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

Overview


Announcements of an impending victory over the Taliban have been repeated ad nauseam since the Allied invasion of Afghanistan in 2002, particularly after the Presidential elections of 2004, which were said to have marked the "moral and psychological defeat of the Taliban". In moments of triumphalism, some commentators claimed that "reconstruction and development" had won over the population, despite much criticism of the meagre distribution of aid, the lack of "nation-building" and corruption among Kabul's ...
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Koran, Kalashnikov, and Laptop: The Neo-Taliban Insurgency in Afghanistan 2002-2007

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Overview


Announcements of an impending victory over the Taliban have been repeated ad nauseam since the Allied invasion of Afghanistan in 2002, particularly after the Presidential elections of 2004, which were said to have marked the "moral and psychological defeat of the Taliban". In moments of triumphalism, some commentators claimed that "reconstruction and development" had won over the population, despite much criticism of the meagre distribution of aid, the lack of "nation-building" and corruption among Kabul's élite. In March 2006, both Afghan and American officials were still claiming, just before a series of particularly ferocious clashes, that "the Taliban are no longer able to fight large battles". Later that year, the mood in the mass media had turned to one of defeatism, even of impending catastrophe. In reality, as early as 2003-5 there was a growing body of evidence that cast doubt on the official interpretation of the conflict. Rather than there having been a "2006 surprise", Giustozzi argues that the Neo-Taliban insurgency had put down strong roots in Afghanistan as early as 2003, a phenomenon he investigates in this timely and thought-provoking book.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This detailed study . . . chronicles the rise of what Giustozzi labels 'the neo-Taliban'. Separate chapters treat how and why the neo-Taliban were recruited, their organization, their tactics and strategy, and the counterinsurgency efforts of the Afghan government and its outside supporters. With copious cross-referencing, he works in such subjects as the continued involvement of Pakistan, the drug trade, neo-Taliban relations with Al Qaeda, and the rural-versus-urban dimension of this struggle. There are also several perceptive comparisons with insurgencies elsewhere in the world. [Giustozzi] concludes that reining in the neo-Taliban by arms or diplomacy will be more difficult now than reining in the original was five years ago. He also sees the group's strategy as having shifted in its new form from national resistance to global jihad."--Foreign Affairs

"A revelatory new book."--Asia Times

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199326358
  • Publisher: An Oxford University Press Publication
  • Publication date: 8/22/2009
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Antonio Giustozzi is a Research Fellow at IDEAS, London School of Economics.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
1 Sources of the insurgency
2 How and why the Taliban recruited
3 Organisation of the Taliban
4 The Taliban's strategy
5 Military tactics of the insurgency
6 The counter-insurgency effort
Conclusion

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • 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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