Review: Taliban — The Unknown Enemy

5 Star, Country/Regional, Culture, Research, Insurgency & Revolution, Peace, Poverty, & Middle Class, Religion & Politics of Religion, Threats (Emerging & Perennial), Voices Lost (Indigenous, Gender, Poor, Marginalized)
Amazon Page

James Fergusson

5.0 out of 5 stars Chuck Leddy at Boston Globe Does Detailed Review, June 1, 2011
By Robert D. Steele (Oakton, VA United States) – See all my reviews

I wish I had the time and money to buy and read this book, but I don't. However, in posting a forward by Chuck Spinney (1980's whistle-blower on Pentagon fraud, waste, and abuse) at Phi Beta Iota the Public Intelligence Blog, I linked to the Amazon Page and saw the gap here. Below are just two paragraphs from a great review by Chuck Leddy at the Boston Globe search for it, it is worth it:

EXTRACT 1: But what these Western reports never quite explained, Fergusson notes, is how the Taliban brought law (however harsh) and order to a nation that had rarely seen either. Today, Fergusson reports, the Taliban are riding a growing wave of anti-Americanism and anti-corruption sentiment triggered by both US military operations and strong support for Karzai, who is considered unusually corrupt by the standards of a country where governmental corruption is the norm.

EXTRACT 2: One disillusioned local official tells Fergusson, “Warlordism and insecurity have returned, and the people are fed up. They are ready to welcome the Taliban back again.” Indeed, the Taliban are coming back just when the Obama administration has reduced US forces in Afghanistan. Fergusson makes clear the differences between the Taliban and Al Qaeda. Many of those inside the Taliban told Fergusson that they would welcome an agreement with Washington that would swap the exclusion of Al Qaeda from Afghanistan for an American pullout and foreign aid.

To complement this “third hand” appreciation, here is one book that I consider a six star and beyond on Afghanistan, and that I have read and reviewed–it cuts to the heart of all that the USA does NOT do:

Surrender to Kindness: One Man's Epic Journey for Love and Peace

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