Jack's Reviews > Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia

Taliban by Ahmed Rashid
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really liked it
bookshelves: history, politics, war, nonfiction

Great read. Interesting and important. Rashid was ahead of his time, with this book published before 09-11. He makes a convincing point that the Taliban took advantage of an environment that the world community abandoned. Also, he ably points out how the Taliban are effin' a-holes (my words, but it's true). However, seeing what has happened in Afghanistan and Iraq more convincingly tells me that there is probably no helping Afghanistan, and that MAYBE if the US and other countries did try to "fix" Afghanistan prior to 09-11, that the mess we're in now would have happened sooner. Rashid makes clear to me that Afghanistan was - again, prior to 09-11 - already a mess, with lots of countries around it that were causing problems, like Russia, Pakistan, India, Iran, and the central Asian republics. Worse, all of those countries were often involved in Afghanistan in ways that were actually DETRIMENTAL to their own interests. Granted, the US could have entered Afghanistan after 09-11 with a better strategy, but even then, this book is more convincing as a cautionary tale about the dangers of getting involved, which was not why Rashid wrote it.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
July 1, 2011 – Finished Reading
September 27, 2011 – Shelved
September 27, 2011 – Shelved as: history
September 27, 2011 – Shelved as: politics
September 27, 2011 – Shelved as: war
September 27, 2011 – Shelved as: nonfiction

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