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`A fantastic achievement, having successfully dealt with an extremely complicated issue. […] accessible both to a reader with some general interest in Afghanistan and is equally of immense aid for academic study.’ (British Society of Middle Eastern Studies) `A fascinating and thorough analysis of the very complex political/military situation that evolved in Afghanistan following the demise of the Soviet puppet regime in 1992…. an insightful study of the rise of a new form of puritanical Islamic fundamentalism that overran Kabul in September 1996 namely, the Taliban, and its impact on Afghan society…. Highly recommended.’ (Choice)
This book traces the Taliban movement’s origins, its rise to power, and the tensions and contradictions which made it impossible to accommodate within the modern international system. It exposes some of the misunderstandings which led various powers, including the United States, to believe that the Taliban could bring peace to Afghanistan and permit its reconstruction after years of destructive conflict. More significantly, it also highlights steps that can be taken to assist the Afghan people to recover from the consequences of the fragmentation of their society, and its subordination to an anti-modernist force of a kind unprecedented in Afghanistan’s recent history.
Fundamentalism Reborn? is a comprehensive and up-to-date account of their history, ascendancy, and decline of the most dramatic manifestation of Islamic fundamentalism since the Iranian revolution.
Publisher: VANGUARD BOOKS
Compared to post-invasion Iraq, Afghanistan seems a success story; but first impressions can be misleading. The country remains on a knife-edge, and the loss of momentum in its transition from the Taliban regime puts Afghanistan at grave risk of relapsing into dangerous insecurity.
Although many Afghans have contributed courageously to rescuing their country, and some key benchmarks have been achieved, Afghanistan continues to face severe difficulties. Elite political competition is fierce, and able ministehave been removed when deemed to be occupying too much of the limelight. President Hamid Karzai, while articulate and incorruptible, remains wedded to a politics of bargaining and networking that has seen unappetizing figures promoted to positions they have then abused. This has created space for the resurgence of the Taliban in the south, with Pakistani backing. The new Afghan National Army is proving too expensive to be locally sustainable, and the police force offeonly a pale shadow of what is needed. The predominance of opium in the economy poses the risk that Afghanistan could become a nacre-state, and on a range of human development indicatoit remains one of the world’s poorest countries, with popular frustration rising. While foreign governments have contributed large sums to reconstruction, too much money ahs gone to Western contractors, at the expense of local capacity.
It is not too late to turn things around, but time is running short. Only if the Afghan government re-focuses on the delivery of competent, clean and inclusive governance and the wider world ensures that its commitments match its rhetoric, is it at all likely that disaster can be avoided.
Publisher: C. HURST & CO