By Larry P. Goodson
Going past the stereotypes of Kalashnikov-wielding Afghan mujahideen and black-turbaned Taliban fundamentalists, Larry Goodson explains during this concise research of the Afghan struggle what has particularly been occurring in Afghanistan within the final twenty years.
Beginning with the explanations in the back of Afghanistan’s lack of ability to forge a powerful country -- its myriad cleavages alongside ethnic, non secular, social, and geographical fault strains -- Goodson then examines the devastating process the struggle itself. He charts its utter destruction of the rustic, from the deaths of greater than 2 million Afghans and the dispersal of a few six million others as refugees to the whole cave in of its financial system, which this day has been changed through monoagriculture in opium poppies and heroin creation. The Taliban, a few of whose leaders Goodson interviewed as lately as 1997, have managed approximately eighty percentage of the rustic yet themselves have proven expanding discord alongside ethnic and political traces.
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Extra resources for Afghanistan's Endless War: State Failure, Regional Politics, and the Rise of the Taliban
2),33 In 1837, the Great Game reached what is now Afghanistan. In that year a Russian-aided Persian attempt to annex Herat was initiated. "35 To fully recount the convoluted tale of imperial geopolitics in nineteenth-century Central Asia far exceeds the scope of this chapter. Suffice it to say that both powers operated from an expansionist perspective and always with an eye on the actions of the other. The following excerpt from a memorandum by Prince Gorchakov in 1864 aptly summarizes the Russian view of the peoples of Central Asia (and is characteristic of the similar British view of the peoples of India): 32 HISTORICAL FACTORS SHAPING MODERN AFGHANISTAN The position of Russia in Central Asia is that of all civilized states which come into contact with half-savage, wandering tribes possessing no fixed social organization.
Underlying all else is the desire for independent decision making exhibited repeatedly by the Afghan and Central Asian tribes throughout history. Frank Holt identified this independent spirit in his study of Alexander's Bactrian campaigns: "Nominal control of the region the inhabitants were willing to concede to the new king, but any direct interference in local affairs was likely to arouse immediate opposition. s This assembly, the jirga, remains the customary manner in which decisions are reached in Afghan tribal society today.
69 The situation in the new Marxist state of the Soviet Union was more complex. 70 In Central Asia during this time the indigenous Muslim peoples rebelled against Russian rule, and their. 7' The betrayal of the Muslim nationalist movement by the new Soviet ideology was not entirely unexpected in Afghanistan and the larger Muslim world, though it still produced great resentment. The Soviet leaders, determined to conquer Turkestan (Central Asia), used four interrelated tools to accomplish their goal.
Afghanistan's Endless War: State Failure, Regional Politics, and the Rise of the Taliban by Larry P. Goodson