If you are acquainted with the writings of Khaled Hosseini you are probably already quite well aware of the arbitrariness that many lives in Afghanistan had to be subjected to through the years because of the existing unrest there. The books vividly portray stories of lost love, unresolved love, eternal bonds that traveled beyond the dictionary definition of friendship, personal struggles amidst political and social turmoil, and much more.
While these were most certainly fictions, it would not be very surprising if a book were to come up with the non-fictional sides of such stories with real historic occurrences to back them up. “The American War in Afghanistan” portrays such aspects of the war that raged through the landscapes of Afghanistan, turning it into a carcass of land that now hosts a myriad of fallen dreams.
Here is a review of the book that holds up the truth in front of the eyes of the readers, backing up the twists and turns in the war with actual data. How far has the author been successful in doing the same? Well, the narration is pretty tight and leaves little scope for complaint. Here is a review that might help you reach a conclusion regarding whether or not you want the book on your shelf.
Afghanistan’s war with America began in 2001 and is currently the country’s longest-running war in the country’s history. Americans have been in Afghanistan for over two decades now and will be leaving in the near future.
The American War in Afghanistan is the first complete account of the whole battle. In addition to his academic credentials, Malkasian is an expert physician, having spent almost two years cooperating by the Afghan countryside before serving as an advisor to General Joseph Dunford, the military commander of the US in Afghanistan, and subsequently the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Workers.
From the 2001 attack and thereafter to the Iraq invasion in 2003 and the Taliban’s resurgence in 2006 to the Obama-era upsurge, Malkasian traces the war’s various phases, culminating in 2018-2020 negotiation talks. Malkasian draws on a wealth of local insights, a grasp on Pashto, and original source records to guide the reader through the war’s many phases. Malkasian, who lived through much of the conflict, offers a unique perspective on the conflict based on his own experiences. As of now, the Taliban is perhaps the most influential group in Afghanistan, and they believe that triumph is within their grasp.
It’s impossible to anticipate what is going to follow the leave of the United States, however, one thing is for sure: the handling of the situation did not go as planned. Despite the death of al-Qa’eda leader Osama bin Laden and the absence of a significant assault on the homeland of America after 2001, America was not able to put a stop to the bloodshed or hand over the war to the Afghan government, who could not survive without US military assistance. In part, this may be attributed to the U.S. war in Afghanistan.
There’s little doubt that The American War in Afghanistan will most certainly be considered the definitive chronicle of the fight for many years to come.
Kabul, the capital, was the last big city to succumb to the onslaught that originated a month back but intensified as the hard-core Islamists seized control of regions.
The organization started direct discussions with America back in 2018, and then in February 2020, both parties signed a peace accord that pledged the US to departure and the Taliban to stop assaults on US soldiers. Some of the other commitments included not letting al-Qaeda or other terrorists operate in regions under its control and continuing national peace negotiations.
And yet during the year that ensued, they kept attacking Afghan security personnel and civilians, making fast inroads into every corner of Afghanistan
As soon as the Taliban appeared, Afghanistan’s populace, weary of the Mujahideen and feuds after the Soviets withdrew, greeted them with applause. Primarily, this was due to their effectiveness in removing corrupt authorities and criminal activities in the territories.
Public executions for criminals and adulterers were introduced, and the Taliban also imposed or encouraged amputations for anyone convicted of theft. Beards were made mandatory for men and the burka for women during this time period.
Additionally, the Taliban forbade the use of TV, music, and film, as well as the education of girls older than 10. Many personal freedom rights and cultural violations were alleged against them. Unforgettable was the Taliban’s demolition of the world-famous Bamiyan Buddha sculptures in 2001, in spite of international condemnation.
The reasons behind the rise of Taliban power were therefore backed by a series of misunderstandings. People chose to live different yet similar trouble, getting weary of the existing conflicts. Little did they know this confusion would lead to the hardest times in their lives.
The conviction with which the Taliban follow and dictate others to follow such backward codes of conduct is beyond perception for a sane mind.
The book in context deals with what the Taliban wanted, how the struggle began, how it ended, and why to some extent it was foretold by the turn of various events down the lane of history. If you want a backstage view of the prolonged war that is to rage on for pages in our upcoming history books and want to get a grasp on what went wrong and why it went wrong, this book penned down from first-hand experiences of the front-liners in the war would be the best option.
The book is not for someone who is looking for a romantic perception of the American war in Afghanistan. It deals with real events with vivid realism. The book is a well-researched piece of documentary, nuance in all its aspects. It is especially recommended if you are a history geek or are in general interested in affairs going on across the world, why they happened, and what went wrong and right for the different parties involved in such conflicts.