The United States and its allies have been fighting the Taliban and
al-Qaeda in Afghanistan for a decade in a war that either
side could still win. While a gradual drawdown has begun,
significant numbers of US combat troops will remain in Afghanistan
until at least 2014, perhaps longer, depending on the situation on
the ground and the outcome of the US presidential election in 2012.
Given the realities of the Taliban's persistence and the desire of
US policymakers-and the public-to find a way out, what can and
should be the goals of the US and its allies in Afghanistan?
Afghan Endgames brings together some of the finest minds
in the fields of history, strategy, anthropology, ethics, and mass
communications to provide a clear, balanced, and comprehensive
assessment of the alternatives for restoring peace and stability to
Afghanistan. Presenting a range of options-from immediate
withdrawal of all coalition forces to the maintenance of an
open-ended, but greatly reduced military presence-the contributors
weigh the many costs, risks, and benefits of each alternative.
This important book boldly pursues several strands of thought
suggesting that a strong, legitimate central government is far from
likely to emerge in Kabul; that fewer coalition forces, used in
creative ways, may have better effects on the ground than a larger,
more conventional presence; and that, even though Pakistan should
not be pushed too hard, so as to avoid sparking social chaos there,
Afghanistan's other neighbors can and should be encouraged to
become more actively involved. The volume's editors conclude that
while there may never be complete peace in Afghanistan, a
self-sustaining security system able to restore order swiftly in
the wake of violence is attainable.
Subjects: Political Science
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