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

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PublicAffairs, 2011 - History - 849 pages
18 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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Review: The Wars of Afghanistan: Messianic Terrorism, Tribal Conflicts, and the Failures of Great Powers

User Review  - Carol and Gary Curtis - Goodreads

Finally decided to pass on the rest of this book. Not that there's anything really wrong with it as a history of the never-ending conflict there but I did grow tired of the continuous betrayal that ... Read full review

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

User Review  - Kalpana Singh - Goodreads

Well-written and dense book on the complex history of Afghanistan! Read full review

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.