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Afghanistan's Endless War: State Failure, Regional Politics, by Larry P. Goodson

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 battle what has particularly 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 kingdom -- its myriad cleavages alongside ethnic, non secular, social, and geographical fault strains -- Goodson then examines the devastating process the conflict 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 via 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 info for Afghanistan's Endless War: State Failure, Regional Politics, and the Rise of the Taliban

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Reproduced by permission from Olivier Roy, Afghanistan: From Holy War to Civil War, 1995. AFGHANISTAN IN THE POST-COLD WAR WORLD 21 Mazar-i-Sharif and Herat, but this section was never much more than . unfinished jeep track. The road from Kabul to Peshawar, Pakistan, that runs through Jalalabad and the Khyber Pass is also part of this system. After many years of war and virtually no funding for reconstruction, most of this road now consists of broken pavement or merely dirt and gravel, and travel is arduous and uncomfortable.

Tribal rebellion regularly threatened to destabilize or topple the government in Kabul and continually menaced the British NorthWest Frontier of India (now Pakistan). Various means were employed to reduce this threat, including the forced internal migration of dissident tribal factions to minority areas,zs which both served to bind the recalcitrant Pushtuns to the regime and strengthened government control over the minority groups. 29 Thus, from the nineteenth-century period of anarchy in Afghanistan there developed an increased ethnic consciousness-although not an ideology of nationalism-that laid the foundation for ethnic relationships in Afghanistan today.

Even in defeat they were never broken, and inevitably small war parties (lashkars) would continue the fight from the high mountains. 54 The key to the development of this guerrilla expertise is the extremely rugged terrain of Mghanistan and the Tribal Areas of the North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan. Not only did harsh living conditions make tough survivors of those inhabitants who reached adulthood, but more specifically the high mountains and barren deserts limited the opportunities for conventional military engagements.

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