.
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vents these past two weeks in Afghanistan have been a blur of desperate evacuation pleas, deadly terror attacks, and the occasional uplifting story of overcoming unimaginable hardship. Amidst the paradox and confusion, we expect that our readers are struggling to make sense of it all. Thus, as we continue to cover the situation in Afghanistan, our team has compiled essential reads to understand how we arrived at today’s catastrophic headlines.

A Woman Among Warlords: The Extraordinary Story of an Afghan Who Dared to Raise Her Voice, by Malalai Joya, an extraordinary woman raised in the refugee camps of Iran and Pakistan and the youngest person to be elected to Afghanistan’s Parliament.  Joya takes the reader inside her country and shows desperate day-to-day situations its people face at every turn.

Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion, by Steve Coll, managing editor of The Washington Post, is a treatise on the CIA’s involvement in the covert wars in Afghanistan that fueled Islamic militancy and gave rise to bin Laden’s al Qaeda.

The Afghanistan Papers: A Secret History of the War, by Craig Whitlock, is an investigative story of how three successive American presidents and their military commanders concealed the details about America’s longest war, foreshadowing the Taliban’s recapture of Afghanistan.

Afghanistan: Graveyard of Empires: A New History of the Borderland, by David Isby is an account of Afghanistan’s history and what must be done so that the U.S. and NATO coalition can succeed in what has historically been known as “the graveyard of empires.”

Why the Afghan Army Folded, by Kori Schake looks at why it is so difficult for the U.S. to train foreign military forces and why, despite all the assistance, Afghanistan’s military and police proved incapable of securing the country.

There Is No Afghanistan: The Historic Indeterminacy of Afghan Sovereign Identity, by Shane Szarkowski, considers how we conceptualize the meaning of state failure with reference to specific so-called failed states by focusing on the case of Afghanistan.

Opium Nation: Child Brides, Drug Lords, and One Woman’s Journey Through Afghanistan, by Fariba Nawa is a personal exploration of Afghanistan and the drug trade and how it has damaged the lives of ordinary Afghan people.

Eagle Down: The Last Special Forces Fighting the Forever War, by Jessica Donati (reviewed on Diplomatic Courier by Joshua Huminski), offers an insightful look at the last SOF units operating in Afghanistan and the challenges they faced.

Women, Peace, and Security: Afghanistan-Pakistan Women’s Policy Brief, edited by Ana C. Rold, brings together the voices of Afghan and Pakistani women leaders out of elected office) and their contributions to the building peace in the region.

Descent into Chaos: The U.S. and the Disaster in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Central Asia, by Ahmed Rashid is essential reading for those seeking to understand the collapse of Afghanistan today and the rise of the Taliban.

The Favored Daughter: One Woman's Fight to Lead Afghanistan Into the Future, by Fawzia Koofi, is an extraordinary story of survival and perseverance, which captures the political and cultural state of Afghanistan.

About
Ana C. Rold
:
Ana C. Rold is the Founder and Publisher of Diplomatic Courier. She teaches political science courses at Northeastern University and is the Host and Producer of Future Tense podcast. Follow her on Twitter @ACRold.
The views presented in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the views of any other organization.

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www.diplomaticourier.com

Weekend Reads to Help Make Sense of Afghanistan

Afghanistan. Photo by Sebastian Rich.

August 28, 2021

E

vents these past two weeks in Afghanistan have been a blur of desperate evacuation pleas, deadly terror attacks, and the occasional uplifting story of overcoming unimaginable hardship. Amidst the paradox and confusion, we expect that our readers are struggling to make sense of it all. Thus, as we continue to cover the situation in Afghanistan, our team has compiled essential reads to understand how we arrived at today’s catastrophic headlines.

A Woman Among Warlords: The Extraordinary Story of an Afghan Who Dared to Raise Her Voice, by Malalai Joya, an extraordinary woman raised in the refugee camps of Iran and Pakistan and the youngest person to be elected to Afghanistan’s Parliament.  Joya takes the reader inside her country and shows desperate day-to-day situations its people face at every turn.

Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion, by Steve Coll, managing editor of The Washington Post, is a treatise on the CIA’s involvement in the covert wars in Afghanistan that fueled Islamic militancy and gave rise to bin Laden’s al Qaeda.

The Afghanistan Papers: A Secret History of the War, by Craig Whitlock, is an investigative story of how three successive American presidents and their military commanders concealed the details about America’s longest war, foreshadowing the Taliban’s recapture of Afghanistan.

Afghanistan: Graveyard of Empires: A New History of the Borderland, by David Isby is an account of Afghanistan’s history and what must be done so that the U.S. and NATO coalition can succeed in what has historically been known as “the graveyard of empires.”

Why the Afghan Army Folded, by Kori Schake looks at why it is so difficult for the U.S. to train foreign military forces and why, despite all the assistance, Afghanistan’s military and police proved incapable of securing the country.

There Is No Afghanistan: The Historic Indeterminacy of Afghan Sovereign Identity, by Shane Szarkowski, considers how we conceptualize the meaning of state failure with reference to specific so-called failed states by focusing on the case of Afghanistan.

Opium Nation: Child Brides, Drug Lords, and One Woman’s Journey Through Afghanistan, by Fariba Nawa is a personal exploration of Afghanistan and the drug trade and how it has damaged the lives of ordinary Afghan people.

Eagle Down: The Last Special Forces Fighting the Forever War, by Jessica Donati (reviewed on Diplomatic Courier by Joshua Huminski), offers an insightful look at the last SOF units operating in Afghanistan and the challenges they faced.

Women, Peace, and Security: Afghanistan-Pakistan Women’s Policy Brief, edited by Ana C. Rold, brings together the voices of Afghan and Pakistani women leaders out of elected office) and their contributions to the building peace in the region.

Descent into Chaos: The U.S. and the Disaster in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Central Asia, by Ahmed Rashid is essential reading for those seeking to understand the collapse of Afghanistan today and the rise of the Taliban.

The Favored Daughter: One Woman's Fight to Lead Afghanistan Into the Future, by Fawzia Koofi, is an extraordinary story of survival and perseverance, which captures the political and cultural state of Afghanistan.

About
Ana C. Rold
:
Ana C. Rold is the Founder and Publisher of Diplomatic Courier. She teaches political science courses at Northeastern University and is the Host and Producer of Future Tense podcast. Follow her on Twitter @ACRold.
The views presented in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the views of any other organization.