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Koran Kalashnikov and Laptop: The Neo-Taliban Insurgency in Afghanistan 2002-2007

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  • Posted December 31, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The Taliban resurgent

    A friend who teaches at the Naval War College brought this book to my attention. While not for everyone, it provides a good general look at the nature of the "neo-Taliban," the force behind the Afghan insurgency that developed in the wake of our initial success with Operation Enduring Freedom and the installation of the Karzai government. This is a fairly comprehensive study, drawing on a variety of sources and examining a broad range of relevant issues.

    Giustozzi makes the case - by now, alas, one we're all too familiar with - that corruption and favoritism permeate the institutions of Afghan government, extending from Kabul to the province and district levels; that this fight has been under-resourced, both in terms of US / Coalition force allocation (a product of the Iraq distraction) and with respect to aid furnished the Karzai government, which has been insufficient to adequately fund the nascent security forces or development projects. This has led to a failure to meet the expectations of the Afghan people.

    He also explores the Pakistan problem - provider of sanctuary, provider of support, and now home to, and threatened by, its own Taliban movement.

    Readers who paid attention to the debates surrounding Gen. MacChrystal's request for more troops and the efficacy of an Afghan surge will probably not find much that is new or startlingly revelatory in here. However, this book does collect a lot of open-source data in one volume that may in and of itself make it worth your attention.

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