The Valley's Edge: A Year with the Pashtuns in the Heartland of the Taliban

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Potomac Books, Inc., 2012 - Biography & Autobiography - 246 pages
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In this gripping, firsthand account, Daniel Green tells the story of U.S. efforts to oust the Taliban insurgency from the desolate southern Afghan province of Uruzgan. Nestled between the Hindu Kush mountains and the sprawling wasteland of the Margow and Khash Deserts, Uruzgan is a microcosm of U.S. efforts to prevent Afghanistan from falling to the Taliban insurgency and Islamic radicalism.

Green, who served in Uruzgan from 2005 to 2006 as a U.S. Department of State political adviser to a Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT), reveals how unrealistic expectations, a superficial understanding of the Afghans, and a lack of resources contributed to the Taliban’s resurgence in the area. He discusses the PRT’s good-governance efforts, its reconstruction and development projects, the violence of the insurgency, and the PRT’s attempts to manage its complex relationship with the local warlord cum governor of the province.

Upon returning to Afghanistan in 2009 with the U.S. military and while working at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul until 2010, Green discovered that although many improvements had been made since he had last served in the country, the problems he had experienced in Uruzgan continued despite the transition from the Bush administration to the Obama administration.
 

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Contents

1 Welcome to the US Government
1
2 Afghanistan
11
The Heart of Asia
21
4 A Provincial Affair Tarin KowtSpring 2005
39
5 A Visit to the Green Zone ChoraSpring 2005
67
6 The New Regime Tarin KowtSummer 2005
79
7 Journey to Chenartu ChoraSummer 2005
89
8 The Thin Black Line Tarin KowtSummer 2005
95
13 The Dutch Take Over Tarin KowtSummer 2006
177
14 Interregnum 20062008
183
15 Afghanistan 20092011
189
Epilogue
213
Afterword
217
Some Ideas on Leadership Change in Uruzgan Province
221
The Political Dimension
227
Notes
235

9 Bringing Democracy to the Pashtuns Tarin KowtFall 2005
115
10 Uruzgans Bloody Past Tarin KowtFall 2005
127
11 The War Returns Tarin KowtSummer 2006
147
12 The Good Samaritan ChoraSummer 2006
165
Index
237
About the Author
245
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

Daniel R. Green is a Soref Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and is pursuing a PhD in political science at George Washington University. For his 2005-2006 work in Afghanistan, he received the U.S. Department of State's Superior Honor Award, the U.S. Army's Superior Civilian Honor Award, and a personal letter of commendation from then-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Peter Pace. He has also received the Office of the Secretary of Defense's Exceptional Public Service Award and in 2007 served with the U.S. military in Fallujah, Iraq. He lives in Washington, D.C.

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