Afghanistan From the Cold War Through the War on Terror

Afghanistan From the Cold War Through the War on Terror

Book - 2013
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Oxford University Press
One of our foremost authorities on modern Afghanistan, Barnett R. Rubin has dedicated much of his career to the study of this remote mountain country. He served as a special advisor to the late Ambassador Richard Holbrooke during his final mission to the region and still serves the Obama administration under Holbrooke's successor, Ambassador Marc Grossman.

Now Rubin distills his unmatched knowledge of Afghanistan in this invaluable book. He shows how the Taliban arose in resistance to warlords some of whom who were raping and plundering with impunity in the vacuum of authority left by the collapse of the Afghan state after the Soviet withdrawal. The Taliban built on a centuries-old tradition of local leadership by students and teachers at independent, rural madrasas--networks that had been marginalized by the state-building royal regime that was itself destroyed by the Soviets and radicalized by the resistance to the invasion. He examines the arrival of Arab Islamists, the missed opportunities after the American-led intervention, the role of Pakistan, and the challenges of reconstruction. Rubin provides first-hand accounts of the bargaining at both the Bonn Talks of 2001 and the Afghan Constitutional Loya Jirga of 2003-2004, in both of which he participated as a UN advisor. Throughout, he discusses the significance of ethnic rivalries, the drug trade, human rights, state-building, US strategic choices, and international organizations, analyzing the missteps in these areas taken by the international community since 2001. The book covers events till the start of the Obama administration, and the final chapters provide an inside look at some of the thinking that is shaping today's policy debates inside the administration.

Authoritative, nuanced, and sweeping in scope, Afghanistan in the Post-Cold War Era provides deep insight into the greatest foreign policy challenge facing America today.

Publisher: Oxford [England] ; New York : Oxford University Press, [2013]
Copyright Date: ©2013
ISBN: 9780199791125
Branch Call Number: 958.104 RUBIN
Characteristics: xxiii, 504 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm


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May 12, 2013

Hmmm, served under Richard Holbrooke, Holbrooke being the guy who was unable to get a job on his own after squeeking through a journalism program in college and no newspaper in the country would hire him, then flunked the Foreign Service Officer's Exam at the State Department, then tried entering the Army, but flunked the OCS exam? (Holbrooke knew Dean Rusk's family, and Rusk obtained a position at State for for the chronically failing Holbrooke.) Somehow, Holbrooke, became an overnight financial genius when his cronies hired him on Wall Street (once referred to as payoff, or graft, and so on). Hmmm, served Marc Grossman, oddly appointed by Hillary Clinton, since Grossman was a Bush Inner Circle guy, and fingered by Sibel Edmunds as one of the top sellers of nuclear secrets? You won't find out about Jimmy Carter's presidential directive aimed at destabilizing the once-secular democracy of Afghanistan (moved foreign Wahabist Isalmic extremists from Saudi Arabia and Yemen to Afghanistan's norther board with the Sovs to foment rebellion against the secularists and pro-democracy types. Revisionism, anyone? (The great thing about doing extensive research, and the knowledge it yields, is that when someone mentions a Richard Holbrooke to "impress" you, you can readily respond: Did Holbrooke EVER get a job on his own during his entire life? And know the answer is a resounding NO!)


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