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America, the Taliban and Afghanistan: Seven Books to Read

As Afghanistan descends into a state of chaos, there are many people who are wondering how things got so bad. After all, nearly two decades ago, the Taliban fled Kabul, leaving Kabul in the hands of US forces. An era seemed to have come to an end in Afghanistan and a democratic government was destined to be in the troubled state. Alas, it was not so. Kabul is back with the Taliban, and this time the US seems to have fled, reminiscent of its return from Saigon in 1975. How did things come to this? We won’t know for sure for some time, but many writers and journalists saw it coming. So if you want to know what exactly were the roles of the US and Taliban in Afghanistan and what were the reasons for the never-ending chaos and bloodshed in that country, here are seven books that will give you a better understanding of the matters. Some may seem a bit outdated in terms of publication, but their content remains relevant. This is very sad.

Farewell to Kabuli
by Charlotte Lamb

farewell kabuli

The title of Charlotte Lamb’s book on Afghanistan seems to be in sync with the headlines of the day. She wrote the book in 2015 and was released to widely mixed reviews, but as time went on, it became some of the broadest and easily most sensitively written accounts of life in Afghanistan under the US-aided administration. has emerged as one of the lost accounts. From the battle scenes to the bazaar, even the death of bin Laden with President Hamid Karzai (who has emerged as a very strange person), it’s all right here. And written with great sensitivity. Some people may find the description a bit excessive (the book spans over 600 pages), and others may think that Lamb focuses more on people than on overall policy and strategy, but Lamb writes in a similar fashion. , and analyzes the ground situation thereof. Afghanistan has proved to be a sad prophecy.

war of afghanistan
by Peter Tomsen

war of afghanistan

Peter Thomson was a former diplomat who served in Afghanistan and if you are looking for a detailed account of the conflict in the country from 1970 to circa 2010, this is probably the perfect volume for you. Thomson delivers a truckload of information about the various conflicts surrounding Afghanistan and how the country went from a pawn in the Cold War to a battlefield between the US and the Taliban. Thomson is also one of the few writers who provides a sensible analysis of the tribal situation and the role of Pakistan that explains why things are going wrong in the country. At over seven hundred pages, it may prove too “heavy” to read in literal terms, but Thomson writes fluently, making it a great read for anyone who wants to know about key figures in the Afghan crisis. Is. It is about people who are in power and who want to be in power than those sitting on the ground, but still forced to read.

Taliban: Story of Afghan Warlords
by Ahmed Rashid

Taliban: Story of Afghan Warlords

Ahmed Rashid’s book on the student movement that took up arms and literally took over Afghanistan is a compelling read. Mainly because it was written before the 9/11 World Trade Center bombings that put the Taliban in the spotlight. Therefore, it provides one of the least “colorful” accounts of the movement and how it came into existence. The writing can seem a little less than fluent at times, but Rashid goes straight to the roots of the movement, giving you profiles of the people who led its development. And as predicted, he predicts that the movement will have its own problems, but will remain a force in Afghanistan that could not expect any stability while it was around. Twenty years after it was written, the book rings true and is a must-read for anyone wishing to understand the Taliban. There is a second volume on the Taliban by Rashid titled “Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia”, but this is the first reading.

The Wrong Enemy: America in Afghanistan, 2001-2014
by Carlota Gallo

The Wrong Enemy: America in Afghanistan, 2001-2014

Carlotta Gall was another journalist who apparently foresaw that the US was not really going anywhere in Afghanistan, for all its overwhelming technical and weapon superiority. However, what makes Gall’s book very different from others is that she really feels that America’s biggest problem was not the Taliban or local warlords or even the corrupt Afghan government, but its former ally Pakistan. Was. This is not an empty claim – Gaul backs up his theory with numerous interviews with officials from Afghanistan, Pakistan and even the US. In terms of narration, it’s probably the most “entertaining” book on this list and rattles at a pace that would make a thriller proud. What is worrying, however, is that there is no fiction here – the cold duplicity of governments, secret deals and body counts on the ground are all true. As Gall rightly saw a very uncertain future. And many would agree with his picture as Pakistan’s Brutus to America’s Julius Caesar.

Directorate S: CIA and US Secret Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan, 2001-2016 And Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001
by steve colo

Directorate S: The CIA and America’s Secret Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan, 2001–2016 and Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan and Bin Laden from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001

These two books are for those who love espionage and covert “intelligence” action. The CIA’s involvement in Afghanistan and its role in supporting the opposition to the Soviet Union in Afghanistan and seeking help from Pakistan in this regard would go back to 2001. And the rapid change is documented in these two rather chunky volumes, spanning over 1500 pages. How US Intelligence Tried to Handle Matters in Pakistan and Afghanistan. From funding a jihad against the Soviet Union to trying to bring down the people he had promoted with the aid of a highly unreliable ally in Pakistan, whose sympathies at times seemed to lie very strongly with the Taliban, These are, in fact, definitive accounts of the blunders that turned Afghanistan into what it is today. These are two of the most acclaimed books on the list, with Ghost Wars even claiming a Pulitzer! Don’t be afraid of their size, just read. And be surprised how mortal and flawed even a superpower can be.

The War on the Taliban: Where It All Goes Wrong in Afghanistan
by Sandy Gallo

The War on the Taliban: Where It All Goes Wrong in Afghanistan

Along with her involvement in the Soviet presence in the country, Sandy Gall has an excellent understanding of the issues affecting Afghanistan. In this extremely well written volume (published in 2012), he had the foresight to highlight that things were going horribly wrong in Afghanistan, as resources were being diverted to Iraq in the “War on Terror”. Was. He also highlights the challenges facing the Afghan people and how they are fed up with the non-stop conflicts and regime change. Gaul’s treatment of India is a bit strange (he sees it as a Hindu state with expansionist tendencies) but I would recommend ignoring it and focusing on his analysis of the situation in Afghanistan. It is also the thinnest of all the books on the list, so is also the easiest read in numerical terms.

Afghanistan: Where only God comes to cry
by Siba Shakibo

Afghanistan: Where only God comes to cry

A lot of the concerns surrounding the Taliban’s withdrawal revolve around how the regime might treat women in Afghanistan. The book may seem a bit outdated, and some may find the writing a bit on the over-simplified side, but there’s no denying the story it tells. where god comes only to cry The documentary follows the story of Shirin-Gol, told to producer Siba Shakib, the life of a woman in Afghanistan from Russia to the first Taliban regime. This is deeply disturbing and shocking in many places, with Shireen being married off to pay off gambling debts, literally on the road, and trying to escape by any means that is her fate. . This is a brutal, brave book.

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