Doomed in Afghanistan: A UN Officer's Memoir of the Fall of Kabul and Najibullah's Failed Escape, 1992

Doomed in Afghanistan: A UN Officer's Memoir of the Fall of Kabul and Najibullah's Failed Escape, 1992

Doomed in Afghanistan: A UN Officer's Memoir of the Fall of Kabul and Najibullah's Failed Escape, 1992

Doomed in Afghanistan: A UN Officer's Memoir of the Fall of Kabul and Najibullah's Failed Escape, 1992

Synopsis

To understand the events of September 11, 2001, it is critical to know Afghanistan's turbulent past. This text provides a first-hand account of how failed diplomacy led to an Islamic fundamentalist victory in a war-torn country and, subsequently, to a Taliban takeover.

Excerpt

This story begins on a wintry morning in March 1992, when a colleague in the United Nations approached me to ask if I would be interested in going on an urgent mission to Afghanistan.

Afghanistan! I knew very little about the country. Beautiful carpets, empyrean mountains, vast deserts, and a people legendary for their resistance to colonizers. People who could be both sentimental and fierce. A nation of traders and warriors that had resisted the great British armies of the nineteenth century and only recently had repelled the great armies of the Soviet Union.

I would gladly have gone to Afghanistan for no reason at all. Just to learn, to view, to add perspective to my understanding of the world. And to take a break from the urbanized existence of a New York City office, as much as I loved Manhattan. But here, I realized immediately, was an opportunity that was more than frivolous or fortuitous. Here was an opportunity to go to an exotic country, not as a tourist, but as part of a United Nations peacekeeping mission, a mission no doubt intended to help relieve the suffering of a population that was in deep pain.

It was almost as if I had no choice. I had to go to Afghanistan. How could I not go? Before I even knew the details of the assignment, how long it would last, or what . . .

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