Comparative Politics

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By Larry P. Goodson

Going past the stereotypes of Kalashnikov-wielding Afghan mujahideen and black-turbaned Taliban fundamentalists, Larry Goodson explains during this concise research of the Afghan battle what has rather been occurring in Afghanistan within the final twenty years.

Beginning with the explanations at the back of Afghanistan’s lack of ability to forge a robust country -- its myriad cleavages alongside ethnic, spiritual, social, and geographical fault strains -- Goodson then examines the devastating process the battle itself. He charts its utter destruction of the rustic, from the deaths of greater than 2 million Afghans and the dispersal of a few six million others as refugees to the total cave in of its economic system, which at the present time has been changed by way of monoagriculture in opium poppies and heroin construction. The Taliban, a few of whose leaders Goodson interviewed as lately as 1997, have managed approximately eighty percentage of the rustic yet themselves have proven expanding discord alongside ethnic and political strains.

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Extra info for Afghanistan's Endless War: State Failure, Regional Politics, and the Rise of the Taliban

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Skirting the impenetrable Hazarajat, the road turns northeast to Kabul and then cuts the Hindu Kush at the Salang Pass and continues to Mazar-i-Sharif and the Uzbekistan border at Termez. 3 Afghanistan's physical characteristics. Reproduced by permission from Olivier Roy, Afghanistan: From Holy War to Civil War, 1995. AFGHANISTAN IN THE POST-COLD WAR WORLD 21 Mazar-i-Sharif and Herat, but this section was never much more than . unfinished jeep track. The road from Kabul to Peshawar, Pakistan, that runs through Jalalabad and the Khyber Pass is also part of this system.

3). Despite the development of railroads in the bordering countries, Afghanistan itself has no railroad, except for a few miles of track laid by the Soviets after the 1979 invasion to expedite the transfer of gas from the fields in Shiberghan near the Uzbekistan border. Afghanistan also has only one major road, the "Ring Road" that begins in the northwest at Torghundi and runs south through Herat to Kandahar. Skirting the impenetrable Hazarajat, the road turns northeast to Kabul and then cuts the Hindu Kush at the Salang Pass and continues to Mazar-i-Sharif and the Uzbekistan border at Termez.

Afghanistan's location between and history of meddlesome neighbors have been especially significant among the historical factors that I explore in the next chapter. The rest of this chapter offers a look at the first four contextual factors. 1 Afghanistan and its immediate neighbors in 1997. Source: ReliefWeb. 14 AFGHANISTAN IN THE POST-COLD WAR WORLD independent entity, albeit rarely unified or occupying its present borders, since the mid-eighteenth century. '9 Mghanistan has never been a homogeneous nation but rather a collection of disparate groups divided along ethnic, linguistic, religious, and racial lines and forced together by the vagaries of geopolitics.

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