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Books > History > Military > United States > 0393338517
  1. In the Graveyard of Empires: America's War in Afghanistan
    In the Graveyard of Empires: America's War in Afghanistan
    In the Graveyard of Empires: America's War in Afghanistan
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  2. In the Graveyard of Empires: America's War in Afghanistan

    Delivery: 10-20 Working Days
    Customer Ratings (49 reviews)
    Price R405.00

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A definitive account of the American experience in Afghanistan from the rise of the Taliban to the depths of the insurgency.

After the swift defeat of the Taliban in 2001, American optimism has steadily evaporated in the face of mounting violence; a new “war of a thousand cuts” has now brought the country to its knees. In the Graveyard of Empires is a political history of Afghanistan in the “Age of Terror” from 2001 to 2009, exploring the fundamental tragedy of America’s longest war since Vietnam.

After a brief survey of the great empires in Afghanistan―the campaigns of Alexander the Great, the British in the era of Kipling, and the late Soviet Union―Seth G. Jones examines the central question of our own war: how did an insurgency develop? Following the September 11 attacks, the United States successfully overthrew the Taliban regime. It 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 off resources and talented personnel, undermining the gains that had been made. After eight years, he says, the United States has managed to push al Qa’ida’s headquarters about one hundred miles across the border into Pakistan, the distance from New York to Philadelphia.

While observing the tense and often adversarial relationship between NATO allies in the Coalition, Jones―who has distinguished himself at RAND and was recently named by Esquire as one of the “Best and Brightest” young policy experts―introduces us to key figures on both sides of the war. Harnessing important new research and integrating thousands of declassified government documents, Jones 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.

Examining what has worked thus far―and what has not―this serious and important book underscores the challenges we face in stabilizing the country and explains where we went wrong and what we must do if the United States is to avoid the disastrous fate that has befallen many of the great world powers to enter the region. 12 maps and charts

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Seth G. Jones
Brand: W. W. Norton Company
Used Book in Good Condition
W. W. Norton & Company
W. W. Norton & Company
W. W. Norton & Company
W. W. Norton & Company
Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Seth Jones' analysis "In the Graveyard of Empires" has made a timely appearance, as it fortuitously coincides with the Obama Administration's review of the current US/NATO approach to the twin issues of "nation-building" and security in Afghanistan. While about half the book recapitulates history aptly summarized elsewhere (Rashid's, "Descent into Chaos" and "Taliban", Coll's, "Ghost Wars" are three recent and outstanding examples), the synopsis is necessary background to the analysis that follows. The second half of the book relies heavily on Jones' original "on-site" research and extensive interviews conducted with a variety of sources (mostly Western). This section of the book objectively summarizes the facts, places them in context and clearly identifies opinion. In short, "Graveyard" is an excellent introduction to the topic and supplies the reader with sufficient information to permit the development a genuinely informed opinion on a very complex issue.

First, why... Read more
Seth Jones in The Graveyard of Empires hits on a fundamental truth that the British, Soviets, and Americans have either suffered military defeat or are in great difficulty. The history of Afghanistan is a rehash of other books I’ve read on the subject, but is definitely useful for understanding his broader subject of why we are now having such difficulties in Afghanistan. This book centers on the political decision-making process as a component of why Afghanistan has so far vexed the greatest military in the world. This is an important distinction because if you read five different books on Afghanistan, your likely to get fed five different factors that contributed to the Taliban insurgency.

The political failings are not just American or Afghan, but a failing by both sides on some level. Between fundamental failures to understand Afghanistan to a lost focus on the Afghanistan conflict to putting trust in the wrong people. All of the above failings get at least some... Read more
in the graveyard of Empires by Seth Jones is one of the best research books I have ever read. I am writing my own book on the first year of the American war in Afghanistan, and found Mr Jones is book to be an absolute treasure for my research. I'm grateful to Mr Jones for telling it like it is both pluses and minuses of the war in Afghanistan and following war in Iraq the mistakes that were made the people that suffered along and truly with the accomplishments of the greatest military force on earth. I can't wait till Mr Jones next book.

Major Steven McAlpin, U.S. Army (retired) soon to be author of: "Outside the Wire: The First American Soldier / Teacher in Afghanistan."
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