The Unfinished War in Afghanistan 2001-2014

By Agarwal, Rajeev | Indian Foreign Affairs Journal, October-December 2014 | Go to article overview

The Unfinished War in Afghanistan 2001-2014


Agarwal, Rajeev, Indian Foreign Affairs Journal


Vishal Chandra, The Unfinished War in Afghanistan 2001-2014, Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses, Pentagon Press, New Delhi, 2015, Pages: 340, Price: INR 1,495.00.

Afghanistan has been in a state of war and internal unrest for over four decades. If the overthrow of King Zahir Shah by Daoud Khan in 1973 was to bring in a new era of modern statehood to Afghanistan, it sadly did not happen. Instead, Afghanistan's regime backed by the USSR soon became a pawn in the Cold War between the two super powers leading ultimately to the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in 1979, which lasted for ten years. The US backed Mujahedeen finally succeeded in driving out the Soviets in 1989, but once again, the Soviet withdrawal followed by immediate loss of interest and support from the US led to the emergence of hundreds of independent well armed militias leading finally to the emergence of the Taliban and their take-over of Kabul in 1996. Their association with Al-Qaeda and the 9/11 incident in particular, forced the US and the entire world to once again focus on Afghanistan and the need to militarily degrade the "Taliban Al Qaeda combine". What commenced thereafter has been continuing and despite the US-NATO calling off its combat mission on 31 December 2014, the war in Afghanistan continues.

Vishal Chandra's book focuses on this decade plus long period of the continuing war since 2001. He traces the history of this war torn country and at each point in the book puts in a word of caution against the "responsible and successful end to the combat mission in Afghanistan". He emphasises that merely raising and equipping the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), the international pledge to provide financial aid or the swearing in of the new President, Ashraf Ghani in 2014 would not bring about peace in the country. The Taliban remains potent and resilient and the government in Kabul is still fragile, confronted with a host of old and familiar challenges to its legitimacy and survival. In his introductory remarks the author says, "The post-2014 Afghanistan may not casually relapse into a state of total civil war, but at the same time it is logically impossible to think of a stable and peaceful Afghanistan in the near future". The author warns against the Pakistan-sponsored and armed Afghan groups, which have the potential to once again plunge the country into deeper chaos and anarchy. The author is severely critical of the short-sighted US military aims of 2001 when it sought to destroy the Al-Qaeda by over-reliance on air power.

The book has been divided into eight thematic chapters, each focussing on critical issues affecting Afghanistan and the region's peace and future. Issues in each of the chapters have been dealt with in minute details, a clear evidence of the author's deep insight into Afghanistan affairs and the result of his detailed interaction with important stakeholders in Afghanistan, India and elsewhere in the region. Facts in the book are supported by well laid out and researched data in the form of tables. Some of the tables give details of Afghanistan's cabinet like the "Afghan Transitional Administration" (p. 22), the first Afghan government, 2004-2009 (p. 48), the second elected government (p. 68), etc. They have been painstakingly compiled from various sources as there is no official single source information available on such important issues.

The first chapter, New Order, Old Politics, deals with the continuing conundrum in the Afghan politics wherein despite so many attempts at change, factional politics and conflict still rule the roost. The author highlights the various phases of failed transition, which have successively deconstructed the structures of old socio-political orders but failed to bring about new institutional structures. Even the ouster of the Taliban from power and the Bonn Agreement failed to effectively institutionalise the political transition of Afghanistan. He also highlights failed attempts by Abdul Haq, a prominent anti-Soviet Pashtun Militia Commander whose attempts at an anti-Taliban political alternative did not find adequate support. …

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

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
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

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

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

The Unfinished War in Afghanistan 2001-2014
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?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
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.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, 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." (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.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.