. Led by lancers in scarlet cloaks and plumed helmets, and facing little resistance, nearly 20,000 British and East India Company troops poured through the mountain passes from India into Afghanistan in order to reestablish Shah Shuja ul-Mulk on the throne, and as their puppet. But after little more than two years, the Afghans rose in answer to the call for jihad and the country exploded into rebellion. This First Anglo-Afghan War ended with an entire army of what was then the most powerful military nation in the world ambushed and destroyed in snowbound mountain passes by simply equipped Afghan tribesmen. Only one British man made it through. But Dalrymple takes us beyond the bare outline of this infamous battle, and with penetrating, balanced insight illuminates the uncanny similarities between the West’s first disastrous entanglement with Afghanistan and the situation today. He delineates the straightforward facts: Shah Shuja and President Hamid Karzai share the same tribal heritage; the Shah’s principal opponents were the Ghilzai tribe, who today make up the bulk of the Taliban’s foot soldiers; the same cities garrisoned by the British are today garrisoned by foreign troops, attacked from the same rings of hills and high passes from which the British faced attack. Dalryrmple also makes clear the byzantine complexity of Afghanistan’s age-old tribal rivalries, the stranglehold they have on the politics of the nation and the ways in which they ensnared both the British in the nineteenth century and NATO forces in the twenty-first. Informed by the author’s decades-long firsthand knowledge of Afghanistan, and superbly shaped by his hallmark gifts as a narrative historian and his singular eye for the evocation of place and culture, The Return of a King is both the definitive analysis of the First Anglo-Afghan War and a work of stunning topicality.

Directorate S

The C.I.A. and America's Secret Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan
Author: Steve Coll
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 052555730X
Category: Political Science
Page: 784
View: 5867
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Resuming the narrative of his Pulitzer Prize-winning Ghost Wars, bestselling author Steve Coll tells for the first time the epic and enthralling story of America's intelligence, military, and diplomatic efforts to defeat Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan since 9/11 Prior to 9/11, the United States had been carrying out small-scale covert operations in Afghanistan, ostensibly in cooperation, although often in direct opposition, with I.S.I., the Pakistani intelligence agency. While the US was trying to quell extremists, a highly secretive and compartmentalized wing of I.S.I., known as "Directorate S," was covertly training, arming, and seeking to legitimize the Taliban, in order to enlarge Pakistan's sphere of influence. After 9/11, when fifty-nine countries, led by the U. S., deployed troops or provided aid to Afghanistan in an effort to flush out the Taliban and Al Qaeda, the U.S. was set on an invisible slow-motion collision course with Pakistan. Today we know that the war in Afghanistan would falter badly because of military hubris at the highest levels of the Pentagon, the drain on resources and provocation in the Muslim world caused by the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, and corruption. But more than anything, as Coll makes painfully clear, the war in Afghanistan was doomed because of the failure of the United States to apprehend the motivations and intentions of I.S.I.'s "Directorate S". This was a swirling and shadowy struggle of historic proportions, which endured over a decade and across both the Bush and Obama administrations, involving multiple secret intelligence agencies, a litany of incongruous strategies and tactics, and dozens of players, including some of the most prominent military and political figures. A sprawling American tragedy, the war was an open clash of arms but also a covert melee of ideas, secrets, and subterranean violence. Coll excavates this grand battle, which took place away from the gaze of the American public. With unsurpassed expertise, original research, and attention to detail, he brings to life a narrative at once vast and intricate, local and global, propulsive and painstaking. This is the definitive explanation of how America came to be so badly ensnared in an elaborate, factional, and seemingly interminable conflict in South Asia. Nothing less than a forensic examination of the personal and political forces that shape world history, Directorate S is a complete masterpiece of both investigative and narrative journalism.

The Places in Between


Author: Rory Stewart
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN: 0156035936
Category: Travel
Page: 320
View: 3456
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In January 2002 Rory Stewart walked across Afghanistan-surviving by his wits, his knowledge of Persian dialects and Muslim customs, and the kindness of strangers. By day he passed through mountains covered in nine feet of snow, hamlets burned and emptied by the Taliban, and communities thriving amid the remains of medieval civilizations. By night he slept on villagers' floors, shared their meals, and listened to their stories of the recent and ancient past. Along the way Stewart met heroes and rogues, tribal elders and teenage soldiers, Taliban commanders and foreign-aid workers. He was also adopted by an unexpected companion-a retired fighting mastiff he named Babur in honor of Afghanistan's first Mughal emperor, in whose footsteps the pair was following. Through these encounters-by turns touching, con-founding, surprising, and funny-Stewart makes tangible the forces of tradition, ideology, and allegiance that shape life in the map's countless places in between.

Afghanistan

A Distant War
Author: Robert Nickelsberg,Ahmad Nader Nadery,Steve Coll,Ahmed Rashid,Tim McGirk
Publisher: Prestel Pub
ISBN: 9783791348650
Category: Photography
Page: 183
View: 4506
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Noted documentary photographer Robert Nickelsberg's photographs help bring into focus the day-to-day consequences of war, poverty, oppression, and political turmoil in Afghanistan. Since the attack on the World Trade Center, Afghanistan has evolved from a country few people thought twice about to a place that evokes our deepest emotions. TIME magazine photographer Robert Nickelsberg has been publishing his images of this distant yet all too familiar country since 1998, when he accompanied a group of Mujahideen across the border from Pakistan. This remarkable volume of photographs is accompanied by insightful texts from experts on Afghanistan and the Taliban. The images themselves are captioned with places, dates, and Nickelsberg's own extensive commentary. Timely and important, the book serves as a reminder that Afghanistan and the rest of the world remain inextricably linked, no matter how much we long to distance ourselves from its painful realities.

