The Wars of Afghanistan: Messianic Terrorism, Tribal Conflicts, and the Failures of Great Powers

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PublicAffairs, 2011 - History - 849 pages
2 Reviews
As Ambassador and Special Envoy on Afghanistan from 1989 to 1992, Peter Tomsen has had close relationships with Afghan leaders and has dealt with senior Taliban, warlords, and religious leaders involved in the region’s conflicts over the last two decades. Now Tomsen draws on a rich trove of never-before-published material to shed new light on the American involvement in the long and continuing Afghan war.

This book offers a deeply informed perspective on how Afghanistan’s history as a “shatter zone” for foreign invaders and its tribal society have shaped the modern Afghan narrative. It brings to life the appallingly misinformed secret operations by foreign intelligence agencies, including the Soviet NKVD and KGB, the Pakistani ISI, and the CIA.

American policy makers, Tomsen argues, still do not understand Afghanistan; nor do they appreciate how the CIA’s covert operations and the Pentagon’s military strategy have strengthened extremism in the country. At this critical time, he shows how the U.S. and the coalition it leads can assist the region back to peace and stability.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jcbrunner - LibraryThing

Too many words, Your Excellency, too many words. If somebody had checked the author's vanity, this could have been an excellent book. When it finally hits its stride in the account of Bush's war it is ... Read full review

The Wars of Afghanistan: Messianic Terrorism, Tribal Conflicts, and the Failures of Great Powers

User Review  - Edwin B. Burgess - Book Verdict

This weighty narrative has a lot to say about the activities of Afghanistan's neighbors and the great powers that have become embroiled in Afghan affairs. Tomsen, a career diplomat who was special ... Read full review

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About the author (2011)

Peter Tomsen was President George H.W. Bush's Special Envoy on Afghanistan with the rank of Ambassador from 1989 to 1992. Tomsen entered the Foreign Service in 1967 and served in Thailand, Vietnam, China, and the Soviet Union. He was United States Deputy Chief of Mission in China from 1986 to 1989, deputy Assistant Secretary for East Asian Affairs from 1992 to 1995, and the American Ambassador to Armenia from 1995 to 1998. He lives in Virginia with his wife.