A definitive account of the American experience in Afghanistan from the rise of the Taliban to the depths of the insurgency.
Longtime Afghanistan expert and RAND analyst Seth G. Jones watched as American optimism evaporated after the Taliban defeat in 2001; by 2005, a new "war of a thousand cuts" had brought Afghanistan to its knees. Harnessing important new historical research on insurgencies and integrating thousands of declassified government documents, Jones shows how the siphoning of resources to Iraq left U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan ineffectual and without support. Through interviews with prominent figures, including ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad and commander Karl Eikenberry, Jones explains how a growing sanctuary for insurgents in Pakistan and a collapsing government in Kabul catalyzed the Taliban resurgence. Examining what has worked thus far -- and what hasn't -- Jones argues that we must take a radically new approach to the war if the United States is to avoid the disastrous fate that has befallen every world power to enter the region, from Alexander the Great to the Soviet Union.