Ghosts of Afghanistan

Hard Truths and Foreign Myths
Author: Jonathan Steele
Publisher: Counterpoint Press
ISBN: 1582437874
Category: History
Page: 437
View: 1767
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Presents a study of the wars in Afghanistan by the veteran reporter who has had exclusive access to the WikiLeaks document cache on the politics, corruption, and warfare that has afflicted the country.

Afghanistan

The people
Author: Erinn Banting
Publisher: Crabtree Publishing Company
ISBN: 9780778793366
Category: History
Page: 32
View: 4469
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Explores how the history, climate, geography, ethnology, wars, and religion of Afghanistan have shaped the customs and practices of modern daily life in the mountains, deserts, and cities.

Out of Afghanistan

The Inside Story of the Soviet Withdrawal
Author: Diego Cordovez,Selig S. Harrison
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
ISBN: 0195062949
Category: History
Page: 450
View: 1782
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Reveals how skillful diplomacy got the Soviets to withdraw from Afghanistan

The Great Gamble

The Soviet War in Afghanistan
Author: Gregory Feifer
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 0061143189
Category: History
Page: 336
View: 1289
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The Soviet war in Afghanistan was a grueling debacle that has striking lessons for the twenty-first century. In The Great Gamble, Gregory Feifer examines the conflict from the perspective of the soldiers on the ground. During the last years of the Cold War, the Soviet Union sent some of its most elite troops to unfamiliar lands in Central Asia to fight a vaguely defined enemy, which eventually defeated their superior numbers with unconventional tactics. Although the Soviet leadership initially saw the invasion as a victory, many Russian soldiers came to view the war as a demoralizing and devastating defeat, the consequences of which had a substantial impact on the Soviet Union and its collapse. Feifer's extensive research includes eye-opening interviews with participants from both sides of the conflict. In gripping detail, he vividly depicts the invasion of a volatile country that no power has ever successfully conquered. Parallels between the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the U.S. invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq are impossible to ignore—both conflicts were waged amid vague ideological rhetoric about freedom. Both were roundly condemned by the outside world for trying to impose their favored forms of government on countries with very different ways of life. And both seem destined to end on uncertain terms. A groundbreaking account seen through the eyes of the men who fought it, The Great Gamble tells an unforgettable story full of drama, action, and political intrigue whose relevance in our own time is greater than ever.

An Unexpected Light

Travels in Afghanistan
Author: Jason Elliot
Publisher: Picador
ISBN: 1466837802
Category: Travel
Page: 496
View: 6822
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Part historical evocation, part travelogue, and part personal quest, An Unexpected Light is the account of Elliot's journey through Afghanistan, a country considered off-limits to travelers for twenty years. Aware of the risks involved, but determined to explore what he could of the Afghan people and culture, Elliot leaves the relative security of Kabul. He travels by foot and on horseback, and hitches rides on trucks that eventually lead him into the snowbound mountains of the North toward Uzbekistan, the former battlefields of the Soviet army's "hidden war." Here the Afghan landscape kindles a recollection of the author's life ten years earlier, when he fought with the anti-Soviet mujaheddin resistance during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. Weaving different Afghan times and visits with revealing insights on matters ranging from antipersonnel mines to Sufism, Elliot has created a narrative mosaic of startling prose that captures perfectly the powerful allure of a seldom-glimpsed world. Jason Elliot's An Unexpected Light is a remarkable, poignant book about Afghanistan and a heartfelt reflection on the experience of travel itself.

Horse Soldiers


Author: D. Stanton
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1476780196
Category: History
Page: 416
View: 8111
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A Simon & Schuster eBook. Simon & Schuster has a great book for every reader.

Afghanistan – Challenges and Prospects


Author: Srinjoy Bose,Nishank Motwani,William Maley
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1351666762
Category: Social Science
Page: 14
View: 2750
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After decades of turmoil a new phase is opening up for Afghanistan, in which a new generation comes to the fore as many of the key players from earlier phases, including foreign interventionist powers, leave the scene. Although this new phase offers new possibilities and increased hope for Afghanistan’s future, the huge problems created in earlier phases remain. This book presents a comprehensive overall assessment of the current state of politics and society in Afghanistan, outlining the difficulties and discussing the future possibilities. Many of the contributors are Afghans or Afghan insiders, who are able to put forward a much richer view of the situation than outside foreign observers.

Afghanistan

An Atlas of Indigenous Domestic Architecture
Author: Albert Szabo,Thomas Jefferson Barfield
Publisher: Thomas Barfield
ISBN: N.A
Category: Architecture
Page: 264
View: 8223
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Little America

The War Within the War for Afghanistan
Author: Rajiv Chandrasekaran
Publisher: A&C Black
ISBN: 1408831201
Category: History
Page: 368
View: 6807
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The author of Imperial Life in the Emerald City (winner of the 2007 Samuel Johnson Prize) now gives us the startling, behind-the-scenes story of the struggle between President Obama and the US military to remake Afghanistan.

Afghanistan


Author: Mary Englar
Publisher: Capstone
ISBN: 9780736869485
Category: Juvenile Nonfiction
Page: 64
View: 4083
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An introduction to the geography, history, economy, culture, and people of the Afghanistan.

Afghanistan

Realities of War and Rebuilding
Author: Bahaudin Ghulam Mujtaba
Publisher: N.A
ISBN: N.A
Category: History
Page: 272
View: 2608
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The author provides a realistic and personal paradigm of what has happened in Afghanistan in the last three decades, starting with the invasion of the country by the Russian forces and continuing through what is happening now. He also shares the story of his family's escape from the country.