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In the graveyard of empires : America's war…
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In the graveyard of empires : America's war in Afghanistan (udgave 2009)

af Seth G. Jones

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
216895,644 (3.74)3
"Following the September 11 attacks, the United States successfully overthrew the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. The U.S. established security throughout the country--killing, capturing, or scattering most of al Qa'ida's senior operatives--and Afghanistan finally began to emerge from more than two decades of struggle and conflict. But Jones argues that as early as 2001, planning for the Iraq War siphoned resources and personnel, undermining the gains that had been made. Jones introduces us to key figures on both sides of the war. He then analyzes the insurgency from a historical and structural point of view, showing how a rising drug trade, poor security forces, and pervasive corruption undermined the Karzai government, while Americans abandoned a successful strategy, failed to provide the necessary support, and allowed a growing sanctuary for insurgents in Pakistan to catalyze the Taliban resurgence"--From book jacket.… (mere)
Medlem:steve.clason
Titel:In the graveyard of empires : America's war in Afghanistan
Forfattere:Seth G. Jones
Info:New York : W.W. Norton & Co., c2009.
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:*****
Nøgleord:history, middle east, afghanistan

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In the Graveyard of Empires: America's War in Afghanistan af Seth G. Jones

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Solid effort though obviously leaves you hanging with the situation utterly unresolved in about early 2009. So it does not deal with the Obama 'surge' or any of the political or military developments since that time. To my mind one salient point stands out above all else and that is the role of Pakistan in harboring and even helping the Taliban and other insurgents. One has to conclude that Afghanistan has next to no chance to succeed (on western terms) without Pakistan becoming serious about the border regions. And that seems utterly unlikely and in the end a depressing realization. ( )
  PCorrigan | Oct 29, 2014 |
Jones starts In the Graveyard of Empires going back to Alexander the Great's march into Afghanistan. This is to put Afghanistan's tumultuous history into perspective. Readers shouldn't be worried a historical quagmire because Jones moves through the early bloodshed pretty quickly. Around the time of the Soviet invasion he slows the tempo down and goes into more detail. One of the things I appreciated about Jones's writing is that he manages to stay pretty objective, hardly inserting himself into the analysis, despite his personal ties to the region. He stays true to the subtitle, "America's War in Afghanistan" of which he had no military part. He served as advisor to the commanding general of the U.S. Special Ops Forces. His work is heavily supplemented by countless interviews and extensive research. You can read more of his profile on the RAND corporation website. ( )
  SeriousGrace | Jul 14, 2014 |
I was all set for a heavy-duty session of eye-rolling when the author started this book about the U.S. military's involvement in Afghanistan with a short account of how tough a time Alexander the Great had in subduing Afghanistan (because you know, something that happened over 2000 years has so much relevance to the here and now) but luckily that particular folly only lasted a couple of paragraphs - just enough time to justify the title of the book I suppose - and then Jones swiftly moved on to the matter at hand (The book is subtitled 'America's War in Afghanistan' after all). Which is a good thing too because his knowledge of the actual topic and his insights are outstanding. This is all in all and excellent look at how the United States got involved in Afghanistan, what that involvement has entailed, the challenges the United States faces and some suggestions about how they might be approached. The account necessarily ends in 2010 and so its perhaps not the most up-to-date book out there, but I can't think of a better all-round book on America's war in Afghanistan than this one. ( )
  iftyzaidi | Sep 1, 2012 |
This is a useful survey of American involvement in Afghanistan since 2001, if one which didn't surprise me with any of its analyses. The main reasons for the insurgency in Afghanistan were the Bush administration largely ignoring it once the Iraq invasion began, the historically low troop levels, and the wariness of various NATO members to commit forces outside of urban areas like Kabul. The thing which Jones covered that was most interesting to me was his analysis of the wider regional politics and Pakistan's involvement in the insurgency. Obviously, this has become much better known since In the Graveyard of Empires was published, with Osama bin Laden's killing making the ISI's involvement self-evident, but the behind-the-scenes stuff was fascinating.

I do wish that Jones had brought a little more of his own personal experiences in Afghanistan to play in this book. He states that he sat down to write it because of his various trips there and because of the unique access that he had to key players, but there were few moments where I really got a sense of that. Most of the book felt like a synthesis that could have been written from anywhere in the US. More moments from Jones' personal perspective would have helped to ground his analysis and give it more immediacy for the reader. As is, there are times when this reads a little too much like a briefing packet. ( )
  siriaeve | May 23, 2012 |
This is a solid book that every citizen who wishes to be informed on America's conflict in Afghanistan should read. It is written in a straightforward manner sans unwieldy acronyms that burdens other texts on military strategy and current operations. Jones does an excellent job of providing just enough historical context without getting too far down into the weeds.Although he appears to contradict himself, I believe his conclusions are essentially correct. Although he does not address in any concise manner on whether or not the current conflict in Afghanistan in a post-2005 environment is strategically important, significant, and vital to the interests of the United States. This is especially important as the current debate on the Afghanistan conflict remains fixated, and rightfully so, on the stability of Pakistan. I would definitely recommend this book to others. ( )
  Brent.Hall | Apr 12, 2011 |
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"Following the September 11 attacks, the United States successfully overthrew the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. The U.S. established security throughout the country--killing, capturing, or scattering most of al Qa'ida's senior operatives--and Afghanistan finally began to emerge from more than two decades of struggle and conflict. But Jones argues that as early as 2001, planning for the Iraq War siphoned resources and personnel, undermining the gains that had been made. Jones introduces us to key figures on both sides of the war. He then analyzes the insurgency from a historical and structural point of view, showing how a rising drug trade, poor security forces, and pervasive corruption undermined the Karzai government, while Americans abandoned a successful strategy, failed to provide the necessary support, and allowed a growing sanctuary for insurgents in Pakistan to catalyze the Taliban resurgence"--From book jacket.

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