In the Graveyard of Empires

In the Graveyard of Empires

America's War in Afghanistan

Book - 2009
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Following the September 11 attacks, the United States successfully overthrew the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. The U.S. established security throughout the country--killing, capturing, or scattering most of al Qa'ida's senior operatives--and Afghanistan finally began to emerge from more than two decades of struggle and conflict. But Jones argues that as early as 2001, planning for the Iraq War siphoned resources and personnel, undermining the gains that had been made. Jones introduces us to key figures on both sides of the war. He then analyzes the insurgency from a historical and structural point of view, showing how a rising drug trade, poor security forces, and pervasive corruption undermined the Karzai government, while Americans abandoned a successful strategy, failed to provide the necessary support, and allowed a growing sanctuary for insurgents in Pakistan to catalyze the Taliban resurgence.
Publisher: New York : W.W. Norton, c2009
Characteristics: xxxiv, 414 p., [16] p. of plates : ill., maps ; 25 cm
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780393068986 (hardcover)
Call Number: 958.1047 JONES


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Jun 01, 2017

I found this book informative, but slow-moving and written in a pretty dry manner. The takeaway is that America got sidetracked by the war in Iraq and was not able to devote the resources and troops necessary to successfully ensure that Afghanistan could transition from Taliban rule to a safer and more open society. A few other books about Afghanistan that are worth reading: "Ghost Wars," "No Good Men Among the Living," and "Little America."


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