L. R. McInnis
Chapter 1: My Sometime Career as a Mujahid
Chapter 2: That Cockroach, Osama
Chapter 3: Where's Your Beard?
Chapter 4: In the Belly of the Beast
Chapter 5: Changing the Hearts and Minds of the Mullahs
Chapter 6: The E.U. Slumbers
Chapter 7: President Clinton Passes the Buck
Chapter 8: President Bush Dances the Texas Sidestep
Chapter 9: September 11, 2001
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This is a pre-9-11 book but surprisingly gripping to read in parallel with what is happening right now. As US policy lurches this way and that, Afghanistan and Pakistan remain what they are.
The book reads like an affidavit and includes a pile of revealing documents.
The story here is much, much wider than Afghanistan. The problems we encounter in any poor, backwards country with, however, lucrative oil or other mineral deposits oand agricultural exports are quite general.
They are aggravated by a diplomatic corps that is simply swamped by US defense, police, intelligence, and operatives with a chain-of-command that by-passes the Ambassador, not to mention, both large and small companies with powerful lobbies each with their links to various companies and all manner of other countries.
Some people see a conspiracy behind 9-11.
What I see -- leaking out despite the predictably lame Philip Zelokow's efforts to reassure Americans rather than change the world of domestic and foreign patrons and clients -- is a lack of proficiency: Americans were the wrong people to try and perpetuate a British Empire that was failing.
The UK only had competing Foreign and Colonial Offices, each with its own rather small armies up until WWI.
Now, we have about a dozen military or intelligence organs with regular or mercenary armies as well as companies that hire mercs or are mercs. The result is not the left-wing bugaboo -- imperialism! The US is an armed and armored Clown Car splayed out in places like Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Back in the 1960's Roger Hilsman -- a soldier-diplomat -- proposed that the US Ambassador should be able to control what would be called an all-of-government policy in foreign lands. This probably alerted him early to the failure-mode in Vietnam that forced him out of the Deparment of State, replaced by another bureaucratic lightweight and academic social-climber: William P. Bundy.