AFGHANISTAN: Conflict in Afghanistan: Studies in Asymmetric Warfare

By Sinno, Abdulkader | The Middle East Journal, Spring 2006 | Go to article overview

AFGHANISTAN: Conflict in Afghanistan: Studies in Asymmetric Warfare


Sinno, Abdulkader, The Middle East Journal


Conflict in Afghanistan: Studies in Asymmetric Warfare, by Martin Ewans. New York: Routledge, 2005. 178 pages. Maps and figures. Notes to p. 189. SeI. bibl. to p. 192. Index to p. 198. $63.

Conflict in Afghanistan describes and discusses four attempts by great powers to occupy Afghanistan and to shape its polity in a way that increases their influence: The First and second Anglo-Afghan Wars (1838-42,1878-80), the Soviet-Afghan War (1979-89), and the American occupation (200!-present). The author also briefly discusses the events of the Third Anglo-Afghan War (1919) while acknowledging that, while it could also qualify as asymmetric warfare, it is different from the other four conflicts in which the weaker side was resisting occupation.

The book relies mostly on correspondence and archival material for the chapters dealing with the Anglo-Afghan wars and on published memoirs and secondary sources for the chapters dealing with the Soviet and American occupations. The choice of sources explains the tone and style of the book. The chapters on the British invasions are about British leaders with poor judgment underestimating the Afghan landscape. While Ewans explores the intentions, options, and limitations of the British decision makers, he leaves the reader uncertain about why different Afghan tribes, leaders, or chieftains do what they do. Afghans come across as no more than another daunting aspect of the forbidding landscape, not as the strategic actors who outdid the British. Readers of other studies of Afghan conflicts such as Gilles Dorronsoro's Revolution Unending and Barnett Rubin's Fragmentation of Afghanistan might wonder whether the complex Afghan social structure played a role in those events - a role that the author simply missed.1

The chapters on the Soviet and American occupations of Afghanistan also suffer from this shortcoming: The author focuses on the decision makers from Pakistan, the Soviet Union, and the United States. Those chapters provide a good condensed diplomatic history and a chronicle of key battles, but they understate the role of the Afghans themselves. The author's focus on the importance of "jihad" and reference to the Afghans' martial ethos (pp. 171-72) do not suffice to explain why Afghans sometimes resist foreign occupation but tolerate it at other times (year one of the first Anglo-Afghan War and the first two years of the American occupation). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

AFGHANISTAN: Conflict in Afghanistan: Studies in Asymmetric Warfare
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.