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 warfare what has rather been taking place in Afghanistan within the final twenty years.
Beginning with the explanations in the back of Afghanistan’s lack of ability to forge a powerful nation -- its myriad cleavages alongside ethnic, spiritual, social, and geographical fault strains -- Goodson then examines the devastating process the warfare 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 full cave in of its economic system, which this present day has been changed by way of monoagriculture in opium poppies and heroin construction. 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 strains.
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Extra resources for Afghanistan's Endless War: State Failure, Regional Politics, and the Rise of the Taliban
The Pushtuns are the dominant ethnic group in Afghanistan today (indeed, they have dominated Mghan society since the mid-eighteenth century) and the largest remaining tribal society in the world. 20 Approximately seventeen million Pushtuns straddle the Afghan-Pakistani border, living primarily in the south, southwest, center, and east of Mghanistan and in the Federally Administered Tribal Agencies (or Areas), North-West Frontier Province, and northern districts of Baluchistan Province of Pakistan.
Since the earliest mentions of Afghans in recorded history they bave been known as fiercely capable fighters. Nothing that occurred in the nineteenth century besmirched that proud reputation. The entire century in Afghanistan was a mosaic of warfare, with different conflicts so overlapping that it is almost impossible to tell where one began or ended. The Afghans-the Pushtuns especially-have become "almost genetically expert at guerrilla warfare after centuries of resisting all comers and fighting among themselves when no comers were available:'53 Certainly, their tactical sophistication can be considerable; they have always specialized in hit-and-run attacks, ambushes, and similar tactics HISTORICAL FACTORS SHAPING MODERN AFGHANISTAN 37 imposed by the terrain.
They contested for four major areas, Kabul, Qandahar, Herat, and the northern Uzbak Khanates .... For brief periods, the three important khanates of Kabul, Qandahar, and Herat were united. Many smaller independent or semiindependent Pushtun units rose and fell, among them, Ghazni, Farah, Jalalabad, Girishk, Kalat-i-Ghilzai. Non-Pushtun areas (such as the Hazarajat, Kafiristan, Badakhshan, Baluchistan) usually maintained their independent tribal integrity. During these unstable times, the Amir of Bokhara often made claims to territory south of the Amu Darya, or supported or assisted revolts against Pushtun controp6 Although by the twentieth century nascent political institutions were developing in Afghanistan, a strong central government was never achieved.