The Valley's Edge: A Year with the Pashtuns in the Heartland of the Taliban
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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Achikzai Afghan army Afghan Highway Police Afghanistan asked Barakzai Bright Shining Lie building Char Chena checkpoint Chenartu Chief Rozi Khan Chora District civil affairs civilian Coalition Forces convoy Deh Rawud director district chief Dutch efforts election eventually fighting FOB Ripley focused Gilzai Governor Jan Mohammed Governor Monib Haji Malem Abdul Hazara Humvee insurgency Iraq Jan Mohammed Khan John Bagot Glubb John Paul Vann Kabul Kandahar Khan’s Khas Uruzgan killed leaders leadership Malem Malem Abdul Khaliq Matullah meeting military militia Mohib mujahedeen Mullah Hamdullah operations Pashtun police chief political polling centers population Populzai tribe President Karzai projects province’s Provincial Council Provincial Reconstruction Team Provincial Shura PRT commander PRT’s radio road Rozi Khan Security Force soldiers Soviets Special Forces staff tactical Taliban Tarin Kowt Tarin Kowt–Kandahar tribal trucks U.S. Department United Uruzgan Province USAID vehicle village Watanwall Wolesi Jirga