The day that U.S. and international forces leave Afghanistan may have drawn nearer. After weeks of bad PR resulting from culturally insensitive incidents, news of a lone U.S. soldier going on a rampage and killing 16 civilians couldn’t have come at a worse time.
The tenth anniversary of the beginning of US military action in Afghanistan has provided an opportunity for looking back as well as for casting the gaze forward.
In Confronting the Chaos, Sean Maloney presents a documentation of the war in Afghanistan from 2004 to 2005. His first trip to the country led to Enduring the Freedom (2006), which covered the conflict from 2001 to 2003.
President Barack Obama announced last week the withdrawal of 10,000 troops from Afghanistan by the end of the year and 23,000 more by the end of summer 2012, followed by further reductions leading to a complete withdrawal of U.S. troops by 2014.
Soviet forces withdrew from Afghanistan in 1989; the Marxist regime Moscow had been supporting fell in 1992. The Taliban seized control of Kabul — and most of Afghanistan — in 1996. Will a similar progression occur in Afghanistan following the withdrawal of the U.S.
After Soviet forces withdrew from Afghanistan in 1988-89, the regime it was defending there fell. This experience contributes to present fears that, if America withdraws from Afghanistan, the regime it is defending will also fall.
In this collection of 23 essays and lectures, Chas Freeman gives us a feast of insights, information and memorable lines on the activities of the last 20 years.